ICC/AISTEC conference "Grains for feeding the world" on the occasion of the EXPO 2015, Milan (Italy), 1-3 July 2015

The ICC/AISTEC Conference "Grains for feeding the world", organised by the Italian Association for Cereal Science and Technology (AISTEC) in collaboration with the International Association for Cereal Science and Technology (ICC), was held at the University of Milan, 1-3 July 2015, with a theme inspired by the broader EXPO theme, "Feeding the planet, energy for life".

The event brought together more than 180 participants from more than 20 countries from around five continents, and provided opportunities for both young and senior scientists and industry representatives for networking and exchanging knowledge about grains and derived products. It also marked the 20th anniversary of the Italian Association which happens to be in conjunction with the 60th anniversary of ICC.

The Conference offered participants an outstanding scientific programme with eight scientific sessions and 42 speeches by speakers from all corners of the globe and about 138 posters. It addressed and attracted the global scientific community, as well as international stakeholders, to discuss new topics, products and challenges. It enabled a meeting between science, production and marketing, thanks to the ten exhibitors that actively interacted with participants and contributed to the event with their table top exhibitions of products, equipment and scientific tools, and moreover provided an insight into the state of the art of product innovation and development of the grains world.

A distinctive feature of the ICC/AISTEC Conference was the global approach of handled topics, as well as a wide coverage of grain species from cereals to pseudo-cereals and legumes, wanted by the Chair of the Scientific Committee, Dr. Marina Carcea, and the other 37 members of the national and international Scientific Committees. Outstanding opening lectures conveyed to the scientific programme the shape of an international forum on the latest general key topics, e.g. the world food security issue in terms of role of production, consumption and trade of grains; the importance of the cereal crops and genetic diversity to cope with the multiple challenges of 21st century agriculture; the sustainability of diets without wheat and grains.

The eight scientific sessions drew participants' attention to specific important issues, such as whole grains, gluten-free products, fortification of bakery products, health effects of innovative cereal products, crop and product safety, as well as methods of analysis, regulatory and labelling matters, consumer acceptance, etc. In general, the event indicated that significant progress has been made to guarantee crop sustainability, develop tools to forecast yields and quality, as well as new technologies for producing healthy and safe grain products. During an award ceremony, chaired by the ICC Secretary General, Mag. Michaela Pichler, and Dr. Chiara Chiriotti of Chiriotti Editori, two prizes were awarded to the two best posters (offered by Chiriotti Editori) that achieved the highest scientific and technical standard, and also displayed innovation and originality, selected from among the poster presentations. The two winning posters dealt with the effect of debranning on T-2 and HT-2 toxin content in durum wheat kernels and milling fractions, and with the protective effect in celiac disease played by a gastrointestinal resistant peptide from Triticum monococcum omega-gliadin.

The Gala dinner at the Morando Bolognini Castle, in Sant'Angelo Lodigiano, a building dating back to the fifteenth century and where participants enjoyed a convivial summer night with plentiful delicious Italian food, left unforgettable memories of the Conference. To get a flavour of the warm and pleasant atmosphere participants enjoyed at the ICC/AISTEC Conference, a photo gallery is kindly offered by the Conference Secretariat.

For participants of the Conference only, the Organising Committee is offering the possibility to view the PDF files of oral and poster presentations, for which permissions of the presenting authors were received, in a protected area on the Conference website.

The Organisers wish to further thank the speakers and poster presenters for their valuable contribution to the Conference and for making it an outstanding scientific event! They also wish to thank the Endorsers, Sponsors and Exhibitors for their support and for helping to make "Grains for feeding the world" such a successful event!

Dr. Marina Carcea and Mag. Michaela Pichler
On behalf of the "Grains for feeding the world" Conference Committees