The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) announced the launch of the new Certified Food Scientist (CFS) program developed by IFT for food scientists worldwide. The CFS program provides food scientists an opportunity to obtain a specific credential that recognizes the applied scientific knowledge and skills these professionals have achieved.
Through the CFS program, food scientists will now be formally recognized for their experience and expertise so they can distinguish themselves throughout their professional careers. The program will also assist employers to identify, hire and retain the best talent, and to continue to meet the ongoing demand for knowledgeable food scientists throughout the food system. In addition to providing a credential, the CFS program will generate other benefits to:
- Demonstrate the professions’ commitment to safe and quality foods for consumers
- Reinforce IFT’s commitment to ensuring a strong talent pipeline to meet the scientific needs of the food science and technology community
- Promote lifelong learning to complement both academic learning and work experience
- Generate greater awareness of the food science profession
- Build a foundation for ethical standards that will benefit the entire profession
“Food scientists are critical to the creation of safe, nutritious and scientifically-based food products,” said IFT President Roger Clemens, DrPH. “It is important for IFT to develop ways for these food professionals to differentiate themselves throughout their careers. Through the creation of the Certified Food Scientist program, food scientists will now be formally recognized for their experience and expertise, and can obtain the professional recognition that they deserve.” The International Food Science Certification Commission (IFSCC), a new independent, third-party certification body within IFT will oversee the testing, governance and policymaking of the CFS program. The IFSCC will ensure the autonomy of the CFS program and provide appropriate oversight of the certification process. The CFS program governance, exam creation and administration are designed to meet standards of internationally recognized certification programs – the International Standards Organization (ISO) 17024.
“As a food scientist, I am proud that our profession will now have a credentialing program to recognize the important work of food scientists,” said Kurt Buckman, Vice President of Operations & Supply Chain at Pinnacle Foods Group, LLC and Chair of the International Food Science Certification Commission. “The CFS recognizes the practical experience and knowledge that is necessary for food scientists to perform effectively in their roles after leaving an academic institution. The certification exam will assess how this information is applied in an on-the-job setting.”
To become a Certified Food Scientist, a food professional must complete an application and meet certain eligibility requirements. These include one of the following:
- MS or Doctorate in food science, food science concentration or global equivalent + 2 years full-time food science experience
- BS in food science, food science concentration or global equivalent + 3 years full-time food science experience
- MS or Doctorate in related science or global equivalent + 4 years full-time food science experience
- BS in related science or global equivalent + 6 years of full-time food science experience
The exam is comprised of 100 multiple choice questions in the following content areas:
- Product Development
- Quality Assurance and Quality Control
- Food Chemistry and Food Analysis
- Food Microbiology
- Food Safety
- Food Engineering
- Sensory Evaluation and Consumer Testing
The CFS certification exam will be offered at more than 250 global testing centers. The first testing opportunity will take place in February of 2013. For a limited time, food scientists with at least a Bachelor’s of Science Degree (in food science, food science concentration or a related science) and at least 15 years of full-time experience post-bachelor degree are eligible to apply for certification under the One Time Alternative Assessment program. This opportunity is available through January 18, 2013. For more details on the CFS program, including eligibility, exam fees and how to apply, please visit www.ift.org/certification.