One of the largest Technical Interest Groups in SCI, the Food Group applies a multidisciplinary approach to the science and technology of food. Its wide ranging interest area reflects the range of the Members - from physicists, chemists and microbiologists to nutritionists, sensory analysts, from food producers and manufacturers, to policy makers and students.
The Group provides a forum to disseminate research and the latest technical developments and applications to the relevant industries. It also provides networking opportunities for people involved in the food industry around the world. The Group actively encourages university-level students to take up careers in food related subjects through competitions and through our programme of topical, challenging and interesting meetings.
- The Group has joined with other SCI Groups in the Agriculture, Horticulture and Lipids sectors to form an Agri-Food Hub
The Group now has its own Facebook group, which you are welcome to join.
Food Standards Agency
The UK Food Standards Agency was set up in 2000 and is an independent Government department. It is charged with protecting consumer interests in relation to food safety and standards. Most importantly, the Agency is entitled to make public the advice that it gives to Government ministers. This means that the Agency can be seen to act openly and independently in looking after the interests of consumers.
The five outcomes the Agency aims to deliver are:
- Food produced or sold in the UK is safe to eat
- Imported food is safe to eat
- Consumers understand about safe food and healthy eating, and have the information they need to make informed choices
- Food products and catering meals are healthier
- Regulation is effective, risk-based and proportionate, is clear about the responsibilities of food business operators and others, and protects consumers and their interests from fraud and other risks
The Agency is led by a Board that has been appointed to act in the public interest and not to represent particular sectors. Board members have a wide range of relevant skills and experience. The UK headquarters are in London, but the Agency also has national offices in Scotland, Wales and N Ireland.
The Food Standards Agency represents the UK Government on food safety and standards issues in the European Union and is involved in the nutrition and health agenda at a European level. As well as working in close collaboration with other Government departments, the Agency has regular contact with the European Council, the Commission, Standing Committees, the European Parliament and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The FSA's role representing the UK also enables it to share knowledge and expertise with other member states and to work with them to improve food safety within the EU. The Agency has built up a good network with counterpart authorities and works with Commission to provide assistance to new member states.
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA): EFSA is an independent source of scientific advice on existing and emerging risks associated with the food chain. In Europe, risk assessment is separate from risk management. As the risk assessor, EFSA produces scientific opinions and advice to provide a foundation for European policies and legislation and to support the European Commission, European Parliament and EU member states. EFSA works in close collaboration with national authorities and in open consultation with its stakeholders. EFSA’s remit covers food and feed safety, nutrition, animal health and welfare, plant protection and plant health.
The Group offers the following awards:
Daphne Jackson Trust
The Food Group is pleased to support the SCI sponsored Daphne Jackson Fellow, Dr Ruramayi Marjurie Nzuma-Mswaka for two years from July 2013. The Daphne Jackson Trust is an SCI collaborator organisation.
Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Food Group Collaborators
IFST-Institute of Food Science and Technology
The Food Group has close links with the IFST and regularly supports their annual Young Scientist Competitions by offering free one-year SCI student membership to the award winners and contributing towards the cash prizes. SCI members also often qualify for IFST member rates at IFST events – details of these events are available on the SCI website.
Food Authenticity Network
The Food Authenticity Network is a Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) initiative to help bring together those involved in food authenticity testing.
The network, recommended by the Elliot review ‘Integrity and Assurance of Food Supply Networks’, aims to raise awareness of the tools available to check for mislabelling and food fraud and to ensure that the UK has access to a resilient network of laboratories providing fit for purpose testing to check for food authenticity so consumers can have confidence in the food they buy.
It is overseen by a management committee which includes SCI member Mark Woolfe (Secretary and Network Coordinator).
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