2016 IUFoST Annual Report
INTRODUCTION: IUFoST’s role as a both a catalyst and facilitator of collaborative approaches to food science and technology-related issues and education continued to grow in 2016. Positioning Food Science and Technology for future development includes communicating processing technologies, focusing students on the central role of food science and technology for development, influencing decision-makers, and strengthening the discipline. Under the pillars of Food Security, Food Safety, Food Policy, Education and Scientific Collaboration, opportunities for interaction with and between Adhering Bodies, other international organisations through ICSU, United Nations, industry and consumer organisations and member involvement were maximized with both existing and new IUFoST initiatives. As a result, the demand for IUFoST programmes and participation in policy-making on issues of global concern continued to increase. This Annual Report highlights these initiatives and includes a number of reports from 2016 that reflect their scope and diversity.
Adhering Bodies requested that IUFoST take the lead on their behalf in arranging a high-level meeting to bring food science and technology and its role in global food safety and security to the attention of government regulators, policy makers, and other stakeholders. In response, IUFoST held its Inaugural Global Food Summit in Dublin, Ireland, which led into the 18th World Congress of Food Science and Technology from August 22-25. International collaboration and cross-disciplinary responses to food safety and security issues featured prominently in both events, hosted by the Institute of Food Science and Technology of Ireland (IFSTI). The Global Food Summit convened stakeholders who can affect strategic change to policies worldwide to examine current and future practice with the aim of improving strategies towards a sustainable/waste-efficient food supply from third to first world.
The World Congress theme, Greening the Global Food Supply Chain through Innovation in Food Science and Technology, attracted delegates from all food science and technology disciplines from around the world and offered them access to over 250 scientific, industry and policy experts who shared their insights and experiences in key areas: innovation in food quality and processing; food supply chain and distribution systems; future foods; food sustainability; societal challenges in nutrition and health; local and global food safety and security; and hot topics in food science and the food industry. Delegates were offered a wide range of sessions, including a Food Industry Panel and an IUFoST Food Security Panel discussion on global food security, the role of technology and the need for international collaboration.
In addition, 30 new Fellows were welcomed into IAFoST and Dr. Daryl Lund received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his many accomplishments and contributions to food science and technology. Participation by students and young scientists through IUFoST competitions increased once again, and a new section of IAFoST welcomed its first cohort of Early Career Scientists. The World Food Congress programme was diverse and dynamic.
Interest in the new series of Food Safety Regulatory Workshops, which address the many challenges in expressing the science behind the issues and facts versus fiction, continues to grow. This programme represents a unique partnership opportunity for IUFoST and its Adhering Bodies and has been successfully undertaken in Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa, Argentina, Chile and Vietnam, with more workshops planned for 2017. Other highly successful collaborations include Regional Consultations related to progress of the Global Food Safety Curricula Initiative (GFSCI) and the IUFoST Curricula Recognition Programme, which has received increasing expressions of interest from institutions around the world. IUFoST works closely with its Adhering Bodies on each of these and other initiatives, many of which begin as a response to requests from them. This was the case for the Distance-Assisted Training Programme, which undertook a new workshop for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises on Quality Assurance in Myanmar.
As announced in 2016, IUFoST and the Beijing Technology and Business University have been invited to co-publish npj Science of Food in conjunction with Nature, the world’s most highly cited interdisciplinary science journal. This publication will provide a dynamic new venue for expanding food science research frontiers. Providing timely scientific information on current issues is a key element in fulfilling IUFoST’s role as the global scientific organisation representing more than 300,000 food scientists and technologists from over 75 countries. This was achieved through Scientific Information Bulletins and other publications and communications, including expansion of our presence on social media. The World Food Congress Distinguished Lecturer, Professor Michael Gibney, also exemplified this in his presentation to delegates by challenging the link between the controversial concept of ultra-processed food and nutrition-related medical conditions, setting the tone for the diverse and cutting-edge programme that followed. IUFoST followed up with a widely released statement around the views of the Distinguished Lecturer and expert opinion provided by IUFoST scientists at numerous events from September through December 2016. This response was noted with particular appreciation by ALACCTA (IUFoST Regional Group for Central and South America), where the issue is of particular concern.
IUFoST welcomes and appreciates input and requests from Adhering Bodies and the participation of their members, who share their time and expertise generously on behalf of IUFoST around the world. The success of IUFoST’s existing and new programmes and increasing requests for IUFoST’s participation in the activities of other organisations and agencies dedicated to global food safety and security in 2016 position IUFoST well in moving forward in 2017.
Read the Complete 2016 IUFoST Annual Report