Tens of thousands of food science professionals will descend on Las Vegas for the 72nd IFT Annual Meeting and Food Expo®, June 25-28, and I hope you plan to be there. You will find a comprehensive Scientific Program and a dazzling display of innovative products, services, and technologies. You will also have the opportunity to exchange ideas with experts and colleagues in food science from all over the world.
At the 2012 IFT Food Expo, the Trend & Solution Tours will connect you with companies making the most significant developments and addressing current issues in the food industry. This year, we have added Taste the Expo, a list of exhibitors providing samples, because attendees told us they go for the product tasting. You can find the Taste the Expo list in the IFT mobile app downloadable from ift.org, in the on-site directory, and highlighted in the official e-Daily of the IFT Annual Meeting: IFT Live.
Our Keynote Session at the 2012 IFT Annual Meeting features Starbucks President, CEO, and Chairman Howard Schultz. He will address the importance of scientific innovation and the critical need to educate and recruit the next generation of food scientists to feed the world’s expanding population.
IFT education programs will give you the knowledge and insights you need to bring those new ideas back to your organization. Our Scientific Program has something for food professionals at all levels of expertise in virtually every area of interest. With more than 100 education sessions and 1,200 poster presentations, you will learn about the latest research and its real-world applications.
We will have Beacon Lecturers Mehmood Khan, CEO, Global Nutrition Group, and Chief Scientific Officer of PepsiCo, and Jose M. Saavedra, Medical and Scientific Director for Nestlé Nutrition and a faculty member with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Khan has overseen PepsiCo’s expanded investment in research and development. Saavedra created and developed the Johns Hopkins Children’s Nutrition Center.
We have created latebreaking sessions such as one on front-of-pack labeling to make sure the most pressing issues are covered in our education programs. We have scheduled two sessions about product development in the Special Events Pavilion, and this year we have a new foodservice competition, the Making Healthy School Meals Easy Challenge. We will also announce the recipient of a new award, the W.K. Kellogg International Food Security Award and Lectureship.
In addition to the educational opportunities, scientific innovations, and technical sessions, you can step outside to see the Eiffel Tower, New York’s skyline, an Egyptian pyramid, dancing fountains, a spewing volcano, and neon lights. Where else but Las Vegas can you see seven permanent Cirque du Soleil shows all on one boulevard? How about nightly battles between pirates and the sirens of Treasure Island, an acrobatic “Show in the Sky” at Rio, and a light and music show at the Fremont Street Experience downtown? Whether you are a Vegas veteran or a first-time visitor, there is always something new and amazing to check out in this ever-changing city that arose from the desert just over 100 years ago.
A unique dining experience can be found at Switch Steak at Encore where the walls move every 20 minutes, almost like eating each course in a different restaurant. Planet Hollywood’s Strip House is a steak house that serves gourmet beef jerky as an appetizer, plus unusual side dishes such as black truffle creamed spinach and goose fat potatoes. How about a snack at Mandalay Bay’s small-plates restaurant Fleur where they serve Parmesan paprika popcorn? Since many food scientists are foodies too, these culinary delights offer an added bonus to the Annual Meeting’s leading-edge scientific sessions as well as the Food Expo’s formulation and technological innovations.
I hope to see you in Las Vegas for the 2012 IFT Annual Meeting and Food Expo.
Roger Clemens, Dr.P.H., IFT President, 2011–2012
Chief Scientific Officer, Horn Company, La Mirada, Calif.