2018 Technical Meeting Review

The Association for Dressings and Sauces (ADS) 2018 Technical Meeting was a great success, with sessions focused on bringing the best flavors to market, while shining a light on the new regulatory environment. 

ADS’ Technical Meeting, held in Charlotte, North Carolina at the Westin Charlotte, April 29-May 1, included valuable industry information and a host of networking opportunities. As the home of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Charlotte as the location afforded ADS the theme “Racing to Victory” with sessions and workshops to help members compete in today’s business environment.

The meeting’s agenda offered education including today’s regulatory environment, food safety, clean labeling, food and flavor trends, and troubleshooting guides for packaging, along with economic adulteration and detecting Listeria in the production environment.

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 2018 Dressing, Sauce and Package of the Year.  Look for the winners to be revealed in October during the ADS 2018 Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado.
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, April 30 -- Sessions

Monday’s session opened with ADS’ Director of Regulatory and Technical Affairs Pat Faison welcoming all members to the meeting.

Executive Technical Board (ETB) Chair, Paula Klassen of TreeHouse Foods provided an overview of ADS initiatives, committee work and a look at the Technical Meeting program to come. ADS Communication Manager Stan Samples reviewed the progress in building awareness for the dressings, mayonnaise and sauces categories, including 2017’s record year with website visitor count with a 17% annual growth. Mr. Samples provided some early results of the 2018 consumer awareness program, including website content, social media and advertising.

ADS’ Director of Regulatory and Technical Affairs Pat Faison returned to the podium to announce the winner of the ADS Technical Service Award, Paula Klassen of TreeHouse Foods. (pictured) In addition to being the Chair of the ETB, Paula also serves on the Quality Assurance Committee and has participated in ADS Subcommittees charged with developing resources for the industry.

Ben Cook of Performance Instruction and Training (PIT) discussed that in “Driving High Performance Teams”, it’s important to factor in the people, culture, process and leadership.  While improving performance is important, it is crucial to tell them how to improve.  

Session presentations that are available 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.

Dr. Jeannie Perron of Covington & Burling and ADS legal counsel presented the “Food Regulatory Update,” including updates on the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP), bioengineered food regulations as well as FDA Recalls, FDA Dietary Fiber petitions and the Nutrition Facts Label.

Frank Yiannas of Walmart shared insight on “Food Safety Culture and Blockchain”, emphasizing the need for a Food Safety Culture in your company, through shared patterns and socialization processes.  Yiannas also stressed food safety and transparency and how Blockchain can track food through the value chain.

Monday afternoon’s Clean Label Workshop moderated by Dorrie Francis of Litehouse, Inc. included the following presentations:

  • “Getting Clear on Clean Labels” by Annette Maggi, Annette Maggi & Associates, Inc.
  • “Formulating and Marketing Clean Label Products” by Mark Cornthwaite, DuPont Nutrition & Health
  • “Translating Conventional Ingredients into Clean Label Products” by Jeff Lowrance, Ventura Foods
  • “A QA Perspective on Clean Labeling” by Tom McGirty, T. Marzetti Company

Finally, Monday was topped off by the Information Open House (IOH), flanked by 97 supplier companies, providing an informative and exciting look at member products and services for the dressing and sauce industry.

Tuesday, May 1 -- Sessions

The first presentation on Tuesday morning was “Implications of Dressing Microstructure Upon Stability” given by Dr. Bruce Campbell, Consultant.  Campbell reviewed dressing microstructure and the insights from it, including processing history, ingredient source and treatment, and process and formulation development.

Dwight McVey of Avure Technologies provided a presentation on “High Pressure Processing (HPP) for Dressings & Sauces”. He outlined the increased stringency in food safety standards, and how HPP was accepted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Health Canada, European Union (EU) and others. Other factors to be considered include pH/acidulant, Brix/water activity, food matrix/ingredients and processing conditions.

Suzy Badaracco of Culniary Tides, Inc. shared insight on “How To Use Strategic Thinking to Navigate Consumer, Food and Flavor Trends”. She offered a food forecast, delving into how health trends and eating occasions become drivers with products.  She reviewed how sustainability, food/flavor, cuisines and preparation played a factor in the consumer mindset. She also noted regional sauces and dressings.  
Dr. Douglas Marshall of Eurofins Microbiology Laboratories, Inc. discussed types of “Economic Adulteration”, where the deliberate misrepresentation of food or food ingredients create economic gain. He also reviewed the conditions making food fraud so easy and recommended a food fraud vulnerability assessment and mitigation plan be reviewed and verified annually.

“Where, When and How – Finding and Removing Listeria in a Production Area” was presented by Dr. Virginia Deibel, Covance Laboratories, Inc. Beginning with a background on Listeria monocytogenes, she reviewed production plant conditions in which Listeria could grow, along with procedures to test and conditions to correct and prevent the possibility of contamination.

