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2019 is a big year for Campden BRI. The food research and science organisation is celebrating its centenary. Campden Experimental Factory (as it was originally known) was founded in 1919, the legacy of a World War I government project to explore food preservation techniques that could safeguard food security in times of conflict.
Over the last 100 years, food industry needs have changed considerably, and with it Campden BRI's mission ‒ from developing canned food processes to conducting scientific, technical and consumer research and testing in all areas of food production. Operating under a membership model, with more than 2,500 member organisations from 80 countries, including many household names, its work is directed by the food and drink industry.
2019 also marks 29 years since Campden BRI made its exhibitor debut at Fi Europe. Sian Twinning, Events Development Manager, shared insights on industry needs and trends that delegates should be aware of, and how the team will be on-hand at Fi Europe to solve visitors' trickiest food tech dilemmas.
How does Campden BRI keep track of trends in food and nutrition industry today?
"We are always listening to our clients and members to ensure we are up to date with the hot topics in the food and drink industry. Our thematic member interest groups (MIG) get together regularly to discuss pressing industry issues, and to select and steer research."
"We also conduct 'horizon scanning' to identify potential trends to run projects on as part of member-funded research projects."
Why is Fi Europe an important event for Campden BRI?
"Fi Europe is an opportunity to engage with our members, delegates and exhibitors, to discuss their needs and help with challenges. Networking with attendees also allows us to keep up-to-date with innovations.”
"The sheer size of the show and number of attendees is always astounding, along with the variety of novel and conventional products and services.“
"We compile an industry overview after the show, which feeds into our document 'Scientific and technical needs of the food and drink supply chain'. The document is refreshed every three years and is openly available on the Campden BRI website."
So what are the industry's big needs at the moment?
"The scientific and technical needs document for 2018-2021 is based around a matrix. The drivers for industry needs are safety; quality and value; nutrition, health and wellbeing; sustainability, resilience and food security; and skills and knowledge. Under each of these drivers we identified needs at every stage in the supply chain.“
"At the product and packaging stage, for example, under 'nutrition, health and well-being', is the need for better understanding of the science, technologies and materials available to support products targeted at specific dietary needs ‒ like diabetes, free-from foods, foods for elderly people, etc.”
"Another is the need for more guidance, information and services for supporting nutrition and health claims."
"Under 'Sustainability, resilience and food security', the needs are centred on safe and compliant products that minimise waste. This includes, among others, reformulation to reduce the use of resources that are hard to source, recover or reuse, such as palm oil, phosphates, etc."
What can visitors to the Campden BRI stand at Fi Europe expect?
"Our stand will be a space for visitors to meet with Campden BRI experts and get a run-down of topics that are the talk of the industry. Our MIG manager will be there, as well as the head of membership, service manager, the product innovation manager, and others.”
"We can also provide visitors with a free consultation based on their needs, and if the relevant specialist is not attending Fi Europe we can put delegates in touch with them. We can assist with queries all along the supply chain."
What about your latest ingredients research? Will you be sharing new findings?
"Tiia Mörsky , Ingredients Research Team Leader, will be presenting at the Fi Conference on ‘Plant-based clean label ingredient solutions for bakery industry’ as part of the Bread & Bakery Masterclass.”
"One of the projects Tiia currently manages, called 'Potential of plant proteins for ingredient and product development', develops techniques to produce protein-rich ingredients cost and time efficiently. The project focuses on novel plant protein sources, and looks at how plant protein ingredients can be developed to optimise their nutritional value and technical performance. It also investigates consumers’ expectations and insights of plant protein ingredients.”
"Other current projects include one that is investigating ways of reducing sugar and increasing fibre in products, to reduce calories.”
"Another is geared towards sustainability, investigating how to repurpose food ingredients that would otherwise have been wasted.”
"And with veganism a rising consumer trend, we’ve also proposed to members a research project on vegan packaging."