IUFoST Terms of Reference

The International Union of Food Science and Technology Inc. (IUFoST) is an international, non-governmental and non-profit scientific association of national organisations (termed Adhering Bodies), one from each member country, each one representative of food scientists and food technologists in that country. It is the global body for international food science and technology.

IUFoST History

Establishing an international organization of food scientists and technologists dedicated to the nutritional needs of the world’s people was informally discussed during the First International Congress of Food Science and Technology in 1962. President of the Congress was Lord Rank, a flour miller among other things, and in his presidential message he said: “If the potentialities of … food science and technology are to … culminate in the peoples of the world receiving a sufficiency of food that is … appealing and nutritionally adequate, then there must be international collaboration.” From this Congress emerged an International Committee of Food Science and Technology. The work of this committee culminated in the inauguration of IUFoST during the Third International Congress of Food Science and Technology in 1970.

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IUFoST Mission

To promote international co-operation and information exchange, to provide education and training to food scientists, food technologists and food engineers around the world and to promote professionalism and professional organisation among food scientists, food technologists and food engineers.

To strengthen global food science and technology for humanity.

IUFoST Objectives

  1. The objectives of the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST) are the encouragement and fostering of
  • international co-operation and exchange of (scientific and technological knowledge and ideas among food scientists and technologists, advise and consult with international organisations such as The International Council for Science (ICSU) of which IUFoST is a member Union, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the World Health Organisation (WHO), the United Nations International Development Organisation (UNIDO) and other organisations of similar nature in the area of food science and technology.
  • further development of and support for food science and technology research;
  • progress in the fields of theoretical and applied food science for improvements in the processing, manufacturing, preservation, and distribution of food;
  • education and training of food scientists and technologists;
  • development of both individual professionalism and professional organisation among food scientists and technologists; and
  • co-operation with other international organisations whose discipline could have an influence on food science and food technology, e.g. water, soil, nutrition and chemistry.
  1. Objectives specifically as approved by the General Assembly Delegates to the XVth World Congress of Food Science and Technology, held in Cape Town, South Africa, 2010, as recorded in the Cape Town Declaration:

“We, the delegates to the 13th General Assembly of the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST) held in Cape Town on August 26th 2010, recognise the valuable efforts already made by IUFoST to promote and set objectives and standards for our profession, and we call on IUFoST to further strengthen our efforts by means of the following principles while continuing to monitor and report on the outcomes.

We recognise that access to nutritionally adequate and safe food is the right of each individual. Accordingly we re-affirm the commitment made in our Budapest Declaration (1995) in which we recognised the indispensable role of food science and technology and undertook to apply it in seeking to ensure the world-wide year-round availability of the quantity and variety of safe and wholesome foods necessary to meet the nutritional and health needs of the world’s growing population.

Of particular importance are:

  • Promotion of the safety and quality of all foods;
  • Reduction of physical and nutritional losses in the food value chain;
  • Adaptation and improvement of traditional foods and processes, while respecting the traditional, ethical, cultural and religious aspects involved;
  • Beneficial application of science and technology;
  • Development and dissemination of improved knowledge of food composition;
  • Facilitation of domestic and international food trade;
  • Development of food materials with improved functionality;
  • More efficient and environmentally sustainable food production, processing and packaging;
  • Education in nutrition, food science and technology at all levels.

We recognise that there are many factors currently contributing to or aggravating food and nutrition insecurity: poverty, poor health, natural disasters, poor soil, water shortages, use of food crops for biofuel, political and economic factors, wars, corrupt or inefficient governments, and the global economic crisis. Moreover, in decades to come, with the expected substantial increase in the world population (9.1 billion by 2050), mostly in the poorest and least developed countries, coupled with the possible effects of climate change, the demand for food, water and energy will greatly increase. Thus, combating food insecurity must address both the present and growing future problems. Many of the foregoing factors are beyond the ability of food science and technology to control, or its expertise to ameliorate. We accept that the problem of food insecurity has huge political and economic dimensions and will not be solved by food science and technology alone nor even by science alone; but it will certainly not be solved without the contribution of science and of food science and technology.

