Riddet Institute conference on future food research acclaimed as ground-breaking

The Riddet Institute’s international conference, Food Structures, Digestion & Health, held last week in Palmerston North, has been acclaimed as setting the direction for food research and development for the next 20 years. The conference was devoted to the unique and challenging interface between food science and nutrition and brought together scientists across several disciplines to address cutting edge research issues.

Professor Mark Wahlqvist, from the National Health Research Institutes in Taiwan and a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, said the conference was ground-breaking. “I was here at a conference on dietary fibre in the 1970s, and that changed thinking throughout the food industry internationally. This conference is going to have a similar ability to reform current thinking on how researchers can work together across disciplines linking the science of food structure and not just its components, to sustainability and health. This understanding has been missing from food and health policy until now.”

Professor Wahlqvist has an international reputation as a leading physician and is a member of the Riddet Institute Scientific Advisory Panel.

The conference attracted over 150 delegates from more than 19 countries as far away as Russia, Portugal, Spain, France and UK, who gathered together to gain more understanding of how food structures change as they transverse the entire gastro-intestinal tract. This knowledge will enable the design of a whole new generation of foods with enhanced health and sensory attributes.

Chairman of the Conference Organising Committee Professor Harjinder Singh said, “This conference provided a unique opportunity to bring together the science of human nutrition and food. New knowledge in this interface between food science and nutrition is vital to the international food industry and building research capacity in this area will allow the design of a new generation of foods with enhanced health and sensory attributes.”

The Riddet Institute is a national Centre of Research Excellence hosted by Massey University.

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