The New Dietary Guidelines for Americans Summit

On November 20, 2014 the Food Innovation Center hosted "The New Dietary Guidelines for Americans: Preparing for the 2015 Release." This timely conference brought together key nutrition influencers including current and former DGAC members, USDA CNPP and USDA ERS representatives, leading nutritional and behavioral science academics, WIC and extension professionals, as well as industry innovators to consider multi-disciplinary and public/private approaches as we prepare for the upcoming 2015 Dietary Guidelines. Over 200 people attended in person with an additional 80+ online to hear key presentations and lively panel discussions and participate in audience Q&A.
Key Summit Highlights
  • Discussion emphasized importance of ensuring the dietary guidelines are food-centric and inform food choices, meal choices and overall dietary patterns.
  • Public private partnerships, broad participatory approach and collaboration across manufacturers, agriculture producers and consumers will help ensure success.
  • We are learning from experience how difficult it has been historically to spark social and behavioral change (tobacco, recycling, seatbelts and breastfeeding). A one-size fits all approach will not work, rather we must establish awareness that there is a crisis, build scientific base for change and nurture the "spark plugs" (individuals, parents and families, who act as local drivers of change).
  • Developing a more effective way to communicate clear, simple and easy-to-follow dietary messages is critical to creating social and behavioral  change. Consider elevating from health issues to focus on enhancing family life and high quality family time by preparing and eating meals together. 
  • USDA CNPP will undertake consumer research on eating behavior and decision making and plans to roll out education messaging at the same time as the 2015 DGA's.
  • The 2015 DGAC should include a perspective on how we will monitor success. Multi-disciplinary teams and public private partnerships can also work to better define how we will measure success.
Read overviews of each presentation/panel and watch full videos at

New 2014-15 FIC Funding Programs

Center funding programs are intended to incentivize interdisciplinary collaborations that advance an adequate, safe, and health-promoting food system. The Food Innovation Center strategically leverages start-up funds provided by the Office of Academic Affairs and the Office of Research to foster new faculty development, networking, and the engagement of graduate students. New this year, funding will also be available to support teams engaged in extramural grant proposals in need of further development.

High Yield Collaborative Research Awards
The FIC High Yield Collaborative Research Awards support multi-college teams currently engaged in research consistent with the FIC mission that has high potential to attract additional outside funding. Research teams that have previously applied for extramural grants and received feedback indicating that the proposal was in need of additional data are encouraged to apply. Learn more about high yield collaborative research awards.

Cost Share Program Support
In recognition of the need to leverage financial support in order to bring high level food-focused programming to the university, the FIC offers matching fund opportunities. Requests are considered on a case by case basis based on strategic priorities. Learn more about cost share program support.

Graduate Student Travel Awards
The travel award program for graduate students supports those who have worked on research projects consistent with the FIC mission under the direction of a current FIC member. The awards are designed to help students travel to professional meetings and conferences of national or international significance for the purpose of an oral or poster presentation. FIC travel awards must be match by the student’s advisor. Learn more about graduate student travel awards.

2014 International Nonthermal Processing Workshop & Short Course

In 2002, the first international workshop related to nonthermal food processing -- that is, preserving food without using heat -- was organized by Ohio State University food engineers and scientists and was hosted on the Columbus campus.

The 2014 International Nonthermal Processing Workshop returned to Columbus on October 21-24 for a four-day conference. Under the direction of conference organizer FIC member VM Balasubramaniam, the event drew over 175 participants from 24 countries. These participants represented various food processors, equipment vendors, Government agencies, and academia. 
The workshop was co-sponsored by IFT Nonthermal Processing Division and European Federation of Food Science and Technology.

Participants learned about advances in various nonthermal processing technologies. Processes included high-pressure processing, pulsed electric fields, irradiation, cold plasma, ultraviolet and pulsed light, ozone processing, and other technologies. Breakout sessions discussed opportunities for public-private partnership for advancing nonthermal processing research, information and education for entrepreneurs getting into nonthermal processing commercialization, as well as validation of nonthermal processing and research needs in nonthermal processing.

During the two day workshop, 40 graduate student posters were presented on various aspects of nonthermal processing. An international panel of judges reviewed the posters and selected the top presenters. Cash prizes and nonthermal publications were awarded.

Dr. Dan Farkas was recognized with a lifetime achievement award during the workshop’s evening gala event for his contributions to the advancement of nonthermal processing methods. CFAES Dean Bruce McPheron presented the award.

The annual workshop will be held in Greece and China before returning to the U.S. in 2017.

Happy holidays from the Food Innovation Center! Wishing you every happiness this holiday season and throughout the coming year. We look forward to more food innovation in 2015.

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