Conference Report_FFC26


Conference Report


The 26th International Conference of Functional Food Center and 14th International Symposium of Academic Society for Functional Foods and Bioactive Compounds (ASFFBC) was held on May 9-10, 2019 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California. The conference was entitled “Functional Foods, Bioactive Compounds and Nutraceuticals in Health and Disease”.


This conference consisted of over 90 participants from 14 countries around the world, including Japan, Turkey, Brazil, Serbia, China, Canada, Israel, Germany, United Kingdom, Cameroon, Czech Republic, Australia, Russia, and the United States. Among our participants were experts, scientists, and representatives in the field of biology, food and nutrition, and medicine. Our conferences, including or 26th Conference, are designed to incorporate a significant international presence. This has created a platform for different scientific perspectives and discussions on a wide range of topics regarding functional foods, bioactive compounds, interventions on chronic diseases, and health regulations.


We would like to give a big thank you to our Organizing Committee. Without their hard work, dedication, and constant support, we would have been able to hold such a successful conference.

Garth Nicolson, PhD, Research Professor of Molecular Pathology, The Institute for Molecular Medicine, S. Laguna Beach, CA, USA; Kanakaraju Kaliannan, MD, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA; Dragan M. Djuric, MD, PhD, Professor, Executive Council Member, International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences (IACS); President, Serbian Association for Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology Research; Professor of Physiology and Founder, PhD Program in Physiological Sciences, Institute of Medical Physiology “Richard Burian“; Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia; Nathan S. Bryan, PhD, Session Chair, Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine-Houston, TX, USA; Gabriela Riscuta, MD, CNS, Program Director, Nutritional Science Research Group, Division of Cancer Prevention, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA; Smiti Gupta, PhD, Department of Nutrition and Food Science, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA.


To begin our conference, our Conference Chairman and Functional Food Center (FFC) President, Dr. Danik Martirosyan,  gave an opening speech to introduce FFC and the purpose of our conference. Dr. Martirosyan discussed the growing occurence of many chronic diseases, such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancer, etc. and the associated high expenses spent on healthcare to treat and manage these diseases. In highlighting the purpose of the conference, Dr. Martirosyan discussed the importance of exploring and utilizing the role of functional foods in interventions of chronic diseases. Dr. Martirosyan presented FFC’s role in defining functional foods, stating functional foods as “natural or processed foods that contain biologically-active compounds; which, in defined, effective non-toxic amounts, provide a clinically proven and documented health benefit utilizing specific biomarkers, for the prevention, management, or treatment of chronic disease or its symptoms.'' The definition of functional foods established by FFC purposefully asserts bioactive compounds as being of central importance in functional foods. However, the safety of bioactive compounds and its associated health benefits must be documented and reported in order to improve and standardize the treatments with functional foods. Public education is vital in order to create government changes that will accept the definition of functional foods and recognize them in healthcare. It is critical that those involved in the functional food community work together in order to put standards, regulations, and laws in action.


The conference consisted of 8 informative sessions, which included 28 oral presentations. Additionally, there were 2 separate poster sessions, which included 13 poster presentations. The session topics and session chairs were presented in the following order:

“Opening and Keynote Session” Session Chairs: Garth Nicolson, PhD, Research Professor of Molecular Pathology, The Institute for Molecular Medicine, S. Laguna Beach, CA, USA; Abdulkerim Eroglu, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular and Structural Biochemistry, Plants for Human Health Institute College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, North Carolina State University, Kannapolis, NC, USA.
“Dietary Nitrite and Nitrate” Session Chair: Nathan S. Bryan, PhD, Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine-Houston, TX, USA. “Vitamins, Nutrients and Nutritional Supplements in Cardiovascular Health and Dysfunction” Session Chair: Dragan M. Djuric, MD, PhD, Professor, Executive Council Member, International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences (IACS); President, Serbian Association for Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology Research; Professor of Physiology and Founder, PhD Program in Physiological Sciences, Institute of Medical Physiology “Richard Burian”; Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia “Functional Foods with Bioactive Compound(s): Prevention and Management of Non-communicable Diseases” Session Chairs: Sunny Jain, CEO, Sun Genomics, San Diego, California; Mahnaz Kargar, PhD student, Department of Horticulture, Auburn University, Auburn, AL, USA.
“Functional Foods and Chronic Diseases” Session Chair: Smiti Gupta, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Nutrition and Food Science, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA “Food Bioactive Compounds and Functional Foods: Promising Concept for Chronic Disease and Healthy Aging” Session Chairs: William W. Li, MD, President and Medical Director, The Angiogenesis Foundation, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA; Sara Haddad Tabrizi, PhD, School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA, USA. “Food Bioactive Compounds and Functional Foods: Promising Concept for Chronic Disease and Healthy Aging” Session Chair: Kanakaraju Kaliannan, MD, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA “Current Research and Development of New Functional Food Products” Session Chairs: Hairong Cheng, PhD, Professor, State Key Laboratory of Microbial Metabolism, School of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China

