The following symposiums are sponsored and/or organized by Phi Tau Sigma at the 2018 IFT Annual Meeting in Chicago (July 15-18, 2018). The time and venue of the symposiums will be updated shortly.

Educating the Future Food Scientists capable of facing Evolving Regulatory and Technological Challenges in Global Food Industry

Session Organizers: Kathiravan Krishnamurthy, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor, Illinois Institute of Technology) and Purnendu C. Vasavada, Ph.D. (Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin – River Falls)

Session Moderators: Kathiravan Krishnamurthy, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor, Illinois Institute of Technology) and Ramkishan Rao, Ph.D. (National Program Leader, USDA - National Institute of Food and Agriculture)

Session Description:

Over the last 25 years, the food industry faced a great deal of change in food science and technology, culture, policy, and politics and has been truly “global” in its scope and impact. Also, the emergence of new foodborne hazards, along with consumer habits, preferences, and demand for convenience, nutrition, and safety of food and ingredients have resulted in increased need for understanding and navigating changing the regulatory landscape by food industry professionals. While the academic institutions have kept pace with technical training in food science and technology, the industry is experiencing a dire shortage of prospective employees – food scientists, technologists and even production workers, who can function adequately in changing the regulatory and technological climate. This symposium is designed to examine the current academic preparation for food science and technology graduates and discuss associated challenges and opportunities for the food industry.

This symposium is sponsored by Phi Tau Sigma, the honor society of food science and technology and AAFSIS (American Association of Food Scientists for the Indian Subcontinent).


Purnendu C. Vasavada, Ph.D. (Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin, River Falls): “Role of education, outreach, and industry academia partnership in training new generation of food Industry professionals”

Robert E. Brackett, Ph.D. (Director of Institute for Food Safety and Health, Vice President of Illinois Institute of Technology): “Evolving Food Safety Philosophy in the context of Regulatory and Technological Changes Impacting the Global Food Industry”

Vijay Juneja, Ph.D. (Lead Scientist, Eastern Regional Research Center, United States Department of Agriculture): “New Food Safety Regulations and Food Science and Technology Education in India”

Shedding light on food safety, quality, and nutrition: Opportunities and challenges with the light-based technologies

Session Organizer: Kathiravan Krishnamurthy, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor, Illinois Institute of Technology)

Session Moderator: Kathiravan Krishnamurthy, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor, Illinois Institute of Technology)

Session Description:

CDC estimates that every year, there are 48 million illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations, and 3,000 deaths in the United States due to consumption of foods contaminated with pathogens. Therefore, it is necessary to process foods to effectively inactivate these microorganisms to render food safe. Various preservation technologies have been developed and adopted successfully to eliminate or reduce microbial contamination of the food. However, conventional treatments are very highly energy intensive with high capital and operational costs. Most often these processes also result in deterioration of food quality. Therefore, there is a need for alternative processing methods that are simple, cost-effective, have high inactivation efficiencies and yield minimal quality changes. Emerging technologies such as UV light, pulsed light and LED light processing show great promise since they can inactivate the pathogenic microorganisms while preserving the quality of foods.

This session will focus on recent advances in the light-based technologies for microbial decontamination. There has been an increased interest in the applications of light-based technologies such as UV light, pulsed light and LED light for inactivating microorganisms. Typically, these technologies operate in the UV, visible and near-infrared light range. Studies have shown that these technologies can effectively inactivate myriad microorganisms. However, there are several challenges associated with these technologies. The identified speakers are experts in the light-based technologies. They will shed light on the applications and challenges of these technologies. Due to the increased interest in these technologies, a symposium on this topic is highly warranted.

This symposium is sponsored by Phi Tau Sigma, the honor society of food science and technology.


