Pre Conference Workshop Day

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

8:00 am Check-In & Light Refreshments


8:30 am Workshop A – Navigating FDA’s Pre-Market Food Ingredient Evaluation Programs: An Introduction to Food Additives, Color Additives, and GRAS Ingredients

  • Stiffy Hice Regulatory Review Scientist and Microbiology Reviewer, FDA


This workshop discusses how to navigate the agency's pre-market food ingredient evaluation programs, including the generally recognized as safe (GRAS) Notification Program, and the food and color additive petition programs. During this workshop, you’ll hear directly from the FDA about:

  • The Federal Food, Drug, & Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) as it pertains to ingredients added to conventional food
  • An understanding of the pre-market review processes for food and color additive petitions (FAPs and CAPs), including timelines and FDA’s safety review of FAPs and CAPs
  • An understanding of GRAS and FDA’s GRAS Notification Program, including an understanding of what GRAS means, common misconceptions about GRAS, and an overview of the GRAS Notification Program, including timelines, format and structure, as well as FDA’s safety evaluation of GRAS notices
  • The “how, when, and whys" of engaging with FDA regarding your food ingredient
  • Frequently asked questions and examples


8:30 am Workshop D – Making it to Market & Perfecting Pricing: A Translatable Story


Many challenges unite the alternative protein industry, not least the need to achieve price parity, if not preference. With R&D and manufacturing both driving costs up, this is your chance to hear from experienced companies on:

  • Exploring the theoretical aspects of pricing and hypothesis testing
  • Quantifying your value proposition compared to other protein companies
  • Discussing different business models and the profit margins they require, plus the impact of the consumer's emotional buying habits

10:30 am Morning Networking Break

11:00 am Workshop B – Building Your Molecular Toolbox to Optimize Strain Productivity


Development of a viable commercial strain requires optimization across several dimensions, including cost, quality, and safety. As a strain engineer, navigating the diverse and heterogeneous tools available for both genetic manipulation and assessment of performance can be daunting. This is your chance to discuss:

  • The availability and strength of critical tools in different host systems
  • Challenges and opportunities for assessing strain performance
  • The intersection of strain engineering and regulation of food products

11:00 am Workshop E – Increasing Co-Operation Between CPG & Alternative Protein Companies: A Hybrid Product Case Study

  • Paul Shapiro Chief Executive Officer & Co- Founder, The Better Meat Co.


With CPG companies investing in innovation arms and shifts towards B2B strategies in the alternative protein industry, leveraging partnerships with household brands can be an attractive strategy to achieve commercialization. The efficiency of these relationships can be improved. This collaborative workshop will address:

  • Assessing the potential of marrying alternative proteins with traditional animal products
  • Diving into the potential regulatory and consumer acceptance challenges of hybrid products
  • Understanding best practices to promote acceptance of rapid food tech innovation through CPG partnerships

1:00 pm Networking Lunch Break

2:00 pm Workshop C – Formulating Your Ingredient for Optimal Texture, Taste, & Nutrition


The majority of alternative protein companies, both B2B and B2C, are conscious of the quality of the final formulation of their products. However, many would argue that the “holy grail” has not yet been identified. Crowdsource ideas to:

  • Characterize the functional properties of alternative proteins to understand their best ingredient format
  • Understand the most promising excipients to generate superior texture, taste, and nutrition
  • Quantify consumer perception to maximize the market potential of your protein

2:00 pm Workshop F – Transitioning to Commercial Scale Rapidly Through Early Partnering & Purchasing

  • David Block Professor and Chair, University of Calfornia Davis


The fierce competition for CMOs and long lead times for purchasing equipment can delay the shift from pilot to commercial scale. This is your opportunity to pre-empt this challenge by engaging with industry leaders on:

  • Facilitating early identification of appropriate manufacturers
  • Building a robust strategy to purchase the required bioprocessing equipment
  • Future-proofing your supply chains and anticipating how macroeconomic challenges affect resourcing

4:00 pm End of Pre-Conference Workshop Day