The IFST lecture is one of the highlights of the year for the food science profession, providing critical thinking on topical issues and valuable networking for the 150 or so guests. Hosted in London, it is also live streamed to venues around the UK.
This years guest speaker was Professor Michael Gibney, Emeritus Professor of Food and Health, University College Dublin. Professor Gibney discussed his views on ultra-processed foods and the issues raised for policy makers.
In a wide-ranging review of scientific literature, he questioned some prevalent notions around ultra-processed foods. Professor Gibney concluded for example, that he could find no clear biological basis to believe that either processing or additives are linked to chronic disease. Moreover, he advised that advocating avoidance of ultra-processed foods may create problems for policy makers and for consumers.
In the lively Q&A that followed Professor Gibney noted that more work on nutrient intake as a function of specific genotypes may yield clearer evidence for policy making on major disease classes. Professor Gibneys presentation is available from the IFST website
The Government Chemist and the National Measurement Laboratory (NML) supported this lecture.
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