IFTNEXT Session Highlights

IFTNEXT powered by Ingredion

If you’re interested in keeping a pulse on what’s coming next in the science of food and food technology, then you can't miss the exciting programming being developed for the IFT18 IFTNEXT Stage. This year’s dynamic programming will explore topics affecting the industry of tomorrow and the varied perspectives and solutions addressing them today.

IFTNEXT is made possible through the generous support of Ingredion, IFT’s Platinum Innovation Sponsor.

Start Up Alley

Start-Up Alley Showcase

Monday, July 16; 8:00 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. CT
Location: IFTNEXT Stage, North Hall

Get to know the companies featured at IFT18's Start-Up Alley.

Storytelling Innovations from the far corners

Storytelling: Innovations from the Far Corners of the Developing World

Monday, July 16; 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. CT
Location: IFTNEXT Stage, North Hall

There are developing-world food stories that need to be told: narratives about solutions to global food problems and the innovators who hack them. Ingenuity is bred in faraway places, and most of the food industry doesn’t know about it.

Tiny startups and obscure development initiatives are tackling food insecurity and its related social issues with grit and guts. Some are doing so in low tech but highly effective ways. Others are applying advanced technology to very basic rural problems. All are envelope-pushers and groundbreakers.


In an informal story-telling fashion you will learn about small startups, research projects, and entrepreneurial organizations addressing a wide range of critical food-related issues such as malnutrition, food safety, storage and handling, and production efficiency. From a solar-powered affordable food cart franchise in Uganda to a super-simple solution to iron-deficiency anemia in Cambodia, entrepreneurs are making a meaningful difference.

Lead Presenter: Donna Rosa, Aidtrepreneurship

The promise of Digital Olfaction

The Promise of Digital Olfaction: A Demonstration of the Artificial Nose

Monday, July 16; 11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. CT
Location: IFTNEXT Stage, North Hall

It is now possible to get numerical information about tastes and smells. See a demonstration of the artificial nose and what new technologies are being developed that will allow for the manufacturing of smaller, more accessible handheld devices that can even become integrated into our smart cooking appliances. Experience the potential throughout the value chain, from the field, to the industry, and finally to the kitchen.

Presenter: Dr. Tristan Rousselle, Aryballe Technologies

Food Tech without borders

Food Technologists Without Borders Panel

Monday, July 16; 12:45 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. CT
Location: IFTNEXT Stage, North Hall

This panel discussion will share collective knowledge of our IFT community to pursue food and nutrition solutions for those in need. IFT and Feeding Tomorrow Foundation are collaborating with several not-for-profit organizations to set up volunteer programs that leverage the technical knowledge of the IFT community to provide scalable, sustainable, safe and nutritious food technology solutions for people and regions in need.

Bernhard Van Lengerich, Founder, Seeding the Future Foundation; Former CSO and VP Technology Strategy, General Mills Inc.

Presenters: Eric Wallace, ACDI/VOCA; Alexandra Spieldoch, Compatible Technology International (CTI); Maria Figuero, Catholic Relief Services; Jimmy Bettcher, Partners in Food Solutions

Quickfire Global Solutions

IFTNEXT Quickfire Discussions: Global Solutions for Food Security

Monday, July 16; 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. CT
Location: IFTNEXT Stage, North Hall

What are some of the problems facing the global population and how can food science help? This IFTNEXT Quickfire is three presentations in one, highlighting the innovation, research, and approaches taken to make a positive impact on food security. Stay until the end for a chance to join the conversation!

Harnessing the Power of Kenyan Sweet Potatoes
See how one visionary helped sweet potato farmers in Kenya get the necessary skills and infrastructure needed to sell into a larger global market.

Presenter: Perez Ochieng, SACOMA

Feeding the World Starts with Sustainable Nutrition: We Have An Algae For That
Learn more about the growing global demand for proteins, the challenges of meeting those demands, and how algae is well-positioned to address those challenges in a sustainable and affordable manner.

Presenter: Dr. Miller Tran, Triton Algae Innovations Ltd.

Supporting Sustainable Economic Transformation of Rural African Communities: The Baobab
Explore the power of global partnerships and research around a “superfruit” that can improve nutrition security for local food industries and communities.

Presenters: Willis Owino, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT)

Who's driving personalized nutrition

Who's Driving Personalized Nutrition and Why?

