IFST SC21 - Setting the Scene and Smart Food Science and Nutrition - event highlight

To set the scene on the first day of our conference, we started off with a presentation from Prof Guy Poppy discussing the impacts of current dietary patterns on human and planetary health. Guy explored how we can use foresight and horizon scanning approaches to help us transform to an optimal future food system. Chris Gilbert-Wood, Chair of the IFST Scientific committee also provided an update on our Horizon Scanning Survey outputs. Our report will be published by mid-June 2021. 

To begin our session on smart food science and innovation, Prof Charles Brennan from Lincoln university discussed how food industry 4.0 is affecting the nutrition of food for the consumer. He described what is meant by Food industry 4.0, including the use of product automation and artificial intelligence, new technologies, and creating novel processing solutions. In his presentation, Prof Charles Brennan also addressed how we can use novel technologies to create functional foods with different sensory and chemical properties, an exciting area of research for the future of the food sector. Charles explained how ‘’Food industry 4.0 can help us with personalisation of food processes, products, and nutrition’’.  

In the second presentation of this session, James Collier, Cofounder and Head of Nutrition at Huel, shared new insights into creating foods that are nutritionally complete for consumers. In this presentation, James highlighted the important considerations for creating nutritionally complete foods, including finding the right balance between nutrition, sustainability, and affordability. Furthermore, he explored the term ‘sustainable nutrition', commenting that ‘’the key thing is to address the two things together, sustainability is integral for nutrition’’.  

In the final presentation of the day, Tom Amery – Managing Director at The Watercress Company – discussed the applications of watercress as a functional food ingredient, including opportunities within healthcare, nursing homes, and the military. Tom described how a perishable crop can be transformed into a product that has a range of applications in healthcare, the cosmetic industry, and within the food and drink sector.  

Don't forget to follow us on Twitter @ifstnews for live tweets during the sessions.

Also, don't miss your opportunity to attend the rest of the Spring Conference - we have more exciting topics to discuss, Wednesday 28 April, we have a session on Smart Manufacturing, followed by a Networking session. Book now!