2017 Technical Meeting Highlights

“Bridging Culinary Arts with Cutting Edge Technology”

The Association for Dressings and Sauces (ADS) 2017 Technical Meeting continued to amaze and brought in 317 attendees, ranking at second in the history of the meeting, with sessions focused on bringing the best flavors to market, while shining a light on the new regulatory environment.

ADS’ Technical Meeting, held at the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront, Portland Oregon, April 30-May 2, included a wealth of timely industry information and numerous networking opportunities. As a city connected through a network of more than 20 bridges, Portland depends on bridges as a connection to the world. Along those lines, ADS saw this concept of bridges as a crucial way forward, taking companies from old formulas to new ways of combining flavors. Taking today’s cutting edge technologies and using them to help us meet changing tastes and shifting preferences.

The session agenda offered education including today’s regulatory environment, new nutrition labeling requirements, FSMA food safety regulations, packaging design concepts, various food labeling certifications, and a primer on sweeteners.

Also featured at the Technical Meeting was the much-anticipated Information Open House (IOH), ADS’ annual informal tabletop exhibit designed for manufacturers and suppliers to meet and review a multitude of products, services and needs.

Meeting attendees also had the opportunity to vote for the 2017 Dressing, Sauce and Package of the Year.  Look for the winners to be revealed in October during the ADS 2017 Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee.

As always, we couldn’t have done it without ADS members who devoted their time and expertise to the program. A special “thanks” goes out to them!

Monday, May 2 -- Sessions

Monday’s session opened with the Executive Technical Board (ETB) Chair, Paula Klassen of TreeHouse Foods, who welcomed attendees to Portland. Ms. Klassen provided an overview of ADS initiatives, committee work and a look at the Technical Meeting program to come.  Following Ms. Klassen’s presentation, ADS Chair of the Board, Steve Dabrow of Chelten House Products focused his remarks on ADS’ strategic plan, noting that almost 87% of ADS’ measurable objectives were met or exceeded. Mr. Dabrow also reviewed the upcoming Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, October 7 – 9.  Ms. Klassen rejoined Mr. Dabrow on stage to present the winner of the 2017 Technical Service Award to Tom McGirty of T. Marzetti Company for his active participation and input benefiting the industry through his roles with the ADS Executive Technical Board (ETB) and the Quality Assurance Committee (QAC). Congratulations, Tom!

Session presentations noted can be found on the Members-Only section of the ADS website.  Please note that not all presentations were made available to ADS.  Contact ADS Headquarters if you need the user name and password.

Charles Marshall of M Power Resources, LLC provided insights from his book “The Seven Powers of Success”, emphasizing the importance of choice, vision, failure and belief. Mr. Marshall especially discussed how choice can help us make effective decisions that steer us towards our dreams and how vision can clarify your destination and help you stay on course.

Dr. Jeannie Perron of Covington & Burling and ADS legal counsel presented the “Food Regulatory Update,” including updates on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the new nutritional labeling laws and the genetically engineered (GE) food labeling law. Dr. Perron shed light as well on how the Trump Administration is impacting food regulation.

Paula Klassen of TreeHouse Foods presented “Certification Audits 101” and revealed the necessary steps to apply for certifications such as Kosher and Halal, Organic and Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, and Certified Fair Trade, among others.

Monday afternoon’s New Products and Services Presentations moderated by Allen Sass of Wisconsin Spice, Inc. offered attendees insight and included the following presentations:

  • Silverline Continuous Cooking System by Sean O’Rear, Hydro-Thermal Corporation
  • KELTROL® LAX-T Xanthan Gum by Wanda Jurlina, CP Kelco
  • VITESSENCE™ Pulse CT Proteins & HOMECRAFT® Pulse CT Flours by Kevin Peregrin, Ingredion, Inc.
  • Neogen Corporation’s NeoSeek Genomic Testing Service by Tim Hendra, Neogen Corporation
  • High Speed Rotary Seal Condiment Films by Dennis Redding, Bemis North America
  • Guardian™ Chelox L by Russ Lanzrath, DuPont Nutrition & Health
  • Garlic Powder Replacement, Natural 10-Fold (Water Dispersible) by Dean Wilson, Trilogy Essential Ingredients, Inc.
  • Instant Tender-Jel® 400 SERIES by Dr. Jim Carr of Tate & Lyle

The top four presentations deemed to be the most relevant to the dressings and sauces industry as voted on by attendees of the New Products and Services Presentations can be accessed here. Finally, Monday was topped off by the Information Open House (IOH), flanked by 90 supplier companies, providing an informative and exciting look at member products, processes and services for the dressing and sauce industry.