Monday, July 16; 4:45 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. CT
Location: IFTNEXT Stage, North Hall

There's a lot of buzz about Personalized Nutrition, but what is it and how did consumers come to demand these custom health solutions? In this session, we will talk about why Personalized Nutrition is relevant in today's marketplace, how clean label fits in, as well as how and why consumers have changed-up the traditional paradigm of health and wellness. Learn more about how the consumer evolved, what their new expectations are, and what food and beverage manufacturers and marketers need to do to deliver the customization that consumers want. Don't miss this stimulating discussion.

Presenter: Jeff Hilton, BrandHive


IFTNEXT Food Disruption Challenge™

Tuesday, July 17; 8:00 a.m. CT
Emcee: Renowned entrepreneur,
Daymond John of ABC’s Shark Tank

This exciting, new IFT competition will highlight and support the work of innovative, food-focused entrepreneurs. Designed as a fast-paced pitch event, the IFTNEXT Food Disruption ChallengeTM will feature six food start-ups competing for a $25,000 cash prize. Audience members will also be able to cast their vote to award a $5,000 People’s Choice award. Session includes a dynamic on-stage interview with Daymond John.

Six finalists have been chosen to share their innovations representing breakthrough solutions across food ingredient, packaging, agriculture, and processing applications.

Learn more about the competition and this year's finalists.

Start-up Alley Showcase

Exploring the future with the IFTNEXT Think Tank

Tuesday, July 17; 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. CT
Location: IFTNEXT Stage, North Hall

IFT has assembled a Think Tank advisory panel to assist in identifying areas of potential future impact in the science of food.  The charge is to use current knowledge or indicators both within and outside of the food industry to grasp the BIG PICTURE context (global, inter-industrial, economic, political, environmental, digital, etc) within which food science operates to help us see what we have and what we need in terms of providing our members with resources, insights, relationships, knowledge, and experience to move boldly into the future. 

Think Tank Guests: Bernhard Van Lengerich, S2G Ventures (Seed 2 Growth); Peggy Smedley, Specialty Publishing Media; Colin Dennis, Agri-Food Training Partnership; Joseph Light, Ingredion

Competitive Tech Intelligence

Competitive Technical Intelligence - Knowing the Outside World

Tuesday, July 17; 11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. CT
Location: IFTNEXT Stage, North Hall

Innovation is the key to any organization’s success! However, if you want to remain competitive in the market place you need to not only create intellectual property but also understand what others have in the same space. The best way to do this is by creating a Competitive Technical Intelligence (CTI) Program within your company.

By monitoring other peer companies and technologies spaces of interest you can get your first look at the space and start strategizing as you develop to determine if you will have Freedom to Operate (FTO). This will minimize risks to your business and save resources. A CTI Program allows you to look for partners who are willing to collaborate or even find technologies you can use to meet your consumer needs.

The presentation will cover how the program was developed and implemented within the organization and will include a live demo of a CTI Portal.

Presenter: Linda Perucca, SciTech Patent Art Services

When data meet food

When Data, Data Science, and Computation Meet Food

Tuesday, July 17, 2018; 12:30 -1:30 p.m. CT
Location: IFTNEXT Stage, North Hall

Counting calories and tracking meals are difficult parts of monitoring nutrition intake. These tedious steps are often the reasons people give up on following diets and eating healthier foods, despite dietary needs and risks for problems like obesity. With an open-source system to simplify these steps, keeping up with a diet plan and eating healthy can become dramatically easier for a large number of people. Using an open cloud-computing platform like the Wolfram Cloud, such an application can be implemented with high-level features like natural language processing, linear programming, and custom visualization functions. One of the advantages of this particular system is its built-in access to over 100,000 foods and a large corpus of curated food information. There will be demonstrations of the meal suggestion application, as well as details on how to set it up for personal use.

Presenters: Andrew Steinacher, Wolfram Alpha, LLC; Lav R. Varshney, University of Illinois; Katie Juban; Yong-Yeol Ahn, PhD

Almond Industry

The Future of Next Generation Food Waste: How the Almond Industry is Unleashing the Potential for Co-Products

Tuesday, July 17, 1:45 – 2:15 p.m. CT
Location: IFTNEXT Stage, North Hall

Join the Almond Board of California (ABC) in an exploration of the potential that is unleashed when agriculture and technology merge and innovate in an effort to minimize waste and carbon footprint - and truly take food waste full circle. Recent groundbreaking research developments, in partnership with the USDA, have resulted in new life after harvest for almond co-products - the hulls, shells, and woody material from almond trees. Currently, those coproducts are utilized as livestock bedding and nutritious cow feed – however, ABC’s support in research projects underway with USDA research teams have resulted in almond hulls and shells being used to ferment beer and boost mushroom production, strengthen recycled plastics, and even supplement honey bee and insect food.

