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Science Sessions Overview

Introducing the 2023 theme for IFT FIRST: Annual Event and Expo

Innovation in a Time of Crisis: Can We Future-Proof the Food System?

Pandemics. Natural disasters. Inflation. War. Science Distrust. Global crises have impeded progress across the science of food community at a time when new solutions are most needed. From supply chain slowdowns and cost-savings imperatives to ever-more-complex research demands, these challenges force us to pivot in ways we never thought possible—and they demand we come together to forge innovative solutions.

IFT FIRST is where bold ideas, cutting-edge research, and a spirit of collaboration connect global food system communities. Researchers, innovators and academics from around the world will be there to help answer this question.

Secure your seat when registration opens on March 1, 2023.

2023 Guiding Questions for this year’s theme

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  • Novel Technology and Innovation
    • What innovations will prepare us for the next crisis?
    • How is our improved understanding of structure-function relationships leading to novel food and beverage (F&B) applications?
    • What new or improved methods or technologies are leading to cost savings for F&B developers?
    • What are recent technologies unlocking solutions in F&B innovation?
    • What are the challenges and opportunities of emerging nonthermal processing technologies?
  • Sustainability & Climate
    • How are we rethinking supply chains in the face of increased global tensions?
    • What advancements in packaging are leading to a reduction in plastic waste?
    • How do we operationalize sustainability?
    • What processing technologies are leading to more sustainable and resilient F&B production?
    • What are the most creative solutions for addressing food waste across the F&B value chain?
  • Health and Nutrition
    • How are crises, such as climate change, impacting the nutritional profile of foods and what can be done to mitigate their impact?
    • What is the role of food science in food nutrition security?
    • What are recent advancements in fortification and biofortification that show promise for future F&B applications to enhance nutrition?
    • What is the role of food science in public health and nutrition policy?
    • What processing technologies are leading to improved nutrition?
  • Food Safety
    • What risk do chemical contaminants (heavy metals, microplastics, etc) pose to human/planet health and how can risk-based analysis be used to protect and inform the public?
    • What do all professions within the science of food need to know about FSMA Section 204 and how it will impact their work?
    • What are some food safety-sustainability tradeoffs and how can we promote co-management of food safety and sustainability goals?
    • What challenges and opportunities are born by regional or global harmonization of regulations and standards?
    • How are food additives granted regulatory approval and what implications does that have for industry?
  • Consumer Insights and Education
    • What are the most common sensory testing mistakes made by non-sensory scientists?
    • How are we preparing the next generation of scientists and their stakeholders given how quickly the profession is evolving?
    • What are strategies for effectively communicating to non-technical audiences?
    • How are innovative organizations addressing consumer mistrust?
    • What are the challenges and opportunities of the role of food science in mandatory or voluntary labeling requirements?
Special member registration rates and tiered registration discounts for attendees available.