Reports from IFT17

US food show offers answers for UK students

By Michael Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags A great way to care

Two British students gained valuable insights into the global industry after visiting one of the world’s biggest food shows – the Institute of Food Technologists’ (IFT’s) Annual Meeting & Food Expo – in Las Vegas in June.

Reading University students Alice Nield and Alice Bryant explain in this exclusive interview how visiting the event brought their university lectures alive and helped them make valuable connections with food industry students worldwide.

‘Put everything into perspective’

“It’s a great event to put everything into perspective,”​ explained Nield. “Being at university, you sit in lectures and wonder where this fits into the picture of the food industry. You come here and you see everything that you have learnt being applied in practice.”

The wealth of information on offer at the IFT event was highlighted by Bryant. “There are just so many options. If you are interested in different proteins or different carbohydrates or sweeteners, you can go to the​ [lecture] sessions and gain a really good broad understanding of the topics.”

Both students highlighted the opportunity to meet food science and technology students from around the globe. “It’s a great way to network,” ​said Nield, after meeting students from the US, China and South Africa.

‘Jobs, internships, projects’

“It’s a really good way to answer any questions you might have about jobs, internships, projects or just ingredients in the food industry.”

The students visited the show after winning a competition to answer food industry challenges organised by the UK Institute of Food Science & Technology. While at the show, they took part in another competition dedicated to global food challenges in partnership with students from across the globe.

Meanwhile, read how new IFT president Cindy Stewart wants to build a global community of food scientists by ordering a copy of the September issue​ of Food Manufacture.

What Alice did next

After returning from Las Vegas Alice Bryant packed her things and moved to High Wycombe to start her 12-month industrial placement at Hovis as a development assistant. After two months in the role, Alice is much enjoying working in the bakery industry.

As part of her placement, she is involved in test baking and conducting trials to aid the continual development of the products at Hovis as well as looking into new development work. Her job also allows her to spend lots of contact with the bakeries and she has visited two Hovis factories and its main milling site, with more visits planned in the future.

In addition to her work placemen, Alice has joined the Institute of Food Science & Technology (IFST) Student Association, with Alice Nield, as its social networking representative to promote the IFST and food industry to as many students as possible.  Alice is looking forward to more exciting projects and events and meeting new people in the food industry.

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