December 2016

  Monthly archive

Mobile abattoir

A mobile abattoir for beef cattle originally developed in Sweden is to be launched in France [2]. Swedish company, Halsingestintan, established Europe’s first mobile abattoir for beef cattle in 2015. The company’s ethical concept for meat production eliminates all slaughter transportation, thus improving animal welfare, as the cattle are slaughtered on the farm in their familiar home environment and avoid stressful transportation.

Agri-tech accelerators

Barclays and Unreasonable Group have partnered to launch Unreasonable Impact, an international network of accelerators focused on scaling up entrepreneurial solutions that will create employment while solving some of the most pressing societal challenges. Programmes held in selected regions across the world will support the scale-up of growth-stage ventures by providing entrepreneurs with resources, mentorship and global networks of support.

Restricted diets research

A new research centre, believed to be the first of its kind in the UK, will focus on the needs of consumer groups with specific dietary restrictions [7]. The centre will be based at Chester University’s Institute of Food Science and Innovation and aims to address an important current gap in the food sector, relating to the needs of the consumer groups with certain dietary restrictions. These could be due to religious beliefs and lifestyle choices (e.g. halal, kosher, vegetarian, vegan), or due to certain medical conditions (e.g.

Sugarwise certification launched in the US

Technology developed by Sugarwise to measure added sugars in foods was launched in the US in September [8]. Following on from the new FDA guidelines on food labelling, the technology is claimed to be the only way of independently measuring the added sugar in foods without requiring recipe information from manufacturers. The Sugarwise certification programme uses this test to award a kitemark to those products low in added sugar.

Counter fraud guidance

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) has launched a ‘Counter Fraud Good Practice Guide for Food and Drink Businesses’ [6]. The guidance was developed in collaboration with the University of Portsmouth’s Centre for Counter Fraud Studies, the Food Standards Agency’s National Food Crime Unit, Food Standards Scotland’s Food Crime and Incidents Unit and the Intellectual Property Office.

N8 AgriFood

Malou Lindholm and Professor Katherine Denby describe the multidisciplinary approach to sustainable, resilient and healthy food supplies at the N8 universities in the North of England, where over

For the past 40 years, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) have provided businesses throughout the UK with the opportunity to accelerate innovation and drive productivity. Funded through Innovate UK, KTPs exist to provide businesses with early career graduates/post graduates and the necessary academic support to undertake ambitious projects that may otherwise not get off the ground. The collaboration of universities with businesses offers a unique opportunity for commercial growth and academic research.

The UK needs more engineers, especially the food manufacturing and agri-tech sectors. Estimates vary, but for future sustainable economic growth it is reckoned that the UK’s engineering employers need to recruit 182,000 people with engineering skills each year; currently there is an annual shortfall of 69,000 advanced technicians and engineers.

Attracting more foreign students is not the answer as currently about half of overseas engineering graduates return to their country of origin. Post Brexit the option of filling gaps by importing talent becomes more challenging.

Dame Anne Glover challenges scientists to speak out

Dame Anne Glover (Vice- Principal External Affairs & Dean for Europe, University of Aberdeen, and former Chief Scientific Adviser to the President of the European Commission) was this year's speaker at the annual IFST Lecture. In her talk, ‘Science for the EU and EU for Science’she threw down the gauntlet for EU scientists in all lines of work to raise their voices in public where they see the omission or misuse of scientific evidence in communications, by the media, government, or any other body, on issues and policies that impact on citizens.

UK team scoops the bronze prize at the Ecotrophelia European finals

Ryan Clifford and Dominic Urban, the Fran Borjan Team from Nottingham Trent University, secured a podium for the UK at the Ecotrophelia European finals on 16 and 17 October 2016 at SIAL in Paris. The team’s product, a sustainable and indulgent non-dairy alternative to traditional ice cream that uses algal protein to replace dairy protein, fought off stiff competition (including several ice cream-like products) from fifteen other countries to secure the bronze award and a €2000 prize.

New Information Statement on Sugars

IFST has released a new Information Statement on Sugars authored by ProfessorJulian Cooper, CSci, and peerreviewed by IFST's ScientificCommittee. IFST Information Statements summarise the authoritative and impartial science behind key food science issues.

Science and the Parliament 2016

On 9 November 2016 a group of IFST members from the Scottish Branch – Brian Wood, Christine Fraser and Jon Wilkin along with IFST's Operations Director, Andrew Gardner – attended the 16th annual Science and the Parliament event organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry on behalf of, and in cooperation with, the Scottish science and engineering community to foster close relations with the Scottish Parliament and Government.

The main focus of the event was school education; however, progression to further and higher education were also considered.

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