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IDF Cheese Symposium goes virtual for the first time ever!

Date: June 17, 2021
Insights type: News
Subject Area: Dairy Science & Technology, Food Standards, Nutrition & Health, Safety & Quality
Categories: News

Every 4 years, The IDF Cheese Science and Technology Symposium is held and co-organised by FIL-IDF Canada and the Quebec STELA Dairy Research Centre of Université Laval. The 2021 completely virtual edition gathered international scientific experts to share the latest research findings and technology innovations.

Throughout the week, the virtual formula offered an enhanced conference programme, with talks being presented live or for recorded viewing, as well as various opportunities to exchange and communicate knowledge with researchers, scientists, cheese experts as well as industry representatives.

The Novalait conference was also held in parallel to the Cheese Symposium with interesting topics being discussed such as consumers’ perceptions of the natural quality of food products, and how this influences their behavior. Communication strategies were also tackled, and information on food packaging, such as organic labels or simple ingredient lists, which lead to a healthy perception and purchase intent.

Each day of the Cheese Symposium consisted of five sessions of scientific presentations by keynote speakers and lecturers which was followed on by a live Q and A, as well as live and recorded e-poster sessions online. The first day kicked off with a session on the analysis of cheese microbiomes, highlighting contributions to multiple aspects of its quality, which provided a detailed understanding of the cheese microbiome, which is key to the optimization of flavour, appearance, quality, and safety. This session was led by Paul Cotter, Prof, Ph. D, Head of Food Biosciences, Teagasc Food Research Centre.

Throughout the days, various similar insightful sessions were also held. Some of the key highlights involved a session on presenting an overview of new designer cheeses, from specialized starters to personalized cheeses, which proved that these innovative new processes for cheeses open new avenues for the development of designer cheeses, as well as adapting to the ever-evolving needs of specific populations.

The session on Cheese Technology: Process eco-efficiency and innovative approaches also received a very positive praise, as participants engaged widely in the Q and A session, as well as a welcome speech by the IDF Director General.

On the last day, an exciting live cheese pairing activity was held where participants had the chance to join Canadian Cheese Ambassador, David Beaudoin, for a 30 minutes cheese pairing session and to ask questions on the different types of cheeses presented, which was a refreshing and relaxing end to the five day symposium.

For more information on the IDF Cheese and Technology symposium, visit


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