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Healthy aging tops the agenda at Vitafoods Europe

Healthy aging tops the agenda at Vitafoods Europe
Healthy aging is the single most important health category in the global nutraceutical market, according to a survey conducted for the Vitafoods Europe Conference 2016.

Healthy aging is the single most important health category in the global nutraceutical market, according to a survey conducted for the Vitafoods Europe Conference 2016.

Researchers asked a sample of visitors who attended last year’s Vitafoods Europe which health categories were of most interest to them. Healthy aging was selected by more than a quarter of respondents (26 percent), digestive health by 23 percent, cardiovascular health by 22 percent and weight management by 21 percent.

Reflecting their importance, dedicated sessions at this year's Vitafoods Europe Conference, May 10 and 11, will focus on these topics. The conference will offer delegates a chance to hear the latest results from a series of major European Union-funded nutrition projects exploring weight management, heart health and healthy aging.

Chris Lee, Vitafoods portfolio director, said, “The Vitafoods Europe Conference program for 2016 mirrors the top priorities among our visitors. … We assembled a panel of experts from both industry and academia to help us identify the best possible speakers for the event. The result of this approach is an excellent line-up that is our strongest ever, with a clear focus on applied science, business growth strategies, quality assurance and regulation that is sure to help delegates meet their business challenges.”

A dedicated weight management session on May 10 — chaired by Jörg Hager, Ph.D., head of nutrition and metabolic health unit at the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences — will feature professor Julian Mercer from the University of Aberdeen’s Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health. He will outline findings from the EU-funded Full4Health study, which has been looking into the psychology of eating habits and how this influences consumer demand.

Also on May 10, Angela Bonnema, Ph.D., senior nutrition scientist at Cargill, with Soraya Shirazi-Beechey, Ph.D., professor of molecular physiology and biochemistry at the University of Liverpool, will present results from Project Satin, SATiety Innovation. The EU-funded study looked at nutrients and ingredients that promote satiety and might, therefore, help to curb obesity. The session will include a practical focus on how research findings can be implemented in the nutraceutical industry.

Later that day, in a session covering heart health, Paul Kroon, Ph.D., research leader at the United Kingdom’s Institute of Food Research, will reveal findings from BACCHUS. This EU-funded project investigates how the bioactives found in food could offer cardiovascular health benefits.

The fourth EU-funded project to be featured at the conference will be NU-AGE, a major healthy aging research initiative involving a consortium of 30 companies and organizations from 17 EU countries. A presentation on the findings will be delivered by project co-ordinator, Dr. Claudio Franceschi from the University of Bologna in Italy, in a healthy-aging session chaired by the University of Geneva’s Astrid Stuckelberger, Ph.D., president of the Geneva International Network on Aging at the World Health Organization.

The first day of the conference will also feature sessions focusing on cognitive health and infant health. On day two, marketing strategies, product safety and regulatory issues will be discussed. In the morning, delegates will enjoy a unique insight into the future of ‘intelligent food’ from Katrina Lytton, UK nutrition lead at KPMG. She will also address the six key areas that drive innovation and create a competitive advantage.

Kicking off the afternoon session will be a panel discussion debating the merits of incorporating pharmaceutical standards in the functional nutrition industry. Chaired by Jo Pisani of PricewaterhouseCoopers, the panel will include David Mela, senior scientist with Unilever’s research and development operation, and Inga Koehler, senior manager of regulatory affairs at Pfizer Consumer Healthcare.

Later in the day, regulatory experts EAS Strategies will present an in-depth, three-part session exploring a roadmap for bringing new nutritional ingredients to the EU market. The conference will close with a look at the regulatory aspects of packaging, including the tricky issue of intellectual property, from law firm Bird & Bird.

Lee said, “Once again, the Vitafoods Europe Conference will offer an unrivaled opportunity to hear about the latest scientific developments and market trends from leading academics and top global industry experts. It is sure to offer insights that will lead to tangible business benefits in today’s nutraceutical market.”

The Vitafoods Europe Conference runs alongside the first two days, May 10 and 11, of the Vitafoods Europe exhibition at Palexpo, Geneva. Delegates will be able to choose from 45 presentations and expert panel discussions delivered by speakers from 13 countries.

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