Gelita symposium paves a creative pathway to the future of food

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21 Nov 2017 --- Nearly 80 delegates from a host of leading Food and Health & Nutrition companies last month made their way to Heidelberg (Germany) to attend Gelita’s latest International Food Symposium, “Off The Beaten Track, Inspiration for better food, nutrition and health,” where internationally renowned thought leaders from a variety of disciplines shared with attendees their insights into consumer behavior, ideas for digitizing food and knowledge of molecular developments in flavor perception and manipulation. 

Interactive sessions with concepts from Gelita turned the Symposium into a real hands-on event. On top of this, a panel discussion revealed a revolutionary approach called “Fast Forward Process” technology, which allows gelatin gummies to be produced without the use of starch. The avoidance of starch molds increases product hygiene and safety, while at the same time substantially speeding up production to enable a considerably shorter production process. 

What exactly do consumers expect from today’s food and beverage industry? What role might the prospective “Internet of food” tool play for consumers as well as for the food industry? Why does flavor matter? How can cross-functional and cross-business development enrich the world of established food categories?

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These and many other questions were asked, discussed and answered by international experts during their keynote presentations. Dr. Matthew Lange of the Department of Food Science and Technology, University of California, introduced the forward-looking target of better food digitizing. With the development of a platform called “Internet of food,” difficult to reach goals like better sustainability and personalized nutrition could be easier achieved. 

Tish van Dyke, Global Food & Beverage Sector Chair at Edelmann, demonstrated that building trust is the key to great marketing in her presentation: “Great marketing or smart trust building? – What exactly do consumers want from today’s food & beverage industry.” 

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Meyerhof (pictured below), an expert in molecular genetics, shared his knowledge of the physiological reasons for food preferences with the audience. He explored the principles of taste receptors and taste modulators and outlined how flavor preference can be learned and even manipulated. Hans-Ulrich Frech, global Vice President for the Business Unit Collagen Peptides at Gelita, explained how collagen peptides help the body to help itself: For instance, Verisol increases elasticity and reduces wrinkles and cellulite. 

Click to EnlargeRounding off the theoretical part of the program, Dr. Margarethe Plotkowiak, Head of Global Product Management Food at Gelita, explained how gelatin is obtained and presented it as a state-of-the-art ingredient with various capabilities in terms of technology and functionality.

A panel discussion then unveiled the outcome of a partnership between Gelita, Hänsel Processing and Winkler und Dünnebier Süßwarenmaschinen (WDS), and described how the partners were able to develop a new technology called “Fast Forward Process.” This new, starch-free production method uses reusable silicone molds instead of traditional starch trays. For fortified gummies in particular, this novel solution opens up new possibilities. The method helps to avoid dust and cross-contamination and reduces the duration of the production process for gelatin-based gummies from 24 hours to well under 2 hours. During the hands-on session that followed the panel discussion, delegates were able not only to taste gelatin gummies created using the Fast Forward Process, but were also able to see first-hand how the production process works on an on-site running mogul machine.

“The overwhelming quality and content of the speeches at this year’s Symposium and the excellent environment for networking, conversation and forging good business contacts resulted in excited feedback from the attendees, which exceeded all of our expectations,” concluded Dr. Franz Josef Konert, CEO of Gelita AG.

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