Cereals & Grains 20 Symposia

Week of October 25

How do we meet the growing list of demands of the environmental and health-conscious consumer?


  • Does a plant-based diet mean improved health for the climate, agriculture, & the population?

    “Eat a plant-based diet.” Many spout such a mantra, but it was formalized in EAT-Lancet - a report that elicited both commendation and condemnation. The issues it raised deserve discussion, not only for their impacts on health and well-being but also for effects on the environment (energy, land, pollution), economy, and society. Questions such as the following will be discussed. What are the advantages and disadvantages of plant-based dietary patterns, in general, and of ones such as Eat-Lancet? Should it be adopted or are other patterns equal or better? Is such advice workable for all cultures and regions? Does it apply only to traditional plant-based foods or can milk and dairy alternates (e.g. oat milk, Impossible burgers and nut cheeses) be included? Do the latter provide nutrients and by-products usually given by animals? Are they easily and cost-effectively attained? How do such foods effect the environment? Do they slow climate change or have unanticipated demands on energy, fertilizer, land, water and air? How might supply chains be stressed by unusual or scarce raw materials or the need for alternate forms of transit and storage? What are the carbon and water footprints? How do food safety risks compare? What are the impacts to farmers, farms and industries that rely on animals? Will these highly processed, alternative foods -some with GMO ingredients (e.g. soy leghemoglobin)- reframe acceptance of either? These and other issues will excite this interactive session.

  • Grains and the microbiome – fact, fiction, and future

    There is increasing evidence that the gut microbiome plays a role in human health. Research that reviewed the microbiome of individuals with chronic diseases identified patterns of bacteria that may be associated with these diseases. New studies have identified how changes in diet, especially dietary fiber intake, affect modifying gut microbiota. Research linking dietary patterns or specific fibers with decreased risk of disease or amelioration of symptoms is far more limited. If we are to attempt to understand how the grains, the microbiome, and human health are interlinked, then multidisciplinary projects are essential. This panel discussion considers the role of experts in the field of cereal chemistry, microbiology, and nutrition; their perspectives on maximizing human health through understanding the microbiome, and how we might work together to best design groundbreaking research. Consumers are interested in “gut health” yet may be more likely to ingest a probiotic capsule than consume grains. Attendees at this symposium will be asked to consider what we do know in terms of grains science and gut health, and how all areas of grain science, including industry, may need to work together to separate fact from fiction and present this in a translatable way to consumers. Only with this cooperation is there potential to have a future with genuine “personalized” prescription of specific grains to maximize health outcomes.

  • Improving pulse consumption through technology development

    Pulses are the dried seeds of Leguminosae plants and are a staple in the human diet, valued for their high starch, protein and fiber content, in addition to an array of micronutrients. Pulses are also a useful source of bioactive polyphenols, carotenoids and tocopherols, which may provide additional health benefits through their antioxidant activity. In fact, increased pulse consumption is associated with a reduced risk of several diet-related chronic diseases, including diabetes, metabolic syndrome, CVD, and cancer. However, the preservation of the resistant starch fraction as well as the concentration and stability of bioactives in pulses may be affected by several processing parameters including different thermal processing, exogenous enzyme treatments and germination. On the other hand, pulse processing might positively result in the removal of undesirable off-flavors and anti-nutritional compounds, including the family of indigestible α-Galactooligosaccharides (GOS). This symposium will aim at providing a holistic and mechanistic view on the fate of resistant starch, bioactive compounds, off-flavors and GOS during processing. This symposium will also cover the effect of using pulse flours on food texture, with special emphasis on the effect of water-soluble cell wall polysaccharides at loosing cell wall rigidity during cooking. Last, the use of pulse flours and proteins in bakery applications will be comparatively reviewed.

