Even though the School of Biotechnology and Cryogenic Systems regularly hosts the international “Refrigeration and Food Technologies in the 21st Century” conference and several other events, the Food BioTech conference will be the first one to be conducted in English exclusively. Moreover, this year is special for the School – in 2021, it celebrates its 90th birthday.

The goal of the Food BioTech conference is to establish and discuss the latest trends in the field of biotechnologies and present ITMO University as one of the flagships of innovation.

“A lot of scientists visit us from abroad, for example, as part of the ITMO Fellowship program that our School actively participates in. They always ask if it’s possible to participate in our events and invite their colleagues. Such a request increased our motivation to organize this conference. It became obvious that we need our own major event to discuss new research and receive feedback from international partners. With the active integration of information technology, as with any other field, we are seeing a lot of progress and rapid changes, and we must not only keep pace with them but also be at the forefront of them. This is possible only through an interdisciplinary approach,” says Denis Baranenko, the head of the International Research Center “Biotechnologies of the Third Millennium."


Five tracks are to be presented at the conference, each led by an internationally distinguished specialist. Da-Wen Sun, professor at University College Dublin, will be responsible for the Food Processing and Process Control section. Da-Wen Sun is a specialist in the field of innovative cooling techniques for food products, applied use of new physical methods for processing of products, and various combinatorial technologies, as well as in the field of interspectral analysis of the products’ safety. He is also a chair member of the program committee.

Prof. Chin-Kun Wang from the Chung Shan Medical University will head the Functional Foods and Preventive Medicine section. He will also make a presentation on functional food products and supplements based on traditional medicine with the use of endemic plants from Taiwan and the Far East. 

Prof. Marco Dalla Rosa from the University of Bologna is the head of the Food Quality, Safety and Society section. He will talk about new technologies in the field of quality assessment of products and production.

Another key topic of the conference is sustainable development and green technologies in the food industry. This section (Sustainable Consumption and Production) will be headed by Pedro A. García Encina from the University of Valladolid. Several scientists from Finland and other European countries who collaborate with ITMO University’s Faculty of Biotechnologies will also present as part of this track.

Pedro A. García Encina
Pedro A. García Encina

Among guest presenters are prominent scientists, such as Daniel Cozzolino, a specialist in modern research methods for food biotechnology from the University of Queensland (Australia), Sueli Rodrigues from the Federal University of Ceará (Brazil), who will talk about non-thermal processing of prebiotic juices, Servet Gulum Sumnu from the Middle East Technical University (Turkey) with a presentation on the application of electrospinning in food packaging, Antonio Bevilacqua from the University of Foggia (Italy) with a presentation on “Suppressing and Boosting Growth Using Ultrasound: New Frontiers for Probiotic Microorganisms and Cultures”, as well as many others.

“We worked hard on the topics and sections of the conference and tried to cover the latest and most relevant scientific trends. These include interdisciplinary research involving digital science, the use of AI for analyzing the composition of products, new digital imaging technologies, and express methods for the quality assessment of products (in particular, ITMO University’s School of photonics conducts research in the field of using terahertz spectroscopy for these purposes),” says Denis Baranenko.

Denis Baranenko
Denis Baranenko

He also adds that when they were planning the conference, they focused on the connection between biotechnologies and food technologies with health and longevity.

“This is a very popular topic, on which a lot of studies are carried out every year with amazing results and a large number of publications,” says Denis Baranenko. “It’s also worth mentioning new non-conventional sources of raw materials that are more efficient in comparison with ordinary milk and meat. In particular, plant analogs, insect protein, and alternative milk (from camel milk to lactose-free and hypoallergenic milk).”

Program & requirements

The participants can either make a poster presentation or an oral presentation. The top five selected papers will be published in the Food Bioscience journal (indexed in the Scopus database, quartile Q1). Plus, as a result of the conference, a special issue of the journal belonging to the Q2 Scopus quartile with papers selected by the program and scientific committees will be published.

Moreover, all participants will have an opportunity to publish an article in the special issue of another scientific journal indexed by Scopus. More information will be published on the conference’s website soon.

International Research Centre “Biotechnologies of the Third Millennium
International Research Centre “Biotechnologies of the Third Millennium"

The conference will take place in a hybrid format. The organizers hope that both Russian and international participants will be able to come to St. Petersburg in person if the global situation and vaccination will allow that to happen. Offline participants can join a recreational program that includes a variety of activities, starting from a tour around ITMO labs and the facilities of the School’s partners and ending with morning yoga classes and trips to interesting locations near St. Petersburg.

“We hope to see participants not only from biotech but also from related fields; for those who implement new means of management, control, and digital technologies in this field. We also hope to see the active participation of our young colleagues: Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD students – we have a reduced registration fee set for them. Due to the fact that ITMO University is working on strategic interdisciplinary fields and partnerships in the fields of biotechnology, photonics, digital technologies, and management, and also because of the exceptional and distinguished line-up of  participants, the Food BioTech 2021 conference will undoubtedly be a very interesting event of this year that is not to be missed,” concludes Denis Baranenko.