CHICAGO – April 23, 2024 – The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), a nonprofit scientific organization with global members spanning academia, government, and industry, has unveiled its pre-event educational workshops that will officially kick-off IFT FIRST: Expo and Event, which is being held July 14-17, 2024, at McCormick Place in Chicago. The workshops, formerly known as short courses, will be held July 13-14 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

Registrants will receive workshop materials and a workshop certificate worth 14 credit hours. A complimentary Happy Hour and Networking Event for all registered workshop attendees will be held at the conclusion of day one (July 13).

“The pre-event workshops were created to provide the science of food community with the resources and skills to advance their career as well as provide them with the tools and knowledge to help them in the workplace,” said IFT CEO Christie Tarantino-Dean. “Attendees not only get to learn from top subject-matter experts sharing their cutting-edge research insights while also participating in hands-on practical sessions, but they also have the unique opportunity to network with other workshop attendees to foster the collaboration that helps drive innovation, aligning with this year’s theme.”

Here is a summary of this year’s pre-event workshops:

A Simplified Approach to Shelf-Life of Intermediate and Low Moisture Foods

Many companies face challenges correctly identifying a product’s best-by date, often resulting in food waste. Shelf-life testing can be difficult as well as a resource drain, causing many companies to delay or avoid attempts at measuring shelf-life. During this workshop, instructors will introduce the Shelf-Life Simplified Paradigm, provide examples of how to set up an accelerated shelf-life study, and provide instruction on how water activity controls microbial spoilage as well as how to prevent and model moisture migration. Presenters will be Brady Carter, Senior Scientist, Carter Scientific Solutions; Lisa Mauer, Professor and Associate Vice Provost, Purdue University; and Michelle Richardson, Senior Food Scientist, Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center.

Certified Food Scientist (CFS) Preparatory Workshop

This optional workshop is designed to help people considering or preparing to take the Certified Food Scientist exam to earn the CFS credential. A crash course in all eight content areas (sensory evaluation and consumer testing, food microbiology, food safety, food engineering, food chemistry and food analysis, quality assurance and quality control, regulatory, and product development), the workshop unites experts from academia and industry to address key topics and concepts in their respective areas.

Presenters include Amy Lammert, Associate Professor, California Polytechnic State University; John Budin, Vice President, Product Safety and Quality, FONA International; Judy Lindsey, R&D Director, Sara Lee Frozen Bakery; Kathiravan Krishnamurthy, Assistant Professor, Illinois Institute of Technology; and Matthew Thomas Taylor, Associate Professor, Texas A&M University.

Food Science for the Non-Food Scientist

Participants will learn the basic principles of food science in one of IFT’s most popular workshops. Learners will enhance their understanding of the role of food science in the development of food products, as well as gain a better understanding of the importance of food safety, basic regulatory issues, and food science trends. Gordon Smith, retired Kansas State University professor; Marie Wright, President, Creation, Design & Development and Chief Global Flavorist, ADM; Kantha Shelke, Principal, Corvus Blue LLC; and Elizabeth Suter, Director, Sensory Spectrum will serve as presenters.

Exploring Artificial Intelligence for Next-Level Food Innovation

This interactive workshop will provide the science of food community with a deep understanding of artificial intelligence through hands-on exercises, industry use cases, and insights from AI thought leaders. In partnership with Sidecar, this workshop offers a real-world experience of AI applications, allowing participants to see the immediate value of integrating such technology into their daily routines. Presenters will be Thomas Altman and Dray McFarlane, Co-founders, Tasio.

Understanding GRAS and Product Development

This workshop will help product developers and regulatory professionals unravel the complexities of GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) determinations and the notifications process. The immersive experience will walk attendees through the nuances surrounding GRAS determinations and provide a profound understanding of its pivotal role in the food ingredient innovation process. Presenters will include Kaiping Deng, Regulatory Review Scientist/Microbiology Reviewer, Food and Drug Administration/Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition; and Steven Gendel, Principal, Gendel Food Safety LLC.

At IFT FIRST, more than 17,000 attendees from around the world will have the opportunity to experience the largest global food science and innovation expo with more than 1,000 exhibitors offering the latest in ingredients, food and food tech trends, food tastings, and exposure to global innovations in food. Another key highlight will be the more than 100 Science FIRST sessions and multi-disciplinary discussions focused on groundbreaking scientific research and solutions in novel technology and innovation, health and nutrition, sustainability and climate, food safety, and consumer insights.

Earlier this month, IFT revealed its keynote speakers and scientific session presenters for this year’s event.

Learn more about IFT FIRST. To register for the event, go to IFT FIRST Registration.

