»Future of Food: Feeding Tomorrow’s World«

International Spring School

11th – 15th March 2019 at Fulda University of Applied Sciences

11. – 15. March 2019 at Fulda University of Applied Sciences


The International Spring School "Future of Food: Feeding Tomorrow’s World" offers key notes, various lectures,  and workshops covering main trends in nutrition and food research. The participants will gain in depth insights into possible ways of feeding the world's growing population. Furthermore, they will discuss these trends regarding their compatibility with a sustainable management of our planet's resources – be it from a social, an environmental or an economic perspective.

The following topics will be covered during the International Spring School »Future of Food: Feeding Tomorrow’s World«. The Programme is intended for Bachelor, Master and PhD students.

Please find the current programme outline here. For further details, check the individual contents listed below.

Monday 11. March – Double Burden of Malnutrition

Prof. Dr. Hans-Konrad Biesalski from Germany gives a talk on Double Burden of Malnutrition.

A proposed solution is usually preceded by a problem. Therefor our kick-off lecture will deal with the topic double burden of malnutrition (DBM). This phenomenon refers to the simultaneously occurring undernutrition and obesity, or diet-related noncommunicable diseases (NCD).

Combating DBM and eliminating each mode of malnutrition is one of the greatest global health challenges and of critical importance. Considering this issue, DBM presents an important opportunity and platform for integrated action.

In the days that follow, possible solutions from various areas of nutrition and food research will be studied and discussed.

Tuesday 12. March – Genome Editing

Prod. Dr. Urs Niggli from Switzerland and Prof. Dr. Holger Puchta from Germany talk on gene technology.

Genetic modified organisms, genome editing, new breeding technologies – promising potential or unpredictable risk?

New breeding technologies such as ZFNs, TALENs, and especially CRISPR/Cas systems have already successfully lead to herbicide and drought tolerance or fungal and bacterial disease resistance as well as an increased shelf life. Based on such capacities, genome editing is believed to combat the DBM by improving agricultural production and cope with food supply challenges imposed by the world’s growing population. Yet, these technologies have risen scientific, ethical, and legislative questions like never before.

Join our Spring School and find answers to following questions: What are the chances and risks of genome editing technologies? What further research and regulations are needed to manage so far scientifically unknown consequences in nature? How can gene technology contribute to the world’s most crucial challenges like malnutrition, climate change and limited resources?

Wednesday 13. March – Functional and Fortified Food

Prof. Cathie Martin from the UK and Dr. Ute Obermüller-Jevic from Germany will talk on topics concerning functional and fortified food.

Food fortification specifically refers to the addition of micronutrients to foods. This strategy has already been proved as a public health intervention and being relatively cost-effective at the same time.

Functional foods are considered to be foods that deliver additional or enhanced health benefits beyond their basic nutritional value. The term has not yet been defined by legislation but generally includes foods containing particular functional ingredients or foods that have purposefully been fortified.

Listen to inspiring lectures and find out answers to following questions: Can the future of our food be found in our past? Is personalised nutrition sense or rather nonsense? What are the benefits as well as safety, nutritional and regulatory considerations regarding functional and fortified foods?

Thursday 14. March – Novel Food

Prof. Dr. oec. troph. Guido Ritter from Germany gives a talk on Novel Foods with a focus on tasty insects.

Exploring promising ways to feed the world, one will certainly come across the term Novel Food.

As defined by the European Commission, Novel Food includes products that had not been consumed to a significant amount by humans in the EU before 15. May 1997. This regulation also depicts foods as Novel Food, which are well established for consumption by human outside the EU. As new possibilities can come along with opportunities and risks, Novel Foods need to be evaluated properly. Paving the way for consumption of Novel Foods like insects and other foods produced by new technologies, could contribute significantly to the achievement of defined environmental objectives.

Friday 15. March – Sustainability

Prof. Dr. Huub Löffler from the Netherlands will sum up the discussed possibilities and talk about their sustainability aspects.

Each trend and research introduced during the week reveals various benefits as well as drawbacks. Taking into consideration the fact that the world’s population is projected to reach 9.8 billion people in 2050, changes and innovations in food production and distribution are crucial to feed tomorrow’s world. A major issue within this development is the efficient management of the planets’ limited resources. The concept of sustainability shall be discussed to shade a light on the feasibility of the different trends in a large-scale. In addition, social, economic and other environmental aspects of sustainability shall be investigated with regard to their practicability.