Value of the Certified Food Scientist (CFS) certification by IFT?


Hello people,

I recently found out about the CFS program run by IFT and wondering if it’s worth to take that exam. So far discussion on reddit suggests a neutral-negative experience saying it’s expensive, not recognized by employers, hard to maintain the CFS title.

Personally I don’t think it’s a widely recognized certification, and I only learned about it because my supervisor at university has it. But that’s just my impression. I’m wondering if anyone wants to share their experience as CFS or has any insights on this topic. Thanks!

Certainly it can improve your resume and professional title…
Just think of it
Those naysayers just don’t want to waste money in CFs application and exams…


Will it increase your salary?
Will it increase your knowledge in some way that can’t be achieved otherwise?

If the answer is no, I don’t see a lot of value in it.

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if you had the keen interest, means and time for it while still young , its advantageous you have to take that opportunity…

I don’t believe its not recognized knowing a large number of food professionals globally participate in such exclusive membership.

I would have taken part of it if I was younger, but at my age as a semi retired guy I find it not important anymore to me…But I never discourage other people from getting it.
If ldeep in yourself are not interested , then why worry about getting a CFS…?

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My previous employer paid for my CFS certification (good for 5 years). I think it is a “nice to have” but typically will not increase your salary at most companies. However, it might make you stand out a bit when seeking a new job. I will likely renew the certification and keep it current as I’m now a free lance food science consultant and I think it “looks nice” on the resume/LinkedIn profile.

Another certification to consider or look into is the “Certified Culinary Scientist” certification from the Research Chefs Association. This is their certification for food science oriented professionals in the food/culinary industry (there is a different one for chefs) and may be more appropriate if you are in a more culinary-driven type of field (rather than hard core food science research, etc.).

I’ve found that most people in the industry don’t really know what the IFT is unless they are actual food scientists. The RCA (Research Chefs Association) seems to be more widely known, at least in my experience.


I was on the committee that developed the most recent CCS and CRC exams for the Research Chefs Association.
The tests are actually pretty well designed compared to the version that existed when I originally took the CRC exam.

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Spot on…
This is what I hear from food scientists and research chefs that got that membership…Its not about salary increase but additional merit or more recognition…:wink:?
I’ve seen long practicing food scientists, engineers ,technologies,with MS and PhD had the CFS as well.,

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Thanks for the input everyone! Really appreciate to hear your perspective.

After all the pros and cons about CFI were discussed by members,
I am wondering did it convince you to act positive on it or it supported your negative bias about it…?
Further, are the opinions really helpful to you in making a decision for or against it… :wink: