F&HN Brief – November
We have upgraded the F&HN website to comply
with the Disabilities Discrimination Act (DDA), which came
into force in October. The site now passes Bobby 'A' Approved
Status which equates to Web Accessibility Initiatives (WAI)
Priority 1 guidelines.
Along with these changes we have incorporated
a new security entry system for all our members. Members
should have received their new log-in information last week.
This system will come into effect this week. If you have
any log-in problems please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Quality through Shelf-Life & PRIMA Clusters launch
‘F&HN Direct’. As part of the development of the Network
we are visiting a member company on a confidential basis
in December 2004. We are taking a small team, geared to
the needs of the company, and staff from the two Clusters
will listen in strict confidence, with the intention that
we can offer assistance. If your company would like to try
out ‘F&HN Direct’ please get in touch with Lesley Swift
Allergy Cluster meets 7th December – be there!
Following a very successful launch meeting with seven companies,
the second meeting of the Allergy Cluster will take place
at IFR next month.
F&HN members will have an unparalleled opportunity at
this meeting to network with industrialists, scientists
and regulators from across Europe. We are particularly pleased
that representatives from the European Food Safety Authority
- and the FSA – will be present.
Topic for the Day - Allergenic Risk Assessment
With IFR speakers, and external contributions from INRA,
the Medical University of Vienna, the University of Athens,
and Unilever SEAC. These are members of Allergest, an EU-funded
project designed to understand the role digestion plays
in food allergenicity.
Programme for the day is at www.foodandhealthnetwork.com/events/
Remember, you can attend even if you are not an Allergy Cluster
member, although there will be a fee. Contact Lesley Swift
on 01603 255082 or e-mail Lesley.Swift@bbsrc.ac.uk
for more information, or to reserve your place.
The next meeting is planned for February 2005.
The topic is still to be finalised – so if there is anything
you particularly want to hear about, contact Richard Faulks
– e-mail email@example.com
The next meeting is planned for 9th March 2005,
possibly in Nottingham. The topic is still to be finalised
– so if there is anything you particularly want to hear about,
contact Tim Brocklehurst – e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
The 3rd meeting is planned for March 2005. The
topic is either ‘Probiotics’ or ‘Detecting allergens in foods’
– e-mail email@example.com
for further information.
Towards Personalised Nutrition – a new F&HN Cluster
IFR, with IP Pragmatics, has just been funded
by the East of England Development Agency to establish the
NutGen Cluster – a cross-disciplinary network enabling life
sciences, food and public health sectors in the region to
take advantage of the advances in nutritional genomics.
This provides an opportunity to:
- Support a forum for discussion and the exchange of information
- Supply tailored information for external organisations
- Facilitate interaction between academic and industrial
members, national and regional Government, and other national
and international organisations with interests in nutrigenomics
- Develop a regional dimension to national and international
nutrigenomics research, and commercial and public activities
in this area
- Ensure that sufficient financial resources are available
to sustain the network beyond the initial funding provided
by EEDA and the DTI
The cluster will draw membership primarily from academic
and industrial organisations within the region and will be
organised via the Food & Health Network. Further information
will be available via the F&HN website shortly, and the
first meeting is planned for February 2005.
If you’re interested in joining please get in touch with
Siân Astley in IFR Communications Office – e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
(Siân is the Communications Manager for NuGo – the new
Network of Excellence on nutrigenomics, funded by the EU,
for which IFR is managing communications).
Nutrition Cluster Meeting Summary
Eleven companies signed up for the meeting on 27 October,
which combined very lively round-table discussion with presentations
by a number of IFR staff and Michelle Smyth from “Which?”
the topic for the day was “Food Labelling”.
1st Allergy Cluster Meeting Summary
This meeting combined round-table presentations with energetic
discussion on the current state of Allergen Labelling, and
the perception by consumers of the ‘may contain’ labels. Discussion
then turned to the impact on the food industry of the proposed
new EU Legislation (Allergen Labelling) and the logistics
of delivering the proposed labelling changes.
A demonstration was also given of the EU-funded Allergens
Database, which is currently being constructed, consisting
of information on each foodstuff, detailed clinical information
and biochemical descriptions of the relevant allergens. The
database is currently in the final stages of refereeing and
will be published in the New Year on the Food Allergy Information
PRIMA Cluster – Combase Workshop
Eight companies signed up for training to use the new Combase
at the meeting hosted by the Food Standards Agency on 4 November.
This workshop has been run 9 times now - as far afield as
Malaysia and the USA, and we plan to run it again – probably
at IFR. If you want to find out more contact Lesley Swift
– e-mail email@example.com
New technologies from IFR
Rapid Assessment of Shelf-life
Early detection of physical separation in emulsions and suspensions
(food or non-food) is a crucial issue in understanding storage
stability. Experience in monitoring and data interpretation
enables us to identify the mechanisms of separation, leading
to improved strategies for product design. We have recently
commissioned an automated monitor which detects instability
long before it is visible to the eye.
If you would like your product(s) to undergo short-term trials
on a consultancy basis, or to take part in longer term studies
or LINK consortia, please get in touch.
Contact: Margaret Robins - e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Perfringens Predictor – new software tool freely available
Clostridium perfringens is a major cause of foodborne
illness and associated death in the UK. Many outbreaks of
illness are due to improper cooling of meats, which allows
rapid growth of C. perfringens. We have developed
and validated a user-friendly software tool - Perfringens
Predictor - to predict growth of C. perfringens during
cooling and identify safe (and unsafe) cooling practices.
Users of Perfringens Predictor input cooling profiles, and
the software then provides a prediction of growth under the
specified cooling conditions, and FSA-interpretation advice
about the safety of the specified cooling profile. This software
tool complements the existing Growth Predictor.
Contact: Mike Peck or József Baranyi at IFR e-mail
If you haven’t caught up with the new Government White Paper
New measures in the White Paper include:
- Radical action to increase the number of smoke-free workplaces
- Curbs on the promotion of unhealthy foods to children
- Clear, unambiguous labelling of the nutritional content
- NHS Health Trainers to provide advice to individuals on
how to improve their lifestyle
- A wide range of measures to tackle social and geographical
inequalities in health
The White Paper is published on the Department of Health
If you’re not aware of the Food Ethics Council, you may wish
to visit www.foodethicscouncil.org
to see what they are doing.
The next 'Brief' will come out in January 2005