Finland-China Food and Health (FCFH) Network Symposium ‘’Food for Sustainability and Health’’ brought together around 80 scientists, experts and professionals from different partner institutes and companies from both Finland and China. This two-day live event on 15-16 August was held in a beautiful summer city in Southern Finland, in Turku.
The FCFH Network is a global pilot programme, a global network supported by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture, which aims to respond to global challenges related to sustainable development.
The programme included a wide selection of presentations related to the main theme of the symposium in three main topic areas: Nutrition and Health; Food Quality and Sustainability, as well as Technology and Industrial Application. Speakers at the event represented leading Chinese universities (Peking University, China Agricultural University, Jiangnan University, Zhejiang Agricultural and Forestry University, Beijing Forestry University, Shenzhen University) and Finnish universities, including the University of Turku, University of Helsinki, University of Eastern Finland, University of Oulu, Åbo Akademi University, Tampere University, University of Jyväskylä, as well as companies from both countries.
Participants had the opportunity to discuss important matters regarding the effects of nutrition and sustainable food options on health; recent approaches towards and developments in more sustainable practices in the food industry, food production and food sciences; as well as the relations between technology and food and digital tools and health. The thematic subgroup discussions fostered dialogue on current challenges and potential avenues in nutrition, food safety, and health tech, setting the academic agenda for future research endeavours.
The symposium could also serve as a platform for strengthening collaboration among the partner universities and to enhance the cooperation between academia and the industry to bring together the most recent scientific research and latest ideas for industry innovation.
Key takeaways from the symposium are
- Collaborative Spirit as the event exemplified international collaboration, uniting Finnish, and Chinese academia to propel research in food, health, and sustainability.
- Nutritional Insights: Seminal research highlighted the importance of nutrition in health, from the benefits of plant-based proteins to the role of microbiota in metabolic health during pregnancy.
- Technological Advancements: The symposium spotlighted the fusion of technology and food science, including rapid detection methods for food safety and innovative analyses of natural fats and oils.
- Sustainability Focus: Presentations underscored the urgency of sustainable food practices, exploring topics like the sustainable utilization of bioresources and quality control via spectral technology.
- Bridging Research and Industry: The event emphasized the symbiotic relationship between academic research and industrial application, underscoring the potential for academia to drive industry innovations.
Overall, the two-day symposium on sustainability for food and health provided a platform for professionals to share their knowledge and ideas, inspire new research directions, network, and strengthen collaboration. Promotion of sustainability and sustainable practices in food science is linked to new developments and innovation built on research, thus requires a close cooperation with the scientific community. The FCFH symposium solidified its stance as a pivotal academic platform in the realms of food, health, and sustainability.
The FCFH Network encourages everyone to join the discussions and participate in our endeavours in making an impact on the future of food. We welcome you in our future activities and events too!
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