We would like to highlight some of the excellent presentations and exhibitors from the 26th International Conference:


Best Oral Presenter: Dr. Smiti Gupta, Department of Nutrition and Food Science, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA. Dr. Gupta’s presentation topic was “1H NMR metabolomics reveals modulation of Glutamine by Tocotrienols via mTOR pathway in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer”. This topic greatly benefited our conference audience and aligned well with the purpose of this conference. Congratulations to Dr. Gupta on a successful presentation!


Best Poster Presenter: Melanie Hutchings, Student, Department of Nutrition and Food Science, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA. Ms. Hutching’s presentation topic was “Efficacy of Oil Palm Phenolics and Curcumin on the Serotonin Pathway”. Congratulations to Melanie on a successful poster presentation!


Best Conference Organizer: Dragan M. Djuric, MD, PhD, Professor, Executive Council Member, International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences (IACS); President, Serbian Association for Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology Research; Professor of Physiology and Founder, PhD Program in Physiological Sciences, Institute of Medical Physiology “Richard Burian”; Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia. Dr. Dragan organized our 3rd Session entitled “Vitamins, Nutrients and Nutritional Supplements in Cardiovascular Health and Dysfunction”. We honorably chose Dr. Dragan as he not only organized this session and presented his own research, but also brought 6 other excellent oral presenters to the conference. We congratulate Dr. Dragan on a successful presentation and session, and also thank him for the hard work he contributed to our conference to make it great!  


Best Exhibitor: For Long Life Inc., Florida, USA. For Long Life manufactures and distributes Vegan epigenetic nutraceuticals and Immuno-modulators against civilisation diseases internationally to health and anti-aging enthusiasts. For Long Life greatly contributed to our conference with their commitment to health and disease through their products. A few other companies had fascinating exhibitions, including those by: "Lysulin", "Sun Genomics", "Ketodough", and "Czar Salt"


Outstanding Presentation: William W. Li, MD, President and Medical Director, The Angiogenesis Foundation, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. Dr. Li co-organized Session 7 entitled “Food Bioactive Compounds and Functional Foods: Promising Concept for Chronic Disease and Healthy Aging” and presented his topic “Activation of intrinsic health defenses as a mechanism for food bioactives: a systems-based approach to food functionality”. We found Dr. Li’s presentation to be especially excellent and beneficial to our audience in the interest of functional food science. We are very grateful for his engaging lecture. Congratulations, Dr. Li, on a successful session and presentation!


Following the first day of our conference, we were thrilled to host a Conference Networking Event for all of our attendees and lecturers. After the completion of a successful first day of the conference, we traveled as a group to the beautiful Balboa Park in San Diego. In the park area we joined together at a local restaurant to enjoy music, food, and drinks. This was an excellent opportunity for our attendees to network and converse amongst each other outside the context of the conference. We emphasize the importance of networking in the functional food community to enhance knowledge, form relationships, and provide opportunity for future collaboration. We make sure opportunities like this are available at each of our conferences.


We are very pleased with the success of our 26th International Conference and all that was contributed. We would like to thank all who attended, presented, and/or exhibited at our conference for making it such a beneficial event. The diverse topics presented aided in expanding the knowledge of all our attendees. We also believe the international diversity present at our conference contributes to a great deal of our success at our conferences.


We hope that you can join us in a future International Conference! Our next upcoming conference is being hosted at Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA this September. This conference is our 27th International Conference entitled “Functional Foods and Bioactive Compounds: Health Promotion and Disease Management”. Please visit our Conference Main Page on our website for more information on attending this conference: https://www.functionalfoodscenter.net/27th-int--conference.html