Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting and Food Expo 2010 in Chicago, USA

18 Jan 2011

A J Banks bursar Senaka Ranadheera reports on the Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting and Food Expo.

The Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting and Food Expo 2010 held from 17-20 July in Chicago, USA was an extraordinary event for me. It was a wonderful opportunity to be updated on almost all of the aspects of food science, and also to network with experts from industry academia and research organisations. It was exciting to meet and exchange ideas with fellow research higher degree students around the globe. I was impressed by the activities they organised for students to develop their future career perspectives such as chapter of the year, product development competition, college bowl, undergraduate research paper competition, employment bureau and a careers fair.

Technical sessions, symposia, workshops and panel discussions were very informative with findings of cutting edge research and they addressed the issues related to food chemistry, food engineering, health and nutrition, microbiology and food safety, processing and packaging, product development, sensory science, educational and professional development, public policy and food laws and regulations. There were many posters and talks on my current research area, probiotic applications, at this conference. Those sessions were very useful for me to gather novel information on probiotic research.

Presenting a poster based on my PhD research was very exciting and the feedback I received was helpful in strengthening my research capabilities. I also contributed to the conference by monitoring sessions as a student session monitor. I have also participated in many other enjoyable and memorable social events such as the 5km Fun Run, a fund raising event for IFT scholarships. During my short stay, I had some time to explore the beautiful downtown of The Windy City – Chicago, and enjoy the warm hospitality and friendship of Chicago people. I was very privileged to represent the University of Newcastle, Australia at IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo 2010.

The A J Banks Travel Bursary made it possible for me to attend this valuable conference. Therefore, I would like to offer my sincerest gratitude to the SCI staff and the selection committee of the travel award, whom selected me as a SCI award recipient.

Senaka Ranadheera
University of Newcastle, Australia

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