48th Annual AIFST Convention & 15th Australian Microbiology Conference

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 15th July 2015

The world’s leading experts will be sharing the latest on food innovations, thinking and research at the combined 48th Annual Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology Convention and 15th Australian Food Microbiology Conference.

The largest food industry event in the Asia Pacific this year, will see more than 600 delegates descend on Sydney’s Luna Park from 11th to 13th August 2015 to hear about topics including food safety, the genomics of taste, product recalls and new technologies.convention-2015-logo

This year’s Convention theme, Food for All will cover the big ideas and latest thinking on Australia’s role in catering for the world’s growing population, hearing from the leading experts in the food industry from Australia and the world.

Keeping dry foods free from disease – the new technologies
International specialist in microbial food safety Dr Linda Harris, University of California, will discuss the challenges of controlling foodborne pathogens in low moisture foods, including many pantry staples such as cereals, confectionary, spices, dried milk and nuts. She will also share insights on opportunities to use new technologies to increase food safety.

Taste – it’s all in your genes

Are you a sweet tooth or do you crave a bag of salty chips? It could all come down to your genes. The CSIRO scientist Nicholas Archer, will reveal how our 35 genes associated with taste and more than 400 functional genes associated with smell can influence food preferences and eating behaviours. He will explore how we can use genes to modify individual taste preferences.

48th Annual AIFST Convention
& 15th Australian Microbiology Conference

Keeping the food safe from farm to plate
In light of recent food safety scares, Dr Robyn McConchie, Director of the Fresh Produce and Safety Centre, will discuss how the Fresh Produce Safety Centre – a new industry-led initiative – aims to improve food safety programs to minimise future food safety issues. Dr McConchie will highlight the research and outcomes of the Centre’s first year, including the development of new industry guidelines for fresh produce safety.

The Facts Behind Fonterra – New Zealand’s Largest Food Recall
As a leader in the Government inquiry of the incident, Anne Astin, President of the AIFST and acclaimed dairy expert will explore New Zealand’s biggest food safety scare, when suspicions of infant formula and other products were infected with botulism-causing C. botulinum. Dubbed the WPC80 incident, how did the simple breaking of a torch lens in a renowned New Zealand dairy factory, result in the global recall of millions of products.

Convention Round Table – Consumer trust, technology and the food industry – Is there a disconnect
Georgie Aley, CEO of the AIFST, will join the round table discussion at the Convention to explore what strategies the industry can implement to avoid mistrust from consumers. In incidents like the frozen berries scandal and country of origin labelling and issues such as obesity, the food industry is always the first to be blamed. The discussion will explore methods to avoid this blame and lack of consumer trust around where food comes from.

Joining Ms Aley in the discussion will be Mirjana Prica, Managing Director of Food Innovation Australia Limited (FIAL) and Geoffrey Annison, Deputy Chief Executive at the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC).
The round table will be chaired by Dr Norman Swan, multi-award winning producer, broadcaster, investigative journalist and presenter of ABC’s Health Minutes.

A Convention first: Food Entrepreneur – Business Essentials Workshop
Brand new to the Convention program this year is the Food Entrepreneur – Business Essentials Workshop. Held on Wednesday 12 August 2015, the Workshop will be a one-day navigation through the essentials of developing a sustainable food business.

Ideal for food business entrepreneurs, the Workshop will provide the opportunity to learn from real life examples, teach the essential food know-how on sustaining a food business and provide tips for running a successful business.

Over three sessions, the Workshop will cover “Practicalities all businesses must do”, identifies the “Generic resources available” to support your business and covers the specific “Foodstuffs” required to provide a balanced food business plan and achieve the successful vision of a food entrepreneur.

Successful food practitioners will join the Workshop to provide their insights on business start-up and development. Delegates will have the opportunity to question and meet the presenters, have a guided tour of the exhibitions and receive exclusive access to the Workshop presentations after the event.

To register for the Convention, please visit the Annual AIFST Convention website www.aifst.asn.au/convention or email Julie.Bennett@aifst.com.au.

About the AIFST

AIFST is the national not-for-profit membership organisation that represents Australia’s food industry professionals. The Institute provides a forum for members to promote and communicate the application of science, technology, engineering, education, and sound practices to improve the production and utilisation of safe, high quality, nutritious foods.

For more details on how to join the association or to register to attend the convention, please visit www.aifst.asn.au

Media enquiries: Jenna Smith, Bite Communications, 02 9977 8195