The conference coordinator, Dr Phil Kelly, from the Teagasc Food Research Centre, told DairyReporter the event has already attracted 600 dairy scientists, technologists, food formulators and process engineers from academia and industry from 32 countries.
Kelly said it was one of the biggest dairy science and technology events on cheese, milk powders and ingredients to take place internationally in decades.
“These events run at three- to four-yearly intervals. That is to allow new results of research to come through to generate new science and the new innovations that get rolled out at events like this.”
This is the first time the IDF International Symposium on Cheese Science and Technology and the IDF Symposium on Concentration and Drying Technologies of Dairy Products have been combined.
“The two events had run separately, but they became aligned in calendar terms in 2012,” Kelly said.
“The ingredients/powder symposium was in France, and the cheese symposium in the US. But when they came into line in one year, we took the initiative to say ‘why not bring the two together under one umbrella?’,” he added.
Kelly said that on the first morning of the event, there will be a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Elsevier publication, International Dairy Journal.
Members of a five-person team will each give a presentation, and this will include two younger scientists who will be a part of that future.
“A two-hour session will mark the occasion to look forward to the next 25 years, of how they see R&D evolving.”
In addition to the 90 speakers who will address the two symposia, participants will also have the opportunity to engage with 140 poster displays and 17 trade stands.
The day after the symposium, overseas visitors will have the chance to visit the Teagasc Food Research Centre in Moorepark.
United symposia may not last
It’s possible that, in spite of the combined event, the two symposia will be in different places in three or four years’ time. The powders and ingredients event might go to South America.
“It hasn't been finalized, but there is a suggestion that it will go to Brazil, because Brazil has become a significant producer of milk powders, and there is a research group there that is making great strides in terms of their work in the area,” Kelly said.
“My guess is that it is likely to go its separate ways because subject specialization on the part of host countries will create its own impetus and rarely do the two overlap. For example, the major cheese manufacturing countries are likely to flag an interest in hosting the cheese symposium,” he said.
“On the other hand, next week’s event could generate its own excitement with the result that people might well say a parallel symposia approach might be worth replicating in the years ahead.”
Presenters at the event include speakers from Fonterra, FrieslandCampina, GEA, NIZO, INRA-UMR, Nestlé, University of Auckland, and the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China.
Other highlights include:
- Novel developments from the INRA Rennes team (France) featuring two-in-one use of sweet whey to improve the biomass production and spray drying viability of probiotics, and a new process for the production of permeate powders without spray-drier
- Sustainability improvements at processing level and energy saving initiatives
- Special feature on infant milk formula and adult nutritionals addressing important developments concerning regulation, analytical methodology and opportunities for novel ingredients and processes
- Latest research on the use of simulated gastric digestion of the matrix that defines cheese and the potential for even greater health benefits arising from its consumption
- Advances in cheese flavor engineering and characterization
- How the latest molecular diagnostic tools such as nucleic acid-based approaches are being used to investigate microbial-related cheese quality defects