JFS Aim and Scope

IFT is dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of professional ethics, accuracy, and quality in all matters related to handling manuscripts and reporting scientific information.

Mission Statement

The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) publishes peer-reviewed scientific journals to provide subscribers with high-quality scientific information in the area of food science and technology. The Journal of Food Science (JFS), available with subscription online and/or in print, provides results of original research and short interpretive reviews on the physical, chemical, and biological aspects of food science and technology. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety (CRFSFS), available online only, free to access, provides in-depth interpretive reviews in these same areas, and in risk analysis. The Journal of Food Science Education (JFSE), available online only, free to access, provides information relevant to those involved in food science education at all levels.

Aim and Scope 

The aim of the Journal of Food Science is to offer scientists an international forum to publish research at the forefront of food science. The Journal of Food Science publishes peer-reviewed articles that cover all aspects of food science, including the interface between production, agriculture, and food, as well as how food science influences health and nutrition. In all cases, the key findings in multidisciplinary articles must address some aspect of the science of food.  

Manuscripts may be judged unacceptable due to low impact of the findings or inappropriate technical aspects. Manuscripts with experimental designs that are a simple comparison among treatments, without demonstrating mechanistic advances to the science beyond treatment effects, may be returned without review. To be acceptable, a manuscript, in addition to being of high quality, must be considered important and relevant to advancing the science of food. Studies on traditional medicines or materials not identified as foods are outside the scope of this journal. Furthermore, manuscripts that cover a very narrow topic with only local interest will not be considered. 

Technical Requirements

  • Manuscript length for JFS original research topics should be no more than 7,500 words (including references but excluding tables and figures)
  • Concise Reviews and Hypotheses papers should be less than 10,000 words (including references but excluding tables and figures)
  • Manuscript text must be double-spaced with line numbering
  • Use APA Style
  • All authors’ contributions must be listed in an “Author Contributions” section at the end of the body text. Each author’s contribution must comply with the ICMJE criteria for authorship
  • Authors must disclose conflicts of interest in a "Conflicts of Interest" section at the end of the body text

See our full Author Guidelines (JFS, CRFSFS, and JFSE), manuscript template, and other authors resources

Submit to any of IFT’s journals online

JFS Topics

Authors are asked to suggest a topic area when submitting their manuscript. During review and revision, the significant findings are established, and this may change the most appropriate topic for listing of the published article.

Reviews cover all aspects of food science identified in the scope of JFS. Reviews should provide in-depth coverage of a narrowly defined topic and embody careful evaluation of all pertinent studies (weaknesses, strengths, and explanation of discrepancies in results among similar studies), so that insightful interpretations, potential future research needs, and conclusions can be presented. Hypothesis manuscripts are appropriate in pioneering areas of research or important areas that are impacted by scientific controversy.

This topic is reserved for groundbreaking articles that provide new and unique insights. Examples are manuscripts that provide a new understanding of a classical topic in food science, or those covering cutting edge areas of food science. Manuscripts acceptable for publication but not meeting the criteria of this topic will be transferred to the appropriate topic.

Food science is multidisciplinary by nature and manuscripts may provide comprehensive insight by measuring a range of properties. This topic covers manuscripts that address a specific subject, such as the science of gluten free products, using techniques that span other areas. Key findings are based on a combination of methods (for example, chemistry, sensory, and physical properties) rather than advancing one area of food science. The use of multivariate and other appropriate statistical analysis is recommended.

Basic and applied chemical research on food constituents to understand their contribution to food quality, safety, nutrition, and health. The constituents may include those that are naturally present (such as macro- and micro-nutrients, fibers, and phytochemicals) or added (such as additives, preservatives, and functional ingredients) to the food. Acceptable manuscripts must report focused chemical research (chemical reactions, chemical and instrumental analysis, processes, or interactions as related to food) to address a specific and compelling hypothesis or mechanism, or to establish or improve an analytical method. Manuscripts that merely report the chemical composition of food materials, lack in-depth analysis of the chemical nature, or provide no evidence of repeated (replicated) experiments and sound statistical data analysis, are not acceptable.