Moderated by David Horowitz of DuPont Nutrition and Health, Tuesday afternoon offered attendees a workshop, “Troubleshooting Rigid and Flexible Packaging,” which included:

  • “Flexible Packaging: Physical and Cosmetic Defects – How Did That Happen and How Do I Fix It?” by Lou Belmont of Sonoco Products Company and Mark Griffin of Winpak Lane, Inc.
  • “Bottles 101” by Paul Kelley, Ring Container Technologies
  • “Troubleshooting Induction Sealing Applications” by Ryan Schuelke, Enercon Industries Corporation
  • “Closure Applications 101” by Albert Miller, Phoenix
  •  “Packaging Design and Shelf Appeal” by Jennifer Tillman, Sonoco Products Company

ADS’ Closing Reception and Dinner  
Attendees concluded the conference at Hendrick Motorsports, which provided an up-close look at some of today’s most famous race cars and the people who keep them running. Attendees then enjoyed a reception and dinner.

Saturday, April 28 -- Committees

Packaging Committee
The Packaging Committee evaluated efforts to develop two troubleshooting guides focused on flexible pouches (form-fill-seal single serve) and rigid packaging. Attendees also reviewed ADS’ Package of the Year Award and Package of the Year Award for Students programs.  “Packaging for the Ages:  How generational personas impact packaging trends” by Leo Brozell and Owen Schmidt of Mold-Rite Plastics was presented.

Sunday, April 29 -- Committees

Technical Committee
The Technical Committee undertakes research projects with a focus on ingredients, finished products, methods, equipment and instrumentation to advance the knowledge of the dressings and sauces industry.  The Technical Committee reviewed three research projects:  

  • “Opportunities for Replacing Xanthan Gum in Shelf Stable Dressings to Meet Cleaner Label Demands” presented by Tom Dardugno, Jungbunzlauer, Inc.; Caitlin Jamison, Jungbunzlauer, Inc.; Anna Kundmann, Ken’s Foods, Inc.; and Colm Swan, Socius Ingredients, LLC.
  • “Egg Replacers for Mayonnaise Part II: Increase Viscosity and Improve Flavor” presented by Alysha Kane, Ken’s Foods, Inc.; Liz McColl, Ken’s Foods, Inc.; Jim Patacchiola, Brooks’ Bottling Co.; Colm Swan, Socius Ingredients, LLC; and Dr. Charles Torwudzo, Clements Foods Company.
  • “Alternate Oils: The Impact on Flavor and Function in Full-Fat Mayonnaise” presented by Rob Beauseau, Ventura Foods; Eric Esterline, TreeHouse Foods; and Darian Fuselier, Chesapeake Spice, Inc. 

The Technical Committee will undertake the following projects during the coming year:  

  • Pump technology (e.g., twin screw pumps, rotary pumps and transfer pumps) impact on emulsion stability and viscosity.  This topic is designed to include a research component and a “hot topic” component.  The scope of the project and “hot topic” will be determined by the Subcommittee.  
  • A project will be undertaken with a focus on caramel color.

Quality Assurance Committee
The Quality Assurance Committee (QAC) reviews new instrumentation and analyses for dressings and sauces, and ensures that the ADS technical manuals - Quality Assurance Guidelines (QAG) Manual and the Methods and Procedures Manual (MAPMAN) - remain current and progressive.

The Committee approved the following sections in ADS’ Quality Assurance Guidelines (QAG) Manual and Methods and Procedures Manual (MAPMAN):

  • "Microbiological Testing," Section III of the MAPMAN
  • "Food Security Resource Guide," Section XI, “Industry Guidelines” of the QAG Manual
  • "Pest Management Guidelines," Section XI, "Industry Guidelines" of the QAG Manual

The Committee also heard a presentation “Engineering Adaptive Food Safety Systems” presented by Dr. Pablo Coronel, CRB.

The QAC agreed to undertake the following projects during the coming year:

  • "Microbiological Guidelines," Section IV of the QAG Manual
  • "Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) Program Guidelines," Section XII of the QAG Manual
  • "Shelf Life and Sensory Testing," Section VI of the MAPMAN

Executive Technical Board (ETB)
The Executive Technical Board (ETB) works with staff to direct and supervise the ADS Technical Program, which ensures that Association members remain proactive on technical issues affecting the industry (e.g., labeling, food safety, processing, and preservation).  

The ETB reviewed updates from various ADS committees, plans for the April 28-30, 2019 Technical Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky and other issues of importance to the dressing and sauce industry, including an ADS-funded microbiological risk assessment of salad dressings.

Membership Advisory Council
The ADS Membership Advisory Council promotes membership in the Association through member retention, satisfaction and endorsement.  The Council also capitalizes on member talent to improve Association programs for the benefit of ADS members. 

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

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:

2018 Annual Meeting
October 13-15
Westin Denver
Denver, Colorado

2019 Technical Meeting
April 28 – April 30
The Seelbach Hilton Hotel
Louisville, Kentucky