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Florent Kuntz

Florent KUNTZ received his Physics Engineer Diploma in the field of nuclear science from University of Strasbourg-France. His involvement in Radiation Processing began during his Ph.D. in which he conducted research on new developments in electron beam dosimetry. (University of Strasbourg-France)

Florent KUNTZ is working with Aerial, a Technological Resource Centre, as project manager in radiation processing and dosimetry.

In the field of radiation processing, Florent KUNTZ performs trainings on industrial irradiation dosimetry, helps the industry in IQ/OQ/PQ, in dosimetry system selection and calibration. He has also developed the famous AerODE, AerEDE and DoseASAP customized optical and EPR dosimetry equipments. 

As dosimetry expert, he conducted several missions with the International Atomic Energy Agency and is member of ASTM and CEN/ISO committee

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Mirjad Keka

Mirjad Keka has been in the lead of Laatu, Bühler’s innovative on-site microbial reduction solution, since March 2020. In his role, he is leading the dedicated, motivated and inspiring Laatu team, consisting of food scientists, process engineers and technicians. Mirjad’s main responsibility in this function is to drive the successful market penetration and scaling of the innovative low-energy electron beam technology for the dry food industry. 

Prior to Bühler, Mirjad has worked in the fiber optics field and gathered excessive experience in the high-power laser market in the US and Asia where he oversaw the business and strategy development, sales and international collaborations for new products and markets.

Mirjad is Swiss and has a background in optical systems engineering and technology management. Furthermore, Mirjad is a lecturer in physics and mathematics. 

Abstract

Low-energy electron beam (LEEB) – A game-changing microbial reduction technology with minimal impact on quality

Low-moisture foods, such as spices, are a growing concern as carriers of pathogenic bacteria. The microbial reduction technologies used today are associated with potential drawbacks, such as negative impact on quality attributes, bans and price fluctuations. Low-energy electron beam (LEEB) is a step forward in the fight against pathogens and to a safer food value chain. After an extensive screening and evaluation study of 18 microbial reduction technologies, LEEB resulted as the most promising solution for low-moisture foods. This session presents technology behind Bühler’s latest innovation for microbial reduction – Laatu – from its development to the market introduction and discusses its main benefits for all stakeholders involved, namely consumers, food processors, regulatory bodies and the scientific community.

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Kyösti Pennanen

Dr Kyösti Pennanen is a Senior Scientist at VTT Ltd (Technical Research Centre of Finland) and holds a Docent position at University of Vaasa, School of Marketing and Communication. He has over 15 years of experience in consumer research related to food. He is passionate about understanding food consumption and integrating consumers’ voice with new food product and food technology development aimed at supporting healthy and sustainable life. Recently, he has been leading consumer research in projects dealing with consumer acceptance of food irradiation, 3D food printing, smart packaging labels, and sustainable food ingredients. 

Abstract

Effect of labelling food products with varying information about food irradiation and related benefits on consumer’s product acceptance 

Food irradiation technologies offer undeniable benefits in relation to food safety and quality, but consumers might hold suspicions or even adverse associations with irradiated foods. This presentation introduces results of two independent consumer studies in which information in varying formulations about food irradiation was presented to Finnish, German and Spanish consumers (n=1200 in total) in a form of packaging label of fresh cultivated blueberries. Results of the studies show that consumer acceptance is higher when no explicit irradiation information is delivered to consumers. In addition, adding some explanatory benefit to justify food irradiation increases consumer acceptance. Overall, both studies suggest that consumer acceptance of irradiated foods can be improved through careful introduction of food irradiation information on product labels.

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Jean-Baptiste Perrin

Jean-Baptiste Perrin is a veterinarian epidemiologist, who served as a veterinary public health inspector in the French public administration for 10 years. He worked first for the national agency for food safety (Anses) and then for the French Ministry of Agriculture, where he was in charge of epidemiological surveillance in animal health and in the food chain. In 2018, he left the French administration and moved to Berlin, where he worked for the German Federal Ministry of Agriculture, in the Department of Veterinary Affairs in Exports. He joined the European Commission in February 2020, and since then serves as legislative officer in the Unit ‘Food Hygiene and Food Fraud’ of DG-SANTE. There, he is in charge of policies on zoonoses monitoring, surveillance and control of Salmonella and Campylobacter, and decontamination of food.

