It is a great pleasure for me to welcome you to the Institute of Food Science and Technology of Irelands web portal. The IFSTI is the professional body representing the interests of Irish food scientists and food technologists by promoting their professional standing and their continuing professional development through further education and training. The organisation provides its members with valuable networking and knowledge-sharing events.

The global challenges of food security, food sustainability and food for health require science based but acceptable solutions. Here in Ireland food production and processing play a pivotal role in our lives, our environment and our export orientated economy. Our members specialise in many different fields such as chemistry, microbiology to process engineering and genomics and are working in very different environments such as regulation, quality control, public research and food innovation. The IFSTI facilitates connectivity between these disciplines and sectors. Our membership spans CEOs of food companies, principle research investigators in academia, and post-doctoral fellowships and post-graduate students. IFSTI provides a unique forum for food scientists, technologies and engineers to share ideas and mitigation strategies for the future food industry challenges. IFSTI members from a wide range of backgrounds and experience can interact not only within Ireland but also internationally to learn about and discuss best practices in over-coming global food challenges.

I am delighted to announce that IFSTI will host the "Olympics" of food science in 2016. The 18th IUFoST World Congress of Food Science and Technology will be held in the RDS, Dublin, between 21st and 25th August 2016. The congress will have over 1,500 participants, including food scientists, engineers, and food industry professionals, thought leaders, decision makers, regulatory authorities and students, from over 55 countries. Save the date and watch out for more information at: http://www.iufost2016.com.

We are planning some very exciting events including an Annual Food Science and Technology Conference in partnership with UCC (watch this site for more information shortly), a number of special seminars and workshops focusing on issues of major interest to our members, and partnering with other agencies to support food scientists and students. This will provide valuable opportunity to share knowledge, foster interaction and exposure to the latest developments in food science and technology.

On a sad note, it is with deep regret we note the death recently of our former President and real champion of IFSTI, Mr. Rory Ryan. Rory was a great ambassador for the Institute and singularly won the bid on behalf of IFSTI and Ireland to host the 18th IUFoST World Congress of Food Science and Technology in 2016. We owe him a great deal of gratitude in working tirelessly for many years to promote the Institute and we will be commemorating him during the Congress next year.

In summary, it is an exciting time to be a food scientist in Ireland and an even more exciting time to be a member of IFSTI. Join up to-day and meet new business partners, generate new ideas, gather new knowledge, foster collaborations and meet highly trained graduates.

Declan J. Troy, President.