Get hands-on with products created from the latest almond waste-reduction science and discuss what’s next for the integration of these technologies.

Presenters: Guangwei Huang, Almond Board of California and Bill Orts, USDA-ARS

A Simple Approach to Displacing Costly or Vulnerable Ingredients in Your Recipes

A Simple Approach to Displacing Costly or Vulnerable Ingredients in Your Recipes

Tuesday, July 17; 2:30 – 2:45 p.m. CT
Location: IFTNEXT Stage, North Hall

Learn the science & story behind the development of, and benefits from, a novel multi-functional plant-based ingredient now being used in everyday foods.

The product performs like a hydrocolloid – functioning analogously to truly vulnerable products like guars and carrageenans, but also to ingredients like eggs or GMO crops that have been highly scrutinized for resource intensity, by social advocacy movements, or due to allergen content. By utilizing a supercritical water-based platform, the Plantrose Process, Renmatix has harnessed the power of water to hydrolyze a range of plant material for the cost-effective production of a clean, sustainable, and unmodified, Simple Cellulose.

This new-to-the-world ingredient produced using dissolved plant fibers is a market-tested emulsifier, humectant, and texturizer, in: egg extension/replacement, fat replacement, freshness extension, and gluten/allergen free, systems. It effectively manages total costs for improved margins – while delivering general improvements in categories like: baked goods, sauces, meat systems, and more!

Presenter: Mike Hamilton, CEO, Renmatix


Edibilomics: Using Metabolomics in Food-Related Research

Tuesday, July 17; 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. CT
Location: IFTNEXT Stage, North Hall

Metabolomics is a new and emerging field with applicability to food and nutrition-related research. Metabolomics aims to profile the totality of chemical compounds present within a system (plant, fruit or vegetable, processed food product, or biological fluid) allowing hundreds or thousands of chemicals can be monitored simultaneously. In this capacity, metabolomics can be used to investigate how a food product changes globally with food processing, to profile products to detect adulteration or misbranding or changes in nutritional profile, to better understand what flavor compounds contribute to product liking, and how dietary interventions with these food products alter the human metabolome. This data can also be correlated with other meta-data (e.g. sensory panel information, genetic analyses, microbiological and microbiome taxa) to provide additional value. In this symposium, we will provide background information on metabolomics, suitable for an audience unfamiliar with the topic, and discuss its applications in food, flavor, and nutrition.

Presenters: Jessica Cooperstone, The Ohio State University; Devin Peterson, The Ohio State University; Rachel Kopec, The Ohio State University; Emmanuel Hatzakis, The Ohio State University

Quickfire data to drones

IFTNEXT Quickfire Discussions: From Data to Drones: Innovative Food Safety Applications

Wednesday, July 18; 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. CT
Location: IFTNEXT Stage, North Hall

We’ve heard about data intelligence, machine learning, and drones, but what is their place in the food industry? This IFTNEXT Quickfire shows how three innovators are leading the way with their applications of new tech. 

Improving Shelf Life with Predictive Modeling
See how predictive modeling can help food companies develop safe products, reduce R&D spend, and shorten time to market.

Presenter: Saurabh Kumar, Corbion

Identifying and Quantifying Viable Pathogens in Food
Explore how machine learning can help identify and quantify potential biohazards in food.

Presenter: Boce Zhang, University of Massachusetts Lowell

Domotic Tools: New Pillars for FSMA Regulatory Audits
Learn how new technologies like drones and augmented reality is helping the food processing industry respond to FSMA.

