Whether It's Food Safety Processes or New Products—Innovate!


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Aug 09, 2023

Whether It's Food Safety Processes or New Products—Innovate!

Image credit: ThisisEngineering RAEng via Unsplash When we think of "innovation," most of us imagine shiny new gadgets or fresh and alluring new creations. But there is just as much room to grow in

Image credit: ThisisEngineering RAEng via Unsplash

When we think of "innovation," most of us imagine shiny new gadgets or fresh and alluring new creations. But there is just as much room to grow in developing food safety processes and products—which is one focus of the Institute for the Advancement of Food and Nutrition Sciences' (IAFNS') upcoming virtual science meeting from December 12–14.

For the third year in a row, IAFNS is hosting a Science Innovation Showcase,1 where everyone is invited to participate in an exchange of science related to innovative ingredients, products, and processes. All attendees will have the opportunity to engage in dialogue and discussion on the data, technology, and science being applied across the food and beverage ecosystem to promote safety and creativity.

Scheduled for half-day, afternoon sessions on December 12, 13, and 14, IAFNS' virtual event will bring together university, industry, nonprofit, and government experts to review, discuss, and advance innovative food safety ideas and new products and technologies. This science-focused event will feature regulatory experts, innovation center faculty, nonprofit leaders, and speakers from major corporations and emerging brands to share valuable insight into navigating the challenges of moving initial ideas safely through the production floor and into the market.

Whether you are a graduate student or already a food safety professional working in government, industry, or academia, we welcome you to join us as we learn and discuss new approaches and creative new processes and safeguards.

The Work of IAFNS

IAFNS mobilizes government, industry, and academia to drive, fund, and lead actionable research. The Institute elevates food safety, promotes nutritional sciences, and advances public health. IAFNS' governance and operating model positions it to draw on the best each sector has to offer in sharing new and upcoming developments and their scientific basis for three half-day sessions as the final IAFNS event of the year. Many past attendees appreciate the flexibility offered by having a virtual, afternoons-only meeting, and IAFNS plans to continue with this format.

IAFNS is focused on catalyzing the creation of scientific knowledge by funding external researchers and convening experts. The Institute funds critical food safety research on topics ranging from heavy metals in foods, food packaging chemicals, sampling strategies for powdered products, and even safety issues raised internationally by fermented foods. As an organization, we field four food safety committees including Food Microbiology, Food Packaging Safety and Sustainability, Caffeine, and Food and Chemical Safety.

With an overarching theme of "Food and Nutrition: Science for the Future," the focus of the 2023 Science Innovation Showcase will include a wide variety of topics. The event will feature invited sessions with public sector leaders, including government trade regulators. Additionally, the Showcase will include presentations from the next generation of scientists—graduate students and post-docs. To get a sense of past food safety sessions addressed on topics like "Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS)" policies, please see the Executive Summary2 from our 2022 Science Innovation Showcase.

How to Get Involved

We aim to leverage your knowledge and insight! Scientists and technical food safety professionals are encouraged to submit abstracts3 for sessions at the Science Innovation Showcase by November 13, 2023. Please note that we will ask successful submitters to record their presentations in advance for playback during one of the afternoon sessions, to be followed by "live" Q&A where we will ask the presenter to be online for the upbeat discussion that follows.

To deliver on the vibrant promise of the future of the food and beverage ecosystem, we must transcend conventional barriers between disciplines and sectors. As an organization dedicated to collaboration and inspired to bring together thinkers and doers in unconventional ways, IAFNS launched the first Science Innovation Showcase in 2021 to deliver on this promise.

But we cannot deliver on that promise alone. Participation from food safety professionals like you is essential. Please register1 and think of topics for possible submission as an abstract to enrich IAFNS' third annual Science Innovation Showcase. Get your science showcased and receive valuable input from technical peers to make an even bigger impact.

Across the food and beverage ecosystem, innovation fuels our ability to thrive even as the world around us changes. We need the best possible science to make the best possible decisions for the best possible future. Innovation is not just shiny new gadgets but, with your help, will include new food safety solutions that reduce risks to consumers, businesses, and society. Please join us to collaborate and innovate!


Wendelyn Jones, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Institute for the Advancement of Food and Nutrition Sciences (IAFNS). She has a passion for bringing together science and society, drawing from her global experiences working across the chemical, agricultural, food, and health sectors. She applies her Ph.D. in life sciences to extend IAFNS' contributions to, and impact within, diverse scientific and health communities.

The Work of IAFNSHow to Get InvolvedReferences