  • Specialty Grains As Food For The Future

    Quinoa, buckwheat and wheatgrass are examples for specialty grains because their use and cultivation are exceedingly low compared to the staple crops wheat, rice and corn. The reintroduction of these specialty grains and of ancient wheat species such as spelt, emmer and einkorn increases the biodiversity on fields. Further, they are mostly grown in organic farming, are more tolerant to harsh environmental conditions and can be fertilized in lower amounts. Spelt, emmer and einkorn are characterized by more proteins and more bioactive constituents such as carotenoids compared to the commonly used bread wheat and thus have better nutritional value. The gluten-free pseudocereals buckwheat and quinoa are suitable in the diet of celiac disease patients and of those who wants to eat gluten-free. Specialty grains have a high potential to supplement the human diet, to increase the biodiversity and to create tasty, healthy and diversified specialty products.

    The session will highlight the history, current use and new exciting opportunities of specialty grains. The audience will have the opportunity to discuss with all presenters about specialty grains with the aim to increase the public awareness for them. Putting all in a nutshell, the audience will experience the current use of specialty grains, exciting new opportunities and possibilities to increase the public awareness combined with the chance to introduce their own findings.


Week of November 1

How do we ensure traceability and safe products in the grain industry?


  • Food Safety and Quality Industry Best Practices - Practical Applications

    Details coming soon!

  • Validation Strategies for Flour and Grain Products

    With numerous food illness outbreaks associated with low-moisture foods, the long-held belief that low-moisture foods are not a food safety risk is no longer valid in today’s world. Wheat flour and other grain-based products have been implicated in Salmonella and pathogenic Escherichia coli outbreaks and recalls and are not except from this scrutiny. Validation of microbiological process preventive controls are required by FMSA’s Preventive Controls for Human Foods in order to confirm the lethality of the preventive control (PC) – the kill step. FSMA outlines several approaches to validating a PC. A gold standard approach is in-plant validation trials using surrogate microorganisms that mimic the kinetic behavior of a pathogen under the same processing conditions. This symposium outlines the strategies to efficiently mitigate microbial risks in flour, cereal and grain products and outlines a science-based product categorization technique to narrow the list of products to validate. The symposium discussion includes how to design a scientifically valid, yet practical, in-plant validation trial with case study examples. The speakers will also take the audience through how to design a study, the importance of pre-work, challenges encountered during the study, enumeration approaches, and how to interpret results. Pathogen reductions technologies and promising novel processes for the cereals and grains industry will be explored.

  • What are farmers biggest challenges in meeting the requirements for bread and other products?

    Farmers are the source of our grain. This session will allow our food chain to listen to and ask questions of farmers who produce the grain that we are dependent on for our bread and other products. What challenges do they face in meeting the demands of the grain buyers and the flour mills?


Week of November 8

How do we innovate faster to meet food security, environmental, and market needs?


  • Can Falling Number Be Replaced in the Grain Trade?

    The falling number tests presently used cannot different between sprouting and LMA. Even though the number may be high, the bread making quality of the flour may be fine. We need something to discriminate. A precautionary principle rules at the moment – everyone is very resistant to change. However, the test takes too long to be generally useful, such as at receipt of grain. Can we develop an NMR, IR or quick test that could be used at receipt of product.

    The economics of falling number are complex. How is the risk partitioned between the farmer, miller and processor.

    The biochemistry and genetics have been studied but are not well understood. Which enzymes are active? How do we get/create suitable material? Focus has been on alpha amylase - which is a symptom.

  • COVID Panel Discussion

    Details coming soon!

  • Plant Proteins

    Details coming soon!

  • The Continuing Analytical Challenges to Measure Total Dietary Fiber

    As our understanding of dietary fiber improves and its definition evolves, the analytical methods are continuously challenged to accurately measure total dietary fiber in ingredients and foods. The first methods of analysis quantified dietary fiber by simulating the human digestion process on food samples and gravimetrically measuring the remaining indigestible carbohydrates. As our understanding of digestion-resistant carbohydrates increased, these methods evolved to better capture dietary fibers both gravimetrically and using HPLC to capture the highly-soluble fibers. As if that wasn’t enough, new sources of natural and modified dietary fiber became available and the methods needed to be further modified for accuracy.

    All the approved methods are still allowed to be used and each must be used properly on the appropriate matrices to assure accurate measurement. This session will present current testing challenges for foods containing multiple indigestible and digestible carbohydrates, and guidelines on selecting the appropriate method for your specific product.