Tuesday, May 3 -- Sessions

The first presentation on Tuesday morning was “Non-GMO Project Verified” given by Annie Shannahan, Non-GMO Project.  Ms. Shannahan provided some fundamental information on the standard program for certifying products that are not genetically engineered, as well as the product verification process and evaluation. She also gave a state of the non-GMO market, across all points in the value chain.

Next, Dr. Darrell Gerdes of Imperial Sugar Company provided a presentation on “Sweeteners 101” with a look at the types of sweeteners, their history, forms and sources, and their applications in production.  During the break, samples of several of these sweeteners were provided for attendees to taste.

Michelle Wright of Michelle Wright Consulting, LLC shared her insight on “Considerations for Implementing the New Nutrition Labeling Regulations,” with a key focus on the added sugar declaration, dietary fiber, added fiber and new daily values for certain vitamins and minerals.

“Packaging Design: Collaborating for Success” was presented by Michael Krebsbach of Bemis North America.  The presentation highlighted the importance for packaging at the grocery aisle and how research and testing can help manufacturers sell more products while helping solve everyday problems for consumers.

The final presentation of the morning was “FSMA Foreign Supplier Verification Program” with Matt Regusci of World Quality Services. Mr. Regusci provided an overview of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act’s Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) requirements for importers of foods into the U.S. and shared insights on the verification activities with the timeline for implementation.

Moderated by Tom McGirty of T. Marzetti Company, Tuesday afternoon offered attendees a workshop, “Converting a Culinary Recipe to a Production Ready Formula,” which included a panel discussion. The presentations included:  “Culinary Expressions” by Chef Christopher Posner of Pinnacle Foods, “Product Development’s Role” by Mark Leshniowsky of Ventura Foods, “Product Formula Scale-Up” by Ben Rucker of CRB, “Sourcing Ingredients” by Vince Pasquale of Accurate Ingredients, Inc. and “Food Safety Review” by Suzanne Mailman of Golden State Foods. The panel was an interactive one, thanks to the comradery of the speakers and the probing questions from attendees!

ADS’ Closing Reception and Dinner  

Attendees concluded their time in Portland at the nearby Punch Bowl Social, where attendees enjoyed a reception and dinner, tried their skill at Skeet-Ball, Ping Pong and a bank of Arcade Games and sand to their favorite music in the karaoke lounge.

ADS Committees at Work

The ADS Board of Directors, the Executive Technical Board and a number of working committees also met in Portland to review priorities, determine new projects and evaluate issues of importance to the industry.  Meetings held were:  Membership Council, Packaging Committee, Technical Committee, Supplier Advisory Committee, and Quality Assurance Committee.  An ADS Communications Update also was provided on Sunday. More details follow in order of their appearance on the program:

April 29

Membership Council
The Membership Council met and reviewed ongoing prospecting efforts to bring new members into ADS as well as to retain current members.

Packaging Committee
The Committee discussed package of the year awards (as well as the student award), the drafting of a troubleshooting guide for flexible packaging and rigid packaging and new ideas for presenting innovative packaging at future Technical Meetings. The Committee then heard “Trends in Packaging” from Oliver Muggli of Winpak Ltd including impact on food safety, demographics, sustainability, rigid and semi-rigid fill technologies and digital watermarks to expand branding campaigns.