Presenters: Claudio Gallottini, ITA Corporation, ESI Srl, CISRAD Srls; Ferruccio Marello, Katoen Natie Interporto Rivalta; Andrea Gentili, ITA Corporation; Giovanni La Ros, ITA Corporation; Franco Rapetti, Euroservizimpresa; Noemi Trombetti, Euroservizimpresa

Blockchain for improved traceability

Utilizing Blockchain for Improved Traceability Panel Discussion

Wednesday, July 18; 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. CT
Location: IFTNEXT Stage, North Hall

IFT's Global Food Traceability Center has studied and evaluated several novel traceability technologies that show potential, from the use of whole genome sequencing to trace foodborne outbreak pathogens and contamination sources to the use of synthetic DNAs sprayed on packaging to prevent temperature abuse. One exciting technology that is promising the potential to bring our food safety systems into the 21st century is blockchain, a transformative technology that could finally enable the traceability and the transparency that the industry has been working toward. Blockchain isn't a silver bullet, but its unique characteristics as a trusted, shared system of record allow us to solve both the underlying technology problem and the fundamental social problem that have hampered previous traceability efforts. With blockchain we can improve how we digitize and distribute all of the information on the food ecosystem. In addition, we can provide the trust that allows entities to actually participate.

Presenters: Andy Kennedy, Institute of Food Technologists (IFT); Thomas Burke, Institute of Food Technologists (IFT); Frank Yiannas, Walmart; Brigid McDermott, IBM; Sean Leighton, Cargill

Quickfire Considering Sustainability

IFTNEXT Quickfire Discussions: Considering Sustainability

Wednesday, July 18; Time 11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. CT
Location: IFTNEXT Stage, North Hall

Protein security, water security, and population health management are big picture issues for global health and sustainability. This quickfire focuses on legumes and emerging findings that indicate that the simple bean may be a key to the future.

Legume water: Waste or Functional Ingredient?
The legume industry generates high volumes of wastewater which can be transformed into functional ingredients.  This presentation explores a new technology that tackles two key topics in food science: water security and population health management.

Presenter: Dr. Luca Serventi, Lincoln University New Zealand

Unlocking the Power of Enzymes
What do Henry Ford and most high protein food producers have in common? Both can thank soybeans for helping to innovate their products.  We will tell the story of this unlikely connection and how innovative enzyme technology presents possibilities for future protein production that can sustainably support a growing global population.

Presenter: Soren Lund, Novozymes

Data to improve organic and nongmo marketplace

Using Data to Improve the Organic & Non-GMO Marketplace

Wednesday, July 18; 12:30 – 1:00 p.m. CT
Location: IFTNEXT Stage, North Hall

How can we make our food system more efficient and transparent, cheaper, and less wasteful? This engaging and informative discussion will explore how data intelligence and new technological tools can aid in the decision-making that can help improve business outcomes. Mercaris aims to improve food and agriculture systems through such tools and will provide a State of the Industry for the organic, non-GMO and integrity-preserved (IP) commodities space.

Presenter: Alex Heilman, Mercaris

The Cannabis Lexicon

The Cannabis Lexicon: Popular Slang and Scientific Fact

Wednesday, July 18; 1:15 – 1:45pm CT
Location: IFTNEXT Stage, North Hall

This talk will examine the lexicon of cannabis, exploring the relationship between slang terms and slang theory when it comes to cannabinoid-infused foods. Attendees will learn the difference between fact and fiction, and leave with a better understanding of the essential technical vocabulary a good scientist needs to think critically about the benefits and risk of incorporating cannabinoids into food forms.

Presenters: Justin Singer, Stillwater Specialty Ingredients; Keith Woelfel,Stillwater Specialty Ingredients


Start Up Alley
IFTNEXT Start-Up Alley

Monday, July 16 – Wednesday, July 18
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Located in the North Hall

Visit the IFTNEXT Start-Up Alley, now bigger and better than ever, to meet one-on-one with a leading group of future-forward entrepreneurs developing some of the most innovative products and solutions in the food science industry.

Learn more about this year’s featured start-up companies.

Learn More About IFTNEXT

To learn more about IFTNEXT and year-long program offerings, visit the IFTNEXT webpage.

Be sure to join our annual event news list to receive updates as event programming gets finalized.



Fuel your passion for the science of food through thought-provoking IFTNEXT presentations, panel discussions, exhibitions and Start-Up Alley entrepreneurs

IFT’s Career Center Live is where you can get noticed and network with some of the top companies in food science and technology from around the globe.

The edge you need to succeed. IFT Pre-event Short Courses provide in-depth, intensive learning opportunities packed with valuable information to help you advance your knowledge and your career.

Hone your expertise and recharge your creativity with our inspirational featured sessions.