Heading into 2004 with one of Prepared Foods' largest January issues ever, thinking up a headline for this column should be my least concern. The title is a bit self-absorbed. Although much is new with us, the title “Happy New…” was rejected (too trite). “Better, Stronger” was rejected as well, because it reminded me of AOL's ad. Contemplating what I intended to say, it really did come back to being “all about us.”

Prepared Foods does have a number of new initiatives this year. For example, we have a new website that will be, if not “better, stronger,” then “better, easier to find stuff.”

Secondly, our first ProductInnovationXchange (PIX), a strategic product development event, takes place this April.

As for the magazine itself, due to the ongoing interest in culinary aspects of processed foods, we have begun segregating the culinary-oriented articles in a Culinary section within Prepared Foods. An Ingredient Challenges area follows and covers topics that usually are more food-science-oriented.

Also new to this “better, stronger” Ingredient Challenges section will be a regulatory column on topics impacting ingredients and food formulations. This will alternate with a nutritional column, as each provides a heads-up on issues influencing how marketers position new products and how R&D staffs formulate them.

Oh, and if you are wondering about the second photo on this page, well, that is the BEST news with Prepared Foods…another full-time editor!

Having started in December, Marcia Wade has been put immediately to task and, as a technical editor, delivers her first article in this issue.

Marcia is well qualified for the position. She has a M.S. degree in journalism from Roosevelt University (Chicago) and a B.S. in agriculture—emphasizing food science—from the University of Minnesota (St. Paul). (Thus, we share a few food science professors in our background.)

Her work experience includes writing for the National Center for Food Safety and Technology (Summit, Ill.) and Black Enterprise Magazine (New York), as well as a stint as a research technician at the University of Chicago's (Chicago) Immunology Applications Core Facility.

Her hobby…well, it is something very important to us as well…photography! It is good to have an editor with an eye for graphics.

Hmmm, maybe I should have named this editorial “There's Something About Marcia.” Have a great 2004 everyone!

Internet Information
For more information on this issue's articles, see the Internet sites provided below.

Choosing Sides

www.mintel.com — Mintel International Group
(Snack) Times, They are a Changin'
www.mintel.com — Mintel International Group
http://danr.ucop.edu/news/newsreleases/feeding.html — "Latino Children are Snacking More and Eating Less Healthy Foods"
www.sfa.org — Snack Food Association
Cooking in America's Heartland
http://abcnews.go.com/sections/business/Living/elitemeat_030715_csm.html — Certified organic meats
www.nppc.org/about/index.html — National Pork Producers Council
Today's Issues are Tomorrow's Trends
www.acfchefs.org — American Culinary Federation
www.researchchef.org — Research Chefs Association
New Directions in Dairy
http://doitwithdairy.com/faq/faqmain.htm — DMI Frequently Asked Questions
http://ift.confex.com/ift/2003/techprogram/session_1945.htm — IFT 2003 Technical Program Abstracts on texturized dairy proteins/whey permeate applications
Texturizing and Stabilizing, by Gum!
www.hydrocolloid.com — IMR International
www.lsbu.ac.uk/water/hydro.html — Hydrocolloid info. from London South Bank University
GRAS Determination: A Short Guide
www.cfsan.fda.gov — Home page for FDA's Center for Food Safety and Nutrition
www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/opa-frgr.html — FDA Guidance on How to Submit GRAS Notices:
Ingredients for Weight Control
www.supplementwatch.com — Weight loss ingredients
www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/obesity — The CDC Guide to Overweight and Obesity