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Scientific and Technical Resources

As the authoritative voice on the science of food, the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) produces scientific and technical resources on food and nutrition-related issues and topics of interest to IFT members, other scientific constituencies, government officials, the news media and the public. These resources are intended to help inform public dialogue and facilitate science-based outcomes.

This Special Supplement to IFT’s Journal of Food Science addresses traceability in seafood, implementation of interoperable traceability technology, and experiences in other sectors. The supplement was funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and results from a collaboration among FishWise, Future of Fish, World Wildlife Fund, and the IFT Global Food Traceability Center.

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This report from IFT’s Global Food Traceability Center outlines results of a study exploring the impact of traceability on improving seafood industry business performance, including reducing waste, and enhancing consumer trust. Traceability practices and systems of 48 seafood businesses were assessed in an evaluation of 9 global seafood value chains.

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Intended for regulatory agencies and the food industry, the guidance applies the Critical Tracking Events – Key Data Elements (CTE–KDE) framework to 6 food sectors: bakery, dairy, meat and poultry, processed foods, produce, and seafood. An analysis across these sectors determines broader applicability to other foods. The guidance is intended to serve as a step toward consistent baseline requirements for food traceability.

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This resource examines the food traceability regulations of 21 Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development countries with attention to whether these regulations are comprehensive for all food commodities and processed foods.

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This article addresses the issue of food product date labeling and its history in the United States, the varying terms and practices used, U.S. and international frameworks, quality compared with safety, adverse impacts of misconceptions about date labeling, and advantages of technological innovations. The authors called for collaboration to develop a simple workable solution to address the challenges faced by stakeholders; and they issued a 4-part call to action to: establish date labeling uniformity, educate consumers, reexamine regulatory enforcement, and conduct more research on indicator technologies.

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This IFT Scientific Status Summary outlines the challenges and complexities of the issue from the perspectives of four experts in the field.

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This IFT Scientific Review provides a historical look at the food system, the many challenges ahead, and the crucial role of food science and technology in meeting the needs of the growing population. 

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When food safety managers detect an undesirable chemical contaminant or unanticipated chemical substance in a food commodity, ingredient, or finished product, they must quickly assess human health impact, often with limited scientific information. This IFT Expert Report delves into the legal U.S. underpinnings of the risk management of chemical substances in foods, international considerations, risk-benefit evaluation, importance of the food matrix to risks and benefits, risk assessment and management, and the need for a new approach to timely decision-making with limited scientific information. 

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This IFT Scientific Status Summary addresses transmissible spongiform encephalopathies and provides an authoritative perspective on the regulatory and trade landscape.

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This IFT Scientific Status Summary discusses the science surrounding this technology, including effectiveness, safety, regulatory approvals and research needs.

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This IFT Scientific Status Summary discusses the sources and incidence of human infection by foodborne parasites and their prevention, detection, and inactivation.

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Walnuts may benefit the gut microbiome

A study published in The Journal of Nutrition suggests that eating walnuts daily as part of a healthy diet may increase certain bacteria in the gut that can help promote health.

Gathered Foods secures $32 million in series B financing round

Gathered Foods, makers of Good Catch plant-based seafood products, announced the closing of a $32 million series B funding round, which includes two key industry investors: Greenleaf Foods and 301 INC, the venture arm of General Mills.

PepsiCo aims to achieve 100% renewable electricity in the U.S. this year

PepsiCo has announced plans to achieve 100% renewable electricity for its U.S. direct operations this year. The United States is the food and beverage company’s largest market and accounts for nearly half of its total global electricity consumption.

Aryzta names Tyson Yu CEO of North America

As a part of a planned organizational change, Aryzta has appointed Tyson Yu as CEO of Aryzta North America effective February 1, and as a member of the group executive committee, reporting to Kevin Toland, group CEO.

Drinking tea 3 times a week may protect against CVD, extend life

A study published in the European Journal of Preventive Care explores the associations of tea consumption with the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) and all-cause mortality in more than 100,000 Chinese adults.

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IFT’s Science and Policy Initiatives Team Predicts Top Food Trends of 2020

With a new year upon us, IFT’s Science and Policy Initiative team predicts 5 trends that will play a role in shaping the global food industry in 2020 and beyond.

A Quest for Connectedness

A deep desire to work toward greater connectedness intensifies urgency and commitment for IFT’s newly appointed Diversity and Inclusion leader.

A Closer Look at Plant-Based Milk Alternatives

The ever-growing selection of plant-based milk alternatives provides plenty of choice, but consumer preference comes down to taste, texture, and nutritional profile.

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New coating gives foodborne pathogens the slip

A nonstick wrap that repels bacteria has potentially valuable food packaging applications, according to the researchers at McMaster University in Canada who developed it.

Developing alternatives to the ‘other white meat’

With concerns over contaminated seafood and the environmental cost of beef production, it is no wonder that startups are popping up with a slew of alternatives. However, until recently, innovation in the pork alternatives segment has lagged.

An avocado a day may keep LDL away

Keeping ‘bad cholesterol’ at bay may be as simple as consuming one avocado a day, according to the results of research conducted by scientists at Pennsylvania State University.