Kathiravan Krishnamurthy, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor, Illinois Institute of Technology): Overview of the light based technologies

Carmen I. Moraru, Ph.D. (Associate Professor, Cornell University): UV light processing: Challenges and future trends

Larry Keener (CEO, International Food Safety Professionals): Applications of light-based technologies: Industry perspective

Glenn Black, Ph.D. (Associate director of research, Division of Food Processing Science & Technology, Food and Drug Administration): Applications of light-based technologies: Regulatory perspective

Advances and Challenges in the Design, Development and Implementation/Commercialization of Novel Food Processing and Packaging Technologies

Organizer: Jose Reyes de Corcuera, Ph.D. (Associate Professor, University of Georgia)

Moderators:  Jose Reyes de Corcuera, Ph.D. (Associate Professor, University of Georgia), Nicolas Meneses, Ph.D. (Food and Feed Safety Expert, Buhler), Hossein Daryaei, Ph.D. (Scientist, Institute for Food Safety and Health)

Session Description:

The food processing industry and academic institutions are constantly researching and implementing novel technologies, improving existing technologies, and adapting them to new products and new markets. Challenges faced include: reducing wastage through increased shelf-life with greater quality retention; better assessment of shelf-life of perishables through the development of novel sensors, intelligent packaging, and accurate monitoring of the cold supply chain; increased energy efficiencies and reduced carbon foot print through equipment and process modeling and optimization; scaling up from laboratory or pilot plant to industrial throughput; incorporating novel nano-scale and other materials into foods, food contact surfaces, or packaging materials; and economically integrating hurdle and combined technologies. Bridging research to commercial development, whether within food processing companies, equipment and instrumentation companies or from academic institutions is challenging.

Three Distinguished Lectures from outstanding professionals identified by the Nonthermal, Packaging, and Food Engineering Divisions will shed light into the current advances and challenges in the design, development and implementation of novel food processing and packaging technologies. The Distinguished Lecturers will contrast the scientific and technological merits of recent advances to the economic and multidisciplinary constraints of the industry. Reflection on previous success stories and an assessment of current research trends will provide attendees with a holistic perspective of the state-of-the art on emerging technologies.

This session is co-sponsored by the Food Science and Technology Honorary Society Phi Tau Sigma.


Larry Keener (CEO, International Food Safety Professionals): Food Safety Assurance: An Imperative for Commercialization and Regulatory Acceptance of Novel Processing and Preservation Technologies (Distinguished lecture from nonthermal processing division)

Presenter TBD: Topic TBD (Distinguished lecture from food engineering division)

Jung H. Han, Ph.D. (Vice-President of R&D and QA, Pulmuone Foods USA): Challenges and Opportunities in the Development and Implementation of New Packaging Technologies in the Food Industry (Distinguished lecture from food packaging division)

The Future of Food Packaging

Session Organizer: Claire Koelsch Sand, Ph.D. (CEO, Packaging Technology & Research, LLC; Adjunct Professor, Michigan State University and Cal Poly)

Session Moderator: Claire Koelsch Sand, Ph.D. (CEO, Packaging Technology & Research, LLC; Adjunct Professor, Michigan State University and Cal Poly)

Session Description:

To be added


Sunil Mangalassary, Ph.D. (Associate Professor & Coordinator, California State University, Los Angeles): Future of active food packaging

Claire Sand, Ph.D. (CEO, Packaging Technology and Research): Future of intelligent packaging

Natalie Gontard, Ph.D. (Research Director, INRA (National Institute for Agronomical Research), France): Food packaging innovations in the context of a sustainable circular economy

Scott A. Morris, Ph.D. (Professor, University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign): Future food packaging to meet changing supply chains

Dan Ahern, B.S. (Director of Global Innovation & Design, Graphic Packaging International): Future of food packaging design

Program Committee Members

Rakesh Singh, Ph.D., Chair (

Robert Brackett, Ph.D., Past Chair

Ranjetta Wadhwani, M.S.

Jack Cappozzo, M.S.

Keith Belk, Ph.D.

Rhonda Miller, Ph.D.

Stephanie Hice, B.S.

John Luchansky, Ph.D.

Akhila Vasan, Ph.D.

Annual Meeting Schedule

We invite you to participate in the Phi Tau Sigma activities during the IFT Annual Meeting. The schedule can be found here.

Dr. Dennis Heldman receiving special recognition award


Every year, Phi Tau Sigma sponsors and organizes several symposiums during the IFT annual meeting. List of the upcoming symposiums are listed here.

Program Committee

Program committee is responsible for identifying and presenting appropriate programs to encourage the long-range professional growth of Phi Tau Sigma