Science Fair

Food scientists will find the latest research, products and industry information all available at the International Food Technologists’ Expo.

Attendees of the annual International Food Technologists’ (IFT) Annual Meeting & Food Expo are sure to come away with their hunger for information and knowledge satisfied. The event, which will run June 24-28 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., will provide the latest information in the food industry, including best practices, emerging trends, advanced technologies, new resources and more.
The Expo itself, which runs June 25-27, is considered the country’s premier food and beverage ingredients show. It will feature more than 2,000 exhibit booths, about a quarter of which will be ingredient companies. New products, technologies and applications will be on display, and Innova and Mintel also will host New Products Showcases. For attendees looking for specific products or services, there will be several pavilions dedicated to similar displays. This year, the Expo will have pavilions devoted to organic food ingredients, healthy food ingredients and food safety and quality, along with the International Pavilion.
The IFT will team with the Research Chefs Association to present daily demonstrations devoted to the popular “Grab & Go” trend. Food scientists and top chefs will collaborate each day to serve up a different culinary innovation that consumers can eat on the run.
This year’s technical program, held June 25-28 includes 100 sessions and more than 1,400 peer presentations. In order to enhance the attendee experience, the sessions will use a variety of formats, including Socratic sessions, hands-on workshops, roundtables, panel discussions and a reality-based interactive bioterrorism session.
Themed programming is a new feature for this year’s Expo and will focus on four important and emerging topics — food allergens, bioterrorism/food defense, globalization and functional foods. There will be a number of sessions in various formats dedicated to these key issues.
Networking and more
The IFT Meeting and Food Expo offers plenty of other educational, networking and recreational opportunities. Food Network’s Alton Brown will deliver the keynote address on June 25. Known for challenging traditional models for cookbooks and cooking shows, Brown combines science, history and culture to create exciting presentations and engaging publications on recipes, processes, tools and all things food-related.
A discussion entitled “PointCounterPoint: Where Science Meets Funding” is scheduled for June 27. This special event is focused on identifying and increasing federal funding sources for food-based research. Representatives from a number of federal agencies will speak, as will IFT member scientists receiving funding from those agencies. They will discuss linking food-science research with agency funding priorities and programs.
To help increasing networking and discussion, the Exhibit Hall will present a Conversation Café each day of the Expo. Tables will be set up and assigned with a variety of discussion topics each day, such as food allergens and functional foods. Attendees can share, debate and discuss with their fellow food-science professionals
For attendees who want to stay in Orlando for an extra day or two, the first International Food Nanotechnology Conference will take place June 28-29. Co-sponsored by the IFT and the USDA Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES), the event will survey nanoscale science and nanotechnology research, along with its applications to agriculture and food systems. There will be sessions covering a wide variety of topics, including better nutrient delivery, improving food safety, biosecurity and product traceability, enhancing packaging performance and improving food processing. NP
For more information about the IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo, visit