IFT is a non-profit making scientific society committed to advancing the science of food and its application across the global food system. Dennis succeeded Mary Ellen Camire who was last year’s IFT president and is a professor of food science at the University of Maine’s School of Food & Agriculture.
In his position as president, Dennis will work with food scientists, technologists and professionals from related disciplines in academia, industry, and government to support IFT’s new strategic priorities, which include focusing on advancing and promoting careers in the science of food; establishing productive and interactive global networks; promoting science, technology and their application; and advocacy efforts contributing to evidence-based science to the public dialogue on food issues.
“It is a great honour to serve as the next president of the Institute of Food Technologists, especially given the important public dialogue involving how we will feed billions of people in the decades ahead,” said Dennis.
‘Importance of science and innovation’
“As we address this challenge, it will be imperative that we continue to emphasise the importance of science and innovation so they are universally accepted as essential to a safe, nutritious, and sustainable food supply worldwide.”
Dennis’s career in food science and technology started in 1970 when he was appointed as the first mycologist in the UK government’s Institute of Food Research. Subsequently, he was appointed as the first director of food technology at Campden Food & Drink Research Association (now Campden BRI).
During his seven years leading the Division he initiated several new research activities in chilled foods, aseptic packaging and hygienic design. These leadership and management experiences led to his appointment as director-general of the organisation, a position he held for 21 years.
Between 2011 and 2013 he was also president of the UK Institute of Food Science & Technology and he is currently a governor of the British Nutrition Foundation.
Food science knowledge
His leadership qualities and knowledge of food science have led to appointments on government and industry advisory committees in the UK, Australia, US, Canada, Belgium, India, Abu Dhabi, and elsewhere. He has also served on the selection panel for the World Food Prize, and has volunteered in many capacities in the food science and technology community.
Dennis’s academic roles in food science include positions as the Unilever visiting professor of food science at Queen’s University, Belfast and a visiting professor in food supply chain at the Royal Agricultural University.
Dennis received his PhD from Sheffield University, where he also earned his Bachelor of Science degree in botany and biochemistry.
Food Manufacture Group’s one-day food safety conference: Safer food and drink – from the harvest to the home – takes place at the Lowry in Manchester on September 29. For full details of the conference programme, visit http://tinyurl.com/nrvuucl or call 01293 610354.