New Age Of Nutrition To Provide Food For Thought

May 25, 1999

CHICAGO -- Will a tomato a day keep cancer at bay? What are the latest scientific findings on plant substances in the news? Is there scientific support for the health-related claims of dietary supplement manufacturers? How do countries regulate and ensure the safety of functional foods? These and other compelling questions will be addressed at IFT's 1999 Annual Meeting.

"The Food Medicine Show: From Snake Oil to Fish Oil" (July 25, 9 AM) will discuss the potential impact of phytochemicals and dietary supplements on chronic disease. It will look at current scientific research on specific compounds, such as resveratrol in grapes, phenolics in green tea, sulforaphane in broccoli, and omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil. The safety and efficacy of herbal supplements will be examined, too, weighing their historical use and role in Chinese medicine against U.S. scientific standards. In addition, cultural and regulatory differences among countries regarding dietary supplement manufacturing, labeling, and use will be covered.

The key scientific and regulatory issues related to marketing functional foods (ingredients or products that may offer health benefits beyond standard nutrients) in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Japan will be discussed in "International Regulatory Issues in Marketing Functional Foods: Barriers and Opportunities" (Special Forum 7, July 26, 1:30 PM). Panelists will cover the nomenclature that manufacturers are allowed to use in advertising, safety and efficacy data requirements, regulatory approval processes, permitted health-related claims, and time needed to market functional foods in each jurisdiction.

"Positive Health Benefits of Conjugated Linoleic Acid, a Functional Food Component of Meat and Dairy Products" (Symposium 82, July 28, 9 AM) will feature some of the nation's top researchers on this topic. Animal studies show that conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) may inhibit human cancer and atherosclerosis, enhance immune system functions, reduce body fat, and increase lean body mass. Ironically, dairy and beef fat, which contain saturated fat, are the major dietary sources of CLA.

Institute of Food Technologists

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