3 November 2016
SCI's Seligman Trust Committee
SCI, London, UK
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Meeting the challenges for the future of our food - engineering a more sustainable Global Food System
Our 20th Century Food System focused on preparing low cost, safe, convenient, preference driven foods, with the assumption that 'the consumer is king'. The new challenges ahead of us are far more complex requiring us to embrace a Food System paradigm at both national and global levels, addressing sustainable uses of raw materials and energy, together with new targets for consumer needs that include long term health as well as short term pleasure. Success will depend on meeting the aspiration of consumers to be both delighted and well nourished, whilst re-assuring them of their future well-being.
The challenges before us now require a paradigm shift in our understanding of the food we eat, how we perceive that food and the resulting nutrient delivery through consumption within the context of emerging concerns for Global Food Security. A systems based approach is both essential and also challenging: whilst advanced crop breeding and agronomy may be directed towards more suitable raw material composition in terms of nutrient and calorie content, these new raw materials will probably not have the same functional performance in processing. Additionally, waste and energy reduction will necessitate novel manufacturing methods, and unlike most other industries, the criteria of successful product structure-function creation is not just stability but also sensory perception: appearance, flavour, tactile response and satiation. We will need to formulate and prepare foods to ensure that they are still liked by consumers and deliver at least current product performance in the mouth and throughout the body, delivering the required sensory and nutritional performance; whilst simultaneously addressing food security. Our current approach minimises variables by limiting raw material sources to a few dominant crops; refining ingredients to a standardised state; and 'over-processing' to guarantee consumer safety. This must change if we are to have sustainable varied and healthier foods around the globe. At both local and global levels, processing will need to be linked to primary production; total system rather than unit operations will need to be optimised; with waste reconceptualised as a side stream.
In solving these challenges we will build new areas of understanding, improve our nutrition, nourish the environment we live in and secure our food for the future.
Belgrave Square London, SW1X 8PS
Tel: 0207 598 1584
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Speaker: Professor Ian Noble, Senior R&D Director, Mondelez
Ian Noble leads Global Category Product Platforms Group for Chocolate focused on delivering the strategic innovation and renovation agenda for brands including Cadbury's Dairy Milk and Milka around the world. He is the site leader for the Bournville R&D Centre in Birmingham.
Prior to joining Mondelez, he led the Global Emerging Snacks Technology group for PepsiCo R&D based across R&D Centres in Shanghai, Leicester, Plano (Texas) and Monterrey (Mexico) accountable for the creation and delivery of new technologies for non-Core products. Previous roles included the R&D strategy lead for Global Snacks and the Europe Sector Foods Innovation R&D group based in Leicester
He joined PepsiCo in 2007, from Unilever where he was latterly the Global FoodService Beverages R&D Director, having joined Unilever into the Colworth House research laboratory in the UK on completing his PhD in Biochemical Engineering in 1994. He subsequently worked in Sri Lanka, Japan, China, France, the Netherlands and the UK, in R&D roles from background research to commercial market leadership, including championing Open Innovation in Unilever Foods R&D.
UK Agri Food Tech Leadership Council - member
UK Food Innovation Network - advisory board chair
FERA Science Advisory Group
Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Food - advisory board (launch - June 2016)
Food Research Partnership - Food Competitiveness sub-group chair