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Teagasc Hosts Food Digestion Conference in Cork

Scientists from industry and academia gathered in Cork recently for the 7th International Conference on Food Digestion, with over 250 delegates from 29 countries.

The International Conference on Food Digestion was organised in the frame of the INFOGEST research network (www.cost-infogest.eu) whose objective is to ‘improve the health properties of food by sharing our knowledge on the digestive process’. This is the first time that this world-leading biannual conference has been held in Ireland.

Over 160 scientific papers were presented, with six keynote speakers, including Teagasc’s Professor Paul Cotter, and 23 oral presentations. The key topics covered at the conference were food structure, food processing, digestion models, food bioaccessibility and the gut microbiome. 

The conference was officially opened by Declan Troy, Assistant Director of Research at Teagasc. He remarked: “This research area has seen an unpreceded expansion over the last decade as both academia and industry recognised the value of a better understanding of food digestion. It can improve the health effect of food, optimise nd reduce the use of processing and formulation and can positively affect the overall sustainability and environmental impact of food ingredients and food products.”

Originally scheduled for May 2021, the conference was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. For the last 18 months, the Teagasc team has built up an online following from around the globe, leading monthly webinars and a virtual symposium with over 4,000 live attendants and 15,000 YouTube views in advance of hosting the first in-person food digestion conference for three years.

Dr Linda Giblin, Principal Research Scientist at Teagasc and chair of the 7th International Conference on Food Digestion (ICFD2022) organising committee, commented: “We were delighted to welcome delegates to Cork for ICFD2022. This conference was a major event in the fields of food, nutrition and health and brought together international leaders in food digestion research. The latest research and expertise on digestion models, food bioactives, food structure and bioavailability and the effect of food on the gut microbiota was shared at the conference.

More information on the conference can be found at icfd2022.com