Food Science and Technology Key to Feeding 9 Billion People by 2050

October 12, 2011

CHICAGO—Although the world's food supply is largely safe, flavorful, nutritious, convenient and less costly than ever before, nearly a billion people go hungry every day. To compound matters further, according to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, food production must increase by 70 percent in order to feed the anticipated world population of 9.1 billion by 2050.

According to the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), food science and technology plays a key role in alleviating the current world hunger situation as well as providing enough food for the future. This is why IFT will join 450 other national and private organizations to celebrate World Food Day on October 16th, 2011 in an effort to heighten public awareness of the plight of the world’s hungry and malnourished and highlight the potential of food science in solving food issues.

"We've seen how scientific and technical achievements have impacted most people in the developed world by freeing them from subsistence farming and full-time home food preparation." said IFT Executive Vice President Barbara Byrd Keenan. "More advancements are needed in order to address nutritional deficiencies and inconsistent food availability, protect harvests and transform various commodities into food sources throughout the world."

IFT recently addressed the issue of feeding a growing population in a report that reviewed the role of food science and technology in meeting the demand for a world food supply that must nearly double during the next several decades. The report, can be found on an IFT web page dedicated to World Food Day, along with the following additional resources:

  • Audio interview with John Floros, PhD, past president of IFT and lead author of IFT's scientific report, "Feeding the World Today and Tomorrow: The Importance of Food Science and Technology."
  • Video and fact sheet on food safety tips to keep in mind at local farmers' markets.
  • Day in the Life of a Food Scientist—IFT video series showing what it's like to be a food scientist at NASA and at Disney.
  • Educational Resources for K-12 Teachers—Videos, experiments and lesson planning for K-12 teachers to teach students about how food is developed and processed as well as  ideas for how to use food to enhance student's interest and learning.

Content will be continuously updated throughout the year for media, consumers, educators, government officials and all those organizations that are committed to highlighting the need for foods that promote healthier people everywhere.


About IFT

The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) is a nonprofit scientific society. Our individual members are professionals engaged in food science, food technology, and related professions in industry, academia, and government. IFT’s mission is to advance the science of food, and our long-range vision is to ensure a safe and abundant food supply, contributing to healthier people everywhere. 

For more than 70 years, the IFT has been unlocking the potential of the food science community by creating a dynamic global forum where members from more than 100 countries can share, learn, and grow. We champion the use of sound science across the food value chain through the exchange of knowledge, by providing education, and by furthering the advancement of the profession. IFT has offices in Chicago, Illinois and Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit

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Emily Behn

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