We reaffirm our commitment to seek to ensure food safety and in particular protection from chemical or microbiological contamination, both by applying existing food science and technology knowledge and by gaining improved knowledge through research.

We reaffirm our continuing responsibility for promoting food science and technology education and training at all levels and through all appropriate means

  • For the present and future generation of food scientists and technologists;
  • For those involved in food production, whether urban or village, at all stages of the processes of sourcing, manufacture and distribution;
  • By engaging with the general public, to help them understand and welcome the benefits resulting from the application of food science and technology
  • For policy makers to assist them in taking science-based decisions.

We reaffirm the need for ongoing active collaboration and exchange of information with other bodies, including governments, multilateral, bilateral and non-governmental organisations, academic bodies, research institutions, the private sector, communities and individuals, but particularly those of the sciences contributing to or related to the multi-disciplinary subject which is food science.

We recognise our continuing responsibility to promote and encourage professionalism, transparency, professional competence and professional integrity among all food scientists and technologists.

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IUFoST Structure

The General Assembly develops IUFoST policies and actions. Each member nation is allocated a number of voting delegates to the General Assembly on the basis of its organisation’s national membership (from 1 – 3). The Governing Council has the power to admit an adhering body to non-voting membership without fee. The General Assembly holds regular meetings coinciding with the international congresses of food science and technology sponsored by the Union.

The Governing Council executes the policies of the General Assembly. The Governing Council is elected by the General Assembly to direct the affairs of the Union and to work in the best interests of international food science and technology through IUFoST, not an individual adhering body. The Governing Council consists of the Board and 6 regular members and the Academy President.

The Board implements strategies and actions to achieve the objectives set by the Governing Council. The Board consists of the President, Past President, President Elect, Scientific Council Chair and Secretary-General.

The Scientific Council’s responsibilities include oversight of the scientific standard and integrity of IUFoST activities, approval of publicly released scientific matters, and the content of learned statements on scientific matters. It is also responsible for recommendations to the Secretary-General with advice from appropriate members of the Academy, chairs and members of Center Working Groups and scientific commissions, to carry out specific tasks such as preparation of position papers and offering of expert advice. The Scientific Council has no role in the Union’s financial affairs.

The International Academy of Food Science and Technology (IAFoST) is an elected group of distinguished food scientists and technologists who serve as Fellows of the Academy. IUFoST established the Academy as one organ to accomplish its mission. Academy Fellows represent no organization, and serve as independent persons. The Academy collectively forms a pool of scientific expertise from which the Union may draw non-aligned expert advice on scientific matters.

IUFoST Members (voting and non voting)

IUFoST is tasked with facilitating cooperation across Adhering Bodies and speaking as the world voice of food science and technology. As differentiated from Adhering Bodies, IUFoST aims to achieve broad global goals that benefit society at large through food science and technology. IUFoST fulfills this role through facilitating cooperation between its Adhering Bodies on a bi-lateral basis, assisting its regional groupings and using opportunities to link with other disciplinary groupings of special interest to the field.

Adhering Bodies (voting): IUFoST is open to all countries. Membership consists of one representative body, termed an “Adhering Body,” from each country. The term ‘country’ refers to food scientists and technologists representing a defined geographical area (or areas), which has an independent budget for scientific purposes. This is only one Adhering Body representing each such area or scientific community. Each Adhering Body exercises votes from 1 – 3 in proportional representation of its national membership. The Adhering Body will be listed under a name that will avoid any misunderstanding about the territory represented. An Adhering Body is one of the following:

  1. a national food science and/or food technology society, institute, or similar group composed of food scientists and/or food engineers, and/or food technologists,
  2. an academy of sciences, a national research council, or a similar organisation of scientists,
  3. an inter-society committee, or similar group, representing two or more societies composed of food scientists, and/or food engineers, and/or food technologists,
  4. a national committee representing food scientists and/or food engineers, and/or food technologists of that country or a government named group working in the field of food science and food technology.

