Sheri Schellhaass

Attractions/theme parks, beaches, arts and culture, nightlife, sports and recreation, and, of course, the IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo®—you can find them all in California in June. From June 6 to 9, Anaheim/Orange County will be a home away from home for many of us. With newly revamped convention facilities, new and updated hotels, and extraordinary dining options, Anaheim is well equipped to meet our needs.

If you’re attending the 69th IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo, you are among the thousands of food scientists, technologists, suppliers, marketers, and others from around the globe who are ready to expand their professional networks, hone their skills, and open the door to a range of new business opportunities.

Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a superb scientific program, our world-renowned Food Expo, and countless networking opportunities. We kick off our official program on Saturday evening with the annual Awards Celebration honoring the 2009 Achievement Award Laureates and newly elected Fellows. Immediately following the Awards Celebration, be sure to meet your friends and colleagues at our Networking Reception.

IFT is “getting greener” beginning early Sunday morning with IFT09 Live, the official Daily of the IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo, offered exclusively online. Also, make sure you check out this year’s new schedule. Scientific programs begin prior to the Keynote Session featuring leading economic experts Todd Buchholz and Jeffrey Rosensweig.

Following the Keynote Session, our Food Expo floor will open, giving center stage to more than 700 exhibitors and 500 ingredient companies. New this year to the Expo floor are Trend Tours. These are self-guided tours that lead to the booths of exhibiting companies offering innovative products or services related to current trends in the food industry.

Also on Sunday, you are invited to the Town Hall Meeting to receive updates on IFT’s current and future initiatives and ask questions of the IFT Board of Directors.

More than 190 sessions, including both oral and poster, and 2,098 presentations make up the 2009 Scientific Program, “Food Science from Producer to Consumer.” A new track added to this year’s scientific program, “Transformative Research,” showcases how preeminent research and technology based on science fundamentals can be transferred to solve problems and develop innovative, safe, and practical applications. An enhanced poster area, virtual posters, two new sessions from the Journal of Food Science, hybrid oral-poster sessions, student oral presentation sessions, and Sunrise Sessions are just a few of the other new offerings this year.

This year’s theme general session, held on Monday, June 8, features prominent executives from PepsiCo, Unilever, Costco, and Cargill, who will share unique insights from the perspectives of food manufacturing, food retailing, and food ingredients. New to this year’s program is IPEx (Intellectual Property Exchange), a special session designed specifically to bring innovators—and those actively seeking innovative solutions—together to exchange information and explore new business opportunities.

Once again, the National Research Initiative program of the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture will hold its Project Directors Meeting in conjunction with our Annual Meeting. The Directors will share key research updates with all attendees during a scientific session.

The final rounds of two new IFT Student Association competitions take place during the meeting in Anaheim. IFT Food Science Ambassadors and others interested in food science community outreach are invited to a workshop on Monday, June 8, that trains attendees to teach science using food.

Following a successful philanthropic program during last year’s meeting, all of our attendees and exhibitors are once again invited to participate in IFT’s philanthropic partnership program with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County. Join your colleagues on Saturday, June 6, or Wednesday, June 10, to make a difference by supporting our host city.

You can also support our undergraduate and graduate scholarship program on Monday, June 8, by running the 5k course, walking one mile, or even “sleeping in” for the IFT Foundation and Student Association Annual Fun Run.

As you see, there will be something for everyone at the IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo in Anaheim. Thank you to all of the IFT volunteers and staff that have made this possible. I look forward to seeing you in Anaheim!

Sheri Schellhaass,
IFT President, 2008–09
Vice President of Research and Development, General Mills, Minneapolis, Minn.
[email protected]