24th Canadian Conference on Fats and Oils

For two days in late September of 2011, the Canadian lipid science community gathered at the Sutton Place Hotel in Edmonton for the 24th Canadian Conference on Fats and Oils.

This year’s conference drew a record crowd – more than 130 attendees – and covered a wide range of topics, from edible fats and oils to oilseed biotechnology and processing, to advances in industrial lipids.

The meeting got underway with a highly anticipated keynote lecture by Dr. Keith Downey, who is often called the father of canola. Dr. Downey gave a historical perspective on the development of Brassica oilseed crops.

Dr. Downey’s lecture was followed by several excellent talks looking to the future: anticancer effects of omega-3 plant oilsadvances in flax genomicsimproving castor oil biosynthesis for industrial applications, and the development of new biorefinery processes for Canadian oilseeds.

With the mild fall weather working to our advantage, attendees enjoyed a lively reception and dinner at the Devonian Botanic Garden, featuring canola oil tasting and the musical talents of Jacqueline Marcelle.

A highlight of the conference was a panel discussion on the future of bioindustrial chemicals, moderated by Dr. Stan Blade (Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions). Panelists included Dr. Sevim Erhan (USDA), Ian Thompson (Canadian Bioenergy), and Keith Jones (FAME Biorefinery), each of whom offered an insightful perspective on the challenges and opportunities facing the bioindustrial sector.

Written by