Researchers asked a sample of visitors who attended last year’s Vitafoods Europe which health categories were of most interest to them. Healthy aging was selected by more than a quarter of respondents (26%), digestive health by 23%, cardiovascular health by 22% and weight management by 21%.
Reflecting their importance, there will be a major focus on all four of these topics in dedicated sessions at this year’s Vitafoods Europe Conference. Particularly exciting is the news that the conference will offer delegates a chance to hear the latest results from a series of major EU-funded nutrition projects exploring three of these areas: weight management, heart health and healthy aging.
Chris Lee, Vitafoods Portfolio Director, said: “The Vitafoods Europe Conference program for 2016 mirrors the top priorities among our visitors. This is no accident—in fact we’ve worked hard to make sure we are delivering the high quality presentations that people really want to see. We assembled a panel of experts from both industry and academia to help us identify the best possible speakers for the event. The result of this approach is an excellent line-up that is our strongest ever, with a clear focus on applied science, business growth strategies, quality assurance and regulation that is sure to help delegates meet their business challenges.”
During a dedicated weight management session on the morning of May 10—chaired by Dr. Jörg Hager, Head of Nutrition & Metabolic Health Unit at the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences—conference delegates will hear first from Professor Julian Mercer from the University of Aberdeen’s Rowett Institute of Nutrition & Health. He will outline findings from the EU-funded Full4Health study, which has been looking into the psychology of eating habits and how this influences consumer demand.
Taking the stage immediately afterwards will be Dr. Angela Bonnema, Senior Nutrition Scientist at U.S.-based Cargill, with Soraya Shirazi-Beechey, who is Professor of Molecular Physiology & Biochemistry at the University of Liverpool.
They will present results from Project Satin—SATiety INnovation, an EU-funded study of nutrients and ingredients that promote satiety and could therefore help to curb obesity. The session will include a practical focus on how the findings of the research can be implemented in the nutraceutical industry.
Later that day, in a session covering heart health, the Vitafoods Europe Conference will see Dr. Paul Kroon, Research Leader at the U.K.’s Institute of Food Research, reveal findings from BACCHUS, another EU-funded project—this time investigating how the bioactives found in food could offer cardiovascular health benefits.
The fourth EU-funded project to feature at the conference will be NU-AGE, a major healthy aging research initiative involving a consortium of 30 companies and organizations from 17 EU countries. A presentation on the findings will be delivered by project coordinator Professor Claudio Franceschi from the University of Bologna in Italy. This will take place in a healthy aging session chaired by the University of Geneva’s Dr. Astrid Stuckelberger, President of the Geneva International Network on Aging at the World Health Organization.
Day one of the conference will also feature sessions focusing on cognitive health and infant health. On day two, attention will switch to marketing strategies, product safety and regulatory issues. In the morning, delegates will enjoy a unique insight into the future of ‘intelligent food’ from Katrina Lytton, U.K. Nutrition Lead at KPMG. She will also address the six key areas that drive innovation and create a competitive advantage.
Kicking off the afternoon session will be a panel discussion debating the merits of incorporating pharmaceutical standards in the functional nutrition industry. Chaired by Jo Pisani of PricewaterhouseCoopers, the panel will include David Mela, Senior Scientist with Unilever’s R&D operation, and Inga Koehler, Senior Manager Regulatory Affairs at Pfizer Consumer Healthcare.
Later in the day, regulatory experts EAS Strategies will present a special extended and in-depth three-part session exploring a roadmap for bringing new nutritional ingredients to the EU market. The conference will close with a look at the regulatory aspects of packaging, including the tricky issue of intellectual property, from law firm Bird & Bird.
Chris Lee added: “Once again, the Vitafoods Europe Conference will offer an unrivalled opportunity to hear about the latest scientific developments and market trends from leading academics and top global industry experts. It is sure to offer insights that will lead to tangible business benefits in today’s nutraceutical market.”
The Vitafoods Europe Conference will run alongside the first two days of the Vitafoods Europe exhibition at Palexpo, Geneva (on May 10 and 11). Over the course of the two-day conference, delegates will be able to take their pick from a total of 45 presentations and expert panel discussions delivered by speakers from 13 countries.