IFST Lecture 2019: ‘Ultra-processed foods: The science and the policy’, Eastern, Norwich

On 2 July 2019, the Quadram Institute of Biosciences (Norwich) hosted the Eastern Branch IFST Lecture 2019 Reception, live streaming the Lecture given by Professor Mike Gibney, Emeritus Professor of Food and Health, University College Dublin from London. 

The event was organised by the IFST Eastern Branch in partnership with Federico Bernuzzi and Dr Anabel Mulet Cabero from the Quadram Institute of Biosciences (QIB). Around 25 people attended the Lecture, including staff from the QIB, several employers from across the Norwich Research Park and additional companies from across Norfolk. Prior to the lecturer, Dr Jennifer Ahn-Jarvis, a Research Scientist at the QIB, gave a 30-minute talk on her Post-Doctoral Fellowship work at Ohio State University. 

Her work consisted of looking at diet and the oral microbiome. She spoke about utilising various food processing strategies for the formulation of different polyphenols (anthocyanins and ellagitannins) to improve their absorption and therefore metabolism. In particular, she was interested in seeing whether increasing the absorption of the polyphenols would lead to an improvement in the oral microbiome to reduce dental diseases. This was tested through a human intervention study, by delivering sweets made with enriched concentration of different polyphenols to participants. The aim of her work was to develop novel food for dietary intervention studies. 

The Lecture was well received, with several questions from different areas being asked. For example, one suggestion that was raised was that since the sweets were made with sugar, perhaps the sugar could be replaced with polyols to make them healthier.

The session ended with a 10-minute break, followed by the live streaming of the Lecture from Professor Gibney. The event ended with an hour’s networking session over food and drink. This year’s event had the largest number of attendees, compared to previous years and the feedback was that it was very well organised, and both talks were well received.    

Federico Bernuzzi