April 30

Technical Committee
Among other business, four presentations were made during the meeting: 

  • “Hot to Cold Process BBQ Sauce” presented by Rachel Basalla of T. Marzetti Company, Michael Donovan, Sensient Natural Ingredients; Leslie Drew, Ingredion Incorporated; Dorrie Francis, Litehouse, Inc.; Ed Heraty, McCormick & Company, Inc. and Charlie Wind, Mullins Food Products. The study evaluated the effects on formula quality and stability (and potentially cost) by moving from hot process cook up starch to ambient process using instant starch with an ADS BBQ sauce formula.
  • “Egg Replacement for Ranch Dressing and Mayonnaise” presented by David Horowitz, DuPont Nutrition and Health; Rory McCarthy, Grande Custom Ingredients Group and Colm Swan, Socius Ingredients LLC. The mission of the study was to evaluate commercially available alternatives to eggs as applied to the ADS updated Ranch Dressing formulation and a slightly modified Mayonnaise formulation.
  • “Formulating a “Cleaner” Ranch Dressing” presented by Eric Esterline of Bay Valley Foods and Dr. Robert E. King of The Kroger Co. The objective of the study was to create a “cleaner” label (where certain ingredients were replaced) shelf stable ADS ranch dressing formulation while maintaining a similar quality.

The Technical Committee will undertake the following 4 projects during the coming year:  (1) Prediction of emulsion stability using various technologies; (2) Continue the 2017 egg replacement project and evaluate flavor optimization; (3) Evaluate the use of alternative oils and oil blends (e.g., avocado oil, sunflower oil, olive oil) on dressings and/or mayonnaise; and (4) What are the opportunities for replacing xanthan gum in shelf stable dressings and sauces for cleaner label demands?

Supplier Advisory Committee
The Supplier Advisory Committee (SAC) met and items on the agenda included details of the 2018 Annual Meeting and the Dressing and Sauce of the Year Awards.

Quality Assurance Committee
The Quality Assurance Committee reviewed and approved revisions to the following sections in ADS’ Quality Assurance Guidelines (QAG) Manual and Methods and Procedures Manual (MAPMAN): (1) “Federal Regulations” of the QAG Manual, (2) “Food Industry Audit Guidelines” of the QAG Manual, (3) “Microbiological Preservation Chart for Condiments and Sauces with pH 4.2 and Below” of the QAG Manual and “Bulk Carrier Guidelines” of the QAG Manual and MAPMAN.

The Committee will undertake review of the following Manual sections during the coming year: “Food Security Guidelines” and “Pest Management Guidelines” of the QAG Manual and “Microbiological Testing” of the MAPMAN.

The Committee heard a presentation “FSMA Final Rule for Mitigation Strategies To Protect Food Against Intentional Adulteration” from Lance Roberie of Food Safety & Quality Services, LLC.

Executive Technical Board (ETB)
The ETB reviewed updates from various ADS committees, a possible microbiological study, plans for the 2018 Technical Meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina and other issues of importance to the dressing and sauce industry.

Communications Update
The 4th Quarter of the 2016 program was recapped including the December article promoting condiments and recipes around holiday entertaining and sports/TV bowl games parties. The 2016 year experienced the highest website visitor traffic ever to Dressings-Sauces.org, attributed mainly to a large growth in Google Search traffic, enabled by the constant flow of content (recipes, lifestyle articles) now being posted to the website. Progress from the 2017 program was reported, including new website content (text and how-to videos based on recipes), National Salad Month promotional activity, ADS website statistics, and upcoming news features for July and November.   Have a recipe of the month to share?  Please send to Caitlin Hutchinson at chutchison@kellencompany.com

Future Updates
ADS Members: Look for additional committee updates in upcoming issues of ADS’ Heads Up! newsletter and in the ADS Members Group in LinkedIn, as well as in your email box.

Future Meetings

Be sure to mark your calendar now for the following upcoming ADS meetings:

2017 Annual Meeting
October 7- 9
Westin Nashville
Nashville, Tennessee

2018 Technical Meeting
April 29-May 1
Westin Charlotte
Charlotte, North Carolina

For more information, please log onto the Members-Only section of the ADS website at www.adsmembers.org.  Please contact Headquarters if you need the username and password.