In a food system where produce travels thousands of miles to supermarkets and hypermarkets, many consumers are losing their connection to food—they don’t often know where it comes from or who grew, harvested, or processed the products they eat every day.
A recent FoodThink study has found that almost half of consumers who frequently buy food for their households do not trust the food industry to do the right thing, and nearly a quarter actively distrust it.
Engaging young consumers in dialogue via a series of interactive events which provide a space to explore the science behind food is vital to delivering an innovative agrifood sector that produces both healthy and sustainable food that is trusted by all. The second edition of the European AnnualFoodAgenda brings a series of laboratory workshops prepared by scientists from the Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research and MASPEX to the general public.
For 3 weekends in February, students from the Warmian-Masurian region will discover the myths and facts surrounding diet supplements, will create smart food packages and get familiarised with food allergens. The students will also find out how to interpret nutrition labels as well as the information available at public food venues. Under the eye of scientists and using high-tech research equipment, students will try their hands at experiments held in the laboratories of biological functions of food, microbiology, biosensors, metabolomics and other facilities located in the Institute’s Food Sciences division. Young consumers will be able to perform tests on the quality of milk, examine the antioxidant properties of natural preservatives and check what fatty acids are found in commonly available oils. The workshop programme will also include the topics of microorganisms used in food processing of food as well as Maillard reaction products formed during thermal processing. Finally, in the computerised laboratory of sensory analysis, the students will have a unique chance to professionally evaluate the sensitivity of their sense of smell.
This event is part of the #AnnualFoodAgenda (www.annualfoodagenda.com) project financed by EIT Food (eitfood.eu). #AnnualFoodAgenda offers a unique series of workshops, lectures and shows which raise awareness around healthy eating, food safety, innovation in the agri-food sector and last but not least, food waste. To this day, actions lead by the scientists of the Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research PAS and experts from Maspex have engaged almost 5,000 people across Poland. More information regarding the #AnnualFoodAgenda events will be published on www.pan.olsztyn.pl.
About EIT Food
The initiative is made up of an innovation community of key industry players across Europe, consisting of over 90 partner organisations and over 50 startups from 16 EU member states. It is one of the Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KIC) established by the European Institute for Innovation & Technology (EIT), an independent EU body set up in 2008 to promote innovation and entrepreneurship across Europe.