top of page

The History of Phi Tau Sigma

Phi Tau Sigma Honorary Society, Inc., for food scientists was established at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1953. Six graduate students led the initiative to create the Society: W.D. Powrie, M.P. Baldauf, R.V. Decareau, E. Felicioti, M.A. Steinberg, and D.E. Westcott. Phi Tau Sigma was formed with support from Dr. Gideon “Guy” Livingston who served as the faculty adviser and Dr. Carl R. Fellers who was the Chair of the Department of Food Technology. The Founders provided for individuals who had not been recognized for induction into the Society during their senior year or graduate studies, to be inducted after they had demonstrated their professional achievements in food science and technology.

During 2011 to 2021 some organizational re-structuring occurred, resulting in more collaborations with IFT and greater involvement with other associations. Phi Tau Sigma's Constitution and Bylaws were updated to reflect membership growth. Further, the number of annual scholarships and awards increased as did the number of chapters.

Phi Tau Sigma continues to grow and serve as The Honor Society of Food Science and Technology.

Phi Tau Sigma is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and its purpose is to inspire achievement in the discipline of food science. Membership by students and professionals alike was popular among food scientists from Phi Tau Sigma's founding through the early 1990s. At that time, it seemed students began to lose interest — perhaps due to not understanding the value of membership in Phi Tau Sigma.


At the Society's 2006 meeting held concurrently with the IFT Annual Event and Expo, Dr. Daryl Lund succeeded Dr. Roger Clemens as President. When Daryl began his term, Roger encouraged him to focus on revitalizing Phi Tau Sigma so it would once again serve as The Honor Society of Food Science and Technology and offer recognition to those who make significant contributions as students or as professionals in the field.

Help us enhance the profession of Food Science and Technology

bottom of page