A world where science and innovation are universally accepted as essential to a safe, nutritious, and sustainable food supply for everyone.


Cultivating a community where professionals and students aspire to enrich the Chicagoland food industry through collaboration, education, and networking.

The Institute of Food Technologists

The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Founded in 1939, IFT was based on the vision of a small group of scientists who believed that communication among professionals involved in food science and technology was essential to the progress of these emerging disciplines.

Seventy-five years later, IFT has grown both in numbers and in impact. With members from virtually every discipline related to food science and technology, and from more than 100 countries around the world, IFT has truly become a voice for those dedicated to the science of food.

IFT’s founders established five objectives in the organization’s original constitution:

  • Facilitate the interchange of ideas among its members
  • Stimulate scientific investigations into technical problems dealing with the manufacture and distribution of food
  • Promulgate the results of research in food technology
  • Offer a forum for discussion
  • Plan, organize, and administer projects for the advancement of food science

It’s a testament to the foresight of our organization’s leaders that these objectives are as relevant today-if not more so-than they were 75 years ago.

As a scientific society with vision, IFT is feeding the minds that feed the world Read more about IFT: > click here

The Chicago Section of the IFT

The Chicago Section of the Institute of Food Technologists (CSIFT) is the oldest, the largest, and most active Section of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). The Section boundaries encompass the northern part of the State of Illinois and include the Illinois postal zip codes 600-619, 623, 625-627, 463, and 464. However, the Chicago Section IFT accepts local membership from any interested person from any other location who pays a full Member’s annual dues.

The Section was officially formed on January 15, 1941, two years after the Institute of Food Technologists was founded. The International IFT organization is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.

The Section is widely known for its active and dedicated leadership. The Chicago Section often hosts the IFT Annual Meeting and Food Expo when it is in Chicago.

The Section also initiated the annual Tanner Lecture Series and Suppliers’ Night Expo. The Section awards several scholarships annually.

We are proud of our accomplishments and are eagerly looking forward to the future of our Section and our role in its success.

Strategic Promises

Develop: Advance and Promote Careers in the Science of Food
Enhance and promote the knowledge of CSIFT members and prospective members worldwide

  • Provide educational opportunities and leadership development that can be leveraged for individual career goals propelling food industry professionals
  • Recognize, promote and elevate exceptional volunteer and academic accomplishments in the science of food through CSIFT sponsored awards
  • Support students and future professionals through the Chicagoland Food Science Foundation with scholarship awards and donations to programs that foster education in food science

Network: Establish productive and interactive communities
Engage and convene relevant stakeholders to debate, create, and transfer knowledge, and communicate the latest information affecting the science of food.

  • Provide an essential regional network and source of scientific and industry content to deliver local member value and strengthen connections to IFT
  • Cultivate collaborative relationships with industry, academia, and other food related organizations to articulate the value of CSIFT and IFT engagement
  • Sponsor outreach activities to promote professional development in the food industry

Innovate: Promote the Application of Science and Technology
Be a source of influence and thought leadership for the development, application and communication of the science of food.

  • Create access to the Chicagoland food industry through events such as the Annual Supplier’s Expo and Symposium, quarterly professional development events, and monthly technical programs
  • Unite with industry partners to add value and broaden our avenues for the distribution of educational information

Include: Enable Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity
Leverage diversity and inclusion within CSIFT to advance our mission and the science of food.

  • Embrace an inclusive culture where all CSIFT members and volunteers experience an elevated sense of community, belonging and opportunities to succeed
  • Promote understanding and alignment to IFT’s Diversity and Inclusion definition and related mission and vision
  • Demonstrate awareness that CSIFT serves a diverse population within its membership and professionals in food science and nutrition

Section Sponsors

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