Global challenges and the critical needs of food science and technology

September 30, 2019

An interview with Prof Anne-Marie Hermansson from Chalmers University of Technology and Peter Lillford from the University of Birmingham, who have teamed up to discuss the scientific and technical requirements that need to be addressed to fulfil the SDGs at the next EFFoST International Conference.

At the EFFoST conference, you will be presenting your latest report titled 'Global challenges and the critical needs of food science and technology'? What does the report reveal?
Our report reveals the vital position of Food Science and Technology to find solutions to global challenges. We have repeatably noticed that food technology is hidden in the interdisciplinary scenarios for food and nutrition security and agriculture. In order to demonstrate the critical needs, we have identified challenges in the form of mission-oriented research. Access the full report here

What challenges need to be tackled in your field to drive innovation or sustainability in the future?
When we started our research careers, there was fear for a protein crisis, and we realized that you have to bring functionality to a raw material, as well as micro-structure processing in order to make foods acceptable for the consumer.  This is still valid today when we will need to use new raw materials and new processes to meet the demands of global challenges. Also, understanding the impact of food architecture is an everlasting scientific challenge, as it determines the quality and sensory perception of food.

What current and upcoming developments in your field are you most excited about?
In order to advance the field of Food Science and Technology, we need to attract the best students. It is therefore exciting to see that the younger generation is engaged and wants to contribute to global challenges through food and technology research. This will raise the profile of the field of food science and give rise to development. In some areas, food scientists will take the lead but also take an important role in broader interdisciplinary actions.

Anne-Marie Hermansson, professor (emerita) in structured biomaterials, graduated in chemical engineering at Chalmers, PhD in Lund, and has over the years focused her research on biopolymers and biomaterials related to food.

Peter Lillford was trained as a chemist at King’s College London, and after postdoctoral positions at Cornell and the San Francisco Medical Centre, joined Unilever Research where he spent most of his career. He retired in 2001 and is currently a Visiting Professor in the School of Chemical Engineering at the University of Birmingham.

Please visit our conference website for more information on the 33rd EFFoST International Conference that will be held in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 12-14 November 2019.



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