Arla Foods Ingredients says China’s reform of governmental institutions in 2013 leaves no doubt that nutrition and health are high on the national agenda.
Accompanied by legislation focused on higher standards of infant formula and elderly welfare for example, recent developments are spurring the Chinese food industry to seek new nutritional opportunities.
The drive towards more functional food was clearly reflected in the record attendance figures at the fourth annual Arla Foods Ingredients nutrition seminar in Beijing, China.
“We expect a lot of innovation within food safety and disease control in China, and both areas are closely linked with nutrition,” says Shiti Guoji, general manager of the company’s Beijing office.
“Over the few years that we have held this seminar, we can already see that it is becoming a recognized common platform for our customers, nutrition scientists and the Chinese nutrition experts, who report to the new Ministry of Health and Welfare, established last year.”
In view of the high interest, the next seminar will be held over two days instead of one, enabling for more knowledge to be shared among double the participants.
Science and trends
The 80 attendees – 50 of them customers – took part in a one-day program with an international line-up of presenters.
Topics presented included the role of whey proteins in infant nutrition and type 2 diabetes diets, components of human milk, and key nutrition and health trends in China.
Presentations of the latest scientific findings covered the impact of nutrition on early-life intestinal development, and health care and nutrition among Chinese women and children.
“Infant nutrition is an established focus area. Now our customers clearly want to step up their efforts in respect of diabetes and the elderly, due to the increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes and the growing elderly burden,” says health and performance business development manager Vivian Kjær Jensen.
Food quality standards
Before Chinese food manufacturers can make full use of the opportunities that Arla Foods Ingredients’ whey-derived products provide, the Chinese authorities must recognise Denmark’s food quality standards as being as high as their own.
To this end, the program also included a talk by a representative from the Danish embassy in Beijing, who gave an insight into Denmark’s food safety legislation.
The next Arla Foods Ingredients nutrition seminar will be held in November 2014.