NEW ORLEANS — Feed your network, your business, your science and your curiosity. Together these actions can “Feed Your Future,” the theme of the Institute of Food Technologists’ annual meeting. Scheduled for June 2-5 in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, IFT19 will bring together food professionals from around the world to discuss solutions and innovations for the industry.
“‘Feed Your Future’ underscores the importance of professional development and collaborative thinking to help advance the science of food and solve the world’s evolving global food challenges,” said Kelly Fox, senior vice-president of meetings, learning and business partnerships, I.F.T. “Now, more than ever, food professionals need access to the most up-to-date science, research, insights and product development solutions to further their expertise and expand their creativity.”
IFT19 incorporates more than 100 scientific sessions and 600 research poster presentations in addition to its featured sessions. First in this featured lineup is world-renowned researcher, activist and best-selling author Temple Grandin. Ms. Grandin’s talk, called Harnessing the Power of Difference, will cover the importance of individuality and how diversity can help companies become innovative and trendsetting leaders.
The second featured session, Emerging Data Tools and Predicting Future Trends in the Food Industry, will be a panel moderated by Peggy Smedley, futurist and executive editor of Connected World magazine. The individuals on the panel create a variety of insights into food trends and the digital transformation of the food industry.
“It’s not enough to know which consumer trends are impacting the food industry today,” Ms. Fox said. “You need to know what trends are coming that haven’t bubbled to the surface of the marketplace yet.”
Back for its second year, the IFTNEXT Food Disruption Challenge Live Pitch Competition acts as the third featured session and puts six food entrepreneurial finalists in front of a panel of judges to compete for a $25,000 cash prize. Attendees also can select a People’s Choice Award recipient, who will receive $5,000.
“The energy was intense throughout the competition as each applicant shared their unique product to the panel of judges and the audience,” Ms. Fox said. “This year’s competition is at a great start with the first-round applicant pool increasing in numbers as well as countries represented.”
IFTNEXT Start-Up Alley also returns to provide attendees a chance to meet entrepreneurs developing cutting-edge products and solutions. New at IFT19, Scientific Deep Dive Days includes in-depth discussions on the gut microbiome’s part in nutrition and the advances in gene-related techniques for less food waste. I.F.T. also expanded its IFTNEXT program to include a virtual reality experience, which gives companies the opportunity to learn how to use the technology for food sensory evaluation.
“We are truly excited about being able to offer such a comprehensive learning, networking and discovery experience,” Ms. Fox said. “It should be our best year yet.”
Attendees can register for IFT19 until the final day of the event. Early registration ends April 19, and advance registration hotel discounts end May 6.