By Neil Shepherd, Chair of the Organising Committee
It was fantastic to welcome delegates to the 4th International Conference on Food Analysis (ICFA) at the Racecourse Exhibition Centre, Moonee Valley between 20-23 November 2023.
What were the key themes and areas of discussion?
There is no question population growth is driving the exploration of new food sources and delegates learned about alternative proteins in China, the challenges of residues in black soldier fly larvae and the potential provided by hemp proteins.
Native foods and the knowledge of traditional landowners provide opportunities for developing new food sources and delegates heard about the work of the Northern Australian Aboriginal Kakadu Plum Alliance, Bunya Pine nuts and a sensory evaluation session was held to taste bush teas.
It was also noted how important it is to recognize the importance of protecting indigenous and cultural intellectual property and it was great to hear about the Traditional Owner Native Foods and Botanicals Strategy being developed to provide a best practice guide for those working in the industry.
The ongoing threat of food fraud was high on the agenda, and it was reassuring to hear about work being undertaken by ANSTO and the German Centre for Authentic Food at the Max Rubner Institute to develop methods for food authentication.
The value of trusted data in decision making was also explored and the development of tools to share and interpret big data provides an opportunity to develop long term viability and utility of data sets.
ICFA celebrated its 20-year anniversary of the development of the QuECHERs technique for residue analysis with a plenary address and workshop on the technique from the developer Dr Michelangelo Anastassiades.
Capacity building is a key to global food sustainability and the activities of the Asia Pacific Food Analysis Network (APFAN) were showcased and APFAN partners from the Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand provided updates on their activities.
ICFA plans to return in 2025! Fir ongoing updates <please follow us on LinkedIn and visit our website ICFA.com.au