David Plank

December 8, 2015
Speaker Biography Feature Image

David Plank, Managing Principal, WRSS Food & Nutrition Insights /
Senior Research Fellow, Dept. of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Minnesota


David Plank is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Minnesota and Managing Principal, WRSS, Food & Nutrition Insights.  With over 35 years of research experience, his publications and patents in the field of protein chemistry have culminated in new insights for measurement of protein quality for human nutrition without the use of animal testing.  Additionally, his research and patents have focused in the fields of dietary fiber, fats and oils with focus on trans-fatty acid elimination, and acrylamide abatement.  Previous positions include Senior Technical Manager, Medallion Labs, where he advised a diverse clientele on food testing and risk mitigation.


Previous scheduled presentations by David Plank at Global Food Forums events:

2020 Clean Label Conference

Dietary Fibers, Cleaner Formulations & the New Nutrition Facts Label – NOT RECORDED DUE TO CANCELLATION OF IN PERSON EVENT

With changes to the Nutrition Facts panel, the dietary fiber category has been impacted more than most. Additionally, their nutritional benefits have generated increased interest among consumers and their clean label functional properties have increased interest among formulators. Dietary fibers have become trendy ingredients to watch. This presentation will provide insights into an expected FDA update on what components constitute a dietary fiber and discuss some of their properties and applications. It will also touch on “whole food components” used for their dietary fiber content and ability to positively alter the texture of finished products.

2019 Protein Trends & Technologies Seminar

Product Challenges in the Development of Protein and Keto-friendly Food Products

Formulating new food products with a high-protein and keto-friendly profile presents unique challenges for delivering the flavor and nutrition profiles expected by a discerning and expanding consumer market. Beyond the challenges of achieving the taste and texture to meet consumer appeal, complicated regulatory hurdles need to be addressed to properly label for protein content and claims. Insights into these issues will be discussed on a practical basis for product developers and manufacturers. This presentation will focus on a case study involving on the development of almond-based products for this target market. Additionally, the range of nutrition profiles which legitimately fit a keto-friendly profile will be reviewed.

2018 Sweetener Systems Conference

Analytical Methods for Walking on the Lawful Side of Sugars, Dietary Fiber and Bioactive Sweeteners

Most manufacturers must comply with FDA requirements for updated nutrition label information by January 1, 2020. FDA’s interpretation of “added sugar” and “dietary fiber” definitions have been evolving. The definitions have led to interest in use of consumer-friendly dietary fibers to sweeten products without increasing net carbs or added sugars on a label. However, this type of formulation may set up a company for legal actions. This presentation will discuss the valid analytical methods that you can use for selection of sweetener ingredients that conform with the new FDA regulations. A new class of sugar sweeteners with the health benefits of dietary fiber will also be discussed.

2016 Protein Trends & Technologies Seminar

Making a Claim: Factors impacting Protein Quality and a New Way for Measuring

High-protein foods are increasingly desired by consumers and have been demonstrated to help satisfy an individual’s feeling of hunger for a longer period of time than when consuming comparatively lower protein foods. The feeling of fullness that high-protein foods can give helps limit over-consumption of food and can help promote a healthy lifestyle. Further, a high-protein diet can support muscle growth and maintenance for active individuals. Given the nutritional and lifestyle benefits of a high-protein diet, manufacturers are providing increasing numbers of high-protein products to the consuming public.

Before marketing these products, manufacturers must first quantify the amount of quality, digestible protein in each product to satisfy labeling requirements. The current standard for measuring protein digestibility is a rat model which is used in combination with amino acid analysis to determine the Protein Digestibility Adjusted Amino-acid Score (PDCAAS). The PDCAAS method suffers from being very expensive and time consuming thus resulting in delayed product development timelines and over-usage of valuable protein ingredient to assure meeting minimum targets for labeling. Additionally, the use of an animal model is counter to many of the brand equities supporting environmentally conscious lifestyles.

This presentation will review the regulatory requirements for making a protein claim on a food product, processing factors which impact protein quality and research on a new in vitro enzyme digestion model which provides results linearly comparable to the traditional rat PDCAAS method (r-square = 0.96-.98). This new methodology allows for more rapid development of high-protein food products by reducing the cost and turnaround time of analyses required to determine if a new prototype meets targeted label claims without the need for animal testing. Additional cost savings are achieved by reducing the need for over fortification of a new food product.

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