The 29th International Horticultural Congress | Sustaining Lives, Livelihoods and Landscapes | 17-22 August 2014
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Welcome to the 6th International Human Health Effects of Fruits & Vegetables Symposium (FAVHealth2014)

Sponsored by the ISHS Commission Fruits and Vegetables and Health

Welcome to the 6th International Symposium on Fruit and Vegetables for Human Health. The 6th International Symposium on Fruit and Vegetables for Human Health (FAVHealth2014) will be held in Brisbane, Australia in 2014 during the International Horticultural Congress (IHC2014).

The focus of the 4-day symposium is to highlight advances in functional food research within fruit, vegetables and nuts. Functional foods, one of the most rapidly growing areas of horticultural research, are foods that provide health benefits beyond basic nutrition, protection against disease, and increase in performance.

The symposium will be held over 4 days, with a special joint day held in conjunction with the International Congress on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, and an additional joint day in conjunction with the Berry Fruit 2nd International Symposium, specifically on the health benefits of berry species.

Sessions will be focused on the following themes:

  • Breeding and biofortification of fruit, vegetables and nuts for phytonutrient concentration
  • Pre-harvest and post-harvest factors affecting phytonutrient content
  • Isolation and characterization of bioactive compounds
  • FAV and cancer prevention
  • FAV and sports performance
  • FAV and brain function and eye health
  • FAV and cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes
  • Antioxidants, inflammation, and 'super-fruits'
  • Bioavailability and bioaccessability of bioactive compounds

Convenors

Dr Tim O'Hare is a Senior Researcher at the Centre for Nutrition and Food Sciences at QAAFI, The University of Queensland. He is a specialist in the development and biofortification of fruit, nuts and vegetables with naturally-enhanced health benefits, in particular carotenoid, glucosinolate, and mineral-based phytonutrients (Zn, Se). With a background in fruit physiology and biotechnology, his expertise lies in determining the physiological, biochemical and genetic limitations to enhancing phytonutrient concentration in popular fruit, nut and vegetables. His research combines the disciplines of plant breeding & molecular analysis, phytonutrient compositional analysis, pre-harvest and postharvest factors affecting phytonutrient accumulation, and biofortification's impact on product quality.

Dr Olaf van Kooten is professor of Horticultural Supply Chains at Wageningen University, the Netherlands and professor of Sustainable Interconnections in Greenports at the applied university Inholland, Delft in the Netherlands. He is also the chair of the commission on Fruits and Vegetables and Health of the ISHS and as such a member of the executive council and representative of the Netherlands in the ISHS council. He specializes in both external and internal quality dynamics of fruits, vegetables and flowers throughout the entire production and supply chain. The research comprises of modeling dynamic quality behavior and translating consumer demands to handling and treatment descriptions in every part of the supply chain including the growing stage.

Dr. Bhimu Patil is the Professor and Director of the interdisciplinary Vegetable and Fruit Improvement Center, Texas A&M University AgriLife Research and Extension. Drs. Yves Dejardins and Patil co-founded FAV Health in 2005. Currently, Dr Patil is the co-chair of the commission on Fruits and Vegetables and Health of the ISHS. His research focus on isolation and characterization of naturally occurring compounds to provide ‘proof of concept' of role of vegetables and fruits in human health. Additionally, his research is focused on pre and postharvest effects on bioactive compounds in citrus, pepper, onion, melons, and pomegranate. He has developed two multi-disciplinary and multi state first-of-its kind courses, “Science of Foods for Health” and “Phytochemicals in Fruits and Vegetables to Improve Human Health” which are being offered at several universities.

Keynote Speakers

Theme: FAV and eye and brain health

Dr Paul S. Bernstein, MD, PhD is the Mary Boesche Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the Moran Eye Center of the University of Utah where he currently divides his time equally between basic science retina research and a clinical practice devoted to medical and surgical treatment of disease of the retina and vitreous with special emphasis on macular and retinal degenerations. Dr. Bernstein's current research interests are focused on the biochemistry and biophysics of nutritional interventions against inherited and acquired ocular disorders. His laboratory is a leader in the study of the proteins involved in the uptake and stabilization of lutein and zeaxanthin in the human macula, and he was a co-inventor of the BioPhotonic Scanner, a resonance Raman method that is a non-invasive biomarker of fruit and vegetable intake. Dr Bernstein was a principal investigator for the AREDS2 study which studied supplementation with lutein and zeaxanthin in the prevention of age-related macular degeneration, and he was a member of its executive and writing committees.

Theme: FAV and Cancer

Dr. Elizabeth Jeffery is Professor Emerita of Nutrition and Professor Emerita of Pharmacology at the University of Illinois, Urbana. She holds a BSc (Honors) in Medical Biochemistry and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry, from the University of London (UK). Her major research interests are mechanisms of cancer prevention by fruits and vegetables, particularly broccoli, with a focus on translating research from cell culture to animals and humans. Most recently she has been studying the impact of food processing on the bioavailability of bioactive food components, to ensure that the consumer gains optimal health benefits.

