Aqualab Lead Food Scientist, Zachary Cartwright, PhD, Takes Leadership Role at IFT First Annual Event and Expo

PULLMAN, Wash., July 09, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — AQUALAB, the acclaimed leader in water activity and moisture control and measurement solutions for food and pharma companies, today announced that Lead Food Scientist, Zachary Cartwright, PhD, an active member of IFT’s Food & Safety committee, will assume a highly visible leadership role at the upcoming IFT FIRST Annual Event and Expo, July 14-17, 2024 at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL.

Zachary Cartwright will host the Scientific and Technical Forum session, “What Technologies are Positively Impacting the Global Water Supply.” Each of the esteemed panelists brings extensive experience in applying water technologies, science, digital tools, sustainability, reuse, standards, and ecosystem restoration.

The speakers will address the challenges and opportunities of water management in the context of the nexus between water, food and climate change, and how emerging food safety issues can be mitigated by innovative solutions. Attendees will gain insights into the diverse array of approaches being deployed to enhance global water quality, availability, and accessibility.

Panelists include: Ben Weaver, Market Segment Leader, Food Ingredients at Solecta, Inc.; Phyllis Posy, MS, President at Posy Global; Roman Lis, Senior Principal Engineer/Practice Leader (Wastewater, Water, Sustainability) at Stantec; Tatiana Koutchma, PhD, Scientist at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; Vittorio Fattori, PhD, Agrifood Systems and Food Safety Division at Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations; and co-hosted with Kantha Shelke, PhD, CFS, Principal at Corvus Blue LLC and Senior Lecturer at Johns Hopkins University.

“As a purpose-driven scientific community that advances global science including food safety and quality, IFT connects global communities to advance the science of food safety and quality,” said IFT Food and Quality Safety Division Chair, Joele Atonfack.

The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) is a forum for passionate food professionals and students to collaborate, learn, and contribute, all with the goal of inspiring and transforming collective knowledge into innovative solutions for the benefit of all people around the world.

The IFT FIRST Annual Event and Expo is where advocacy for science and the power of collaboration and innovation take center stage.

“IFT’s commitment to DEIB drives innovation in the global food system. At IFT FIRST, our 12 DEIB-focused events, including the African, African American, Black Resource Group Networking Event, foster genuine community and respect, making the future of food brighter,” said Nina Steele, IFT Senior Manager, Membership Engagement and Inclusion. “By prioritizing visibility and inclusion, we create dynamic environments for meaningful connections and collaborations, which are essential for advancing the science of food and its application.”

Attendees are privy to 100+ scientific sessions and discussions focused on this year’s theme of Collaboration and Innovation: How Can Food Science and Tech Transform the Food System?

“Attending the IFT First conference in Chicago this month is an unparalleled opportunity to connect with industry leaders, discover cutting-edge innovations, and gain invaluable insights that can shape the future of food technology,” said Zachary Cartwright.

Cartwright will also present IFTSA Graduate Research Video Award finalists, and eventual winner, during the IFT closing ceremony on Tuesday, July 16th at 5:00pm. Of note is that Dr. Cartwright won this award in 2017.

Chair, Leadership Development Committee at IFT, Colin Dennis, noted that, “IFT FIRST is a meeting of representatives from the food industry, academia and government working in disciplines such as science, technology, engineering, marketing, sales and publishing. Such a gathering from around the globe, enables sharing of insights, exchanging ideas on research and technology as well as exploring the opportunities and challenges facing our profession.

“My ambition for the prize when it was suggested, during my time as IFT President, by my ex-colleagues at Campden BRI was for it to focus on students and to stimulate international exchange and experience.

“The CampdenBRI video prize stimulates students to critically think about the purpose of their research and the potential impact it has on society. The winners travel internationally, experience different cultures and practices, and learn about opportunities and challenges in industry, academia and government in the UK and Europe.

“These experiences invariably establish long lasting interaction and friendships which have the potential to be the basis of future collaboration.”

Bertrand Emond, Membership Ambassador and Culture Excellence Lead at Campden BRI, added that, “IFT FIRST is a pivotal event dedicated to shaping the future of food. The Campden BRI GRVC provides a unique opportunity for graduate students to showcase their research in a creative and concise way and practice their science communication skills. The winner of the competition goes on a 10-day study tour in the UK/Europe to visit technical/research centers of excellence including Campden BRI and meet with technical experts – a fantastic way to network with peers, give presentations to various audiences, and find out about what is happening in the UK and Europe.”


More than 90 of the top 100 food companies in the US own and use AQUALAB devices, as well as many international organizations. Widespread use across the food industry includes a strong market presence in sectors such as snack foods, pet foods, dairy, and processed meats. Precision water activity measurements help food production companies to optimize quality assurance, guarantee safety, reduce R&D and production costs, and extend shelf life.

Important to note is that brands such as Hostess, Kemin, Clif Bar, Arkopharma, and Thorne, among others, have embraced AQUALAB’s solutions.

With offices in the US, Europe, Latin America, and Asia, complemented by an extensive distributor network, AQUALAB maintains a global presence that mirrors its impact. Beyond its core expertise in water activity, the company offers a comprehensive suite of solutions, including moisture content analysis, isotherm generators, drying optimization software, food formulation software, sensory analysis, and R&D consulting.

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