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June 2014 editorial

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Welcome to the first of our four Jubilee Issues celebrating 50 years of IFST. In honour of the Jubilee we are producing a series of themed issues focusing on specific topics of key importance to the food sector showing the scientific and technological advances that have been made and identifying the problems still to be overcome. The first theme is food safety and security, which is growing in importance as incidents of food fraud and food contamination are increasingly in the news as well as rising food prices and food shortages.

We take time to look back at the origins of IFST with Professor Ralph Blanchfield who explains some of the important achievements over the years and to look ahead at the future with Professor Margaret Patterson, IFST President. The past achievements are impressive but the future holds many more challenges and opportunities for food scientists. Professor Tim Benton provides a focus on the stark realities of the food security problems facing the planet; nothing less than a combination of political will, food and agricultural science, consumer awareness and willingness to modify behaviour will allow us to tackle this problem to meet the needs of the world’s growing population.

Food safety problems are here to stay. Incidence of contamination by foodborne viruses is increasing and we need to be vigilant for new strains of pathogenic bacteria; improved detection and control systems are needed to address this and advancing molecular genetic techniques are likely to play an important role.

I am delighted to be taking on the editorial role at FS&T at a time when food science is becoming increasingly important. My thanks are due to Roger Atkin for the sterling job he has done in developing FS&T into the stimulating and informative journal it is today. I wish him well for his retirement.



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