What is the science behind food? What are the researchers and industry experts doing to produce healthy and sustainable food that could be trusted by all? These are the questions we discussed during “Trust your Food” #AnnualFoodAgenda workshops engaging 279 pupils and teachers from Polish schools.
Over the last three weekends of February (15th, 22th, 29th) nearly 40 researchers, science communicatiors and experts from Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research PAS and MASPEX, invited young consumers (aged 7-13) to the food research laboratories located in the Food Sciences division of IARFR PAS in Olsztyn, Poland. Our guests had a chance todiscover myths and facts surrounding diet supplements, design smart food packaging and get familiarised with food allergens. They found out how to interpret nutrition labels and the information available at public food venues. Under the eye of scientists and using high-tech research equipment, students tried their hands at experiments held in the laboratories of biological functions of food, microbiology, biosensors, metabolomics and other facilities located in the Institute’s Food Sciences division. Young consumers could perform tests on the quality of milk, examine the antioxidant properties of natural preservatives and check what fatty acids are found in commercially available oils. The workshop programme also included the topics of microorganisms used in food processing as well as Maillard reaction products formed during thermal treatment of food. Finally, in the computerised laboratory of sensory analysis, the students had a unique chance to professionally evaluate the sensitivity of their sense of smell. At the end of their “Trust your Food” journey around the labs, the students were asked to verify their knowledge in a quizz and to indicate their one favourite food. All their preferences were reviewed and gathered in a TOP 10 list, revealing ‘apple’ being the most liked food: