The 2017 Food Structures, Digestion and Health International Conference was hosted by CSIRO in Sydney (24th-27th October) and was the 4th in the series which focused on increasing awareness to food scientists and Industry on the importance of food format and structure and its significant effect on the palatability of food and the delivery of nutrients. This series of conferences commenced in 2011 through the collaboration with the Riddet Institute in New Zealand.
The conference series has played a major role in bringing these research areas together and more importantly world leading scientists – from diverse disciplines including food science, nutrition, digestive behaviour, gut microbiome, genetics, medical science and engineering.
The conference attracted over 130 delegates representing 46 organisations and 18 countries, more than 50 speakers and 31 posters. The 50 international delegates were from New Zealand Japan, USA, France, Sweden, The Netherlands, Taiwan, Canada, China, Denmark, Indonesia, Switzerland, Singapore, Spain and Sri Lanka. Delegates were from a range of companies, universities, research related and industry organisations, and 2 from government bodies. The Short Course attracted approximately 70 delegates.
Conference delegates rated presentations by keynote speakers as outstanding, with notable presentations on ‘Designing food structures for specific oral processing paths’ from Allen Foegeding, North Carolina State University, ‘Individual variation in taste perception’ from Joanne Hort, The Riddet Institute and ‘Impact of artificial sweeteners on glycaemic control in healthy humans’ from Richard Young, University of Adelaide. An interactive session led by industry that included an industry & academic panel and audience participation identified current and future challenges to the food industry.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA session on ‘Designing foods for the future’ was sponsored by CSIRO’s AIM future science platform and a key presentation by Amy Logan from CSIRO highlighted the future of personalised smart food materials.
Winners of the poster competition were Anika Hoogeveen, (below left) from The Riddet Institute /Massey University, for ’Best Student poster and Nicholas Archer (below right) from CSIRO, for ‘Most Innovative poster’.
The conference also enabled several new research collaborations and partnerships, with international research organisations and universities.
The feedback from delegates was very positive, with several delegates highlighting the importance of holding a conference that crosses many science disciplines, to enable robust discussion and broader collaboration.