Last week I participated ad the 31st EFFoST International Conference on Food Science and Technology Challenges for the 21st Century - Research to Progress Society, 13-16 November 2017 in Sitges (Spain).
This event gives researchers and experts to present original contributions on new developments in food science and emerging technologies. However, also talks about consumer behavior, food policy-making and business development were addressed. Among the talks, I would like to note the ones by Begona Pérez Villareal from AZTI about the new EIT Food, the new KIC (Knowledge and Innovation Community) of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). This KIC has the aim to transform our food ecosystem involving consumers, businesses, start-ups, researchers, and students. Another interesting speech was given by Chiara Vallini from the European Commission who explained the Marie Curie Individual Fellowships and how this program supports experienced researchers undertaking mobility between countries within and outside the European Union.
I gave a talk in a session on Gastronomy, chaired by Juan Carlos Arboleya of the Basque Culinary Center, in which I presented a recent study, carried out with Prof. Cristina Mora and Davide Menozzi, on the growing interest of entomophagy and expectations and perceptions of sensory-liking attributes for processed and unprocessed insect products among Italian consumers. If in the future, edible insects will increase their acceptability will depend not only on market availability but also how chefs and producers will link insects properties and gastronomy trends.
I also had the opportunity to present the preliminary results of my MarieCurie Project “CONSUMEHealth” in a poster session. These first results include an extensive literature review and in-depth person interviews (qualitative research technique) with US parents with at least one child under age 18, carried out last September in the US. The findings highlight the strong associations and influence between parents eating and lifestyle behavior and the impact on the child diet, and the need to engage and consult the community to understand the current challenges in feeding children with a healthy diet. This research has identified potentially modifiable behavioral factors which predict future eating habits to a healthy lifestyle. Next step will include interviews using Italian parents and then compare the results between US and Italy.
I hope to present the further results of my project to the next EFFoST International Conference "Developing innovative food structures and functionalities through process and reformulation to satisfy consumer needs and expectations" which will be held next November in Nantes, France. The call for abstract is already open. Deadline is 27 April 2018