Navigating changes in

nutrition and protein demand 

10:00 - 10:20 am

Protein Myths & Realities

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​Speaker Profile:

Stacy Pyett, Ph.D., is Program Manager Proteins for Life at Wageningen University & Research, Dr. Pyett is responsible for aligning protein-related research to stakeholder needs. Stacy is committed to making protein systems more sustainable and equitable and maintaining a science-based and nuanced dialogue in what can be a contentious domain.


       Do we need more protein? Should we all eat vegan? Is plant-based synonymous with healthy? This talk will cover some of the hot-button issues related to proteins, relying on scientific evidence to sort myth from reality, and ending with an inclusive vision for a sustainable future food system.

10:20 - 10:40 am

Diet and the Microbiome: Is there an Effective Pathway to Immune Modulation for Covid-19?


​Speaker Profile:

Dena Herman-Mendes, Ph.D., RD, specializes in assessment of dietary quality, food security, childhood obesity, and the functional consequences of nutrition including their effects on the gut microbiome, mostly in lower-income settings in the U.S. and internationally. Dr. Herman earned her Ph.D. and M.P.H. in community health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, her M.S in Nutritional Sciences at the Friedrich-Wilhelms Universitaet, Bonn, Germany, and her registered dietitian license (R.D.) with a specialty in pediatrics with the Leadership in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) program at USC Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Dena is a Professor at California State University, Northridge in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences and an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the UCLA School of Public Health. She has recently published one of the first studies examining the relationship of dietary habits with gut microbiome composition of young children. Her current work is focused on better understanding microbiome function and developing school-based interventions to improve dietary quality among children and adolescents.


10:40 - 11:00 am

Plant-Based Innovation in COVID times

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​Speaker Profile:

Jacqueline (Jacqui) Finegan, Business Development Manager at Kerry.

At Kerry Jacqueline is responsible for leading the growth of Kerry’s plant based protein portfolio. Jacqui has been active in the nutraceutical, pharmaceutical and food industry for over 30 years at companies such as Unilever, Tate and Lyle, and Glanbia in Africa, Europe and America. Her roles have been in Research and Development, Sales, Operations and Innovation. studied Applied Chemistry at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa and holds a Postgraduate diploma in Food, Health and Nutrition from University College Dublin


       Over the years, and particularly since the outbreak of the COVID-19 global pandemic, consumers’ mindsets have shifted to sustainability and wellbeing. Driven by the growing consumer passion for health and sustainability, sales of plant-based food and beverages show no sign of slowing down. Disruptive innovation has played a major role in driving the mainstream adoption of plant-based foods and there has been a massive consumer shift toward plant-protein based products in recent years. Beyond plant-based meat alternatives, there remains significant untapped potential for the burgeoning plant protein based movement in applications such as nutritional bars, waters, cookies, ice-cream, yoghurt and snacks. As we continue to increase our knowledge on plant protein and develop new innovative plant protein processing technologies, the possibilities are endless even if some challenges remain. During this session you will learn more about how Kerry’s plant protein technology, taste masking technology and application expertise unlock these challenges for innovation.

11:00 - 11:20 am

Faba Bean Protein, A Novel Ingredient


​Speaker Profile:

Jane Whittinghill, Ph.D., is a global new product development lead/scientist at ICL Food Specialties.  She joined ICL in 2014 from DuPont Health and Nutrition where she led the Front-End Innovation team in plant protein technologies.  Her current position is in the development of new and innovative plant-based systems for the alternative meat segment.  She resides in St. Louis MO, with her two children.


       The global demand for plant-based proteins is growing at a rapid rate due to increased consumer demand for sustainable vegetarian and vegan offerings in the market.  Plant proteins from seeds, grain legumes, pseudocereals and other minor crops are growing in demand worldwide. There is still a large number of crops that have medium to high protein content largely underutilized, many of which are able to fix nitrogen and be beneficial to the soil as well.  Faba bean (Vicia Faba L.) is a plant with high protein and great nutritional benefits.  It is grown in Europe, China, Canada and Australia.

       This presentation will introduce the audience to faba bean seed composition, nutritional attributes and functionality.  The agricultural and climate impact of faba beans compared to other protein crops will be discussed.  The processing and fractionation of faba beans into different components for use in applications will be a major part of the presentation.