May 2016

  Monthly archive

New IFST President and Honorary Secretary Announced

David Gregory is the new President-Elect and Tom Hollands is the new Honorary Secretary of the IFST. David and Tom were invested in their new roles during IFST’s Annual General Meeting on 16 March 2016.

Alex Kent honoured as Honorary Fellow

Alex Kent has been awarded the Honorary Fellowship Award, which is awarded to Members or Fellows who have made an extensive personal contribution to the working and progress of the Institute and to the food science and technology profession.

Alex is a graduate of the Department of Food Science at Leeds University and has spent his career in technical management, quality assurance and new product development within the food industry.

Food crime in the UK

The Food Crime Annual Strategic Assessment (FCASA), carried out by the FSA’s National Food Crime Unit (NFCU) on behalf of the FSA and Food Standards Scotland, has examined the scale and nature of the food crime threat to the UK’s £200 billion food and drink industry[6]. The report notes that while the UK continues to have some of the safest and most authentic food in the world, we must remain vigilant to ensure we keep it that way.

Food hygiene in the home

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has commissioned the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) to undertake a review to establish the proportion of UK foodborne disease caused from faults in food preparation and practices in the home[1]. Working with academics from the University of Surrey, CIEH researchers will seek to discover how cases of foodborne disease caused by faults in the home compare with those caused by eating at foodservice outlets, such as restaurants.

New satellite data for agri-tech

The recent launch of the new Sentinel satellites, part of the European Union’s Copernicus Earth observation programme, has the potential to help farmers take precision agriculture to a new level[3]. The Copernicus programme includes six families of satellites, each with a different focus, and thousands of sensors in land, sea and air to help monitor Earth. This satellite network provides data sources that could be used for precision farming, disease prediction or drought warning.

Defra goes open source

Over the course of the next six months, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) will be releasing data on a range of topics, including groundwater and waterways, erosion, animal movements and plants, all of which could have exciting potential for agri-food[3]. Because all of these datasets are openly licensed, they are free for agricultural companies to access and use for their own purposes. Defra’s transition to becoming a department that is ‘open by default’ will unlock a treasure trove of data with agricultural potential.

Whole genome sequencing

The FSA has published a new report by its Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Guy Poppy, on whole genome sequencing (WGS) and how this new technology can help the FSA’s work to ensure food is safe and authentic[4]. Recently, the development of several new technologies – broadly referred to as ‘next generation sequencing’ – has led to huge increases in the speed at which sequencing can be performed, along with decreases in the cost, making this technology much more accessible.

Sugar tax

In his March budget, the Chancellor announced a new sugar tax on the UK soft drinks industry, following pressure from the health community to combat childhood obesity[5].

New Centre for Crop Health and Protection

A new Centre for Crop Health and Protection (CHAP) was launched in March 2016 as a part of the Government’s Agri- Tech strategy. This aims to ensure that Government investment in agriculture delivers material benefits for society and the economy in the UK and overseas[2]. CHAP will develop solutions to the challenges facing world agriculture, bringing together the best expertise, knowledge and insight from leading research organisations and industries in the sector.

Professor Jack Pearce, BSc, PhD, Chartered Chemist, FRSC, FIFST and IFST President from 2005-07

Professor Jack Pearce is and will be a legend in food science and food education.

Jack studied at the University of Liverpool; his distinguished research career involved work that was both deeply academic and highly sophisticated. He authored over 100 peer reviewed scientific papers. Jack’s research work had important significance which impacts on our daily lives: - on the bacon and eggs we consume for breakfast - on the Easter lamb we enjoy.

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