Herbert Stone

As you probably have noticed, this magazine looks different from past issues. That’s because we’ve redesigned it. But the changes go well beyond appearance. We’ve also improved the content and structure. Our main goal is to enhance your experience with Food Technology magazine and maximize its usefulness and functionality.

Before I explain some our improvements, I would like to tell you about the process of how we got here. In fall 2004, IFT conducted an extensive readership study. The 500+ respondents told us many things. More than 66% rated the publication as “very useful” or “useful.” Nearly two-thirds said they use the Internet for professional reading. And more than 96% believed that photos, illustrations, and charts help to communicate information in articles. While the overwhelming majority of respondents rated our design/layout, content, ease of reading, and timeliness of information either “excellent” or “good,” some of them felt that we needed progress in those areas.

Armed with these data and other findings from the readership study and an internal review of the magazine’s content and graphics by the editorial and design/production team, IFT’s publication staff created a list of goals, objectives, and enhancements to the magazine. An award-winning professional design firm with extensive experience in association and business-to-business publications helped us execute our plan.

For the visual design, we wanted a clean, bold, distinctive, and contemporary look. Much of the existing design was “dense” and heavy with text. Our new design makes greater use of photographs, charts, illustrations, and “white space.” The articles now have more “entry points,” such as boldfaced text, bullet points, and sidebars (i.e., mini stories within articles). This creates a visual hierarchy to the information and allows you to navigate through articles and the issue more effectively.

IFT maintains vast resources of information on food science, technology, and research & development on our Web site for members to use. To better integrate the magazine and www.ift.org, we have added notes at the end of articles to encourage readers to go to our home page. Typing in a key word in our search engine yields past articles from Food Technology, Journal of Food Science and other IFT peer-reviewed scientific journals, abstracts of technical sessions from the Annual Meeting, IFT buyer’s guides, and other sources.

An example of this better integration among our publications and Web site appears in the timely article “Understanding BSE and Related Diseases” on pp. 46–51. A full-text version of this condensed Scientific Status Summary appears in the June/July issue of Journal of Food Science and on our Web site.

Another example appears in our “News” section on pp. 12–14. We’ve inserted a one-question survey of a topical issue concerning food formulators and scientists. To participate in the “Your Opinion Counts” survey, go to our Web site and check the appropriate box or specify your answer. Results of the poll will be posted on the Web site and published in a future issue of Food Technology.

We’ve also modified the News section to focus exclusively on news related to food science, technology, product development, and regulations. Most business-related news, such as acquisitions, has been moved to the Web site.

On the cover, we’ve updated the Food Technology logo to position the magazine as more authoritative and engaging. The solid color box containing the issue date (i.e., 07/05) and the word “food” are reminiscent of the periodic table. The curved letters are modern and “friendly.”

Below the word “technology,” we’ve added a tagline “Advancing Food & Health Through Sound Science” to recognize the growing link between food, food components, and human health and disease. It also supports one of IFT’s objectives of a safe, affordable, fun, and nutritious food supply.

The cover story on nutrigenomics reflects our new tagline. The article, “Beyond Nutrition: The Impact of Food on Genes” on pp. 24–32, discusses how bioactive components in food manipulate human DNA and their potential for preventing or treating disease.

Food Technology magazine has been a credible, authoritative, and respected source of knowledge on food science, technology, and product development for nearly 60 years. The redesign and content improvements build on that basic principle. As I stated earlier, our primary goal is to enhance your experience with the publication and optimize its value.

As always, we welcome your feedback. Please send your comments on the redesign as well as ideas on how we can make the magazine even more useful to Editor-in-Chief Bob Swientek at [email protected].

by Herbert Stone,
IFT President, 2004–05
President, Tragon Corp., Redwood City, Calif.
[email protected]