Abstract

Jean-Baptiste Perrin will present the findings of the evaluation carried out by the European Commission on the European legislation for the treatment of food with ionising radiation. The evaluation started in 2018 and was carried out under the ‘Better Regulation’ framework. It aims to assess whether Directives 1999/2/EC and 1999/3/EC are still fit for purpose, considering five different criteria: relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, EU-added value and coherence. 

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Celina Horak

Celina Horak is a Radiation Processing Specialist in the Department of Nuclear Applications of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
She is a Microbiologist, Master in Industrial Food Technology by the Argentine University of Enterprise (UADE) and MSc on Biotechnology by the University of Buenos Aires (UBA).
She has more than 30 years of experience in the field of radiation processing research and applications for health, food and agriculture, environment and industry development. Before joining the IAEA in August 2019, she was Manager of the Centre for Radiation Science and Technology at CNEA, Argentina, and Professor of the Nuclear Engineering Programme and in the Specialization in Nuclear Applications at the Beninson Institute.

Abstract

Widening the meals variety for immunocompromised persons and other target groups by ionizing radiation

Ionizing radiation has shown to be effective in widening the variety of foods and prepared-meals available for target groups such as immunocompromised persons or malnourished, affording them safer, nutritious, and attractive or tasteful options for their diet. 

Low microbial or sterile meals, in addition to shelf-stable and nutritious foods are some of the recent achievements using this technology from different researchers worldwide.  In this presentation I will provide an overview of some of the approaches used to obtain these products and their impact in the society.

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Marc-Remo Kündig

Marc-Remo Kündig has been General Manager of Kündig Nahrungsmittel GmbH & Co KG since 2015 and Kündig Group Chief Business Development since 2020. A qualified marketing (SAWI) and management-specialist (HSG), passionate about food trends and new technologies. Marc previously worked as a product manager for leading companies in the dental and automobile industries, where he was able to hone his management skills in four languages.

Abstract

The Struggles of Water and Heat in Food Sterilization – Opportunities for Food Irradiation

Biosteril® – A Kündig Group Brand, qualifies as the European pioneer in Sterilization since 1994. Marc-Remo Kündig has been responsible for Biosteril ® since 2015 and has thoroughly analysed the benefits and struggles of steam-sterilization. As the official technical partner of Bühler’s LEEB solution for trials during the R&D phase, Kündig has evaluated the pros of cons of LEEB treatments, executing numerous pilot projects for customers in the food and herbal medicine Industry. The first part of this presentation discusses the importance of complying with the food safety requirements and maintaining the product quality, as well as the challenges experienced with steam sterilization. The second part of the presentation discusses the opportunities and challenges of food irradiation technologies, such as LEEB, for the spice industry in Europe. 

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Barbora Dubovcova

Barbora Dubovcova is in the lead of Food Safety for Low Energy Electron Beam Business at Bühler AG, Uzwil, Switzerland since 2016. She is in charge of validating and scaling of the innovative technology for the dry food industry and its implementation to the HACCP.
She is fostering innovation and closing the gap between scientific research and industrial application by collaborations with universities and research institutes in the field of food safety and microbiology.
Barbora holds a degree in Food Technology from the Danish Technical University (DTU) where she carried out research on non-thermal bacteria reduction technologies in collaboration with Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.

Abstract

Presence of pathogenic bacteria on low-moisture foods such as spices and rising consumer demand for fresh and minimally processed products create opportunities for surface decontamination technologies such as low-energy electron beam technology. LEEB treatment efficiently reduces natural bioburden, thermo-resistant bacterial spores and Salmonella spp. to safe levels. This presentation discusses the main considerations prior to the microbial validation, incl. selection a suitable surrogate organism and other parameters which have an impact on the success of validation and implementation of this technology to practice.

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François Trevisan

Microbiologist and food safety engineer, after 8 years working as group food safety coordinator, industrial quality manager and supplier quality manager for an international company specialized in fresh bakery product production at own brand and retailers brand, I’ve joined the group Colin in 2018 as quality director. In 10 ten years working for food industries, I’ve conducted several studies regarding microbiological shelf life determination and the effect of several parameters on product alteration. My actual researches are focused on the identification and development of processing methods able to achieve new microbiological targets set by different food industry sectors on dehydrated spices, herbs and vegetables.

