ROSEMONT, Illinois (March 28, 2012) — The Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA®) will be speaking at this year’s Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Wellness Conference about halal R&D development in a session called Managing Dietary Markets: How to Leverage Halal and Kosher in Product Development on March 28, 2012. This annual R&D conference will take place in Rosemont, Illinois, from March 28 to 29, 2012.

The IFT Annual Wellness Conference offers attendees a unique blend of perspectives, news about emerging trends, and information about how food industry organizations are penetrating the health and wellness sector. The conference is designed to bring together product developers, brand managers, dieticians, and others involved in the development and marketing of foods that contribute to health and wellness.

At this conference, IFANCA will share halal R&D and product development information on halal-certified products, as well have a parallel discussion on kosher certification requirements. IFANCA designed the session around the growing demand to accommodate diverse dietary needs in product development. Today, companies are trying to attract multiple consumer profiles, and there is a need to appeal to a wide range of global, multicultural consumers, while at the same time a need to reduce regulatory costs, save time, and resolve clean labeling issues. This groundbreaking session will educate participants on specific R&D information that highlights similarities and differences between halal and kosher, two examples of special dietary needs that dominate global food products. Participants will also learn about the markets demanding these certificates and the challenges around dual certification during product development. Insight into what appeals to consumers during religious observances will also be explored. Speakers include Asma Ahad, director of halal market development from the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America; Brooke Schantz, R.D., an outpatient dietician from Loyola University; and Dr. Joe Regenstein, a professor of food science from Cornell University.

IFANCA’s Halal Market Development Director Asma Ahad will speak on today’s demand for dietary certified prepared foods and explore company success stories that have made accommodating dietary needs an integral part of their long-term growth strategy. “Dietary certifications, like halal certification, not only allow companies to access global markets, they also help show a company’s commitment to high-quality product development,” says Ahad. She adds that today, the global and regional 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