CHICAGO – March 5, 2024 – The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), a nonprofit scientific organization with global members spanning academia, government, and industry, is pleased to announce that registration is now open for IFT FIRST: Annual Event and Expo, which is being held July 14-17, 2024, at McCormick Place in Chicago. The theme of this year’s IFT FIRST is Collaboration + Innovation: How Can Food Science and Technology Transform the Food System?

IFT FIRST (Food Improved by Research, Science, and Technology) includes 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. The three-day expo hall experience features a blend of leading U.S. and international companies exhibiting their latest food innovations and, in some cases, offering samples and explaining the science behind each bite on the Taste of Science stage.

The IFT FIRST expo was recently recognized by Trade Show Executive as one of its “Fastest 50” for exhibitor growth and last year was part of TSE’s Gold 100 Class of 2022. Winners were selected based on net square feet of paid exhibit space.

“IFT FIRST has a well-earned reputation for being the one event the science of food community simply can’t afford to miss. For many attendees, this is the only event they attend every year, and for good reason. From dynamic cutting-edge scientific programming and high-value networking opportunities to the world’s top showcase of science of food innovation – the expo floor – IFT FIRST is where the food-science community unites to address our biggest food challenges,” said IFT CEO Christie Tarantino-Dean.

More than 17,000 attendees from around the world will also have the opportunity to experience 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. Featured sessions will focus on key topics such as food is medicine and AI in food, while keynote speakers will include Jim Jones, Deputy Commissioner for Human Foods at the Food and Drug Administration, and Bernhard van Lengerich, founder of the Seeding The Future Foundation.

Returning once again this year will be the popular Startup Pavilion, which features up to 100 food and food-tech startups in all stages of funding. More than half of last year’s attendees visited the Startup Pavilion as well as The Pitch, a multi-round rapid-paced pitch competition offering $15,000 in prizes courtesy of the Seeding The Future Foundation. The Innovation Lab, an interactive product development experience where participants are challenged with creating a new product based on a consumer need, will also be returning. This year’s event will also feature the return of one of the most talked-about additions to IFT FIRST last year – the Braindate Lounge. The unique peer-to-peer learning and networking experience connects problem-solvers and like-minded food professionals in a fun, casual environment that allows attendees to engage in meaningful conversations while expanding their networks.

Register for IFT FIRST and receive an early bird discount.

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 ift.org.

Media Contact

Dennis Van Milligen
Director, Public and Media Relations
Institute of Food Technologists
630-853-3022
[email protected]

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