Polyphenols Applications 2021 - Concluding Remarks

F1The 14th World Congress on Polyphenol Applications was held for the first time as an online event from September 22 to September 24, 2021. Originally, the congress was to take place in Valencia, Spain in September 2020, but this was not possible due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year's event was kicked off by a workshop on the valorization of byproducts by extraction of polyphenols, organized by Richard Maroun and his colleagues Hiba Rajha and Nicolas Louka of Saint Joseph University, Beirut. Topics ranged from source classifications and methods for extraction and characterization to case studies and application and commercialization.

For the main congress, Andreas Schieber (University of Bonn), Marvin Edeas (University of Paris, INSERM), and Jan Frederik Stevens (Oregon State University, Corvallis) welcomed more than 80 participants, coming from 43 countries. The program consisted of 24 extended lectures, 27 short presentations, and 33 posters. The presentations were pre-recorded as mp4 files and were available to participants on the online platform. Nevertheless, numerous contributions were presented in the form of live lectures. As in previous congresses, the program again covered the entire spectrum of topics in polyphenol research, ranging from food chemistry and technology, agriculture, nutritional sciences, medicine and botany to pharmacology and toxicology. Despite the online nature of the event, there was ample opportunity for scientific exchange during interactive sessions where speakers were available for discussion. The online platform also provided the opportunity to ask questions in the chat and to submit evaluations.

In the final discussion, it became clear from the feedback that the event was very well received by the participants. Numerous suggestions were also made for topics to be included in the program of future conferences. These include but are not limited to matrix effects, interactions and reactions, standards for chemical characterization, fermentations and their effects on polyphenols, and the role of phenolic compounds in the aging process. In view of the growing importance of sustainability, approaches to the extraction and application of phenolic compounds from by-products will continue to be an integral part of the congress program.

The Polyphenols Award 2021 was presented to Mark Willems of the University of Chichester (United Kingdom) for his paper “Anthocyanin-rich New Zealand Blackcurrant: Applications for Exercise and Health”. 3 awards for the best Short Oral Presentation and 2 for the best Poster Presentation were also discerned. 

The organizers announced that the next congress will be held in Valencia in 2022. We wish to see you there next year!

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