The International Lecithin and Phospholipid Society (ILPS) was registered in 2013 in Cologne, Germany as a non-for-profit association. Originally ILPS was incorporated in 1991 in the USA. The ILPS Board and Membership decided to transfer the Society registration to Europe, since most ILPS events are organized in Europe. ILPS consists of corporate members from Academia, Institutes and Industry in the Food, Cosmetic, Pharmaceutical and Technical sectors.
The ILPS originated in 1991, as a not-for-profit organization was originally known as the ILSG (International Lecithin Study Group). The ILSG was established in Chicago in 1984 as an off shoot of the 4th Phospholipid Colloquium. The group's purpose was to evaluate methods and discuss scientific topics related to phospholipids. Scientific meetings of the ILSG were organized in Boston, Venice, Nice and Hamburg. These activities have been continued as ILPS Congresses in Brussels (7th, 1996), Vienna (8th, 2002), Pécs Hungary (9th, 2006) and Rotterdam (10th, 2011).
It started in 1984 on the occasion of one of the Lucas Meyer conferences in Chicago. It was on Dr. Michael Schneider's initiative to have panel discussions about different topics as for example nomenclature (confusion about the use of the term lecithin both for PC and fluid lecithin), nutritional relevance, new drug preparations using phospholipids, etc. At that time Dr. Michael Schneider used the name Phospholipid Study Group (ILSG).
The following years the group met once a year, mostly at the time and location of the AOCS conferences. Organizer and head of the group the following years was Tom Watkins because Dr. Michael Schneider decided he was the only person without commercial interest. As far Dr. Michael Schneider remembers, the ILSG was renamed and registered in Delaware as non-profit organisation approx. 1990 after a meeting in New York. Other locations of ILSG/ILPS (as long as it was registered in the US) are identical with AOCS meeting places (New Orleans, Orlando, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Chicago, San Antonio, St. Louis …).
During this time the world of lecithin has changed. In addition to soy lecithin, new sources of lecithin attract growing interest with respect to technological and nutrition & health properties (rape seed, canola, sunflower, egg, milk and marine sources). The focus of the new activities moved from N-America to Europe. Since 2013 ILPS as a non-profit organization is registered in Germany.
Willem van Nieuwenhuyzen joined the group several years after its foundation, as far as Dr. Michael Schneider remembers, approx. at the time when it was registered in Europe. He used to work for Central Soya in Europe. One of the promoters of ILPS in the US was Berny Szuhaj from Central Soya and Bruce Sebree from ADM.
ILPS Foundation Meeting Participants 2013
(from left to right: Willem van Nieuwenhuyzen, Waldemar Buxmann, Nils Hoem, Bernd Diehl, Gabriele Randel, Ralf Moling, Rute Azevedo, Michael Schneider, Miguel Redón, Harry Kreekel)
ILPS works closely together with the AOCS Phospholipid Division. In fact a number of ILPS board members were or are also officers of the Phospholipid Division. The Annual Award of the AOCS Best Phospholipid Paper is funded by the ILPS. This award is presented during the AOCS Annual Meeting. ILPS contributes also to the travel fund for academic experts, presenting a phospholipid paper on the AOCS Annual Meeting.
Scientific congresses are increasingly taken a burden of the working time of professionals. ILPS has jointly organized their 9th ILPS Congress on Phospholipids for Health with the 49th International Conference on Bioscience of Lipids in September 2006 in Pécs, Hungary. In fact participants could select out of 3 scientific events within one week, since ELIFE –IFSSAL also cooperated with the ICBL2006 local organization secretariat.
The 10th ILPS Congress in Rotterdam, The Netherlands was organized as satellite event prior to the Euro Fed Lipid Congress.
Legislative aspects in Europe required the establishment of a European legally based association. The international focused and originally US based ILPS did not fulfill these requirements, but ILPS collaborates intensively with the corporate members of the European Lecithin Manufacturers' Association ELMA.
Occasionally ILPS organizes phospholipid seminars in frame of large exhibitions such as the annual IFT exhibition in USA or the biannual Food Ingredients Europe. Specific ILPS Lecithin Short Courses are preferably organized in co-operation with a University Institute with laboratory facilities for demonstrations. Successful short courses were organized in Ghent University in 2005, 2008, 2010, 2014, 2016 with demonstrations in the laboratories of the food department. In cooperation with AOCS a Lecithin SC with lab demonstrations was held with Laval University in 2007 in Quebec City Canada. In April 2013 the Lecithin SC is held at the site of the AOCS Annual Meeting Montreal, Quebec, Canada (without lab Ghent University for winter 2008 in Ghent Belgium).
In 2017 The International Lecithin and Phospholipid Society (ILPS) organized a Scientific Symposium in Cologne. Highly qualified experts were present with their latest research. The number of participants (72) exceeded the target and the capacity.