Introducing the FoodNavigator-USA Positive Nutrition virtual summit: From feeding the gut microbiome to plotting the next 10 years in plant-based protein

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Introducing the FoodNavigator-USA Positive Nutrition virtual summit: From feeding the gut microbiome to plotting the next 10 years in plant-based p...

Related tags Positive Nutrition Summit 2022 microbiome plant protein plant-based protein Prebiotics postbiotics Probiotics Gut bacteria Danone Resistant starch

What up-and-coming plant proteins are the most exciting? Chickpeas? Hemp? Canola? Barley? Pongamia? What do we really know about the best overall dietary pattern to support a healthy gut microbiome? And how do we educate consumers about the benefits of resistant starch in a carb-wary culture?

From the latest innovations in pre-, pro-, and now post-biotics, to plotting the next 10 years in plant-based proteins (what’s next beyond soy, pea, and wheat?), to the latest trends in healthy beverages, FoodNavigator-USA’s virtual Positive Nutrition​ event explores how manufacturers can tap into demand for foods that positively contribute to health and wellbeing.

In this year’s event, featuring webinars across North America, Asia Pacific (APAC), and Europe, editors at FoodNavigator-USA (Americas), FoodNavigator-Asia (APAC), and (Europe) will engage with established and challenger brands, exploring everything from how best to feed the army of microbes that line our digestive tracts, to working with a more diverse range of plants that will drive the next wave of plant-based innovation.

Here’s our breakdown of the three North American sessions ​in the series (look out for the sessions marked ‘USA’) chaired by FoodNavigator-USA editor Elaine Watson and senior correspondent Mary Ellen Shoup.

All three USA sessions begin at 11am Central time, are FREE to attend, and will subsequently be available on demand to all registered attendees. Click HERE​ to register for the webinars in the series that interest you.

cropped microbiome

MARCH 17, 2022 Feeding the gut microbiome: from pre-, pro-, and postbiotics to resistant starch (USA)

Time: ​11am-1.30pm Central time

Moderator: ​Elaine Watson, editor, FoodNavigator-USA

PART ONE: Probiotics, postbiotics, and fermented foods   

FIRESIDE CHAT: What does a ‘healthy gut microbiome’ look like? In conversation with Dr Miguel Freitas, VP scientific affairs, Danone North America 

Miguel Freitas Danone

How far have we come since Jamie Lee Curtis first introduced Americans to the concept of ‘good’ bacteria, and what are the key questions we still need to answer? 

Presentation:​ Spotlight on postbiotics, EpiCor

PANEL DEBATE: Probiotics, postbiotics, and fermented foods

Probiotics and fermented foods panel

This session will explore fermented foods, probiotics and postbiotics, looking at everything from how to build a consumer brand around probiotics, to whether fermented foods and yogurts contain probiotics (spoiler alert: not necessarily), and whether postbiotics, sometimes described as the ‘waste’ products of fermentation, could open up new application opportunities for food and beverage manufacturers.

  • Tom First, founder and CEO, Culture Pop
  • Dr Bob Hutkins, Khem Shahani professor of food science, University of Nebraska
  • Todd Beckman, president and CEO, Verb Biotics   
  • Dr Justin Green, director of scientific affairs, Embria Health Sciences (Cargill)  

PART TWO: Prebiotic fibers and resistant starch

Presentation:​ Soluble corn fiber as a prebiotic, Dr Melissa Kaczmarczyk, principal scientist, Tate & Lyle Global Nutrition

PANEL DEBATE:  Prebiotic fibers and resistant starch in focus

Prebiotics panel

Prebiotics, defined by ISAPP as ‘a substrate that is selectively utilized by host microorganisms conferring a health benefit,’ are finally starting to gain traction in food & beverage applications, with firms exploring everything from green banana powder to Jerusalem artichoke, chicory root powder and resistant potato starch. But which prebiotics have solid science behind them, and how do you talk to consumers about them? Can you generate excitement around an ingredient called ‘resistant starch’ in a carb-wary food culture, and what kinds of claims resonate with shoppers?

