Grant and Contract Services

For more than a decade, IFT has received external funding from a variety of organizations to address food-related issues of concern by drawing on the expertise of IFT members and non-members. IFT operates under contract to fulfill the service defined by the funder (whether government, not for profit, or private entities), typically by assembling panels of experts.

Key areas of focus for grant and contract work are in food safety, product tracing, food defense, and nutrition (with respect to the role of food science in addressing nutritional deficiencies). Individuals or organizations interested in contracting with IFT, or interested in serving as experts/subcontractors to IFT should contact Dr. Jianrong (Janet) Zhang, Director of Food Safety Programs at

Examples of works in progress and completed works are listed below.

Select Grants and Contracts in Progress

  • Improving Data Quality for the Foreign Inspection Program
    The objective of this task order, issued by FDA in September 2010, is to identify, utilize and evaluate alternative sources for information about food manufacturing firms in 3 specific countries and to provide overall suggestions regarding how FDA can improve the quality of data used to contact foreign food firms.
  • Food Product Tracing Technology: Capabilities and Interoperability
    In September 2010 the National Center for Food Protection and Defense awarded IFT an 18-month grant to compare and contrast at least seven product tracing technology providers to determine critical points throughout the food supply chain where product tracing data must be collected, and the appropriate data elements to collect, the current capabilities of product tracing technologies, the ability of product tracing technology providers to work collaboratively to trace products, and ways to further develop product tracing systems to increase interoperability and utility.  
  • Use of Iodized Salt in Processed Foods in Select Countries around the World and the Role of Food Processors
    In May 2010 the Micronutrient Initiative funded IFT to assess the extent of usage of iodized salt in processed foods and the level of knowledge on iodine nutrition among food processors. The project also will attempt to determine the potential impact of salt reduction initiatives on iodine nutrition and provide recommendations on the best practices to ensure adequate iodine nutrition. This work will be completed in March 2011 and published in an IFT journal.
  • Factors of a Food Product(s) or Ingredient(s) Which Heighten the Risk for Intentional Contamination
    In September 2009 FDA tasked IFT to evaluate a list of risk factors for intentional contamination developed in 2004 for current applicability and relevance to food industry practices and standard operating procedures. Additionally, IFT reviewed the current foods list and evaluated it for changes, additions or reprioritization/reclassification needs of FDA regulated commodities and expanded the list to contain FDA regulated commodities considered to be 'high', 'high/moderate,' 'moderate,' 'moderate/low,' and 'low' risk tiers . This report was submitted in September 2010.
  • Use of the CARVER+Shock Software (Version 2) for Conducting Vulnerability Assessments
    In September 2010 FDA issued IFT a 2 year task to provide logistical, technical, and subject matter expert (SME) support to use the CARVER+Shock software version 2 to conduct 35 company-specific vulnerability assessments of FDA-regulated commodities in the agriculture, food processing and retail sectors.
  • Food industry challenges to "Best Practice" risk communication
    IFT received a 1 year grant from the National Center for Food Protection and Defense to explore the use of the 11 "best practices of risk communication" by academic, trade association, and government food system stakeholders, to understand how their use may differ in food safety versus food defense situations. The work was presented at the 2010 IFT Annual Meeting and Food Expo, and will be published in an IFT journal.

Examples of Completed Grants and Contract

  • IFT Contributes to Development of FDA Training Tool
    As part of our contract with the FDA, IFT contributed to the development of the Food Related Emergency Exercise Boxed (FREE-B) web-based tool that is now available.  FREE-B is a collection of scenarios that will help government regulators, public health organizations and the food industry test their readiness for food-related emergencies, such as a human health emergency caused by an unintentional contamination of produce with E. coli O157:H7. FREE-B is a compilation of five scenarios designed to help test and develop food emergency response plans, protocols and procedures. It will help food and agriculture stakeholders and emergency preparedness planners collaborate better with each other, neighboring jurisdictions, the food industry and federal agencies during food emergencies. To access the FREE-B scenarios, please visit

  • Product Tracing (Traceability) in Food Systems
    Working under contract with FDA from September 2008-September 2009, IFT explored a multitude of issues related to product tracing. A number of reports, presentations, and other materials emanated from the work and can be found at
  • Public Health Risk Assessment for FDA-regulated Commodity/Hazard Combinations Using a Risk Ranking Methodology
    From September 2008 through June 2010 IFT worked as a subcontractor to RTI International to develop hazard information sheets for select chemical hazards and flow charts for a variety of food products to enable the further development of a relative risk ranking model that explored hazard/commodity pairs. A manuscript describing the project is in preparation.
  • Determination of Areas of Greatest Risk for Produce from Farm to Fork
    IFT worked as a subcontractor to RTI International from December 2007 to July 2009 to evaluate the relative risks of various hazards (i.e., bacterial, viral, protozoa, and chemical) in various types of produce and in various stages of processing (including whole, fresh-cut, processed) to identify the relative risks of combinations of hazards and commodities. The work also developed comprehensive quantitative, predictive model(s) to evaluate the effectiveness of various interventions/mitigations and control measures in selected produce/hazard combinations at all stages in production and distribution. The tool can be accessed here:
  • Rice Fortification in Developing Countries: A Critical Review of the Technical and Economic Feasibility
    Under a cooperative agreement with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Academy for Educational Development (AED) collaborated with the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) to conduct a four-country assessment of rice fortification with a review of production and fortification techniques in China, Costa Rica, The Philippines and the United States.
    Critical review
  • CARVER + Shock vulnerability analysis software tool
    An offensive targeting prioritization tool adapted from the military version (CARVER) for use in the food industry. The tool can be used to assess the vulnerabilities within a system or infrastructure to an attack. It allows the user to think like an attacker to identify the most attractive targets for an attack.
    Software tool
  • Food Defense Assessment Tool
    Developed by IFT under contract with the Education Team of the National Center for Food Protection and Defense, this tool should aid in the understanding of food defense issues and best practices.
    Assessment tool
  • Food Defense Resource List
    Provides a list of governmental and non-governmental food defense related websites. The list was compiled to support the NCFPD contract work.
    Resource list (PDF)
  • Analysis and Evaluation of the Current Manufacturing and Labeling Practices Used by Food Manufacturers to Address Labeling Concerns
    (FDA Contract, Task Order 2)
    Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety. October 2006
  • Evaluation and Definition of Potentially Hazardous Foods
    Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety. April 2003
  • Analysis and Evaluation of Preventive Control Measures for the Control and Reduction/Elimination of Microbial Hazards on Fresh and Fresh-Cut Produce
    Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety. January 2003
    FDA website
  • Processing Parameters Needed to Control Pathogens in Cold Smoked Fish
    Journal of Food Science. September 2001
    FDA website
  • Kinetics of Microbial Inactivation for Alternative Food Processing Technologies
    FDA website
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