SAN ANTONIO, Texas (March 22, 2012) — The Chicago-based Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA®) will be speaking at this year’s Research Chefs Association’s (RCA) Annual Conference & Culinology® Expo about halal recipe development in a session called Halal Recipe Development: A Competitive Edge in Global and Specialty Markets on March 22, 2012. This annual culinary conference will take place in San Antonio, Texas, from March 21 to 24, 2012.

The RCA Annual Conference & Culinology® Expo is the only R&D conference focused on the fast growing discipline of Culinology® – the blending of culinary arts and food science. RCA was formed in 1996 by a group of food professionals with a mission to promote the value of Culinology® and empower its community. The RCA has rapidly grown to approximately 2,000 members and has become the premier source of culinary and technical information for the food industry, with a professionally diverse membership including chefs, food scientists, and other industry professionals who are shaping the future of food research and development.

For the first time, IFANCA will share halal recipe development case studies of companies they’ve worked with in the last three decades. This informative discussion will discuss how to develop halal products, understanding the full potential of including halal in menus, and how to leverage halal to differentiate your menu and products from your competitors. Two speakers, Chef Mike Lonteen from Custom Culinary and Chef Demetrios Haralambatos from Kontos Foods, will share their culinary experiences developing halal recipes with IFANCA, as well the market reach that their halal-certified products have enjoyed globally.

IFANCA’s Halal Market Development Director Asma Ahad will speak on today’s demand for halal-prepared foods. Ahad’s talk will cover how halal certification can help food companies across every category gain access to this emerging market while adhering to halal guidelines. Her presentation will include several different company success stories – from cheeses, teas, and frozen food products to global food conglomerates like Nestle. “Thanks to global food trends, halal consumers, like consumers across the world, have a deep interest in trying out new foods and cuisines,” says Ahad. She adds that today, the global and local opportunity for halal-prepared foods, foodservice, and menu development is currently assessed at US$634 billion per year, and forms 16 percent of the entire global food industry. In the U.S. alone, halal consumers spend an upward of US$20 billion every year on food, and hold a collective purchasing power of US$170 billion.



Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA®) is one of the world’s leading and well-respected not-for-profit halal certification organizations. Featured in various media such as the Wall Street Journal, Prepared Foods, CNBC, and CNN, IFANCA® has been promoting halal since 1982. IFANCA® was recognized in the “Best Halal Related Service Provider Award” by the Halal Journal at World Halal Forum 2007. IFANCA® certified halal products are recognized by Indonesia (MUI), Malaysia (JAKIM), Singapore (MUIS), and the United Arab Emirates (GSM) and are sold in nearly every country of the world. IFANCA’s halal certification expertise covers all food industry categories. For more information about IFANCA®, visit