2004 Press Releases

07 Dec 2004

Talking Heads - Stimulating Dialogue between Industry and the Scientific Community for the Benefit of Consumers

Lively debate will be the focus at a Forum on Food for Health to be held next Friday, 10 December. Key decision-makers from the Irish and international food industry, regulatory bodies and leading scientists will meet to discuss the opportunities presented to the Irish food industry by the increased consumer demand for foods that offer health benefits. "There is an excellent opportunity for the Irish food industry to develop a dynamic functional/lifestyle foods sector, taking account of consumer trends and international developments and underpinned by sound scientific knowledge" said Professor Fergus Shanahan, Director, Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre (APC) who will emphasise the strong science and innovation base available at UCC and Teagasc, Moorepark to support industry developments in the functional foods area. Mike Feeney of Enterprise Ireland will outline a vision for the Irish food industry to respond to the opportunities and challenges presented by this internationally evolving sector.

The creation of productive linkages between public research institutions and industry, recognised as a critical success factor in this science-driven market sector, will be highlighted by Dr. Liam Donnelly of Teagasc, Moorepark, who sees a need for greater attention in public S&T policy to innovation management at the public/private interface.

Dr Elizabeth Sloan, President, Sloan Trends and Solutions Inc., a Californian-based consulting firm, will identify key areas for growth and showcase innovative products and ingredients. She will highlight the growing, untapped market associated with younger health-conscious people. With the dramatic increase in obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, Attention deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and the appearance of type 2 diabetes in children, she will emphasise new products aimed at reducing the risk and improving the quality of life for young and school age children as another fast emerging market segment.

Professor Tiina Mattila-Sandholm will describe how the Finnish dairy company, Valio, has pioneered a number of dairy products that meet consumer demands for healthy products including those that improve gut health, lower blood pressure etc.

The Forum will be opened by Mr Micheal Martin, TD, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment. Other key contributors include the Chief Science Advisor to the Irish Government, Dr Barry McSweeney, Dr John O?Brien, Chief Executive, Food Safety Authority of Ireland, Professor Paul Ross, Teagasc and Mr Jerry Henchy, Chief Executive, Dairygold Co-operative Society Ltd.

The Forum is organised by the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre (APC) based at UCC and Teagasc, Moorepark. The APC is a Centre for Science, Engineering and Technology (CSET) which is funded by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and whose mission is to link science and society through excellence in research, education and outreach in gastrointestinal health.

The Forum takes place on Friday, 10 December next at the Conference Centre, Teagasc, Moorepark, Fermoy, Co. Cork.

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