Plea for more food science guidance in Guidelines

by Jeff Gelski
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ANAHEIM, CALIF. — The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans Advisory Committee could use more than one food scientist and thus more input on how food science technology may help the Guidelines reach their goals, said Dr. Fergus Clydesdale, Ph.D., a food science professor from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Mass.

Dr. Clydesdale, the sole food scientist on the 2005 committee, gave his views Monday during the session "The evolution of dietary guidance: Lessons learned and new frontiers" at the Institute of Food Technologists’ annual meeting and food exposition.

Dr. Roger Clemens, Ph.D., an adjunct professor in the Department of Pharmacy at the University of Southern California, is the lone food scientist on the 2010 advisory committee. He is relegated to food safety issues.

"A food scientist should not be regulated to just food safety on the Dietary Guidelines, and there should be more than one," Dr. Clydesdale said.

Dr. Clydesdale said technology has helped society in many areas. He said he doubted people would like to go back to using typewriters or that teachers would like to go back to using chalkboards.

"We’re not going to go back to 78 r.p.m.s (records)," he said.

Dr. Clydesdale said he wondered why people do not embrace technology in the food system. He said he wondered why people wanted to cook the way people did 100 years ago.

The Dietary Guidelines could use input on how food science technology may help meet the Guidelines goals, Dr. Clydesdale said. Fortification could be discussed more, he said.

"The food industry produces the food we eat," he said. "Perhaps you’d better work with the food industry because they are the ones that feed the world."

During the question-and-answer session, one person asked if a transcript of Dr. Clydesdale’s talk could be sent to governmental bodies. Another person asked if it could be published in a scientific journal such as The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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