== Barbara Gallani ==

BCCC sector manager - Food and Drink Federation

The 56th Biscuit, Cake, Chocolate and Confectionery Technology Conference took place at the end of March and was attended by 70 delegates from industry, ingredient suppliers, government, academia and research institutes, as well as students from Leeds and Reading UK universities.

Following the merger of the Biscuit Cake Chocolate and Confectionery Association into the Food and Drink Federation in 2008, it was decided that the group would continue to run the annual technology conference, as it provides the sector with the opportunity to hear and discuss technical and regulatory issues of importance. Speeches of particular interest to the bakery sector included a talk by Professor Malcolm Povey, of the University of Leeds, on the assessment of crispness and crunchiness by acoustics; and one by Dr Colin Hamlet, of Premier Foods, about successful acrylamide minimisation strategies for biscuits, cakes and crispbreads.

Several speakers addressed the opportunities and challenges of saturated fat reformulation and the presentations on trans fatty acids (TFAs) were also very topical, considering the recent discussions in the European Parliament and the numerous amendments proposed to the Food Information Proposal requesting back-of-pack labelling for TFAs.

It was clear from the presentations and discussions that the main drivers for success in the UK biscuit, cake, chocolate and confectionery manufacturing industry stem from great challenges: the need to continue to innovate, even in the current economy; and the need to stay ahead of rivals and deliver healthier and indulgent products for consumers.