The meeting is open to everyone, and aims to engage early career researchers in debate and discussions about all areas of analytical biosciences, and provide the opportunity to network with other researchers in the field.
Plenary speakers will begin each session with an exciting founding perspective and vision of a technique, followed by peer-reviewed papers from early career researchers. Together, this will provide an overview of current research into new technologies and applications.
The aim is to give delegates a broad overview of the current state of the art for analytical techniques, with detailed examples of their applications in biosciences. As such, each contribution will aim to demonstrate the quality and value of each methodology.
Dr Adrian J. Charlton will be giving a talk on Finding the needle in the haystack: Targeted and non-targeted detection of food contaminants and adulterants, March 22nd, 11.55-12.40
In the era of the discerning consumer, attitudes toward food choice have changed markedly from the need to provide basic nutrition to the desire to make informed choices relating to food intake. Whilst the organoleptic properties of food are doubtless a major factor for continued consumer preference, it is also clear that initial choices are often made on the basis of promotional labelling. A product label may declare the contents to be “Halal beef, aged for 21 days that is free from allergens”. How can we tell if the premium price we pay is for no more than the ink used to create the extra words on the label?
Consumer preferences are leading to the provision of greater product choice and associated elevated pricing for “premium” products, providing an incentive for economic food fraud. In the scientific communities, an extensive phase of evidence gathering is being undertaken in relation to food composition and associated labelling. Work at the Fera is being driven by a desire to fully understand the composition of food and its implications with respect to consumer choice, public health and value for money. Large bodies of data are being collected and interpreted against specific claims relating to quality, safety, authenticity and increasingly sustainability.
In this context, this presentation provides an insight into the current state-of-the-art for the broad ranging compositional analysis of food and the highly complex data this generates.