Grains summit examines new science and technology

By Lorraine Heller in San Francisco

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Carbohydrate

The first ever World Grains Summit opened its doors in San
Francisco yesterday, attracting visitors from throughout the food
and beverage industries for four days of exploration of the latest
developments in grain-based science and technology.

Jointly hosted by the American Association of Cereal Chemists (AACC) International and the Master Brewers Association of the Americas (MBAA), the summit is presenting more than 250 posters and plenary sessions, and also includes an exhibition space for ingredients manufacturers and technology experts.

The show is set to run until Wednesday September 20 at San Francisco's Moscone Convention Center, and will be kicked off this morning with an opening keynote by popular business strategist Stan Slap. His presentation, on strategic planning and problem solving, is due to "take an engaging look at emotional commitment as the ultimate trigger for discretionary effort."

"It's the kind of commitment that solves unsolvable problems, creates energy when all energy has seemingly been expended, and ignites emotional commitment in others- employees, teams and customers,"​ write the organizers.

The closing address to take place on Wednesday will be hosted by consumer trend tracker and food trends expert Phil Lempert. His presentation, 'Food for Thought: A Look into the Future of the Grain-based Food & Beverage Industry', will explore future trends and their impact on this segment of the industry.

Lempert will discuss the changing consumer-demographic, psychographic shifts and impacts on the grains industry; the changing retail environment; and the emerging trends- a combination of "what shoppers want" and the top trends broken down into 5, 10, 20 and 30 year opportunities.

Other program highlights include a session on 'Biotechnology - 10 years in review', to be presented by Clive James, chair of the ISAAA board of directors. With 2005 marking the tenth anniversary of the global commercialization of biotech crops, James will review their first decade of commercialization and discuss future prospects for their second decade, including their contribution to global food, feed and fiber security, a safer environment and a more sustainable agriculture.

The AACC will also be using the summit as a platform to introduce its newly approved definitions related to glycemic carbohydrates. The four new definitions, from the association's Glycemic Carbohydrate Definition Committee, represent in vivo​ responses to food ingestion and are determined via carbohydrate concentration in the blood and degree of excretion form the body. AACC International will hold an open forum this afternoon on its new definitions.

The World Grains Summit will also feature a rich program of track sessions, with each track offering technical presentations and symposia with invited speakers from around the globe. Topics within tracks will address processing and raw materials, nutritional aspects, analytical aspects and functional properties, and safety and quality.

Tracks are: beer and other beverages; breads; breakfast foods; grain exchange; pasta/noodles; professional development; and sweet/salty foods.

Beyond the rich technical program, the summit also has an open exhibition floor for two hours each day, populated by ingredients manufacturers and firms offering technical expertise to the food and beverage industries. Exhibitors include major players such as ADM, Cargill, BASF, Danisco and DSM. will be reporting from San Francisco throughout the duration of the summit.

For more information on the World Grains Summit, click here​.

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