This year’s Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting & Food Expo—IFT15—returns to Chicago and McCormick Place South from July 11–14. As in the past, the agenda will include numerous short courses and sessions, speakers, networking and social opportunities, along with hundreds of exhibitors.

The show begins with 11 pre-event short courses at the Hilton Chicago, IFT’s headquarters hotel, July 9–11. Course registration includes a continental breakfast, lunch, afternoon beverages, a training binder and advance online viewings of speaker presentations.

On July 11, IFT will hold its Achievement Awards celebration from 6–7 p.m. at The Field Museum of Natural History, just north of McCormick Place on Chicago’s Museum Campus, followed by a welcome reception from 7–8:30 p.m.

Four general sessions will be held during IFT15:

During the “Women in Food Science” business panel, on Sunday, July 12, 10:30 a.m., Catherine Woteki, Ph.D., USDA; Sara Mortimore, Land O’Lakes; and Liz Myslik, Fresca Foods, will explore the changing roles of women in the food industry and share insights on overcoming challenges in their careers.

On Monday, July 13, at 8:30 a.m., futurist and author Mike Walsh will discuss emerging trends and technologies, shifts in consumer behavior and how these changes are likely to impact the food industry.

The CEO panel on Tuesday, July 14, at 8:30 a.m., “Is Big Food Bad Food?” will include Alan D. Wilson of McCormick Co., Javed Ahmed of Tate & Lyle and another CEO from a major food company, and will be moderated by business journalist Ron Insana.

At 10 a.m. on Tuesday, July 14, attendees can learn about the making of IFT’s new documentary, “Food Evolution,” from Oscar-nominated director Scott Hamilton Kennedy in the general session titled “FutureFood 2050: the Art of Producing a Science-Based Documentary.”

Featured lectures will be held on July 12 and 13 from 4–4:45 p.m. On July 12, Dr. Mark Post of Maastricht University will share his experience in developing the world’s first lab-grown beef. Then on July 13, Mark L. Heiman, Ph.D., of MicroBiome Therapeutics will discuss his research into the way food and food ingredients modulate the gastrointestinal microbiome.

Open July 12–14, the IFT15 Food Expo will offer the industry’s largest collection of food ingredients, equipment, processing and packaging suppliers under one roof—1,126 exhibitors at press time. This year’s Food Expo will also include The Protein Experience, an exhibit featuring the latest research on how protein-based foods are transformed and broken down in the body. The full-sensory experience will allow participants to see, touch, taste, smell and explore elements of next-generation trends that will impact the food industry. It will include four zones: Mastication and the Sensory Experience (Zone 1), the Stomach Experience (Zone 2), The Intestines Experience (Zone 3) and How Will Science Inform Innovation Through Wellness (Zone 4).

Attendees can also join four IFT Technical Field Trips. This year’s destinations are the main campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) to visit the Institute for Food Safety and Health (IFSH) Center for Nutrition Research and the University Technology Park on July 13; Imbibe, an industry leader in beverage development and flavor chemistry, on July 13; IIT IFSH (Moffett campus) on July 14; and The Plant, a net-zero energy vertical farm and food business incubator, on July 14.

 For more information about IFT15 and to register for the event, visit

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