25-26 SEPTEMBER 2024

Seminar programme on 28 September dominated by the market situation


Seminar programme on 28 September dominated by the market situation


“The central theme of the seminar programme on the first day of Intrafood is the current market situation due to the coronavirus pandemic and the war in Ukraine, the disruption to supply chains, the scarcity of raw materials and the high cost of raw materials and ingredients,” explains Professor Koen Dewettinck of Ghent University, Chair of Intrafood’s Scientific Committee.


The coronavirus pandemic and the war in Ukraine have led to disruption of the logistics chain, according to Professor Koen Dewettinck of the Department of Food Technology, Food Safety and Health at UGent. “This has prompted companies to think, often leading to great concern in the sector. If a company can’t get the necessary raw materials and ingredients, it can’t produce anything, full stop. Food companies have to learn to cope with this, and therefore need to look for alternative ingredients.”  He immediately adds that companies are not yet there with the ingredients alone. “Technology and product formulation are inextricably linked. Technology is needed to transform the raw materials and ingredients into a product that meets specifications and quality requirements,” says Dewettinck, referring to the second day of the seminar programme, put together by engineering association ie-net under the leadership of Philippe Snick. 


Insight into functionality

Dewettinck emphasises the importance of scientific insight into and knowledge of the functionality of ingredients at molecular level, and clarifies his vision. “This enables product developers to reformulate and design products in a more targeted and therefore more efficient way so that they meet consumer demands for quality, durability, health and robustness.” According to Dewettinck, this also allows companies to avoid having to recall products from the shelves. So there are gains to be made here. After all, in practice he sees that many product developers are still (re)formulating products in a very empirical way and according to the principle of trial and error.


The numbers tell the tale!

Dewettinck neatly highlights the importance of adapted and effective measuring methods. “This is about gaining a detailed insight into how a production process works and developing the functionality of the ingredients.  For the food safety of a product, this is standard and established according to HACCP principles, but there are many more parameters to be monitored, such as the rheological and textural properties of the products.” Such an approach generates a lot of data which, through artificial intelligence (AI), can provide a better link to consumer behaviour. He also sees opportunities for Machine Based Learning, with which production processes and related product formulations can be optimised more efficiently. 


Programme on 28 September

  • The scarcity of raw materials and ingredients today and tomorrow, viewed globally, Prof.dr. Xavier Gellynck, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Department of Agricultural Economics, UGent
  • How resilient is the Belgian food industry in times of crisis? Dr. Carole Dembour, Advisor Economic Affairs, FEVIA
  • Reformulation and development of products in the current context of the scarcity of raw materials: cases from different product sectors, Dr. Maxime Willems, Founder & CEO, @foodlab & incubator Proef!
  • Spelt, teff and other ancient grains; a source of alternative ingredients, Prof. Filip Van Bockstaele, UGent
  • Valorisation of food surpluses and side-flows. Name speaker to be confirmed
  • Recent developments regarding ultra processed foods, followed by an open discussion. Prof.dr.ir. Koen Dewettinck, UGent


View the full program here



Related news


What exactly will today's consumers want on their plates tomorrow? It is with this rather tricky question in mind that food companies are constantly striving to develop products that meet the needs of even the most discerning gourmets.


Protein-enriched food products offer convenience for those who should or would like to consume more protein. Generally, it is not necessary to consume these products.


“We are receiving a growing number of enquiries from our clients on the prevention of cross-contamination in the mixing and packaging of dry ingredients for the food industry", says Domien Sierens of Food Blending. “Hygiene and quality assurance are our top priorities".


At the Tavola gastronomic trade fair, from 17-19 March, Maisonie will launch four flavours of dessert with extra protein. In nutritional terms, two are sources of protein and two are rich in protein, Nathalie Van der Straeten tells us. She also reveals which plant proteins have been added.

This website uses cookies to provide you with a better experience while visiting this site.