Marianne Gillette

The 2010 IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo® will take place July 17–20, 2010, in Chicago—home of inspiring architecture, winning sports teams, the arts, the blues, world-renowned restaurants, and, of course, IFT. The city’s extensive scenic lakeshore will serve as the perfect backdrop for what promises to be a historic annual meeting. I want to see you there.

Your IFT volunteers and staff have made significant new enhancements to the 2010 Annual Meeting & Food Expo. Most noteworthy is the new format for the scientific program, now designed around key focus areas and core sciences. The technical sessions are organized into eight key focus area tracks: 1) Food Safety & Defense; 2) Food, Health & Nutrition; 3) Emerging Technologies and Ingredient Innovations; 4) Product Development; 5) Public Policy, Food Laws & Regulations; 6) Food Processing and Packaging; 7) Sustainability; and 8) Education and Professional Development. The four core science tracks are: 1) Food Chemistry, 2) Food Microbiology, 3) Food Engineering, and 4) Sensory Science. This new program format is the result of the very hard work of IFT staff and more than 350 volunteers over the past nine months. I have great expectations … and so should you!

Last year’s successful innovation at the Expo will be expanded this year in Chicago: Trend and Solution Tours will focus on the following topic areas: 1) Taste Modification; 2) Ingredients for Functional Foods; 3) Reducing Formulation Costs; and 4) Weight Management.

As a part of our continuous improvement, this year’s event is co-located with the Food Processing Suppliers Association and will feature PROCESS EXPO. A Trend and Solution Tour featuring exhibitors with products and services related to Food Safety will extend across both show floors.

This year’s co-location with PROCESS EXPO complements IFT’s existing successful partnerships with the Research Chefs Association, Innova, and Mintel. Imagine yourself walking the floors of two shows—ingredients, analytical equipment, and now processing equipment as well, all included in your IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo registration. This gives you twice the reason to be in Chicago this year!

We will be launching IFT’s open innovation program, INNOVEx, through which exhibitors will have unique access to the current strategic innovation requirements of a number of major food companies and the opportunity to submit their potential solution to them through IFT. General Mills, Sara Lee Corp., and Kraft are the charter participating companies.

IFT will host the Fifth Annual International Food Nanoscience Conference and the Intellectual Property Exchange (IPEx), and through IFT Cares, attendees and exhibitors can participate in our philanthropic partnership program with Feeding America and the Greater Chicago Food Depository. The IFT Foundation will celebrate its silver anniversary this year with the unveiling of a fresh new visual presence. As always, the IFT Student Association will impress us in events such as the College Bowl, Undergraduate Research Competition, Product Development Competitions, and the Campbell’s Excellence in Leadership Award.

Daniel Pink, best-selling author of the book A Whole New Mind, will give this year’s keynote address on Sunday, July 18. By the end of this provocative session, you will have learned the three key ingredients of high performers who are intrinsically motivated. This could be the story of you, so be there to get in touch with a whole new mind.

At my company, interest in attending this year’s meeting has more than tripled because of the enhancements to the Annual Meeting & Food Expo. Nothing is more relevant to a food scientist or food technologist than the experience of an IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo. Your active participation in this year’s meeting is guaranteed to bring you and your organization tremendous returns. If you have never experienced the Annual Meeting & Food Expo, it may be difficult to imagine its magnitude: Thousands of food scientists, technologists, suppliers, and buyers from around the globe converge to expand their technical knowledge and their professional networks, opening doors to countless new business opportunities. If you have never attended before … this is the year to show up.

Thanks to the dedicated work of IFT volunteers and staff, the Annual Meeting & Food Expo is the icon product of IFT and warrants strong stewardship, advancement, and your attendance. The meeting has remained successful because of its unequalled value to members. When you arrive at this year’s meeting, I expect you will see for yourself just what I mean. I expect to see you there, and feel free to stop and tell me about your great experiences. I want to hear all about it!

by Marianne Gillette,
IFT President, 2009–2010
Vice President of Technical Competencies and
Platforms, McCormick & Co. Inc.,
Hunt Valley, Md. 
[email protected]