Advisory Council Webinar: Ultra Processed Foods

Webinar: Ultra Processed Foods; Sponsored by JIFSAN-CFS3 Advisory Council; August 21st, 12:00-1:00 PM EDT


You have probably heard about ultra processed foods in the news. Everyone is talking about them, but with multiple classifications and descriptions out there, what exactly is an ultra-processed food? “Processing” is a broad term, but food processing serves important functions in preventing food waste, increasing shelf life and availability of foods, and in ensuring food safety and quality. Is an ultra-processed food classified based on the various processing steps taken to produce a food, the formulation (i.e., ingredients) and nutrient profile, or a complex interplay of these and other factors? With a global public health focus on addressing obesity and cardiometabolic and other chronic health conditions, an emphasis has been placed on promoting healthy diets, and there are a number of questions that need to be investigated in regard to ultra-processed foods. This webinar will address this important topic and provide two perspectives on the function of processing in food manufacturing and ongoing research to address the relationship between ultra-processed foods and human health.


Dr. Mario Ferruzzi
University of Arkansas Medical Sciences
Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center
Presentation: Ultra-Processed Foods: What are we Missing by Focusing on the Term "Ultra" in Processing?

Dr. Mario G. Ferruzzi is a Professor and the Arkansas Children’s Endowed Chair in Digestive Disease and Nutrition Research. He serves as Chief of the Developmental Nutrition Section in the UAMS Department of Pediatrics and as the Director of the Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center, a partnership between the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) and Arkansas Children’s Research Institute, with a research focus on the roles of maternal-child nutrition and physical activity in optimizing health and development.

Dr. Ferruzzi received his B.S. (1996) in Chemistry from Duke University and Ph.D. (2001) in Food Science and Nutrition from The Ohio State University. His research focuses on how agriculture, food and nutrition are connected to human health. He is particularly interested in strategies that can be leveraged to improve the nutritional and functional quality of food products for at-risk populations. Dr. Ferruzzi’s main efforts have focused on exploring the micronutrients as well as naturally occurring compounds in plants, phytochemicals, that have been found to have significant health benefits. His group has placed a particular emphasis on studying how food formulation, processing and dietary patterns can impact micronutrient and phytochemical bioavailability and metabolism and how these responses are linked to health outcomes.

Dr. Katarina Smiljanec
Nutrition Scientist
Regulatory and Scientific Affairs
Archer Daniels Midland (ADM)
Presentation: Processed Foods: Insights From Nutrition Science and Regulations

Katarina Smiljanec is a senior regulatory scientist at ADM where she supports regulatory requirements of the human and animal nutrition portfolio. In addition to supporting compliance, labeling, and claims of existing and newly developed ingredients, she facilitates integration of nutrition science and regulations to industry positions within ADM's mission and objectives. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise from Virginia Tech and her doctoral degree in Applied Physiology from the University of Delaware.