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Dairy Facts 2016

Ice Cream Pros: Tackle Labeling Challenges at Tech Conference

Feb 08, 2017

Ice cream and frozen dessert professionals are facing large labeling hurdles driven by new regulations and consumer trends. Responding to mandated serving size changes, added sugar declarations and consumer demands for clean labeling could require major moves in revising label language, serving size recalculations and product reformulation. Several sessions at IDFA’s upcoming Ice Cream Technology Conference, March 7-8, in Henderson, Nev., will offer strategies, suggestions and sweet solutions to help ice cream and frozen dessert professionals creatively respond to these challenges.

Cary Frye, IDFA vice president of regulatory and scientific affairs, will open the conference, which IDFA has offered for more than 25 years. Ice cream manufacturer and supplier attendees have praised the conference for its culture of collaboration, networking and partnership, as well as for its top-level expertise and overall excitement and fun.

Here are some of the topics that will be covered this year.

Required Label Changes

Time is running out for all food labels to comply with the Food and Drug Administration’s new Nutrition Facts labeling requirements. By July 26, 2018, ice cream and frozen dessert professionals will have to change how serving sizes are now calculated for their products and declare added sugars, new vitamins and minerals in the new format for the Nutrition Facts panel. The session “Ready, Set, Go! Change Those Ice Cream Labels” will discuss the challenges these changes pose for bulk ice cream and novelties. Michelle Matto, RD, principal of AM Nutrition and IDFA’s labeling and nutrition consultant, will present the session.

An additional session, “Consideration for Reducing Added Sugars,” will provide attendees with practical formulation advice if they want to address the added sugars declaration by reducing the amount of sugar in their products. Bruce Tharp, Ph.D., a conference presenter and principal at Tharp's Food Technology, will cover the basics of a sweetener selection’s impact on freezing point, flavor, texture and shelf life.

A hands-on session by Aaron Jordi, sales manager of Agropur Ingredients, will explore opportunities for reducing sugar in frozen desserts using alternative sweeteners. “Reduced Sugar Sorbets and Sherbets – Which Sweeteners to Use: A Sensory Panel” will allow conference participants to taste and compare different formulations’ flavor and texture.

Labeling Trends

The trend toward clean labels reflects consumers’ desires for healthy, natural products and ingredients. Clean label-conscious consumers often use a complex and evolving system of cues to inform and validate their purchases. In a session titled “The Consumer Quest for Clean Labels and Designs That Will Attract Buyers,” attendees will learn how consumers define, interpret and apply product cues and understand how to design clean labels to attract buyers. It will be led by Jennifer Elgrim, Ph.D., sensory and flavor insights manager at David Michael & CO.

The full conference agenda can be found on the IDFA website.

All professionals in ice cream and frozen dessert technology, including plant managers, regulatory compliance personnel, research and development professionals, and quality assurance staff, will gain new insights, ideas and solutions by attending the conference. Suppliers to the ice cream industry are also encouraged to attend.

For more information, contact Maria Velasco, IDFA meetings coordinator and registrar, at

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