BCCC Technology Conference 2009

The British biscuit, cake, chocolate and confectionery sector group (BCCC) has held its 56th technology conference.

The conference, held 26-27 March in Stratford-upon-Avon brought together food scientists and technologists, new product development experts, engineers, production and marketing executives. Barbara Gallani, BCCC sector manager, opened the conference with an introduction to the BCCC and the general UK group dedicated to the interests of the UK food and drink manufacturing industry, the FDF. She says, “Together with FDF colleagues and other sectors of the food and drink industry, we are working on three main pillars ” food safety and science, health and wellbeing, and sustainability and competitiveness.”

This year’s conference differed from previous gathering in broadening its scope from technology to wider issues relevant to the sector. This involved presentations from Dr Paul Berryman, Leatherhead Food International who spoke on new and emerging legislation and Andrea Martinez-Inchausti of the BRC who presented the retailer perspective.

For market information in flavourings John Margetts, technical manager at Kerry UK, gave an overview of how flavour is delivered into food products and presents the recent trends in products launched between 2005 and 2008 in the Cakes & Pastries and Sweet Biscuits & Cookies area. Professor Ian Norton from the University of Birmingham discussed product and process integration in food manufacture.

The technical presentations were still present, however. Prof Malcolm Povey, University of Leeds did an assessment of crispness and crunchiness by acoustics and Dr Colin Hamlet from Premier Foods addressed the challenge of acrylamide, an undesirable side product of the chemical reactions that form colour and flavour in cooked foods such as bread and biscuits.

The topics of GM foods, organic and fairtrade products were covered by Dr Julian Little from Bayer CropScience, Mark Varney from the Fairtrade Foundation and Emma Hockridge from the Soil Association. Patrick Davis from Sweet Charity spoke about the development of the charity programme and its help in the industry.

Fat technology was also a highlighted issue. Beatrice Morio from UMR INRA-Auvergne University spoke on trans fatty acids and their effect on health while Professor Tom Sanders from Kings College London considered nutritional aspects of chocolate confectionery fats. Amelie Denis of L’Alliance 7 did a presentation on chocolate compositions and limitations to reformulation and Geoff Talbot finished the conference with a presentation on the technical difficulties of reducing saturated fat in filled chocolate confectionery.

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