IFT18 Draws More Than 23,000 Global Registrants

August 14, 2018

CHICAGO – IFT18: A Matter of Science and Foodhosted by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) at McCormick Place, highlighted the hottest food trends, the latest food products and the most important developments in the science of food. More than 23,000 people attended the event from July 15 – 18 to join scientific sessions, connect with colleagues and discover the latest innovations on the expo floor. 


  • Number of Attendees: 23,000 

  • Number of Countries Represented: 94 

  • Number of Student Registrants: 1,384  

  • Number of Exhibitor Companies: 1,241  

  • Number of Scientific Sessions: 102 

  • IFTNEXT Sessions:  17 

  • Featured Sessions: 3 (includes IFTNEXT Food Disruption Challenge™) 

  • Number of Poster Presentations: 746 

  • Number of Speakers: 325 


Innovation flourished at IFT18, where exhibitors showcased an array of new products designed to help food companies stay ahead of emerging trends. Consumer demands for healthier options were answered by plant-based product advancements in proteins, dairy alternatives, and functional ingredients. Adventurous flavor profiles displayed in a creative assortment of concept foods balanced indulgent taste with clean eating. And new sweetener alternatives, including formulations that reduce bitterness and aftertaste, demonstrated novel ways to lower calories and slash sugar while maintaining natural taste.   
“The expo allows attendees to immerse themselves in the industry’s largest collection of food ingredient, food safety & quality, technology, equipment, processing, and packaging suppliers,” said Kelly Fox, IFT’s senior vice president of meetings and business partnerships. “It’s the only place where attendees are able to meet face-to-face with more than 1,000 exhibiting companies on the forefront of the latest global food trends, and the see firsthand, the products designed to address them.” 


IFTNEXT programming, now in its second year, highlighted trends to expect in the science of food and food technology. Notably, the first-ever IFTNEXT Food Disruption Challenge took place, in which six food start-ups competed for a $25,000 cash prize and a $5,000 People's Choice award. Renewal Mill, which upcycles fibrous byproducts from food manufacturing, took home the grand prize. C-fu FOODS, which uses a patent-pending process to develop textured insect protein suitable for a wide variety of applications, was chosen by audience vote as the winner of the $5,000 People’s Choice Award. 


Additional IFTNEXT highlights included the Start-Up Alley, which doubled its footprint this year. There, future-forward entrepreneurs revealed some of the most innovative products and solutions in the food science industry.  


Ingredion’s Platinum Innovation Sponsorship helps to fund IFTNEXT, an important initiative focused on facilitating future-forward conversations, content, learning opportunities and competitions that explore how global, transdisciplinary collaboration can advance innovation to help solve real-world food-related challenges. 


Food Tech Magazine will feature a full event recap in the September issue, which is in addition to content that is already available on the IFT18 news website 


IFT19 will be held in New Orleans at the Morial Convention Center from June 2 - 5, 2019. 


About IFT
The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) is a global organization of 17,000 individual members from more than 100 countries committed to advancing the science of food. Since 1939, IFT has brought together the brightest minds in food science, technology and related professions from academia, government, and industry to solve the world’s greatest food challenges. Our organization works to ensure that our members have the resources they need to learn, grow, and advance the science of food as the population and the world evolve. We believe that science is essential to ensuring a global food supply that is sustainable, safe, nutritious, and accessible to all. For more information, please visit ift.org.

Contact Us

Jennifer Garcia

IFT PR and Media Specialist

Phone: 312.604.0273
Email: jgarcia@ift.org