  • Kara Landau, founder, Uplift Food; nutrition adviser, Global Prebiotics Association
  • Ben Goodwin, co-founder, Olipop  
  • Dr Shelley Balanko, SVP business development, Hartman Group    
  • Dr Melissa Kaczmarczyk, principal scientist, North America, Tate & Lyle    
  • Jason Leibert, chief growth officer, Solnul   

Click HERE​ ​to register.

cropped plant protein

MARCH 24, 2022 Plant-based protein in focus: from Pongamia to chickpeas (USA)​   

Moderator:​ Elaine Watson

Time: ​11am-12.40pm Central time

FIRESIDE CHAT – Barley protein in the spotlight. In conversation with Gregory Belt, founder and CEO, EverGrain, AB InBev         


We catch up with Greg Belt to explore the nutritional, technical and functional properties of barley protein, where it sits in the broader plant-based protein segment (is it the next soy or pea, or destined to be a more niche player?), how it fits into the emerging ‘upcycled’ food economy, and how to talk about it with consumers.

Presentation:​ What makes pea protein the most attractive and sustainable plant protein ingredient? Dr Aurelie Mauray, market manager plant proteins Americas, Roquette

PANEL DEBATE:  Plotting the next 10 years in plant-based protein

Plant-based protein panel

Where is the plant-based protein market going, what’s new in the toolbox (from Nepra’s work on hemp to TerViva’s work on Pongamia), and are new plant-based options always going to be an easier sell for consumers than some of the more exotic new offerings emerging from Silicon Valley? We’ll explore all angles from science, investment, and formulation, to marketing.

  • Dr Jim Astwood, CTO, TerViva 
  • Dr David Welch, CSO and co-founder, Synthesis Capital
  • Dr Justin Shimek, CEO, Mattson 
  • Chadwick White, chief innovation officer and co-founder, Nepra Foods
  • Roi Wurgaft, owner, Wurgaft Consulting and Development 
  • Dr Aurelie Mauray, market manager Americas, plant proteins, Roquette 
  • Panchali Chakraborty, technical director, savory & snacks, Givaudan  

Click HERE​ to register.

Cropped healthy beverages

MARCH 31, 2022 Healthy beverage trends: From sparkling water to functional wellness shots(USA)​  ​ 

Moderator: ​Mary Ellen Shoup, senior correspondent, FoodNavigator-USA

Time: ​11am-12.30pm Central time

FIRESIDE CHAT: From regional brand to national beverage powerhouse. In conversation with Chris Hall , CEO, Talking Rain

Chris-Hall-Talking Rain

Best known for its Sparkling ICE brand, which propelled the company from a regional to national beverage company roughly a decade ago, Talking Rain has since expanded into a number of other high-growth segments from its spin on energy drinks with Sparking ICE +Caffeine (launched in 2018) to zero-sugar performance water TRE and alkaline water brand Talk Rain AQA. Learn about the unique path to market Talking Rain has taken to become a powerhouse beverage company with a diverse portfolio of functional and better-for-you offerings.

Presentation​: Giving your tasty beverages a healthy makeover with collagen peptides. Florencia Moreno, global business development manager health and nutrition, Rousselot 

PANEL DEBATE: What’s next in better-for-you beverages?

healthy beverages panel

Consumers have taken health and wellness into their own hands, and beverages are a huge part of that equation. Whether it’s swapping out soda for flavored sparkling water or incorporating wellness shots and juices with immunity-boosting ingredients into their daily routines, consumers are forming new and lasting habits when it comes to their beverage choices. So, what exactly are consumers looking for when it comes to their beverage selection and which products and brands fit their evolving lifestyle choices? Hear from some category front-runners on how they’re capturing the next better-for-you wave in the beverage category.

  • Bryan Riblett, chief innovation officer, Suja Organic
  • Jennifer Christ,  Manager, Food & Beverage Research, Freedonia Group
  • Nicole Bernard Dawes, Founder and CEO, Nixie Sparkling Water
  • Sherri Sparaga, Vice President of Business Development, Vive Organic
  • Casey Michael McCormick,  Director of Product Innovation, Sweegen
  • Florencia Moreno, Global Business Development Manager Health & Nutrition, Rousselot

Click HERE​ to register.


Learn more about speakers HERE​.

Checkout the Americas program HERE​.

Register for the sessions that interest you HERE​.

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