IUFoST’s Adhering Bodies agree that IUFoST and its regional groups are the instrument of choice for activities beyond their own borders, other than bilateral arrangements with another Adhering Body or where other bilateral arrangements or regional groupings already exist.

Governing Council (voting): The members of the Governing Council act and vote in the best interest of the international community through IUFoST and not on behalf of national interests.

Regional, Disciplinary and Student Groupings (non voting): The Formation of regional, disciplinary and student groupings within IUFoST is subject to ratification of their constitution by the General Assembly, and such ratification only occur if the proposed objectives are consistent with those of IUFoST. Regional, Disciplinary and student groupings may promulgate their own rules governing their membership.

Regional Groupings within the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST) form a pool of expert resource. The constituent bodies of a Regional Group make available regional food science and technology resources to the international community of food scientists and technologists through the global body of IUFoST. The objectives of these Regional Groups are those of the Union. The IUFoST General Assembly charters the Regional Group and gives it the special status of IUFoST Regional Group for the geographical area.

Regional Groupings of IUFoST (The European Federation of Food Science & Technology (EFFoST); The Federation of Institutes of Food Science & Technology of ASEAN (FIFSTA); North Africa and Middle Eastern Association of Food Science and Technology (MENAFoST); Western African Association of Food Science and Technology (WAAFoST); La Asociación Latinoamericana y del Caribe de Ciencia y Tecnología de Alimentos (ALACCTA) and such other regional groups as may be formed and approved by IUFoST from time to time) may be admitted to all activities open to the Adhering Bodies.

In accordance with IUFoST`s mission to strengthen the world community of Food Science and Technology, every effort is being made to integrate or closely cooperate with all groups active related to the discipline.  The Disciplinary and Special Interest Groups of the Union broaden IUFoST’s scientific base and increase IUFoST’s international impact as it is crucial to the profession and in the promotion of IUFoST’s mission for the global Food Science and Technology community to speak with a clear scientific voice on critical issues.

Disciplinary and Special Interest Groups of IUFoST to date:

International Society of Food Engineering (ISFE)

International Society of Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods (ISNFF)

International Society of Food Applications of Nanoscale Sciences (ISFANS)

International Food Research Collaboraiton (IFRC)

International Symposium on Properties of Water (ISOPOW)

Global Harmonisation Initiative (GHi)

Institutions and public/private enterprises (non voting) are admitted as Institutional Associates, and public/private associates respectively as approved by the Governing Council.

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IUFoST Activities       

  1. IUFoST pursues its Mission, Vision, and Objectives by means of, including but not limited to, international congresses, regional or world-wide conferences and symposia, co-operation with other international, governmental, and non-governmental scientific organisations, sponsorship of continuing professional education, technical assistance programs, publication and dissemination of scientific and technical information by means appropriate to the need, and provision of other services desired by those with whom IUFoST interacts.
  2. IUFoST maintains an Academy called The International Academy of Food Science and Technology (IAFoST) as one organ to accomplish its mission.
  3. IUFoST encourages productive bilateral arrangements between Adhering Bodies, and the formation of effective regional groups
  4. IUFoST publishes scientific journals, newsletters, Information Bulletins and/or proceedings of   congresses, symposia, or other types of meetings sponsored by it.
  5. IUFoST is a member of the International Council for Science (ICSU). It promotes and supports the objectives of ICSU in the area of Food Science and Technology. Relations and cooperation with other ICSU Unions and international bodies are encouraged, subject to ratification by the General Assembly.

Commissions, Expert Panels, Committees, Task Forces and Working Groups

Commissions, Committees, Working Groups, and Task Forces, each defined by a statement of tangible and measurable objectives are formed and maintained related to priorities of IUFoST.

