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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.

In this white paper, the Institute of Food Technologists examines public and private funding trends, as well as the economic contribution of food, and highlights disproportional funding for food research relative to its contribution to the U.S. economy, concluding that food research in the United States is chronically underfunded perpetuating potential risk in public health, food safety, and food security while eroding the U.S talent pipeline and global competitiveness.

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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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