February 2017

  Monthly archive

Courtauld Commitment 3 Delivers over £100 million business savings by reducing food waste over three year period

Minimising food waste is one of the main challenges for the food and drink sector. According to WRAP, the food waste experts that work with governments, businesses, local authorities and consumers to improve resource efficiency, approximately 10 million tonnes of food and drink are thrown out (post farm gate) in the UK every year with a value of £17 billion. Around 60% of this is avoidable and could have been consumed [1] .

How will the Internet of Things Impact the Food Industry?

Many of us will have heard of the Internet of Things (IOT) and recognize it as part of the digital revolution, but it may be unclear what it really means and how it is likely to impact the Food Ind

Climate change challenges

The climate change challenges facing the UK are outlined in the government’s latest Climate Change Risk Assessment, published in January 2017 [1]. The changing climate is recognised as one of the most serious environmental challenges and the government is taking action to address this by improving flood defences and securing critical food and water supplies.

Robot packers

Ocado, the online grocery retailer, is testing a robotic hand that can pick and pack fruit and vegetables [2]. Ocado already uses a variety of robots in its operations, but the variation in shape and fragile nature of fruit and vegetables mean that they have been susceptible to damage or bruising when handled by existing robots.

Categorisation of food scares

The food sector is now a world market with products sourced from all over the globe to meet the growing demand from consumers for diverse food stuffs regardless of seasonality. Fulfilling this demand has led to the creation of complex food supply chains, which have limited traceability and accountability mechanisms, increasing the likelihood of food scares.

Hidden dangers of supplements

A team of specialists, including Emeritus Professor Duncan Burns, a forensically experienced analytical chemist from Queen’s University Belfast’s Institute for Global Food Security, Dr Michael Walker from the Government Chemist Programme at LGC and Professor Declan Naughton from Kingston University, has been examining the detection of illegal ingredients in herbal dietary supplements [4].

‘Gene-silencing’ for crop protection

Researchers at the University of Surrey and University of Queensland have developed a revolutionary new crop protection technique [5]. They have found that by combining clay nanoparticles with design ‘RNAs’ (molecules with essential roles in gene biology), it is possible to silence certain genes within plants. The spray they have developed – known as BioClay – has been shown to give plants virus protection for at least 20 days following a single application.

Recycling plastic packaging

The New Plastics Economy initiative launched its latest report in January 2017 at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos. Endorsed by more than 40 industry leaders, it provides a global action plan to transition towards a plastics system aligned with the principles of the circular economy.

Sandwiches for the homeless

Thousands of tonnes of food that might otherwise have gone to waste could now become available for feeding the homeless, vulnerable and needy in society following an agreement between the British Sandwich & Food to Go Association (BSA) and Government agencies (Food Standards Agency and the Department of Food & Rural Affairs) [7]

IFST Spring Conference 2017

With the stimulating title 'Your Future Role in Food: Embracing Advances in Technology’, our Spring Conference will take place on 7 April 2017 at King’s College – The Strand, London. We aim to highlight advances in technologies – many of which are usually seen as outside the normal scope of food science and technology. This will be an excellent opportunity to explore with us how food production from farm to fork is changing through new science and technology and, in turn, how we can expect roles in the sector to change.

Hygienic Design in Food Processing Environments Conference 2017

IFST’s Western Branch and UK: IE EHEDG have brought together a range of experts who will meet on 23 March 2017 to provide current and future food industry professionals with up-to date information on new and best practices with regard to hygienic design for the production environment.

For more information and to book your place, please visit http://www.ifst.org/events/hygienic-design-food-processing-environments-0

Young Scientist Competitions 2017

Following on from the success of the four Young Scientist Competitions in 2016, we are pleased to announce that this year we will be hosting the competition in all of our regions.

This competition offers undergraduate/postgraduate students (UK only) the opportunity to present their current or recently completed food-related project in front of their peers and to a panel of food professionals.



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