Abstract

This presentation will put the focus on the microbiological safety challenges of the spices and ingredients industry: evolution of market and consumer requirements, benchmark on technologies available to manage the risk.

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Carl Blackburn

In 2009, Dr Blackburn joined the Food and Environmental Protection Subprogramme of the Joint FAO/IAEA Centre of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, as their food irradiation specialist. Based at the IAEA Headquarters in Vienna, Austria, he also continues to work in the area of radioactivity in food, nuclear and radiological emergency preparedness and response in relation to food and agriculture and the development of international radiation safety standards and international food standards.
Previously, Carl worked in the United Kingdom at the Food Standards Agency and before that the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. His career in the UK civil service involved science-based policy development in the area of food safety, commissioning research and managing research programmes in support legislation, policy development and implementation. Radioactivity in food responsibilities included: dose assessments of radioactive waste discharges in the UK; emergency response and radiological safety; public communications with consumer groups and residents living in the vicinity of different nuclear establishments; managing technical experts responsible for post-Chernobyl monitoring of UK sheep; managing research programmes related to food safety. Food irradiation responsibilities included managing a research portfolio to develop detection tests for irradiated food, revising and implementing food irradiation legislation in the UK, inspecting food irradiation facilities on behalf of the UK Government and internationally on behalf of the European Commission.
Carl has a post-doctorate diploma in radiological protection from the former National Radiological Protection Board of the United Kingdom. He has a PhD for his research on the gamma irradiation of DNA and a B.Sc. (Hons) degree in Chemistry, both from the University of Leicester, United Kingdom.

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Suresh Pillai

Suresh Pillai is the Professor of Molecular Microbiology and Texas A&M AgriLife Research Faculty Fellow at Texas A&M University. He is also the Director of Texas A&M University’s National Center for Electron Beam Research. He is a member of the Graduate Faculties of Food Science & Technology, Toxicology, Veterinary Pathobiology, Poultry Science and the Water Program.

His B.S. degree Botany and his M.S. degree was in Industrial Microbiology. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Arizona in Microbiology & Immunology. In 2018, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Peru’s Universidad Nacional del Altiplano (UNAP). He served as the Chair of the Texas A&M University Professional Program in Biotechnology from 2004-2010 and from 2000-2005, he served as the Associate Director of the Institute of Food Science & Engineering at Texas A&M University. He is a Fellow of the International Forum on Industrial Processes and has served on the FDA’s Science Advisory Board for the National Center for Toxicological Research and the Foundation for Food & Agricultural Research.

His current research is focused on harnessing eBeam technology for a wide variety of applications including the development of vaccines, food pasteurization and the remediation of environmental pollutants. His research is currently funded by a variety of federal agencies including the EPA, the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy and is a subject matter expert for the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the US National Nuclear Security Administration.

Abstracts

The Growing Market for Ionizing Technologies in  the Americas

Abstract: There are strict global standards that govern the use of different technologies such as methyl bromide, hot water treatment, and ionizing technologies for treating agricultural commodities in transboundary shipments. Over the past decade there is definitely a shift in switching to ionizing technologies such as gamma and electron beam technologies. There is no better region of the world to see this change taking place than in the Americas  This has resulted in significant increases in volumes of agricultural products that are  being treated by ionizing technologies. In large countries in the region such as Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico, the market for ionizing technologies in the spice, pet food and processed foods is very large. The biggest challenge to faster adoption is the lack of private investment in these technologies. The talk will illustrate the value proposition of these technologies in the phytosanitary applications, in the spice industry, the role of the retailers as well as suggest a path forward for accelerated adoption of eBeam and X-ray technologies.  

The Future Outlook and Practical Considerations in the Adoption of High Energy Electron Beam Technology 

High energy electron beam (HEEB) technology has become a mainstay in the medical device and pet food industries. The adoption of the HEEB in the human food processing industry especially in regions outside of China is still nowhere close to its potential.  Besides the usual regulatory bottlenecks, there a number of logistical challenges associated with the incorporation of this technology into the established supply chains of the food industry.  This talk will  focus on the emerging research areas related to HEEB in food processing as well as highlight the critical need for a diverse array of eBeam and X-ray technology platforms.