On November 29 -30, 2022, the International Dairy Federation hosted the 7th Symposium on Science and Technology of Fermented Milk online. The event had over 250 registrants from 40 different countries around the world. During two days, more than 150 attendees joined the oral sessions delivered by 32 experts, both guest speakers and selected from abstract submission. The symposium was divided into 4 main sessions; namely: New developments and opportunities in fermented dairy, Innovation in fermented dairy for human health, Microstructure of fermented milks (4th IDF Symposium on Microstructure of Dairy Products – see below), and Exploration of novel ingredients and processes for fermented dairy. The symposium also included several poster sessions, in which the abstract-selected presenters were able to discuss live their posters through the interactive platform used.
The role of yogurt and fermented milk on human health
One of the key topics addressed during the event was the positive impact of fermented dairy, particularly yogurts, on human nutrition and health. “Eating yogurt is associated with better health. A causal relationship exists between lactose tolerance and eating yogurt, and consistent associations exist between fermented milk consumption and lower risk of certain diseases”, affirmed Dennis Savaiano, a Virginia C. Meredith Professor of Nutrition at Purdue University, and one of the keynote speakers of session 2: Innovation in fermented dairy for human health.
Dr. Chris Cifelli, Senior Vice President of Nutrition Research at the US National Dairy Council, agreed with Savaiano’s vision: “Fermented dairy foods have been a staple in human diets for thousands of years. Besides taste and functional considerations, scientific evidence shows that yogurt and fermented dairy are linked with improved health. And, interestingly, not just digestive health but also immune function, mental health, cardiovascular health and more”.
4th IDF Symposium on Microstructure of Dairy Products
The 4th IDF Symposium on Microstructure of Dairy Products was part of the programme during session 3, which focused on the latest research on the microstructure of fermented milks. “The microstructure of fermented milk is the key to product texture, rheology and sensory properties. Microbial exopolysaccharides are an additional factor of influence, explained Dr. Doris Jaros, Senior researcher and private lecturer at Technische Universitaet in Dresden, Germany. Her colleague Dr. Georg Surber, Research Associate at the same university, added: “Exopolysaccharides from lactic acid bacteria are used to improve the texture of fermented milk”, as he presented the key factors for their techno-functionality in stirred gels.
Exploration of novel ingredients and processes for fermented dairy
The last session of the symposium was focused on the exploration of novel ingredients and processes for fermented dairy. “We are harnessing the power and diversity of microbes to improve our food experience and to create more natural ‘clean-label’ products for the more health-conscious consumer”, addressed IDF expert and Member of the Standing Committee of Microbiological Hygiene, Dr. Olivia McAuliffe. Dr. McAuliffe is the Principal Research Officer at the Teagasc Food Research Centre in Cork, Ireland, where she leads a research programme on Cultures, Fermentation and Biotransformation.
Best oral and poster presentations
Two awards for the best oral and poster presentations were granted during the IDF 7th Symposium on Science and Technology of Fermented milk. The presentations were of outstanding high quality, both in the support used by the presenters as well as the ability of the presenters to get their message across.
The best oral presentation was granted to Davor Daniloski, PhD student at Victoria University, Australia & Teagasc Food Research Centre, Ireland, for his presentation on “The function of β-casein phenotype on the rheological characteristics and structural properties of acid-induced milk gels”.Click here to see more...