Innovative Approaches to Food Production and Distribution for the Sustainability of Food Systems

Sexta-feira, Setembro 24, 2021 - 14:15

Universidade Católica

Rua de Diogo Botelho 1327
4169-005 PORTO
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O planeta terra num prato com talheres

Entre em no dia 24 de setembro de 2021 às 14h15 e assista à Biotalk (em inglês) de Cristina Silva.  A "entrada" é livre e gratuita, sem necessidade de inscrição.


The role of food systems is to deliver food security and nutrition to all without compromising the future of the next generations. Food systems shall be profitable, benefit society, and positively or negatively impact the environment. The strategy for a sustainable food system has to include the whole food chain, from pre-production and production to distribution chains and final consumption. It can not be disconnected from the rapid population growth, urbanization, growing wealth and change in consumer patterns, globalization, climate change and scarcity of resources. These challenges require a multidisciplinary and holistic approach. Nevertheless, food processing and engineering are at the core of the needed competencies and developments. Innovations in processing and technologies contribute to higher quality products, reduce water and energy use, or minimize environmental impact. These can be introduced from raw materials, minimal processing, thermal and non-thermal technologies, food packaging, storage and distribution, consumption and food preparation, and by-products valorization and waste minimization.

Mathematical modelling and models have been developed to describe and understand the impact of food processes on food quality and safety, heat and mass transfer, allowing the study of alternative solutions or predicting possible scenarios. Therefore, present an excellent potential to contribute to sustainable development goals by predicting and minimizing processing time, optimizing energy and water use, predicting shelf life and minimizing food waste, among several other possibilities. Developed models are usually used under stationary conditions, not allowing the predictions of dynamic and more realistic conditions. Food companies have low to moderate knowledge of modelling tools and use them in a limited number of situations. Food processing and engineers are developing innovative and excellent approaches to tackle the food systems sustainability. The challenges are to transfer the know-how to the food industry sectors adequately. Moreover, broader developments are needed, involving multidisciplinary expert teams and increasing the dialogue among all the food professionals and stakeholders.

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