Registration is now open for IFT18, A Matter of Science + Food, hosted by the Institute of Food Technologists. The show, July 15-18 at Chicago's McCormick Place, will welcome food science and technology thought leaders and decision makers from more than 90 countries, representing prominent organizations in the global food sector.
This year's theme, combining science and food, sets the tone for a scientific program that will highlight the latest research, innovative solutions and groundbreaking thinking by academics and industry professionals. The conference program includes more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific sessions and 11 intensive short courses, including "Launching a Food and Beverage Business," led by food incubator The Hatchery. "Improvise This: The Power of Collaboration," will be led by Chicago's Second City Works.
IFT18 will also feature its largest exhibit hall ever, including more than 1,000 global exhibitors showcasing the latest products and innovations in food science and technology. Last year, the annual event obtained an IAEE (International Association of Exhibitions and Events) Certified Exhibition rating, a designation that recognizes ethical practices and customer service standards.
Featured sessions at IFT18 include:
- The culmination of the inaugural IFTNEXT Food Disruption Challenge, a competition designed to help emerging and investment-ready science of food and technology companies gain visibility and make strategic connections. The event will feature six start-ups competing for the Future Food Disruptors of the Year $25,000 cash prize in front of a panel of distinguished judges representing different sectors of the food and beverage industry. There will also be a presentation moderated by Daymond John of ABC's Shark Tank. Audience members at the featured session will be able to cast their vote for a $5,000 People's Choice award.
- Tamar Haspel, a Washington Post columnist, will moderate a panel discussion called The Clash Behind Consumer Demands and Responsible Foods. Panelists will explore the impacts and challenges food companies face when well-intentioned customer demands are in direct conflict with their eco-friendly, healthy and sustainable intent.
- Dennis Dimick, executive editor of National Geographic Magazine, will present The Human Age: Confronting the Innovation Conundrum, a compilation of his environmental photographs exploring the impact of human ingenuity and the earth's ability to sustain it.
Food professionals can register online to attend IFT18 at iftevent.org. Discounts on registration and hotel rates are available for registration by June 1. IFT non-members can join when they register and save up to 40 percent off the cost of registration.