The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), Chicago, says that its annual event will return to in-person and online learning with a new and improved lineup of reimagined content and programming. IFT FIRST: Annual Event & Expo, whose updated brand is an acronym for Food Improved by Research, Science and Technology, will take place July 10-13 at McCormick Place in Chicago.
The event will bring together the “science of food community” to solve food-centric challenges and spark innovation to benefit the global population for years to come, IFT says. More than 18,000 professionals are expected to attend. The event also will feature nearly 2,000 tradeshow booths representing the B2B industry’s most comprehensive collection of food ingredient, equipment, processing, technology, and packaging solution providers, allowing exhibitors and attendees to showcase and discover new, innovative products.
This year’s theme – “Hacking the Food Supply: Can We Synthesize a More Sustainable Future?” – will explore potential promises and pitfalls in hacking the future of food, IFT says. IFT FIRST’s programming will center on how the following areas of the global food system contribute to a more sustainable future: novel technology and innovation, sustainability, health and nutrition, food safety, and consumer insights and education.
“After shifting the IFT annual event and expo online for the last two years, IFT will welcome the science of food community back to Chicago this July with a dynamic and highly engaging in-person experience unlike any prior event,” notes IFT CEO Christie Tarantino-Dean. “This year, IFT FIRST attendees can expect a fully integrated experience with reimagined scientific programming, discussions focused on the business behind food and the future of food, as well as exciting networking and engagement activities. Additionally, the event will feature both live and virtual offerings to ensure that travel or other limitations do not prevent attendees from being able to connect, learn and innovate.”
More discussions, fewer lectures
“Attendees can expect more discussions and fewer lectures, more debate with shorter sessions, and new formats in Science FIRST. Meanwhile, the Business FIRST stage will feature experts from academia, finance, industry, and government to explore potential advantages and limitations of cutting-edge innovations in food.”
Attendees can expect more discussions and fewer lectures, more debate with shorter sessions, and new formats in Science FIRST. Meanwhile, the Business FIRST stage will feature experts from academia, finance, industry, and government to explore potential advantages and limitations of cutting-edge innovations in food, IFT says.
The Science FIRST program will come to life through panels, keynotes, fireside chats, and live moderated discussions, as well as on-demand scientific sessions and research presentations available through the IFT FIRST online platform. The Business FIRST program, designed to provide helpful tips and strategies for startups, entrepreneurs, investors, and large companies, will feature live panel discussions addressing the challenges and opportunities that come with the science of food profession, IFT says. Topics range from food waste to innovations on the edge, supply chain impacts, and IFT’s reveal of its recent salary survey research and what it means for equity in the industry.
Additionally, select Science FIRST and Business FIRST sessions will be live-streamed online, while attendees looking to connect and engage will have several in-person and virtual networking opportunities.
The IFT FIRST Opening Debate, “Should We Eat More Processed Food?” — to be held on Monday, July 11 at McCormick Place and via stream — will feature a riveting debate on the pros and cons of food processing. Moderated by ABC News Correspondent John Donvan, the session will explore the definition of processed foods and debate whether or not locally grown, unprocessed (or minimally processed) foods are the better choice for local economies, supply chains, and the environment. A NASA Panel titled “R&D at the Edges of the Human Experience” on Tuesday, July 12 will feature astronaut, physician, and tech CEO Scott Parazynski, who will share how NASA R&D works to inform and use new technologies that focus on the social, emotional, cultural and physiological aspects of food, IFT says.
Plenty of dairy-related programming
Specifically for dairy attendees, IFT FIRST will feature a variety of other in-person and virtual programming, including:
• “Dairy Products vs. Dairy Alternatives: What About Texture?”
• “How Consumers Perceive Dairy Sustainability: Facts and Fiction.”
• “Innovation Landscape of Dairy Products for Calming and Immune Boosting.”
• “Affordable Nutrition and the Role of Dairy to Help Reduce Undernutrition in Developing Countries.”
• “Cold Chain Food Logistics: Setting the Standard for Cold Chain.”
• “A World Without Cows.”
• “Building a Sustainable Supply Chain: Farmers and Food Companies.”
For more information and to register, visit www.iftevent.org.