In my President’s Message last November, I discussed the role of the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST) in IFT’s global strategy. However, during my visits with many IFT members over several months, it has become evident that most members do not have an appreciation of the relationship between IFT and IUFoST.
The main objectives of IUFoST are to promote international cooperation and exchange of scientific and technical information among food science professionals; advance international progress in both theoretical and applied areas of food science; advance technology in the processing, manufacturing, preservation, storage, and distribution of food products; stimulate, support, and provide education and training in food science and technology; and foster professionalism and professional organization among food scientists and technologists and related areas.
Here are some of the similarities and differences between the two organizations:
• IUFoST is an international union (federation) of professional food science and technology organizations ("Adhering Bodies") from approximately 62 countries. IFT is the Adhering Body from the United States.
• IFT has individual members, while IUFoST has no individual members—the members of IUFoST are countries, represented by Adhering Bodies.
• The officers of IFT are elected by individual members, while the officers of IUFoST are elected by the Adhering Body delegates to the IUFoST General Assembly. IFT has three delegates—IFT’s President, Past President, and President-Elect.
• Funding for IUFoST is primarily by dues from the Adhering Bodies, with additional funding from other sources to support its scientific activities. Funding for IFT is primarily individual member dues and revenues from the IFT Annual Meeting & Food ExpoSM.
• IFT has established relationships with several IUFoST Adhering Bodies, while IUFoST has direct involvement with all the Adhering Bodies.
IFT Past President David Lineback is serving as 2006–08 IUFoST President. His term will conclude at the 14th World Congress of Food Science and Technology, October 19–24, 2008, in Shanghai, China. The World Congresses, held every two years, are the primary events sponsored by IUFoST. However, IUFoST cosponsors and supports additional conferences of its Adhering Bodies, Regional Organizations, and professional organizations in related areas.
A collaborative effort of IFT and IUFoST is the electronic publication World of Food Science, which keeps food science and technology professionals around the world informed about current issues related to a safe and sufficient food supply. It provides timely news regarding business activities, regulatory measures, government policies, scientific advances, regional reports, product development, consumer trends, and association conference schedules. IUFoST correspondents and food science colleagues throughout the world contribute to this electronic magazine.
IUFoST provides an extra dimension of services to the entire membership of IFT:
• The publications, World Congresses, and other events organized by IUFoST provide an additional opportunity for IFT members to become professionally involved and network with international colleagues and their organizations.
• IUFoST, through involvement of Adhering Bodies in food-related public policy and regulatory issues in their countries, provides IFT members with information about new developments in international regulations and with specific opportunities to pursue global harmonization of food regulations. The World Congresses also provide an outstanding forum for discussion and interpretation of research, often relating to harmonization of food regulations.
• IUFoST provides IFT members with an international view of the food science and technology profession. As the food industry becomes more global, the profession must gain an international dimension and perspective. Involvement in IUFoST activities provides an extra opportunity for this global perspective.
• Research presented at the World Congresses provides food science and technology professionals with a view on the status of research developments in all parts of the world. Although many publications present the latest research from leading research centers, participation of IFT members in a World Congress encourages direct interaction among researchers from these centers.
Thus, IUFoST provides a unique and global perspective for IFT members. They can gain a greater appreciation of the array of IUFoST activities through increased exposure to and involvement in IUFoST events and publications. Increased participation will be beneficial to IFT members and will enhance both organizations.
by Dennis R. Heldman,
IFT President, 2006–07 President, Heldman Associates, Weston, Fla.