IFT FIRST 2022 in Chicago IL


IFT FIRST Annual Event and Expo

In 2022, IFT is excited that FIRST will return with a brand-new hybrid experience that lives at the intersection of education, research, and true scientific innovation. Plus, the largest business-to-business food innovation expo will be back—live and in person from Chicago.


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IFT FIRST - Food Improved by Research, Science and Technology
IFT FIRST is IFT’s response to the transformative nature of the global food system. IFT FIRST is a place where professionals can discover the latest global trends, newest innovation, and cutting-edge solutions while making strategic connections to advance their business and careers. IFT’s annual event and expo has been reimagined into a new in-person and virtual experience which includes the return of the largest B2B food innovation expo.



Attended in 2019

Whether your company is looking for new customers, new suppliers, or new ideas, IFT FIRST is an essential part of staying on top of what’s next in the science of food and the food industry, so you and your organization can stay ahead of the competition.

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Sessions & Conversations

IFT FIRST is where you can fuel your passion for the science and the business of food through IFT FIRST’s thought-provoking scientific, business, featured sessions, Multi-session conversations, full on demand library, 500+ research posters and more.

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Exhibitor Booths

Be immersed in the industry’s largest collection of food ingredient, food safety & quality, technology, equipment, processing, and packaging suppliers, all assembled under one roof to help you be the first to learn and see the future of food.

Here are just a few of the reasons why attendees tell us IFT’s Annual Event & Food Expo is a great return on investment:

Attending the IFT FIRST Annual Event and Expo is akin to packing an entire year’s worth of professional development, supplier/customer relationship building, new product development, and innovation thinking into four intense days. If you do it right, you’ll leave Chicago exhausted, but inspired by your career, your job, your future, and the important role our profession plays in providing a safe, nutritious, and sustainable food supply. You’ll also arrive back at work with new ideas to share with your management and colleagues. Plus, a stack of business cards from potentially lucrative new business contacts, customers, suppliers, collaborators, and innovators.

We're Back! At the IFT FIRST Annual Event and Expo you’ll have the opportunity to visit over 1,300 supplier booths, representing the largest ingredient and technology Food Expo in the world. See, taste, touch and experience all the new products and services the IFT FIRST exhibitors have to offer. Explore new products, find solutions, and make buying decisions all in the three Food Expo intensive days.

It’s this year’s theme - Hacking the Food Supply: Can We Synthesize a More Sustainable Future?- that will bring together a diverse perspective of front-line scientists and product developers to discuss the potential promises and pitfalls of the future of food. How can we as a food and innovation community find solutions to this important issue? Join us for the debate and dialogue to find out.

As we return to an in-person experience, IFT FIRST will explore this topic through five critical areas that are greatly impacting the global food system including: Novel Technology & Innovation; Sustainability & Climate; Health & Nutrition; Food Safety and Consumer Insights and Education. Whether you have been to an IFT annual event or not, this year promises to be a completely reimagined experience that will amp up the discussion and dialogue through multiple formats with select sessions available in-person and via livestream. 

  • Keynote & Featured Sessions
    Dynamic thought leaders and speakers will bring the debate and conversation alive in ways that promise to have your peers and colleagues talking at IFT FIRST and beyond. (In person and live stream).
  • On-demand Scientific Presentations  
    As an IFT FIRST attendee, you’ll be able to review a robust library of scientific presentations covering all the five critical areas and guiding questions below. Check back soon for access to these sessions. 
  • FIRST Cut Scientific Session Summaries
    These 1-minute pre-recorded sessions provide a high-level overview of all presentations that will be a part of the discussion at IFT FIRST.
  • Live Multi-Session Conversations
    Experience live conversations on how the on-demand sessions address guiding questions in the five critical areas that will layer up to the overall theme of IFT FIRST. Below is a sneak peek of the programming and presenters you can expect during the Multi-Sessions conversations. 

While you’re at the event, don’t forget to recharge. Feeding Tomorrow uses the annual event to host one of its largest fundraisers, which benefits its many programs directed at bringing the best and brightest young people into our profession, rewarding the efforts of students in food science, and providing opportunities to leverage the knowledge of our community for the greater good. Attendees and non-attendees alike are able to participate in the Fun Run + Fitness to experience wellness through running, walking, or yoga while supporting important Feeding Tomorrow programs. You can participate both at the event and remotely.


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Gain access to an invaluable network, resources, and insights to help you make greater contributions through your work and to the future of food.

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Kickstart Your Career

From certification, to courses and webcasts, to mentorship, to finding your next job—IFT can help you get your career on the right track.

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Connect with IFT’s vibrant community of scholars, innovators, visionaries and doers all working together to advance the future of food.

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