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Food science and healthy diet - a series of ScienceSquared events took place in Bulgaria

17 Nov 2016

The Centre for Research and Analysis (CRA), in a partnership with Sofia University and Agrobioinstitute in Sofia, organized an event at the Faculty of Biology of the University, a part of the ERC = Science² pan-European campaign of the European Research Council (ERC) which started in 2015. The event presented an intriguing, in-depth look into one of the six project themes – "The Taste Tests" which zooms in on the blue-sky food and dietary research funded by the ERC.

Between November 8th - 10th a series of dialogue and public events took place in Sofia and Plovdiv with the estimated attendance of 300. Thanks to the cooperation with the University of Food Technologies and the Institute of Vegetable Crops ”Maritza” in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, ScienceSquared events took place in two cities simultaneously. Scientists from Bulgaria and Spain captivated the attention of the audience by presenting interesting innovative research about the food we eat, often without being aware of their unexpected properties and their impact on our health.

Participants of the dialogue activities in Plovdiv had a chance to attend lectures related to healthy food with a particular emphasis on the composition and quality of vegetables. The second day of the events at the Institute of Vegetable Crops was dedicated to the dietary benefits of fruits and vegetables. ScienceSquared also addressed children by holding an event in one of the kindergartens in Plovdiv which introduced a variety of utility and game like solving puzzles, quizzes and more.

The main presentations were related to genetic diversity and antiviral activity of wild blueberries, wheat as a natural medicine, nanotechnology in foods, food packaging and also cardiovascular diseases in the European cities, which is the main focus of the Heart Healthy Hoods (HHH) project funded by the ERC. Owing to the participation of the HHH project manager Ms. María Urtasun, the audience of the Sofia University learned more about the unique project methodology as well as the nuts and bolts of being on the frontlines of the ERC-funded research, which resulted in a lively discussion.

Last but not least, students, researchers and visitors of the Faculty of Biology at Sofia University had an opportunity to explore the multimedia content created around the ERC-funded food research in the ScienceSquared pop-up science stand, which also distributed information about the ERC and its funding opportunities in general. 

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