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New IFST President Elect

10566719876?profile=RESIZE_400xWe are delighted that the Chair of the Food Authenticity Network's Advisory Board, Sterling Crew, has been elected as the new President-Elect of the Institute of Food Science and Tecnology (IFST).

Sterling’s election was formally noted during IFST’s Annual General Meeting on 31 March 2022. Of his appointment, Sterling said: ‘It is a great pleasure and privilege to be elected to be the next President of the Institute of Food Science and Technology, especially as the selection was by my professional peers. The IFST is a fantastic organisation with a marvellous membership at its very heart. I pledge to play my part in adding further value to membership and promoting the organisation’s worthy charitable aims. This is an exciting time for IFST as we approach our 60th Diamond Jubilee and with chartership potentially on the horizon. Food science and technology has a major part to play in our country’s future in these very challenging times. The food sector has responded by developing innovative solutions and creative products. The role our members play has never been more important.’

Read the full edition of IFST News.

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May 2022

Disruptions in the food supply chain are no doubt the ‘new normal’, whether that is labour shortages, wholesale energy prices, shortages of carbon dioxide (CO2), more friction with border documentation and checks, or supply chain restrictions related to Covid-19 and EU Exit. The conflict in the Ukraine has caused even greater concerns over food supply restrictions over the short to medium term.

Pressures on labour availability means that the practical, managerial and leadership skillsets, required across the food sector, vary from business to business being readily available in some sectors to being niche and in short supply in others. The economic, environmental and social challenges we have seen in the last two years are causing businesses to reconsider their reliance on people for tasks and decision-making and to turn to automation on manufacturing lines, and artificial intelligence and machine learning, to reduce their vulnerability to labour issues. These supply chain disruption issues singularly, or in combination, create multiple challenges that businesses need to address by embedding mitigation strategies in their business planning. This means that business approaches to risk identification, assessment and management need to be reviewed and revised as the world becomes a more uncertain place to do business. 

As a result, business continuity planning has never been more important for all food businesses, from multinational corporations operating across the world, to micro food businesses developing food products and meeting the needs of local customers. Every food business has its unique continuity challenges, whether associated with particular food ingredients, packaging or materials, used in their processes, location, relationships with its supply chain or final market or consumer trends.  

Horizon scanning is a systematic approach to considering evidence of particular trends, and then actual and potential scenarios, in order to determine whether an organisation is adequately prepared for established and emerging threats, has appropriate risk identification, assessment and management procedures in place and if suitable controls are implemented, can readily adopt adequate measures for threat elimination, mitigation or control.  Pinch point mapping and analysis is one form of horizon scanning to determine business and supply chain vulnerability and measures to reduce such vulnerability.  

Read IFST's guide to Pinch Point Mapping and Analysis

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IFST Horizon Scanning Report 2021

9412425291?profile=RESIZE_710xInstitute of Food Science and Technology (IFST) has published its Horizon Scanning Report 2021, which includes essential insights from its members, for the future of the food sector. 

Drawing on the combined expertise of our professional membership, IFST has gathered insights for the future, enabling readers to envisage how the food sector will likely be impacted in the next three years by the main factors identified in the report. 

Click here to watch a recording of Chris Gilbert-Wood's (Chair of the IFST Scientific committee) update on the Horizon Scanning Survey outputs from our Spring Conference (SC21).

This report includes graphs and charts representing data collected from our members' survey, click here for a larger view of the data. 

Download the report here.

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IFST has re-written its “Food authenticity testing” Information Statement and split it into two parts:

Food authenticity testing part 1: The role of analysis, which now covers the role of analytical testing within the context of an overall supply chain assurance strategy.

Analytical testing is a valuable tool in the armoury to assure food authenticity but cannot be used to identify every type of food fraud.  It is only one part of an overall strategy to mitigate fraud risk.

Many modern tests are based upon comparing a pattern of measured values in the test sample with patterns from a database of authentic samples. Interpretation is highly dependent on the robustness of the database, and whether it includes all possible authentic variables and sample types. This information may not be released by the laboratory.  Interpretation of results is rarely clear-cut, and analytical results are often used to inform and target further investigation (such as unannounced audits or mass-balance checks) rather than for making a compliance decision.

This paper describes where testing can and cannot be used, and highlights generic issues relating to interpreting food authenticity testing results.

Food authenticity testing part 2: Analytical techniques, which gives describes specific analytical techniques, their applications, strengths and weaknesses.

This paper describes the principles, different configurations, applications, strengths and limitations of some of the more common analytical techniques used in food authenticity testing:
• Mass spectrometry
• Stable isotope mass spectrometry
• DNA analysis
• Nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometry
• Spectroscopy.

Generic strengths and limitations of food authenticity test methods, particularly those relating to methods comparing against reference databases of authentic samples, are discussed in “Food authenticity testing: The role of analysis”. It also describes the difference between targeted and untargeted analysis.

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With many reports of increasing levels of fraud in the organic food sector including from The Grocer in March 2018, the IFST statement on organic food is a useful guide that looks at current EU rules related to organic food, explores how this type of food should be labelled and advises on where to begin if a food business seeks to move into organic food production.

 It covers the following areas:

  • What is organic food
  • Labelling of organic food
  • What EU Regulation applies to organic food?
  • Where next
  • References

Read the full statement here.


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