Newswise — WASHINGTON, DC—In comments delivered to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) urged the federal agencies to involve food scientists and technologists in the 2015 Dietary Guidelines deliberation process. Further, IFT emphasized the need for DHHS and USDA to consider at least one permanent designation of a food scientist and/or food technologist for future (2020 and beyond) DGACs.
“Given the increasing intersection between food science and nutrition science, it is extremely important to have a voice on the science of food as part of the ongoing discussion of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans,” said IFT President Janet E. Collins, Ph.D., R.D., CFS who is both a food scientist and a registered dietitian.
In addition to offering scientific support to enhance the Committee’s understanding of the role of food science and technology in developing healthy, nutritious foods to meet the Dietary Guidelines, food scientists and technologists can provide critical insight on existing technological capabilities and limitations of the food supply so that the Guidelines are practical and achievable by consumers. These include impact on food manufacturing and food safety; sensory appeal of the food; cost and time restraints; and consumer acceptance. All of these factors can make significant differences in meal pattern and dietary recommendations, consumer behavior and the health of Americans.
In written commentary submitted to the federal agencies, IFT addressed several technological aspects that must be considered when developing dietary guidance. These include reducing food components such as saturated fat and sugar; impacting the safety and quality impacts of sodium reduction in prepared foods; increasing nutrients of concern (folic acid, vitamin D, calcium, and dietary fiber); enrichment and fortification of foods; and sustainability of the food supply. IFT strongly encourages collaboration among food scientists, technologists, dietitians, nutritionists, behavioral scientists and other professionals in order to make positive changes to the food supply and to positively impact overall health of Americans.
The full comments IFT submitted are available here.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Institute of Food Technologists. Since its founding in 1939, IFT has been committed to advancing the science of food, both today and tomorrow. Our non-profit scientific society—more than 18,000 members from more than 100 countries—brings together food scientists, technologists and related professions from academia, government and industry. For more information, please visit ift.org.