IFT Journals Supplementary Instructions for Specific Topics

Guidelines for the Preparation and Review of Papers Reporting on Bioactives

For analysis of phenolics, carotenoids, terpenoids, or other bioactives, the use of non-specific spectrophotometric determinations is insufficient for publication. Rather, specific methods (e.g., validated chromatographic methods, mass spectrometry, NMR, IR, and so on) should be used to characterize the bioactive composition of foods, beverages and extracts. For papers dealing with chemical antioxidant activity, authors are encouraged to use assays relevant to health using preferably cell-based or in vivo methods. Furthermore, the approach should account for the known or predicted bioavailability of the bioactive(s) of interest.

Guidelines for the Preparation and Review of Engineering and Physical Properties Data of Engineering and Physical Properties Data

Nomenclature and Units
For expression of units, the International System (SI) should be followed.

Manuscript Sections
In addition to the standard sections, two additional sections are permissible and often desirable: "Notations" and "Theoretical Considerations."

A Notations section should contain two sub-lists (if appropriate). First, a "symbols" list, arranged alphabetically, with accompanying definitions. Second, a "subscript- superscript" list, with definitions that have consistent meaning throughout the article. This sub-list should be arranged alphabetically or in numerical order, as appropriate. The Notations section should be placed immediately after the Abstract.

If a section on Theoretical Considerations is deemed appropriate, it should contain discussion and derivations of theoretical relationships (if not available in published literature), and it should be placed immediately after the Introduction.

Guidelines for the Preparation and Review of Papers Reporting Food Microbiology Research Data

Materials and Methods
In addition to information on instruments, reagents, experimental methods/design, and statistical treatment of data, the following information should be provided:

1. Describe microorganisms and culture conditions

  • Bacterial nomenclature should comply with "Approved Lists of Bacterial Names" (V.B.D. Skerman, V. McGowan, and P.H.A. Sneath, eds., 1989, Amer. Soc. for Microbiology, Washington, D.C.), and "Index of the Bacterial and Yeast Nomenclature Changes" (W.E.C. Moore and L.V.H. Moore, Eds., 1992, Amer. Soc. for Microbiology, Washington, D.C.).
  • Fungal nomenclature should conform as closely as possible with current literature. See "The Yeasts: A Taxonomic study" (N.J.W. Kreger-van Rij, eds. 3rd ed., 1984, Elsevier, New York, NY), and "Ainsworth & Bisby's Dictionary of the Fungi, Including the Lichens" (D.L. Hawksworth, B.C. Sutton, and G.C. Ainsworth, 7th ed., 1983, Commonwealth Mycological Inst., Kew, Surrey, U.K.).

2. Describe media: Indicate whether food, culture media or a model system was used, including details of any special procedures for preparation, handling or treatment.

3. Methods for handling microorganisms and toxic chemicals [procedures and equipment for handling and disposal]

4. Manuscripts reporting nucleotide sequences or amino acid sequences should make them available for public access through GenBank Data Libraries, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), or other reputable databases, and documented in the Materials and Methods section with appropriate accession numbers. Examples of databases can be found in Zhulin, I.B. 2015, Databases for microbiologists, Journal of Bacteriology, 197: 2458-2467. https://doi.org/10.1128/JB.00330-15

Guidelines for the Preparation and Review of Research Papers on Fruit and Vegetable Products


Manuscripts resulting from original research on horticultural commodities, either fresh or processed, are potentially appropriate for publication in JFS provided these commodities are destined for use as human food, and the results presented have:

  1. a significant influence on sensory quality of the commodity, and/or
  2. a significant influence on processing, storage, or handling attributes of the commodity

Guidelines for the Preparation and Review of Health- and Nutrition-Related Papers

Materials and Methods

In addition to information on instruments, reagents, experimental methods/design, and statistical treatment of data, the following information should be provided:

  • In papers on essential nutrients or bioactive components, emphasis may be given to the properties of such nutrients in a food matrix. Examples include the effect of food matrix properties on the stability and bioavailability of dietary components as well as how processing treatments alter stability and bioavailability. 
  • In papers on health-related nonessential dietary components (e.g., bioactive phytochemicals, various forms of dietary fiber, lipids), results should be relevant to human nutrition. Results based on inedible raw materials are not likely to be relevant.
  • Animal models must have a demonstrated relevance to human nutrition.  The manuscript should contain a statement that the research was reviewed and approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) at the researcher's institution, or that the research complied with guidelines described in the "Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals" (Natl., Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA). The source and strain of the experimental animals must be provided, along with a justified and fully described composition of animal diets.  The proximate chemical composition of the testing diets after mixing is required.
    • Note: JFS does not require compliance with ARRIVE guidelines, but there is a question about compliance in the submission form. If the study does not comply with ARRIVE, mark “No” for the question and give a brief statement about IACUC approval. 
  • When human subjects are used, a statement must be included indicating that the research was reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of the researcher's institution or that it complied with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975 as revised in 2000.
  • When in vitro methods are used to predict nutritional processes in humans (e.g., bioavailability), their validity with respect to physiological relevance to humans (i.e., correlation with in vivo methods) must be documented.  
  • When cells and molecular methods are used, the manuscripts must contain sources/origins, identity/accessions of cells, genes, enzymes, and proteins. If cells are taken from humans, it must have information regarding human consent and protocol approved by the Institutional Review Board.

