The International Union of Food Science and Technology was formed to provide an independent international forum for professional food science. It has as its primary purpose the encouragement of international cooperation and exchange of scientific and technical information among scientists, engineers and specialists in the development of research, encouraging progress in fields of theoretical and applied food science, advancing technology in the processing, manufacturing, preservation, and distribution of food products, and in the education and training of food scientists and technologists.
IUFoST was founded by leading food scientists at the Third International Congress of Food Science and Technology, Washington, D.C., in 1970. This formalized an earlier initiative in 1962 at the first Congress. Leading food scientists from around the world will continue to play a primary role in IUFoST activities, maintaining the tradition established by the founders of the Union.
In response to the declared objectives of the International Congress of Nutrition (ICN), Rome 1993, the General Assembly of IUFoST approved the publication of the Budapest Declaration in August 1995 during the Seventh General Assembly of the Union in Hungary. The Budapest Declaration is a statement of the crucial role of Food Science and Technology in helping to solve the continuing problems of world hunger and poverty and of the commitment of food scientists to play a fully active part in this.
IUFoST membership consists of 60 adhering bodies representing over 150,000 food scientists and technologists throughout the world. There are four regional groupings established under the Constitution: EFFoST – European Federation of Food Science and Technology, FIFSTA – Federation of Food Science and Technology Association of ASEAN, ECSAAFoST – Eastern, Central and Southern African Association of Food Science and Technology, and ALACCTA (Asociación Latinoamericana y del Caribe de Ciencia y Tecnologia de los Alimentos).
All the major national institutes of Food Science and Technology throughout the world take part in the work of the Union, providing delegates to the General Assembly, running co-sponsored conferences or short courses and contributing to IUFoST publications through the participation of individual scientists.
IUFoST’s input into research is chiefly in organizing and co-sponsoring conferences, workshops and short courses. IUFoST increased the frequency of congresses to every two years after 1999. In addition, over 100 symposia have taken place under the auspices of IUFoST. The congresses and conferences maintain a high scientific level and continue to grow in size and influence. Proceedings have been published and are frequently cited.
Scientific problems relating to IUFoST objectives are studied by various scientific Working Groups, created either by the General Assembly or the Governing Council.
IUFoST also publishes the electronic magazine, the World of Food Science, in cooperation with its American Adhering Body and its own well-respected newsletter, Newsline, three times a year. Several other new publications are forthcoming in the next year.