Original research in physical phenomena and engineering in food manufacturing (e.g., food processing, waste recovery, numerical modeling) and storage; materials science of food and the materials used to handle, process, and package foods (e.g., synthesis/characterization, relationships between processing and material properties); and, nanotechnology for food applications (e.g., nanoscale detection, nanostructural composition of foods, engineered nanoparticles, and hierarchically assembled nanostructures).

Original research on basic and applied aspects of foodborne pathogens and spoilage organisms; food fermentation and preservation; microbial growth and inactivation; and microbial detection methods. Efficacy of new processing technologies for achieving microbial inactivation; molecular basis for microbial inactivation and inhibition through genome sequencing and mapping; molecular technologies to assist in the rapid identification and discrimination of target pathogens; behavior of probiotic bacteria and starter cultures towards bacterial pathogens; microbiological criteria for foods for regulatory and food safety assurance; epidemiological surveillance of bacterial pathogens; novel chemicals, food components, or technologies which promote food safety by achieving microbial/viral/parasite inactivation or inhibition; and mathematical modeling to predict the behavior of pathogen/food interactions.

Innovative, basic, and applied research related to human sensory perceptions and the assessment of food products and ingredients that make novel scientific contributions to food science and technology. Topics may include studies on sensory perceptions and consumer acceptability and preference; modeling of consumer behavior; advances in sensory methodology; comparisons of sensory testing methods and statistical data analysis techniques; individual differences in sensory perceptions; and food assessment including the influence of environment, culture, and genetic factors. Innovative, cross-disciplinary studies focused on ingredient development, microbial safety, chemical composition, instrumental assessments (e.g., e-nose, e-tongue, GC analysis, texture analysis, etc.), packaging, processing, or nutrition (or any combination of these areas) that also include sensory measures are encouraged. Authors should review the Supplemental Instructions on ‘Guidelines for the Preparation of Manuscripts Reporting Sensory Data’ prior to submitting to determine if their study conforms to accepted practices in the discipline, including appropriate study design and statistical analysis, panel size, panelist training, and other features. Manuscripts that use well-established methodologies (such as trained panel evaluations and consumer tests) that do not meet minimum standards in the field will be rejected. The ‘Methods’ section of the manuscript must include a concise statement that the research was approved by an ethics committee and panelists provided their informed consent prior to participating in the study.

Original research that integrates food science and technology with applied personal and public health nutrition. Topics may include: studies on nutritional and health impacts of foods and food components using human subjects or appropriate animal or cell models; adaptation and application of technologies that enhance the content and/or biological availability of bioactive food components; studies involving structures and composition of pre- and pro-biotics and gut health; effects of postharvest handling, processing, and storage on the stability and biological activity of bioactive food components; preparation and analysis of functional foods; and methods development for analysis of bioactive food ingredients and their metabolites. Manuscripts will be rejected for the following reasons: 1. Study of non-food-based materials (e.g., materials to be used as medicines or drugs, and compound derivatives from chemical, biochemical, and/or other process). 2. A lack of or insufficient description of the source and characterization of the test materials, including chemical composition, and the identification and quantification of all individual bioactive components involved. 3. Very high dose concentration or single-dose response research designs without proper justification for such dose selection as appropriate for human food consumption. 4. Mechanistic nutritional studies that do not integrate food science into the study hypothesis (e.g., only characterize the physiological effects of a food, ingredient, or bioactive food component).

Original research papers on occurrence, safety and toxicological evaluation, detoxification, conditions of formation and destruction, analysis, regulatory control, and surveillance of natural and man-made chemical compounds in food including pesticide and veterinary drug residues, environmental contaminants, anti-nutritive compounds, natural toxins, mycotoxins, trace elements, migrants from food packaging, contaminants and toxic components formed during food processing, and food allergens; toxic effects, in animals or humans, of natural or man-made chemical compounds occurring in food and possible adverse health effects created by the interaction of components within the food matrix to scripted or over-the-counter medications or dietary supplements. Manuscripts that do not cover topics pertaining to the occurrence, analysis, formation, safety, or toxicological properties of natural and man-made chemical constituents or contaminants in food; lack research focus; or do not improve the current understanding of chemical food safety and toxicology are outside the scope. In addition, papers that do not demonstrate replication of experiments, lack adequate statistical analysis, and do not describe chemical characterization of test materials (particularly for papers dealing with the safety of botanicals and other ingredients), are not acceptable.