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International Union of Food Science and Technology
Formation1962; 62 years ago (1962)
Region served
Official language
English, French
Aman Wirakartakusumah[1]
Parent organization
International Science Council (ISC)

The International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST) (/ˈjfɒst/ EYE-yoo-fost) is the global scientific organization and voice for food science and technology representing more than 300,000 food scientists, engineers and technologists through its work in more than 100 countries. It is a voluntary, non-profit association of national food science organizations. IUFoST is the only elected scientific representative of Food Science and Technology in the International Science Council (ISC), elected by its peers across scientific disciplines. It is the only global representative of food science and technology to notable organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, United Nations Development Programme and (UNDP), CODEX Alimentarius.


The feasibility of establishing an international organization of food scientists and technologists dedicated to the nutritional needs of the people of the world was informally explored during the First International Congress of Food Science and Technology (1962) held in London. The President of the Congress was Lord Rank who crystallised informal discussions that had already been taking place among a number of food scientists from around the world when he stated in his presidential message: "If the potentialities of ... food science and technology are to ... culminate and nutritionally adequate, then there must be international collaboration." From the Congress emerged the International Committee of Food Science and Technology.

The work of this Committee culminated in the formal inauguration of the International Union of Food Science and Technology during the Third International Congress of Food Science and Technology convened in 1970 in Washington, DC, USA. The 1970 meeting in Washington, DC, USA was referred to as "SOS/70" with SOS referring to Science and Survival.

NATO's Involvement in the Conception of IUFoST

In 1960, several British scientific societies and the UK Government organised a conference in London in recognition of the Centenary of the 1860 Food and Drugs Act (UK). It was also the 150th anniversary of Appert's publication on the preservation of foods in sealed containers.

In the week prior to the Food and Drugs conference, Professor John Hawthorn convened a symposium on Recent Advances in Food Science at the Glasgow Royal College of Science and Technology, which later metamorphosed into Strathclyde University. [The proceedings, edited by Professor Hawthorn and a colleague J. Muil Leitch, were published in 1962 by Butterworths]. The Glasgow symposium, to which food scientists from many nations were invited, was financed by a substantial grant from the Office of the Science Adviser to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, NATO. During the 1950s and 1960s NATO evinced a significant interest in food technology. The food and nutrition research laboratory in Toronto, of which I was director, carried out an extensive study for NATO on the bulk storage of food grains examining alternative methods conducive to stockpiling at dispersed sites.

One evening following dinner during the Glasgow symposium, Professors Hawthorn and EC Bate-Smith invited a group to meet to discuss the concept of an international food science society. The discussion was splendidly stimulated by Professor Hawthorn's supply of malt whiskey from a Hebridean distillery. The group included Emil Mark and George Stewart from Davis, California, a fellow Canadian Bill Geddes, Dean of Agricultural Biochemistry at the University of Minnesota, Professor H D Kay from the dairy research institute at Reading, Tim Anson, an American employed with the Lever Organisation. Sadly I am the last survivor of that Glasgow group.

The notion of international scientific societies was not unique. ICSU, its predecessor and the supporting family of national academies and scientific unions had existed since 1919. The Glasgow group was of the opinion, however, that the time was ripe to create an international food science society, since several national food science and technology institutes were in existence. Our British hosts undertook to pursue the idea and the result was the food science congress convened in London in 1962, the first of the series of which China will be the host to the 14th.

The subsequent history of IUFoST is amply recorded in the archives, but perhaps not everyone is aware of NATO's early intervention.

By Joseph H. Hulse, Past President, IUFoST

The Budapest Declaration

In response to a shift in research focus among food scientists and technologists towards combating chronic hunger problems in the less developed world, IUFoST released its ‘Budapest Declaration’ during its 9th General Assembly in Budapest, Hungary, 1995. Referencing the Joint FAO/WHO International Conference on Nutrition (Rome, 1992) and its World Declaration on Nutrition, IUFoST declared its determination to minimize hunger and to reduce all forms of malnutrition throughout the world. To do this, IUFoST declared its commitment to work with all other organisations to ensure sustained nutritional well-being for all people in a peaceful, just and environmentally safe world. The declaration further recognised the central role of food science and technology in ensuring the year-round availability of the quantity and variety of safe and wholesome foods necessary to meet the nutritional needs of the world's growing population. This declaration would guide IUFoST's working policy for the next fifteen years.

The Cape Town Declaration

During 2010's 13th General Assembly of IUFoST in Cape Town, South Africa, the IUFoST General Assembly adopted the "Cape Town Declaration" setting out its commitments to food safety, food security and food science education. It recognized the previous work that had been conducted since the Budapest Declaration while outlining a policy for IUFoST future work with the global food science and technology industry.[2]

Programmes and Achievements: IUFoST Missions consist of

As the global food science and technology organization IUFoST has special consultative status with FAO. Similarly IUFoST works closely with related departments in the World Health Organisation, United National International Development Organisation (UNIDO), and many other international organisations in the course of 'strengthening food science and technology for humanity' • Stimulating exchange of knowledge in the international food science and technology community through the electronic magazine "The World of Food Science," the annual review of the state of global food science and technology, textbooks, world congress review papers and the Hunger Handbook applying food science and technology to improve nutrition and promote national development. IUFoST publishes the core food science and technology textbook for food science and technology, "Food Science and Technology", published by Wiley-Blackwell.

IUFoST's Key Activities

The Biennial World Food Congress

IUFoST is holding its next World Food Congress in Rimini, Italy in 2024 from September 8 to September 12.

Involvement in regional symposia (2011-2012)

IUFOST is active in regional symposia across the globe. IUFoST Scientific Information Bulletins (SIBs)

Disciplinary Groups

International specialist bodies form Disciplinary Groups under the IUFoST umbrella. These currently include the International Society of Food Engineers (ISFE), the International Society for Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods (ISNFF), the International Symposium on the Properties of Water (ISOPOW), the International Food Research Collaboration (IFRC) and the International Society of Food Applications of Nanoscale Sciences (ISFANS).


IUFoST World Congresses

Nr. Year City Country
22. 2024 Rimini  Italy
21. 2022 Singapore  Singapore
20. 2020 Auckland  New Zealand (cancelled due to pandemic)
19. 2018 Mumbai  India
18. 2016 Dublin  Ireland
17. 2014 Montreal[3]  Canada
16. 2012 Foz do Iguassu[4]  Brazil
15. 2010 Cape Town  South Africa
14. 2008 Shanghai  China
13. 2006 Nantes  France
12. 2003 Chicago, Illinois  United States
11. 2001 Seoul  South Korea
10. 1999 Sydney  Australia
9. 1995 Budapest  Hungary
8. 1991 Toronto  Canada
7. 1987 Singapore  Singapore
6. 1983 Dublin  Ireland
5. 1978 Kyoto  Japan
4. 1974 Madrid  Spain
3. 1970 Washington, DC  United States
2. 1966 Warsaw  Poland
1. 1962 London  United Kingdom


The IUFoST secretariat is headquartered in Canada.[5]


  1. ^ "Aman Wirakartakusumah".
  2. ^ "Cape Town Declaration". IUFoST. 2017-04-18. Retrieved 2021-03-02.
  3. ^ "IUFoST's Canada 2014 world congress website". Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  4. ^ "IUFoST's Brazil world congress website". Archived from the original on 21 July 2015. Retrieved 19 July 2012.
  5. ^ "IUFoST's contact information". Retrieved 5 September 2012.