Over 120 scientists gathered at Teagasc Food Research Centre, Ashtown, Dublin for the 51st Annual Food Science and Technology Conference. The conference was co-hosted by IFSTI, the Institute of Food Science and Technology of Ireland, and Teagasc, on the theme of ‘Food Systems in a Changing World-the Science, Challenges and Opportunities’.
The conference was divided into six themes, namely: addressing climate challenges in agri-food production, bio-based solutions for food production and processing, data and digitalisation advances in food systems, engaging the consumer and society, safe, healthy and sustainable food innovation and zero waste approaches to address food loss and waste.
Declan Troy, Assistant Director of Research at Teagasc and President of IFSTI, opened the conference and commented, “food systems encompass all aspects of food production, processing, distribution, consumption and waste management. Science and technology, combined with policy interventions and public awareness, can play a pivotal role in shaping the future of food systems for the better. By researching and harnessing innovation and adopting a holistic and integrated approach to food, from farm-gate and beyond, we can address the challenges faced and seize the opportunities to build sustainable, resilient and inclusive food systems, while minimising environmental impact.”
The programme had a national and international flavour, including keynote presentations from Dr Ian Noble (VP R&D – Research and Analytical Sciences, Mondelēz International), Mr Nicholas Reynolds (Sustainability Manager, O’Brien Fine Foods), Dr Ultan McCarthy (Lecturer, Department of Land Management at South East Technological University), Dr Kari Tromso (President of EIT Food Protein Diversification Think Tank and Open innovation leader at Danone) and Professor Maeve Henchion (Head of Department of Agrifood Business and Spatial Analysis at Teagasc).
This annual conference also provides opportunities for presentations and networking to post-graduate students and early stage researchers in food science and related disciplines from across Irish research institutions. The best oral presentation award was won by Victoria Caballero, PhD student at Technological University Dublin, for her presentation on ‘Mathematical modelling of sauerkraut acidification and lactic acid production through fermentation’.
The book of abstracts from the conference can be downloaded here.