  1. Commission: Global Visions for the role of Food Science and Technology to meet Societal and Technological Challenges

Foreword to Global Visions document: “An increasing world population is asking for more and more and even better lifestyle oriented food. Major players in this conflict area are agronomists who are supported in their efforts to scale up agricultural production by all types of specialists. They are quite rightly tackling the problem of increased yields from agriculture, but IUFoST recognises that a change in efficiency of conversion of agricultural products to food and feed is also vital. This is the role of Food Science and Technology. Appropriate post-harvest and processing methods including storage, distribution and retail sale are able to make optimal use of the harvested crops and animal produce and reduce losses along the food chain. This itself will require excellence in the science of food. It is however not sufficient to reduce the role of Food Science and Technology to purely providing sufficient and well balanced nutrition. Food production, processing and eating habits have had a strong impact on the development and formation of ethical and cultural standards, as well as social and political structures, not forgetting the impact of the whole food chain on environmental and climatic changes. It will be important to consider all these factors in the course of meeting the grand challenges of global food Security and Sustainability.

At the 16th IUFoST World Congress in Brazil, Fellows of the International Academy of Food Science and Technology (IAFoST) recognized that very little was known of how major countries are planning and structuring future developments within the domain of Food Science and Technology oriented research and training. This information is essential for the design of worldwide Food Science Curricula, research programs and international cooperation.

Based on the discussion in Brazil, Anne-Marie Hermansson, (Sweden) and Peter Lillford (UK) developed a strategy to compile the pertinent information, supported by a team of Academy Fellows’ information from a number of major countries.”

The Commission is ongoing as data is being added in depth and breadth across government, industry and academia to compile a clear and comprehensive picture of the state of the profession and its future role.

  1. Commission: ICSU’s Future Earth Research Initiative and IUFoST (IUFoST focus)
    (accomplished principally through involvement of IUFoST Past President, Governing Council Member and Fellow of the Academy working with the other Bio-Unions in ICSU and taking an active role in ICSU affairs)

Future Earth is a new ten-year international research initiative within the International Council of Science (ICSU – IUFoST is the global representative for food science and technology within ICSU) that will develop the knowledge required to respond effectively to the risks and opportunities of global environmental change and to support transformation towards global sustainability in the coming decades. Future Earth will mobilize thousands of scientists while strengthening partnerships with policy-makers and other stakeholders to provide sustainability options and solutions in the wake of Rio+20.”(Quote from ICSU website)

All three broad Future Earth research themes imply directly or indirectly topics related to Food Science and Technology: for example, the theme “Global Development” focuses directly on food related problems with its research program “CCAFS – Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security”. The program is led by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), a member of the CGIAR Consortium.

  1. Expert Panel and Committee: Food Safety

“With increasing liberalization of trade, human food products, animal feed, and Ingredients incorporated in to both, are being globally distributed. Often food products contain components from processors in numerous countries highlighting the need for harmonized and equivalent standards.

Food is only as safe as the standards of the weakest players in the food chain and no country is immune, pathogens and chemical contaminants do not respect national boundaries.” Patrick Wall, Co-Chair IUFoST Expert Panel on Food Safety, Food Safety Committee

The IUFoST International Expert Panel on Food Safety was formed in partnership with the Chinese Institute of Food Science and Technology (CIFST) to help to guide China towards best case practices related to standardization, consumer health and maintaining proper regulation along all levels of the supply chain. Recognising that the international exchange of ideas and collaboration on food safety issues is extremely important in addressing dramatic changes in the food safety management and inspection systems, this successful collaboration has been followed by additional meetings around the globe. See also the IUFoST Global Food Safety Curricula Initiative (under Education).

The Expert Panel on Food Safety is comprised of distinguished members from China, North America and Europe, representing global expertise from industry and research and development, government and academia.

IUFoST Food Safety Committee Co-Chairs  also  advise and act with IUFoST on emerging and current issues in the area of food safety from the national and regional perspective.

