Formulating the future
July 1, 2015
by Laurie Gorton
With an eye to the future and a look at its past, AACC International (AACCI) celebrates its centennial meeting Oct. 18-21 at Minneapolis. The annual meeting, set to take place at the city’s convention center and the Minneapolis Hilton Hotel, should attract some 1,000 scientific and industry professionals and offers a commercial expo featuring more than 120 exhibitors.
“AACCI will celebrate its achievements over the past 100 years,” said AACCI President Gerard Downey, PhD, Teagasc, Ashtown, Dublin, Ireland. He is a member of the Food Chemistry & Technology Department at the Ashtown Food Research Centre of Teagasc, Ireland’s Agriculture and Food Development Agency, and holds the post of adjunct professor in the School of Agriculture, Food and Veterinary Science at University College, Dublin.
“But more importantly, it will identify the most promising areas of advancement in grain science and map out its strategy for continued growth as a global provider of knowledge in this sector,” Dr. Downey added.
Eye to outlooks
The program team, chaired by Devin J. Rose, PhD, assistant professor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, targeted tomorrow’s world of grain science in selecting speakers and session topics, with special focus on the next 100 years in cereal science.
Activities get under way on Oct. 18 with a new evening networking event: the Opening Centennial Celebration.
Launching program sessions the next morning will be Jack Uldrich, global futurist, speaker and author, presenting “The Big AHA: How to Future-Proof Your Business Against Tomorrow’s Transformational Trends, Today.” As the keynote speaker, he plans to discuss how individuals can become more aware of transformational change, why humility will be integral to future success and how taking small actions — and some risks — may be the smartest and safest thing for leaders to do. He regularly makes appearances on CNN, CNBC, National Public Radio, Science Channel and Discovery Channel.
AACCI recently announced it would offer a special session Oct. 20 with Andy Hines, PhD, assistant professor and program coordinator for the University of Houston’s Foresight Program. Previously, he established and ran the Global Trends Program for the Kellogg Company. His topic, “Using the Future to Innovate Today,” covers ways to map the future today and find tools to aid innovation.
Another futurist will close the centennial meeting on Oct. 21 by telling attendees about “Distilling Your Message — Communicating Your Science.” Valeri Lantz-Gefroh from the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, will discuss how and why the grain-foods industry can share information and innovations effectively with today’s audiences.
Respect for history
Because this meeting marks AACCI’s 100th anniversary, many activities provide insight into the past as well as the present. The Milling & Baking Division (MBD), the group’s oldest and largest division, sponsors two special symposia: “Agents of Change and Dealing with the Unknowns of the Future” and “The Past as a Prologue to the Future of Milling and Baking.” Both are co-sponsored by the Soft Wheat and Flour Products Technical Committee and the Chemical Leavening Technical Committee. And both were organized by Arthur Bettge, ADB Wheat Consulting, Moscow, ID, and next year’s MBD chair.
The first presents speakers describing chemical leavening’s functionality and mineral content, milling of whole grain flours, bran in whole grain flours, replacement of flour chlorination, and modification of flour performance through enzymes and non-starch carbohydrates.
The second symposia discusses the transition and evolution of milling and baking from their use of undifferentiated landrace grains to today’s highly specialized and technical industry. Topics include the history of chemical leavening, replacement of trans-fats, wheat breeding, changes in food labeling and ingredient lists, and the art and science of modern cuisine.
Other symposia organized with a view to past and future will examine methods of analysis and testing, the future of oats and barley, sustainability of grains and a century of improvements in the Asian market. Additional scientific sessions will probe dry bean ingredients, climate-friendly ancient grains, dietary fiber methodology, proteins and legumes, pulse ingredients, rice, and sprouted grains.
Gathering of suppliers
The history of milling and baking will also be on view during the annual meeting thanks to a curated display of artifacts from the Bundy Baking Museum in Urbana, OH, courtesy of Russell T. Bundy. Interested in preserving the industry’s history, Mr. Bundy has assembled a collection — the largest in the world — of vintage and modern signage, vehicles, advertising and even turn-of-the-century baking equipment. It promises AACCI attendees a unique journey through time and the tradition of baking.
The meeting’s exhibit hall opens Oct. 19. The association added a cooking demonstration with its “All Star Grain Chefs” preparing samples on the show floor Oct. 19 and 20. On both days, the show is open from noon to 2 p.m. and again from 4 to 7 p.m. On Oct. 21, the show offers “coffee with the exhibitors” from 8:30 to 10 a.m.
Six finalists in the best student paper competition were announced in May, and their presentations are on Oct. 20. Student members will also take part in a product development contest. Participants are asked to create new food products suitable for commercial production. Finalist presentations take place Oct. 19.
Many of the group’s divisions and committees sponsor separate luncheons and gatherings during the annual meeting, providing participants additional networking and socializing opportunities.
Three pre-meeting workshops on Oct. 17 and 18 offer insight into quality management systems, trends in nutritional labeling and recent advances in enzymes used in baked foods. The first two take place at Medallion Labs on the General Mills campus in Minneapolis. Separate fees are charged for participation.
The general and plenary sessions, approved methods technical committees and some of the smaller meetings will be held at the Minneapolis Hilton Hotel. Scientific sessions and the exposition are slated for the Minneapolis Convention Center, three blocks from the hotel and also connected to it by the city’s Skyway.
Registration is open now. AACCI negotiated discounted hotel rates at the headquarters hotel, with early bird savings available through Sept. 18. A mobile app for smartphones offering full meeting details will be posted in September. AACCI announced that session recordings will be made free to all members in early November. For details, visit www.aaccnet.org/meet.