John Ruff

More than 20,000 of the world’s top food professionals will be in Chicago for the 2013 IFT Annual Meeting and Food Expo®, July 13–16. It’s the most important gathering for people involved in both the science and the business of food. In just four days, you’ll gain new insights, get inspired by your peers, and formulate innovative ideas.

The IFT Food Expo® is the single best opportunity to experience the industry’s largest collection of food ingredients, equipment, packaging, and services. The show floor is the size of 6.5 football fields. This year, there are more than 200 products and services that qualify for our What’s New! list, and more than 100  samples you can try as part of our Taste the Expo program.

You’ll also want to visit our new Food Expo Forum with presentations on the latest trends. In the new Cooking Up Science theater, you’ll find live cooking competitions focused on developing a food product using a mystery basket of ingredients.

Our Special Interest Pavilions showcase important and emerging industry trends, delivering convenient one-stop shopping for solutions. They include Asia-Pac, Belgium, Food Safety & Quality, Healthy Food Ingredients, Organic Food Ingredients, Innova Market Insights’ “Taste the Trend,” and Mintel’s “New Products and Consumer Insights.”

IFT recently received two awards recognizing the importance of the Annual Meeting & Food Expo—the only event of its kind to feature the very latest food products, the hottest food trends, and the most important developments in the science of food.

Be sure to attend the 2013 IFT Awards Ceremony where we recognize excellence in the food science profession by honoring the 2013 IFT Fellows and Achievement Award recipients.

For the Opening General Session, we have an exciting keynote speaker, Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN’s international affairs program “Fareed Zakaria GPS” and editor-at-large for Time magazine. He’ll address the extreme food challenges facing both developed and developing countries.

The Annual Meeting Scientific Program offers more than 100 sessions, and this year we’ll have three Beacon Lectures. Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle, Executive Director of the European Food Safety Authority, will discuss critical food issues facing the European Union, and how recent laws have impacted them. David Robson, Head of Energy and Environmental Foresight for the Scottish Government, will talk about the nexus of food, water, and energy, and how we must prepare for the future. Mark Manary, Professor of Pediatrics at Washington University in St. Louis, will discuss his mission to end malnutrition among  children in Africa. He’s developed ready-to-use therapeutic food that is accepted as the standard of care for acute malnutrition by agencies of the United Nations.

The new Fennema Lecture & Workshop will feature Kipp Herreid, Professor at the University at Buffalo, the State University of New York. He’ll talk about using  case studies to teach critical thinking. The event is part of IFT’s new Teaching & Learning Program for academic members and other educators. This new program features shorter, interactive skill-building sessions.

New for 2013, as part of the Professional Development Program, you’ll find the Learning Lab with interactive sessions. They focus on topics such as "Managing Generational Clashes in the Work Environment,” “Business Transformation—Creating & Sustaining High Performance,” and “Communicating to the Non-Technical Audience.” New 30-minute “sprint” sessions cover presentation skills, résumé writing, and networking techniques. You can interact directly with expert panelists and gain valuable tips in a more individualized setting.

Right before the Annual Meeting begins, we’re offering 10 short courses and the IFT International Food Nanoscience Conference. It starts July 12 at the Hilton Chicago and features the latest insights on topics such as evaluating the safety of nanomaterials and global perspectives on nanotechnology.

In the Connection Center, you’ll be able to network with other food professionals, get answers to your questions about the event, pick up your event badge, and recharge your mobile device. It’s a centralized community space featuring comfortable seating, Internet access, and the IFT Learning Center.

When you’re on the Expo floor, look for the Social Media Lounge to record a video and post updates online to let your colleagues who aren’t attending know what a great time you’re having learning and networking at the Annual Meeting and Food Expo.

Keep up-to-date on everything that’s happening at the Annual Meeting with our e-news daily, IFT Live, at You’ll also want to download the IFT mobile app at It will help you navigate the show floor, find booths, set up meetings, and plan your schedule.

Go to for more inforation. I’ll see you in Chicago!


John RuffJohn Ruff, CFS
IFT President, 2012–2013
[email protected]