Welcome Letter

The Functional Food Center (FFC) is excited to announce the FFC’s 2018 International Conference titled “Encounters of Functional Foods and Asian Traditional Medicines.” This conference will be held on October 27 – 28, 2018 at Ritsumeikan University, Osaka-Ibaraki Campus in Osaka, Japan. We will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the College of Life Sciences and the College of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Ritsumeikan University. The aim of this conference is to bring together leaders and experts in the field of functional foods to discuss and share ideas utilizing functional foods for medicine to combat various diseases.

The Functional Food Center currently defines “functional foods” as “natural or processed foods that contains known or unknown biologically-active compounds; which, in defined, effective non-toxic amounts, provide a clinically proven and documented health benefit for the prevention, management, or treatment of chronic disease”. Functional foods contain bioactive compounds to combat and treat nutrition-related diseases, and can increase the physical and mental well-being of people. The idea of functional foods was first introduced in Japan in the early 1980s, and the functional food industry has since rapidly developed to become accepted throughout many countries around the world. Functional foods has become a very lucrative market in many Asian countries and has had a substantial growth in the past five years. There is typically less awareness of healthcare and healthcare facilities in Asia, which lead people to rely on functional foods as a source to prevent against diseases and illnesses. The use of medicinal herbs from foods has long been used in Asian culture for treating a vast variety of health ailments. Recent research on both functional foods and traditional Asian medicines have shown there to be many interlinking factors from both to be used to treat illnesses.

Dr. Mikio Nishizawa of the College of Biomedical Sciences at Ritsumeikan University will be co-chair of this conference. He began working at Ritsumeikan University in 2007, and has been studying about an antisense transcript-mediated mechanism to post-transcriptionally regulate the expression of the genes that are involved in inflammation, such as inducible nitric oxide synthase gene. Functional foods that affect the expression of these genes are other important targets of his research. Dr. Nishizawa was an outstanding lecturer in our previous 19th International Conference held in Kobe, Japan. We are excited to be working with Dr. Nishizawa again to make this conference a huge success.

Along with the other organizing committee members from universities throughout Japan and the FFC, Dr. Mikio Nishizawa proudly welcomes all to Ritsumeikan University and Osaka, Japan. We hope to bring together experts and those interested in the connection between Asian traditional medicines and functional foods to further discuss the progress in this field so far. We also hope to attract experts in the field of functional foods from around the world to present their findings on the use of functional foods to promote health and prevent disease. Osaka has much to offer with its rich culture and blend of modern architecture and nightlife. The 16th century shogunate Osaka Castle is one of the major historical landmarks to visit, and the unique varieties of street foods are not to be missed. We look forward to welcoming you our conference at Ritsumeikan University and enjoy the robust culture of Osaka, Japan.

We would like to invite anyone interested in speaking or organizing special sessions for the conference. Organizers will be responsible for creating a special sessions and finding speakers who would like to speak in their session. Speakers and organizers will need to provide a short bio (with image) and biosketch. Again, we are very excited to present to you the 2018 International Conference by the FFC held at Ritsumeikan University, Osaka-Ibaraki Campus in Osaka, Japan: “Functional Foods and Asian Traditional Medicines,” and appreciate your efforts to make this conference a success.