Food science and technology is a profession just like the medical profession or other single science disciplines such as biology or chemistry. It covers a wide range of complex skills and disciplines and is based on a recognized body of learning. Food Science is the discipline in which biology, physical sciences, and engineering are used to study the nature of foods, the causes of their deterioration, and the principles underlying food processing. Food Technology is the application of food science to the selection, preservation, processing, packaging, distribution, and use of safe, nutritious, and wholesome food.
Food scientists study the physical, microbiological, and chemical makeup of food to become food technology professionals. Depending on their area of specialization, food scientists may develop ways to process, preserve, package, or store food, according to industry and government specifications and regulations. Consumers seldom think of the vast array of foods and the research and development that has resulted in the means to deliver tasty, nutritious, safe, and convenient foods.
Founded in 1939, the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) is a nonprofit scientific society with 27,000 members working in food science, food technology, and related professions in industry, academia and government. IFT is the premier scientific and educational society serving the food science and technology field. Its mission is to advance the science and technology of food through the exchange of knowledge among food technology professionals.
IFT members represent a broad cross-section of food professions in industry, academia, and government throughout the world. As the authoritative voice of food science and technology, IFT contributes to public policy and opinion at national, state and local levels. IFT's Office of Science, Communications, and Government Relations was created to advocate the scientific perspective on food science and technology issues. The IFT Foundation supports programs such as undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships, science-based communications to media and policy makers, career guidance programs, food science awards and the Congressional Science Fellowship. Funding from IFT Foundation continually infuses the food science and technology field with new talent, information and innovative resources. And as policy-makers, students and consumers are educated on the importance of food science, the credibility and value of each food science and food technology professionals.
The Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST), founded in 1964, is the leading Europe-based independent professional qualifying body for food scientists and food technology professionals. IFST aims to advance the standing of food science and technology as a subject and a profession, and to serve the interests of the public and the members.
IFST members are food professionals drawn from all over the world and come from all ages and backgrounds, from industry, academia, research and development, government, and enforcement.