Susan Elliott 
VitalSix Ltd 
0118 935 7115


Wednesday 25 June 2014 from 5pm to 8pm with networking & light refreshments


Science & Technology Centre 
University of Reading, Earley Gate, Whiteknights Road, Reading, RG6 6BZ

Driving Directions

Food safety and authenticity: do we know what's in our food?

Thames Valley Life Sciences Network - technical meeting and networking event

Please register now for this event that is free of charge to attend

Keynote Speakers

Food adulteration - a background to the issue - Dr Ellen Norman, Projects Manager, Investigative Analysis, Reading Scientific Services Ltd. Ellen will explore the history of food adulteration, looking at how politics and commerce have driven changes in behaviour of those adulterating but also the public perception of this issue. Illustrative examples of the historical and indeed apocryphal stories exhibit a resonance with the modern day adulteration issues faced by all those involved in the provision of our food.

DNA Methods for detection of food fraud and adulteration - Barbara Hirst, Laboratory Manager DNA & Protein, Reading Scientific Services Ltd -  Barbara will talk about the different types of fraud and adulteration that DNA testing can be used for and some examples of how it is used. This will cover meat speciation, fish speciation, cheese authentication, GMO detection and basmati rice authentication. These examples cover a wide range of DNA testing techniques; all based on polymerase chain reaction (PCR),  which forms the basis for most DNA testing. Barbara will also explore some of the challenges for the analytical community, especially in translating the results for customers and partnering with them to understand what decisions they make based on the results.

Food allergens: sabotage and fraud in the food chain - Dr Michael Walker, LGC Group. Michael will five an introduction to food allergy and talk about the challenges and opporutntiies facing the industry. He'll discuss the details of a forensic investigation of an allergen sabotage in a food factory and the Eurofoods prosecution.


VitalSix and Acumentia work together to provide the opportunity for businesses, academics and researchers to learn more about the challenges faced with bringing new research and technologies to market in the food & life sciences industry.