The Working Group on Fresh Produce is associated with the Food Safety Expert Panel and Food Safety Committee Committee Co-Chairs.

  1. Expert Panel on Food Security

One of the first activities of the newly established IUFoST International Expert Panel on Food Security included organizing the Sustainability and Food Security sessions at the 2014 IUFoST World Food Congress. The Panel is focused on a unifying concept formulated by Keating et al that brings together agronomy, food science, nutrition and food safety/biosecurity and helps to quantify their relevance to global food sustainability and security. The conceptual model describes how different pathways and potential technology solutions could offset the likely future demand for food, based on their previous model. Expressed in a manner similar to that used for global carbon demand, it uses wedges to convey the likely contribution or stabilisation of future demand through different technological approaches.  In brief, the Food Security Wedge concept includes three main types of stabilisation:a) reducing the demand trajectory; b) filling the production shortfall; and c) avoiding losses from the current production levels. Given the tremendous challenge that they represent, it is likely that all three of these main wedges or stabilisations will be required, as will a new level of international collaboration across the food chain to ensure its efficacy. The Working Groups on Aflatoxin Management and Food Waste work in conjunction with the Expert Panel.

  1. Expert Panel, Committee and Food Safety Curricula Initiative: Education

Major activity of the Education Committee has been focused on the mechanisms and procedures for granting the Recognition of Further and Higher Education courses in Food Science and Technology, following the request of the IUFoST regional grouping for South-East Asia, FIFSTA. This led to an established structure for applicant Institutions to make a written submission in advance, covering the course length, structure, how it followed IUFoST Curriculum Guidelines, details of Teaching and Research Faculty, pilot plant and laboratory facilities, student numbers, origins and entry qualifications, the involvement of an industrial advisory Board, and the success and careers of graduates. A site visit, with an IUFoST appointed panel of at least 2 members, minimum of 1 regional and 1 international representative, would then meet with faculty and students, with Advisory Board members, and graduates, as well as tour the facilities, offer constructive observations and feedback, with conclusion for immediate recognition, or suggestions on areas for modification or improvement for future possible IUFoST Recognition.

IUFoST has a textbook of Food Science and Technology, into its second edition and delivers many symposia and workshops related to education and training. As a result of IUFoST expertise in international food science and Technology education, the World Bank approached the Union to lead the Global Food Safety Curricula Initiative (GFSCI). The GFSCI initiative is carried out in conjunction with the Chair of the Education Committee and editor of the IUFoST textbook on FS&T Education, with an international expert council and industry advisory board and Food Safety International Expert Panel.

6.Young Scientists and Students Committee

The challenge is to engage young people for the future health of food science and technology. Facilitated through IUFoST, the Young Scientists are coming together to lead with examples of how they can participate in the international food science and technology community; how their role as ambassadors can encompass networking; and using social media to communicate food science to students in primary and secondary education and as activists to follow and lead activities within IUFoST.   Supporting these efforts, IUFoST has introduced mentorships, several important global competitions for students and graduates, as well as expanding the Young Scientist Congress programme and provides the platform for all young scientist related activities.

7.   Food Chemistry Committee

Food Chemistry is a science that interacts with many other disciplines that deal with food. It is closely connected with food technology, food safety, nutrition, microbiology, amongst others. As a consequence, “Food Chemistry” is an essential part of IUFoST. The rationale for founding a platform of “Food Chemistry” is to ensure that Food Chemistry becomes more fully visible within the big IUFoST family. The aim is to initiate international research projects, to improve the education in food chemistry and to identify topics for potential sessions in IUFoST world congresses.

  1. Food Engineering Coordination Group (independent)

While food engineering, and particularly higher-level qualifications in food engineering, has emerged as a discipline in its own right, its organisation at national, regional and world level has had a rather haphazard history. In order to harmonize the activities of the associated organisations in the area of Food Engineering such as ISFE, which is already a disciplinary group of IUFoST, IAEF, ISOPOW and others, it seems appropriate to encourage the establishment of a Food Engineering Coordination group. This group, besides integrating and coordinating the Food Engineering interests of its associated organisations, acts independently of any organisation as a competent partner in the complex discussions with the other International Engineering organisations.