Papers on nutritional toxicology are appropriate for publication in JFS, provided they have relevance to humans.

Subject matter that is usually inappropriate for publication in JFS:

  • Animal studies that do not adequately model effects in humans. High doses of bioactive compounds that are considered pharmacological and not achievable by regular food consumption.
  • Studies on the nutritional/health promoting properties of substances that are not typically consumed and are not likely to be consumed by humans. Studies of traditional materials that are used for both foods and traditional medicines may be considered. However, the emphasis should be on prevention or enhancing health not on treating diseases.
  • Studies on basic biochemical functions of nutrients in animals or humans.
  • In addition, authors should carefully consider the following aspects in research design and preparation of the manuscript.
    • a clear justification for advancing science or technology;
    • a clear description of the source (for examples, cultivars of plant or species of animal used) and post-harvest handling history of the raw materials used for the specific study;
    • the use of proper positive and negative controls in nutritional/health experiments;
    • experiments to test for nutritional/health effect must use a multiple dose-response design, not merely single dose study;
    • the dietary composition/concentration range studied must be reasonable so that the effect can be achieved through the normal consumption of the foods by humans;
    • inclusion of experiments/explanations to understand the mechanisms of the health effects; and
    • if extracts/concentrates/compounds are studied, the isolation procedures and mass yield data must be included, and an explanation of the applications in foods and their potential effect on food quality traits must be presented.

Guidelines for the Preparation and Review of Seafood Technology-Related Papers

Materials and Methods

In addition to information on equipment/instrumentation, reagents, experimental methods/design, and statistical treatment of data, the following information should be provided: 

  • Species studied [common name (local name), market name (from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration list), genus and species (if recently changed, then also give previous name (e.g., Salmo gairdneri to Onchorhkynchus mykiss for rainbow trout to steelhead) 
  • Harvesting information [location, time of year, catching equipment (if known), how killed, where bled and gutted, physical condition of fish (feeding or spawning, fat or starved), size of fish (weight and length) 
  • Approximate age of fish [year class, time since caught, source (if commercial), how transported to laboratory] 
    Storage conditions (e.g., in ice in 0-2°C cooler, in ice in 2-4°C cooler) 
  • Processing history (At what stage were fish gutted? Was the belly fully cleaned, e.g., was the swim bladder removed? Were the kidney tissue and black lining of the belly flaps removed? Provide other aspects of processing history in sufficient detail so readers are informed of all procedures that might influence the results) 
  • Additional information for cultured fish [diet composition, water temperature and oxygen content, whether fed or fasted before harvest, water circulating system (single pass or re-circulating), how slaughtered, list drugs if used, list other husbandry issues that might affect the quality of the fish] 
  • Portion of fish sampled 
  • Additional information that might be important [fillet characteristics (boneless? skinless? matched fillets? extent of trimming? thickness of steaks and whether they were taken in front of or behind the anus); temperature fluctuation in the storage unit; purity of salt, if used; microbial assessment details; packaging materials and methods] 

Guidelines for the Preparation and Review of Papers Reporting Sensory Evaluation Data

Updated April 2022

The Sensory and Consumer Sciences section of JFS publishes innovative, basic and applied research related to human sensory perceptions and the assessment of food products and ingredients. Researchers considering submitting manuscripts or initiating research with the intent of submitting to this section should first determine if the topic of their study fits within the scope of the Sensory and Consumer Sciences section.  

In any study involving human beings, evidence must be provided that it was performed with the approval of the local ethics committee/IRB. Subjects must also provide informed consent.

Authors are encouraged to consult the Society of Sensory Professionals website for general guidance on the design, execution, analysis and reporting of sensory data. This is especially relevant when standardized methods (e.g., difference tests, descriptive analysis) are being employed.


Additional resources include:

Sensory Evaluation Standards, American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM)

Standards Catalog (67.240 - Sensory analysis), International Organization of Standardization (ISO) https://www.iso.org/ics/67.240/x/

The manuscript should provide sufficient experimental details to enable editors and reviewers to evaluate the validity of the findings and for other researchers to replicate the experiments. This requirement applies to all manuscripts whether standardized tests or novel and innovative methodologies are used.