Theme: Isolation and characterization of bioactive compounds

Prof. Michael Rychlik is the Head of the Chair of Analytical Food Chemistry and of the R&D Division of the Bioanalytics department at the Technische Universität München, Germany (TUM). He graduated in food chemistry at the University of Kaiserslautern in 1988. His PhD studies on the flavor of bread were completed in 1996 and he was appointed professor at the TUM in 2010. His group has been working for 15 years in the field of developing analytical methods for bioactive food components, in particular for vitamins, mycotoxins, odorants and lipids. For these compounds, he developed stable isotope dilution assays that reveal superior accuracy.

Theme: Antioxidants, inflammation, and 'super-fruits'

Dr Carolyn Lister leads the Phytochemicals and Health Team at the New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research. She obtained her PhD in plant biochemistry from the University of Canterbury University in 1994. Although originally working on pigments and plant colour, in 1997 Dr Lister completed a fellowship at the University of Glasgow and changed to an emphasis on the role plant pigments play in human nutrition. The primary focus of her team's current research is on phytochemicals and their role in human health but work also includes the wider nutritional benefits of food. Dr Lister's expertise extends to developing health claim messages. She works with a range of industry groups in Australia and NZ focusing to promote greater consumption of fruit and vegetables based on their nutrition benefits. Carolyn also has a strong interest in communicating science to the community and is an active member of the New Zealand Fruit and Vegetable Alliance.

Theme: Bioavailability and bioaccessability of bioactive compounds

Yves Desjardins has been director of the Horticultural Research Centre at Laval University from 1999 to 2002, and in 2005 and 2011. As Director of the HRC, he was instrumental in the creation of the Institute for Nutraceutical and Functional Foods at Laval University from which he became Director of Academic and International Affairs from 2003 to 2007. He was elected as Chair of a new Commission on Health Effects of Fruit and Vegetables within the International Society for Horticultural Sciences (ISHS). In 2005, he organized the first International Symposium on Human Health Effects of Fruit and Vegetables in Québec City. His actively involved the co-ordination of a new international institute called INAQ, l’Institut de Nutrition Aquitaine-Québec, where he leads the axis dealing with characterization of bioactives found in fruit and vegetables. His research focus is on the characterization and extraction of polyphenols and particularly proanthocyanidins found in blueberries and cranberries and their effects on cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and others. He is involved in a number of clinical trials on the effect of small fruit bioactives (polyphenols) on type-2 diabetes.

Theme: FAV and cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes

Prof Brown's original training was as a pharmacist, then pharmacologist. He is now the Professor of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba. His research group looks at the cardiovascular, liver and metabolic changes with interventions from foods in rats fed a high carbohydrate, high fat diet as a model of the human metabolic syndrome.

Theme: Pre-harvest and post-harvest factors affecting phytonutrient content

Dr Rod Jones joined the Victorian Department of Agriculture in 1988, and in 2000 commenced work on the physiology of phytonutrient synthesis and metabolism in fruits and vegetables. This work expanded in 2003 with the commencement of the Vital Vegetables project, which was a collaboration between DPI Victoria and Plant & Food Research New Zealand developing a range of high health vegetable products. Key areas of research conducted by the DPI team over the past 12 years include the effects of pre-harvest nutrition and irrigation on the physiology of secondary plant metabolite and vitamin synthesis in vegetables, effects of CA, MAP and high humidity packaging on secondary plant metabolite and vitamin content in vegetables, apples and stonefruit, and the influence of orchard production systems on flavour of stone fruit and apples. Rod is currently Senior Plant Physiologist at DEPI Agribio Centre.

Theme: Breeding and biofortification of fruit, vegetables and nuts for phytonutrient concentration

Dr Tim O'Hare is a Senior Researcher at the Centre for Nutrition and Food Sciences at QAAFI, The University of Queensland. He is a specialist in the development and biofortification of fruit, nuts and vegetables with naturally-enhanced health benefits, in particular carotenoid, glucosinolate, and mineral-based phytonutrients (Zn, Se). With a background in fruit physiology and biotechnology, his expertise lies in determining the physiological, biochemical and genetic limitations to enhancing phytonutrient concentration in popular fruit, nut and vegetables. His research combines the disciplines of plant breeding & molecular analysis, phytonutrient compositional analysis, pre-harvest and postharvest factors affecting phytonutrient accumulation, and biofortification's impact on product quality.

Scientific Committee

  • Dr Marie-Josephe Amiot, University of Aix-Marseille (France)
  • Dr M.B. Chetti, Dharwad University of Agricultural Sciences (India)
  • Prof. Yves Desjardins, University of Laval (Canada)
  • Dr Trevor George, University of Northumbria (United Kingdom)
  • Prof. Elizabeth Jeffery, University of Illinois (USA)
  • A/Prof. Dean Kopsell, University of Tennessee (USA)
  • Dr Rod Jones, Victorian Department of Primary Industries (Australia)
  • Dr Carolyn Lister, Plant and Food Research (New Zealand)
  • Prof. Marie Olsson, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Sweden)
  • Prof. Michael Rychlik, University of Technology Munich (Germany)
  • Dr Carl Sams, University of Tennessee (USA)
  • Prof. Roger Stanley, University of Tasmania (Australia)
  • Dr Gustavo Teixiera, Universidade Estadual Paulista (Brazil)
  • Dr Carol Wagstaff, University of Reading (United Kingdom)
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