Hannover, Germany. Biotechnology is making a key contribution to the development of high-quality, safe food products. The conservation of resources and sustainability in food production are further challenges in view of a population that is not only growing but also ageing. “Food biotechnology is – in economic terms – one of the most important biotech areas worldwide: over 30 percent of all food is produced using processes involving microorganisms or enzymes,” confirms Dr. Jochen Köckler, member of the Managing Board at Deutsche Messe AG, Hannover. From 8 to 10 October, BIOTECHNICA 2013 in Hannover will present the processes that the food biotech industry can use to improve product quality and safety.
A focal point at BIOTECHNICA 2013 will be the marketplace “Innovation in Food” in Hall 9. Here food biotech firms will present new options and concepts for obtaining, processing and refining raw materials and foodstuffs. Analytical processes for assessing food safety will also be presented.
Sustainability, consumer protection, cost-effectiveness and the acceptance of biotechnology in food products will be at the top of the agenda during the accompanying forum and symposium “Innovation in Food” on 9 October. Here experts from science, industry and politics will be discussing current developments, products and applications. Another topic under discussion will be the role of probiotics, i.e. viable microorganisms such as lactic acid bacteria and yeasts, which are used to ensure food safety. The symposium will be organized by Deutsche Messe together with MicroMol, a Karlsruhe-based company that undertakes contract research in microbiology and molecular biology.
New practical approaches in food production will be the focus of the iFood Conference, which will offer the research community and the food industry the first-ever BIOTECHNICA platform for sharing expertise. The three-day scientific conference will be organized by the German Institute of Food Technologies (DIL) and the European Federation of Food Science & Technology (EFFoST).
Biotech solutions for food safety
The optimization of starter and protective cultures for fermented food products such as cheese and raw sausage makes a significant contribution to preventive consumer health protection. These cultures play a critical role in product safety. Moreover, protective cultures can offer an alternative to chemical or physical food preservation. For instance, numerous lactic acid bacteria strains are able to inhibit the growth of unwanted molds. They can furthermore help to prevent the multiplication of the harmful bacterium Listeria monocytogenes.
Starter and protective cultures are also important for consumer enjoyment of a given product. They make fermentation predictable and ensure consistent quality in terms of how the product tastes and smells. In other words, a specific brand of cheese or salami will have exactly the taste that is expected by the consumer based on his previous experience of the product.
Sustainability in food production
Sustainability in food production is an increasingly relevant issue both in industry and among consumers. Of particular importance at an early stage in the value chain is the improvement of resource efficiency. Enzymatic and fermentation processes can be extremely useful here. As catalysts comprising living cells, these processes act where specifically required – without impairing the product. This saves energy, while the mild reaction conditions mean that health-giving ingredients are conserved.
Enzymes are furthermore able to slow down certain breakdown processes such as bread becoming stale. By delaying these processes the product remains edible for considerably longer. Less food is thrown away, which in turn helps protect the environment and save money.
Food production often generates large volumes of by-products in the form of mixed organic residual matter that can be utilized by microorganisms or in enzymatic processes. Making use of these by-products and integrating process cycles also delivers definite economic benefits for companies.
Further information about the symposium “Innovation in Food” and the iFood Conference is available at www.biotechnica.de/de/foodbiotechnology and
BIOTECHNICA – Europe’s leading trade fair for biotechnology, the life sciences and laboratory equipment – opens to the public for the 20th time from 8 to 10 October 2013 in Hannover, Germany. Major display categories include bio-process technology, bio-analysis and bioinformatics, as well as biotechnological applications in pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, biomedicine, food, agriculture, industrial production and environmental technology. In a series of themed “marketplaces” focusing on industrial biotechnology, food biotechnology, bio-services and personalized medicine, BIOTECHNICA explores the key trends currently shaping the industry. The show is accompanied by various international conferences and workshops. The official Partner Country in 2013 is Switzerland.
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