The seminar 'Whole Grains for Health', organised by the Finnish Bread Information, Health Grain Forum, VTT, Fazer and VAASAN, was held in Finlandia Hall, Helsinki on 5th November 2013. Around 120 people gathered to discuss about the health benefits of whole grains.
Prof. Kaisa Poutanen from VTT & the University of Eastern Finland opened the seminar by emphasising the role of cereals as the most important source of energy throughout the world, and introducing the differences between whole grain and refined cereal foods. Prof. Chris Seal from the Human Nutrition Research Centre, Newcastle University, U.K. reviewed the evolution of research for whole grain cereals. Dr. Jan Willem van der Kamp, TNO, The Netherlands introduced the new wholegrain definition by the HealthGrain Forum and the recommendations for whole grain consumption.
Docent Marja-Leena Ovaskainen, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland showed the results of the National dietary survey FINDIET2012 with the focus on dietary fibre intake among Finns, and how for example the low-carbohydrate diet has changed the intake. Prof. Mikael Fogelholm from the University of Helsinki spoke about fibre and whole grain in the new Nordic Nutrition Recommendations (NNR) giving an extensive overview how the NNRs are formed by the opinions of about 100 experts and by the open consultation. Prof. Anu Kaukovirta-Norja from VTT & the Finnish Oat Association presented the different kinds of communication campaigns that the Finnish Oat Association has used to promote the health benefits of oats.
Assoc. Prof. Rikard Landberg from SLU, Sweden reviewed the recent findings from human studies related to health effects of rye-based foods. Prof. Hannu Mykkänen from the University of Eastern Finland showed the results from the FIBREFECTS intervention study (Grain fibre modification, gut mediated health effects and gastrointestinal quality of life). Authorized nutritionist Leena Putkonen from the Consumers' Association of Finland presented the consumers' points of view in relation to whole grain consumption, e.g. individual threshold levels for consumers suffering from gluten and fructan sensitivity or intolerance. Docent Marjukka Kolehmainen from the University of Eastern Finland & VTT gave a presentation about the importance of whole grains in a Nordic diet and in the prevention of metabolic syndrome. Assoc. Prof. Mette Kristensen's (the University of Copenhagen) presentation was about whole grain, dietary fibre and weight management.
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In connection of the whole grain seminar, an annual Autumn workshop of the HealthGrain Forum was organised on 6th to 7th November at VTT. This workshop gathered around 40 members to present their recent results in the field of whole grains or fibre-rich products, and to plan future collaboration and research agendas for the upcoming years and especially for the EU Horizon 2020 calls.
For more information about the HealthGrain Forum activities, please contact: Juhani.Sibakov@vtt.fi