IFT members receive a healthy discount to the event. In addition to a discount to IFT FIRST, members can take advantage of networking, education, and advocacy opportunities year-round. This includes connecting with the food-science community through Member Resource Groups, Interest Groups (Divisions), and Regional Sections; participating in educational sessions; and staying up to date with Food Technology, the leading media resource addressing all facets of food science and technology. For more information on how to get engaged, email [email protected].

About Institute of Food Technologists

The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) is a global organization of over 11,000 individual members from more than 100 countries committed to advancing the science of food. Since 1939, IFT has brought together the brightest minds in food science, technology and related professions from academia, government, and industry to solve the world’s greatest food challenges. IFT works to ensure that its members have the resources they need to learn, grow, and innovate to advance the science of food as the population and the world evolve. IFT believes that science and innovation is essential to ensuring a global food supply that is sustainable, safe, nutritious, and accessible to all. For more information, please visit

Media Contact

Dennis Van Milligen
Director, Public and Media Relations
Institute of Food Technologists
[email protected]

More IFT Press Releases

UNSW Sydney’s Cordelia Selomulya Named 2024 IFT Fellow, One of the Highest Honors in the Science of Food Community

The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), is pleased to announce that Cordelia Selomulya, PhD, Associate Dean (Research) at the Faculty of Engineering, University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney, has been selected as a 2024 IFT Fellow, one of the highest honors bestowed upon a member of the science of food community.

Top College Bowl Teams to Test Food Knowledge in Exciting Trivia-Based Competition at IFT FIRST

The Institute of Food Technologists Student Association (IFTSA) is proud to announce the College Bowl team trivia regional champions who will compete to be champion at IFT FIRST: Annual Event and Expo.

Eurofins Scientific’s Darryl Sullivan Named 2024 IFT Fellow, One of the Highest Honors in the Science of Food Community

The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) is pleased to announce that Darryl Sullivan, Chief Science Officer for Eurofins Scientific, has been selected as a 2024 IFT Fellow, one of the highest honors bestowed upon a member of the science of food community.

University of Maryland’s Catherine (Chengchu) Liu Named 2024 IFT Fellow, One of the Highest Honors in the Science of Food Community

The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) is pleased to announce that Catherine (Chengchu) Liu, PhD, has been selected as a 2024 IFT Fellow – one of the highest honors bestowed upon a member of the science of food community.

IFT’s Feeding Tomorrow Fund and PepsiCo Select University of Pretoria, South Africa’s Josiah Muriuki for Inaugural Hybrid Travel-Study Scholarship

IFT’s Feeding Tomorrow Fund and PepsiCo have selected Josiah Muriuki from the University of Pretoria, South Africa as the winner of the joint Academic and Travel Undergraduate Hybrid Scholarship.

Latest News

Experts to U.S. Senate: 'Food is Medicine' Boosts Health, Economy

The U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions heard testimony from four experts on how “food is medicine” programs can improve national health, reduce healthcare costs, and energize local food systems.

Creating a Culture of Female Food Heroes

Nutritionist and ‘silo smasher’ Tambra Raye Stevenson works on the front lines of food advocacy, promoting food as a healing agent for change.

Seeing Kelp

Matt Haight, culinary and quality manager for Atlantic Sea Farms, discusses the delicate flavor and nutritional properties of kelp and the company’s mission to help Maine’s lobster farmers and the local waters against a changing climate.

Unlocking the Potential of Food as Medicine

Beatrice A. Abiero shares how Instacart Health is working to use its technology and partnerships to scale food as medicine initiatives.

Latest IFT Podcasts

EP 35: Global Food System Challenge, Business Skills in Food Science Curricula, Feeding the Food Science Talent Pipeline

The May episodes of Omnivore feature not-to-be-missed expert commentary on the latest food system innovations, challenges, and cutting-edge science.

EP 25: The EPA’s Recipe for Food Sustainability

In this episode, we explore the collaborative efforts from the EPA, USDA, and FDA in formulating a national strategy to halve food loss and waste by 2030.

EP 34: Food Systems Changemaker, Additive Bans Conundrum, Battling Biofilms

Get the latest expert insights into the world of food science and technology in the April 2024 episodes of the Omnivore podcast, brought to you from Food Technology magazine.

EP 32: Hurdling FSMA 204 Challenges, Tufts Cultured Meat Research, Australia Innovation Hotspot

Get fast-tracked into the world of the science of food with the March 2024 episodes of IFT’s Omnivore podcast.

EP 31: Alternative Snacks, Understanding Sensory Science, A Positive Approach to Food Science

Get fast-tracked into the world of the science of food with the March 2024 episodes of IFT’s Omnivore podcast.