  1. Religious, Ethnic and Ethical Foods Working Group

Religious, ethnic or ideologically-driven requirements for the production of food are nothing new – however the last few years have seen significant global movements in the market segments affected, the most important of which are organic products, vegetarian produce and kosher and halal-certified food.  Numerous scientific and practical issues appear in the development and production of appropriate foods that can be meaningfully discussed at an international level.

  1. Task Forces: Distance Education:

The Distance Education-Assisted Training Programme of IUFoST (DATP) created or adapted 11 subjects for teaching fundamental principles of food science and technology to participants through a mentor-moderated system. The level of the courses is aimed at participants who are working in the food industry but do not have a formal food science and technology educational background. The programme has been tested over the last three years. Next objectives include evaluation of the needs met through the topics and levels offered and how to move the programme into action in different regions and countries.

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Sponsorship, organisation, and staging of international congresses

Adhering Bodies interested in organising and staging the international congress of food science and technology issue formal written invitations to the Secretary-General according to procedure following the call for bids for that congress, and commit in writing to adhere to the published Congress guidelines in effect at the time of the invitation and to the contract agreed between the two parties. The Governing Council is authorised to accept one of these invitations and to authorise the host country to proceed with plans and preparations for the next congress. The congress contract signed between the host country and IUFoST provides specific details of the elements required by IUFoST in accordance with its mission in addition to the general guidelines. The host country (Adhering Body) is responsible for planning and staging, within the Congress Guidelines, an international congress.

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Method of Operations for the Governing Council and Communication:

The Governing Council executes the policies as agreed by the Delegates of the National Scientific Bodies (Adhering Bodies).  Its responsibilities include authorization to decide on time and place of the World Food Congresses and other events sponsored by IUFoST and to assist host nations in the planning of such events. It acts on IUFoST membership applications.

The Governing Council is elected by the voting delegates of the national scientific bodies to direct the affairs of the Union and to work in the best interests of all members of IUFoST, not an individual adhering body.The IUFoST Governing Council (GC) meets face-to-face annually in conjunction with an IUFoST related conference or symposium and it is expected that GC members will make themselves available to speak at the associated meeting or symposium. Every second year the IUFoST Governing Council’s face-to-face meeting will precede the IUFoST World Congress for a period of two days maximum. Governing Council members are asked to make themselves available for the duration of the congress and General Assembly and for the GC meeting preceding the congress.

In between the face-to-face meetings, the Governing Council meets as needed. Email messages, skype calls and telephone conferencing are all used as methods of GC communications.

Meetings whether face to face or by other means are organized through the SG’s office.

If the Governing Council cannot arrive at decisions through general consensus then a vote will occur and majority view taken.

Members of the Governing Council tend to the general business of the Union in conjunction with the Board and also contribute in addition to online IUFoST media and publications by forwarding articles of interest, indicating issues of importance in areas related to Food Science and Technology and recommendations regarding speakers and topics that should be considered at IUFoST symposia, workshops and in congress programmes.

The Governing Council receives updates through the SG’s office on all working group/task forces, commissions and on status of IUFoST.

Members of the Governing Council represent IUFoST in all their activities during their term in office and therefore are asked to advise the Secretary-General’s office in advance when they plan to attend or participate in meetings in order that IUFoST’s mission and vision may be put forward as appropriate at these events to encourage national and international involvement in global food science and technology.

IUFoST ppt presentations, background documents and lists of the Scientific Information Bulletins (SIBs) in addition to information on IUFoST’s ongoing work in the areas of its working groups and task forces are available as needed for members of the Governing Council in the course of their work.

The Secretary-General’s office is the communications point for the Governing Council in its general activities.

 

 

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