Celebrating the Past 75 Years and Preparing for the Next 75 Years

At the Annual Meeting in New Orleans on June 21–24 2014, the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) will be celebrating their 75th anniversary. Our journal is a bit older, with Food Research (the precursor to the Journal of Food Science) publishing its first issue in January of 1936. Science has made tremendous progress in the past 75 years. One case in point occurred 60 years ago with the publishing of the double helix structure of DNA by Watson and Crick in the journal Nature. This could be considered the start of research that ultimately produced the Human Genome.

So what have been the seminal events in Food Science over the past 75 years? Food Science is an integral part of the grand challenge of feeding the world. In one form, it takes agricultural crops and livestock and converts them to foods. Goals such as efficient and sustainable processing of raw materials to food, assuring food safety, and producing foods with extended shelf life are directly linked with sub-sections of the Journal of Food Science (for example: Food Chemistry, Food Engineering & Physical Properties, Food Microbiology & Safety, and Toxicology & Chemical Food Safety). Likewise, there is a need for understanding which food components provide health benefits along with those that regulate sensory and quality aspects. We also have those areas covered (Health, Nutrition & Food, and Sensory & Food Quality). Finally, one needs to be looking forward to how our field can advance. Our sections covering reviews (Concise Reviews & Hypotheses in Food Science) and nanotechnology (Nanoscale Food Science, Engineering & Technology) look to the future of Food Science.

A Scientific Editor runs each of the Journal of Food Science sections. It is their responsibility to assign manuscripts to Associate Editors and make the final decision on manuscripts. The Scientific and Associate editors are the primary gatekeepers to publishing a manuscript. As such, they are in a position that allows them a comprehensive vision of past and current trends in their respective areas. From now through June of 2014, the Scientific Editors of each section will be providing their thoughts on how their area has advanced over the past 75 years and the challenges, and opportunities, presented in the next 75. To provide a comprehensive view from all IFT scientific journals, the Scientific Editors of the Journal of Food Science Education and Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety will also be sharing their vision.

Much has been said about the need for various disciplines to come together to address the grand challenge of society. The concept of “transdisciplinary,” rather than “multidisciplinary,” is intended to emphasize that the need is not in separate disciplines working on the same problem, but more to an approach where the concerns and perspectives of individual disciplines are considered by all. This “bipartisan” approach may be the key to creating a more comprehensive understanding of food. When it comes to Food Science and feeding the world, there are many concerns that need to be considered and I look forward to taking in the insights forthcoming from our Scientific Editors.



E. Allen Foegeding, Ph.D.

Editor in Chief,

IFT Scientific Journals