Plant-Based Ingredients: Today’s Limitations & Tomorrow’s Technologies



Wednesday, November 10, 2021 2pm EST | 1pm CST | 11am PST Plant-based ingredients: What are today’s limitations and tomorrow’s technologies?

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Event Overview:

Plant-based products are going from strength to strength. What will it take to ensure this category keeps growing? In this webcast, market researchers, food scientists, and industry experts discuss which ingredient, manufacturing, and processing limitations are currently holding us back; then, they’ll preview the solutions being developed for tomorrow. This includes scientific developments to improve the nutritional quality of plant-based ingredients. Finally, we’ll learn about the future of plant-based meat applications as well as the criteria by which they will be judged moving forward.

Key Learning Objectives:

  • Get an overview of market trends and emerging ingredients in the plant-based market
  • Learn about current manufacturing limitations as well as capabilities/technologies on the horizon.
  • Get an update on developments in science to improve the nutritional quality of plant-based ingredients
  • Learn about the future of plant-based meat applications—as well as the criteria by which they will be judged moving forward.

Who Should Attend:

  • General Management
  • R&D
  • Product Development
  • Marketing / Creative


Tom Vierhile
Vice President of Strategic Insights, North America
Innova Market Insights

Tom Vierhile is vice president of strategic insights, North America, for Netherlands-based Innova Market Insights and has 20-plus years of experience in packaged goods reporting and analysis. Based in Fairport, NY, Tom is a new-product marketing expert and has been quoted by Bloomberg, Ad Age, The Wall Street Journal, and NPR. Tom has given presentations on new product trends at conferences in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and South America. A regular contributor to Prepared Foods magazine, Tom has a bachelor’s degree in marketing from St. Bonaventure University and an MBA from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Brian Jacobson
Associate Director of Strategic Operations
University of Illinois, Pilot Plant Facilities

Brian Jacobson is the Associate Director of Strategic Operations at the University of Illinois pilot plant facilities, managing operations of the newly constructed Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory and Food Science & Human Nutrition Pilot Processing Plant. These facilities comprise 60,000 sq ft of pilot plant and supporting research space, as well as a wide selection of pilot-scale processing and laboratory equipment. Brian grew up working on the family farm, raising traditional midwestern crops and production animals while enjoying an appreciation of nature and the outdoors. He earned a B.S. degree in Agricultural Engineering (Technical Systems Management) and an M.S. degree in Food Science at the University of Illinois and immediately began working to expand the university’s pilot scale teaching and research facilities. Through projects at these facilities, Brian has worked with academic researchers and industry clients ranging in size from small startups to multinational corporations. Experiences with these companies include the initial ideation and product-development phases through product launch, and ongoing process improvement, optimization, and production support. Technologies and product experience include industrial fermentation, plant commodity fractionation and extractions, separations/DSP, functional beverages, baked goods, retorted products, extrusion, and meat processing. Brian is a member of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), Chicago Section IFT, and serves on various safety and policy committees.

Kantha Shelke, PhD, CFS
Principal, Corvus Blue LLC
Senior Lecturer, Johns Hopkins University

Kantha Shelke, PhD, CFS, is founder and principal at Corvus Blue LLC, a contract food science and research firm retained by food, dietary supplement, and allied enterprises, including professional and trade organizations, for strategic competitive intelligence, expert witness services, and rapid development and market realization of new products and technologies. Since 1986, she has been practicing and teaching food science and food safety regulations from end-to-end in food/supplement supply chains and food industry enterprises spanning the globe. A Certified Food Scientist and a Fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists, she serves on the Faculty Advisory Boards of Food and Agriculture at McGill University (Montreal) and Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine (Tempe, AZ). She is passionate about advancing the understanding of food science, nutrition, food law, and culinary arts with science and sensibility.

MJ Kinney
Founder and Principal Consultant
FareScience LLC

MJ Kinney is the Founder and Principal Consultant at FareScience LLC where she specializes in plant-based product development and commercial scale-up. Spanning alternative-protein experience in B2B, B2C, and nonprofit sectors throughout the food industry, her work continuously connects ingredient innovations with their application in scalable, novel products—namely, meat, egg, and dairy alternatives. A part of her current work today is with XPRIZE’s Feed the Next Billion, a $15M competition incentivizing the creation of alternative chicken breast and fish fillet products. As XPRIZE’s plant-based subject matter expert, she provides insight on the know-how and challenges that will impact at least those teams using a plant-based approach—applying this insight to the competition’s framework and requirements, and looping in the experts and organizations needed along the way for judging, advising, and partnership. Her presentation will share XPRIZE’s thought-leadership in nutritional profile and assessment for alternative chicken and fish in hopes it may provide a roadmap to stakeholders alongside setting a higher, but feasible, bar for where alternative meat can be.

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