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ELECTRONIC FORUM ON
BIOTECHNOLOGY IN FOOD AND AGRICULTURE
Background document to Conference 11: 14 June - 15 July, 2004


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    The theme of Conference 11 is "Biotechnology applications in food processing: Can developing countries benefit?"

    It begins on 14 June and runs for four weeks, finishing on Sunday 11 July 2004. For the first time, a conference of the Forum will be dedicated to the application of biotechnology to the processing of food (including beverages) produced by the crop, fishery and livestock sectors in developing countries. It is an area that receives relatively little attention from the media, but which is very important for food security in many developing countries. The conference, as usual, is open to everyone, is free and will be moderated.

    A range of biotechnological tools can be potentially applied to microorganisms offering possibilities for improving the quality, safety and consistency of fermented foods; improving efficiency in the production of fermented foods, food ingredients, food additives and food processing aids (enzymes); diversifying the outputs of fermentation processes and, finally, improving diagnostic and identification systems applicable to foods. Some of these tools include genomics, proteomics, genetic modification, metabolic engineering, and molecular marker based diagnostic and identification systems.

    Some of the issues that might be considered in discussions in the conference include the potential impacts of biotechnology on the socio-economic and cultural aspects of traditional fermentation processes in developing countries; the appropriateness of applying these biotechnology tools to food processing in developing countries; intellectual property rights issues related to their application etc. etc.

    The aim of the Background Document is to provide some brief background to the subject as well as to mention some of the factors that should be considered in the conference.

    Read the full Background Document for Conference 11:
    Biotechnology Applications in Food Processing: Can Developing Countries Benefit?

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