As part of their continuing effort to help inspire and mentor the future of the food industry, Bell Flavors & Fragrances recently hosted the Chicago Section IFT Student Night at their Northbrook, IL headquarters. Student Night is held every March to help students gain inspiration and ideas for future projects and also acts as a networking tool for students to connect with professionals within the flavor industry.
The Institute of Food Technologists organization offers students internship and employment opportunities, scholarships, tools for new professionals, student nights, and dinner events for networking. The Chicago Section is the longest running and most active largest section within the IFT organization. According to the Chicago IFT’s website, the IFT founders had established five goals that constitute the organization: to facilitate the exchange of ideas among its members; to stimulate projects inspired by science regarding technical problems relating to food manufacturing and distribution; to help implement research results across food technology platforms; to offer networking opportunities and platforms to discuss important industry topics; and to plan, organize, and operate projects that relate to food science technology advancements.
Students visited the Bell Northbrook facility during the day for a tour around the grounds to learn about flavors manufacturing and flavor trends. Students were exposed to many different areas of study that Bell employs and every facet of food-related science within Bell, including quality control, analytical chemistry, manufacturing, food science, and culinary arts. Chef Christopher Warsow, Bell’s Corporate Executive Chef and Manager of Culinary Applications at Bell Northbrook, stated “The reason why we do these events is to support future industry leaders. It is important to invest in students as they are the future of our industry. They are the ones who will solve tomorrow’s unforeseen challenges in the food manufacturing world.”
In the evening, students attended a dinner reception hosted by Bell where Jeena James, Marketing Specialist at Bell Northbrook, presented Spark® 2018 trends. Spark® is Bell’s insider resource for up-and-coming consumer trends and flavor inspirations with the power to inspire creativity for new and exciting flavor concepts. Jeena presented trends that touched on the Mediterranean Sea, healthy-ish concepts, global foods seen in all longitudes and latitudes, unexpected flavor combinations, and outdoor social festival flavor trends. “When our team created the Spark trend program four years ago, we understood the influence it would have for our R&D team,” said Jeena. “We are thrilled to see the individuals who are part of the Institute of Food Technologists group – both working professionals and soon-to-be graduates who will one day work in the food industry – respond enthusiastically to the trends we have worked so hard to identify.”