SAAFoST is a non-profit, largely volunteer run, national association of food science and other technical professionals which is concerned with advancing the knowledge of food science and technology. This it does by publishing a membership magazine titled, Food Science and Technology, encouraging scientific research and the publication of papers and articles, organising meetings, seminars, workshops, exhibitions, congresses and assisting in educational activities. Currently the Association has in the order of up to 2,000 members throughout Southern Africa. The Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Northern branches attend to the regional affairs of the Association. The national secretariat is situated in Durban.

What does SAAFoST do to promote food science professionalism?

  • Eight study grants and eight academic achievement awards are made available each year to Food Science and Food Technology students via their universities.
  • Two postgraduate scholarships are available annually to academically excellent bona fide students.
  • Bursaries are available to matriculants and undergraduates interested in a career in food science and technology – the Association strives to award twenty full-time bursaries every year.
  • A Travel Grant is available to assist food professionals to attend international events.
  • A Journalism Bursary is available to Professional Members to encourage accurate and scientifically correct reporting.
  • An International Congress is organised biennially. The most recent being Johannesburg, 1 – 4 September 2019.
  • An award is made for the best local scientific paper presented at the Congress.
  • An award is made for the best local poster presented at the Congress.
  • A Distinguished Service Award is presented for exceptional service to the Association.
  • The SAAFoST President’s Award is made biennially to an individual or organisation that best advances food science and technology for the provision of safe and wholesome food.
  • Workshops or mini-symposia are frequently held between congresses focusing on sectors such as dairy, meat, beverages and others or addressing issues such as food additives, safety, health, organoleptic properties of food, labelling, new products, etc.
  • Monthly lecture meetings, featuring prominent local or overseas experts, are organised covering a wide range of subjects of interest to members. These can generally be attended free of charge.
  • Congress, workshop or monthly meeting presentations are placed on the Association website when made available.
  • SAAFoST launched its own food science and technology journal, FST, in February 2012.
  • The Association is affiliated to the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT, USA), the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST, UK) and is represented on the Governing and Scientific Councils of the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST). Several SAAFoST Council members have served on IUFoST Task Forces.
  • As a representative on the Food Legislation Advisory Group (FLAG), SAAFoST contributes towards the formulation and revision of food regulations as published by the Directorate of Food Control of the Department of Health.
  • Two Meritorious Awards for Journalism are made available annually – one for the press and the other for radio and television. The awards are made to authors or presenters of objective and scientifically correct articles in the local press or media which contribute towards sound consumer knowledge and education.
  • Careers in food science and technology are promoted by the production, distribution and presentation of career CD’s, by career “Roadshows” held annually in each of the branch centres of Cape Town, Durban and Gauteng and by freely available information and links on the SAAFoST website.
  • SAAFoST was instrumental in establishing the Food Advisory Consumer Service (FACS) in January 1995 as a resource for South African consumers interested in factually correct information on food issues such as health, nutrition, safety, preservatives, colours, additives, chemicals, irradiation, processing, labelling, etc. (www.foodfacts.org.za).
  • The Association administers this internet based service with the assistance of the SA National Consumer Union, The Association for Dietetics in SA, the Nutrition Society of SA and the national Dept of Health; Directorate Food Control. FACS has joined the international network of Food Information Organisations which has members in Europe, the USA, New Zealand, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and China.
  • The Association responds to, and challenges, misleading articles, advertisements and claims concerning food processing and the food industry.