Bonn Polyphenols 2013 in Retrospect: A Huge Success...

 Polyphenols 2013 198

After six successful conferences held in Malta and Paris, the Seventh World Congress on Polyphenols Applications took place in Bonn, Germany, on June 6-7, 2013 under the auspices of the International Society for Antioxidants in Nutrition and Health (ISANH), the French Society of Antioxidants (SFA), and the Japanese Society of Antioxidants (JSA).

Prof. Dr. Marvin Edeas, Chairman of ISANH, and Prof. Dr. Andreas Schieber, Chairman of the Scientific Committee and local organizer of the conference, welcomed more than 130 academics and industry representatives from 28 countries at Collegium Leoninum, a former seminary for priests and today a four-star hotel and congress venue. Prof. Dr. Peter Stehle, Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Bonn and himself active in polyphenol research, extended a welcome note to the audience.

Bonn Polyphenols 2013, which was financially supported by Eckes-Granini (Nieder-Olm, Germany) featured an interesting blend of world class keynote speakers and highly recognized experts in the field and also provided a platform for the next generation of emerging talents, postdoctoral researchers and PhD students, to present the latest results of their work on polyphenols. Taking the conclusions from Paris Polyphenols 2012 to Bonn, the 2013 conference covered topics of utmost current interest, such as the role of polyphenols in human health, bioavailability of phenolics, stability of polyphenols during processing, recovery and application of phenolic compounds from by-products, and modern methods of polyphenol analysis in foods and physiological samples.

In his introductory keynote lecture on the first day, Prof. Dr. Francisco Tomás-Barberán (CSIC, Murcia, Spain) highlighted the importance of the interactions between polyphenols and gut microbiota and pointed out the research needs and perspectives of applications. Subsequent presentations given by Dr. Paul Kroon (Norwich, UK), Dr. Clarissa Gerhäuser (Heidelberg, Germany), Prof. Dr. med. Harald Hönsch (Darmstadt, Germany) and Prof. Dr. Rikard Landberg (Uppsala, Sweden) were dedicated to the role of polyphenols in cardiovascular disease and diabetes, cancer prevention, chronic inflammatory bowel diseases, and to alkylresorcinols as biomarkers of whole grain intake. Prof. Dr. Rosa Maria Lamuela-Raventos from the University of Barcelona (Spain) presented her recent investigations into tomato polyphenols and Ales Bartl (Brussels, Belgium) gave an overview of regulatory issues associated with polyphenols. Prof. Dr. Ulrich Engelhardt (Braunschweig, Germany) highlighted chemistry and potential health effects of polyphenols from coffee, tea, and cocoa. Short oral presentations on the phenolic metabolome of stevia (Prof. Dr. Nikolai Kuhnert, Bremen, Germany), effects of berry phenolics on gut health (Dr. Gordon McDougall, Dundee, UK), absorption and metabolism of procyanidin B4 (Katharina Bittner, Münster, Germany), chemoenzymatic preparation of silybin metabolites (Prof. Dr. Vladimir Křen, Prague, Czech Republic) and effects of quercetin on lipid metabolism (Dr. Ewert van Schothorst, Wageningen, The Netherlands) concluded the first day of Bonn Polyphenols 2013.

Prof. Dr. Reinhold Carle (Hohenheim University, Stuttgart, Germany) was the keynote speaker of the second day of the conference and gave an overview of studies into the recovery and application of polyphenols as natural food ingredients. Reactions of water-soluble and lipid-soluble antioxidants including phenolic compounds were covered in the presentation given by Prof. Dr. Leif Skibsted (Copenhagen, Denmark). Prof. Dr. Luke Howard (Fayetteville, AR, USA) highlighted grape pomace as a source of polyphenols and their extraction using subcritical water. Alma Fernanda Sánchez Maldonado (Edmonton, AB, Canada) presented a new method for the extraction and separation of glycoalkaloids and phenolic acids from potato peels, and Michelle Feuereisen (Bonn, Germany) introduced Brazilian pepper as a source of antimicrobial polyphenolics.

The afternoon session “Analysis of Polyphenols in Foods and Dietary Supplements” was dedicated to Prof. Dr. Rudolf Galensa, Chair of Food Chemistry at the University of Bonn, in recognition of his lifetime contributions to the field of polyphenol analysis. In his laudation “Polyphenols for Life”, Prof. Dr. Ulrich Engelhardt surveyed Rudolf Galensa´s professional career, starting with his thesis on HPLC of flavonoids in 1979, and gave an overview of his accomplishments, awards, most important projects and publications. “Rudolf Galensa stands for excellent science, excellent teaching, and a special sense of humour”, Prof. Engelhardt concluded. The audience gave standing ovations when Prof. Galensa took the floor to acknowledge his wife and co-workers for their support. Dr. Benno Zimmermann, Maike Gleichenhagen, Elvira Jungfer, and Lisa Kothe, who are current members of his research group, presented to him as a very special gift a two-volume hardcover compilation of his publications.

The subsequent scientific program proceeded with Dr. Benno Zimmermann´s overview of UHPLC as a tool for polyphenol analysis in foods and physiological samples. Prof. Dr. Chlodwig Franz (Vienna, Austria) highlighted the importance of polyphenols in quality and authenticity control of dietary supplements based on botanicals. Consequences of exposure to polyphenol-rich foods and beverages and their colonic metabolites were presented by Dr. Anna-Marja Aura (Espoo, Finland). Prof. Dr. Michael Gänzle (Edmonton, AB, Canada) gave a talk on sorghum polyphenols and their effects on the microbial ecology of cereal fermentations. Maike Gleichenhagen presented the results of her PhD thesis on intrinsic labeling of polyphenols by cultivation of plants in a 13C carbon dioxide atmosphere. Finally, Dr. Sandrine Milesi (Loos, France) introduced the potential of methyl tetrahydrofurane as a green solvent for polyphenol extraction and purification.

Prof. Dr. Francisco Tomás-Barberán and Prof. Dr. Reinhold Carle received the 2013 Polyphenols Award in recognition of their outstanding contributions to research on polyphenols.

In their conclusions, Prof. Dr. Marvin Edeas and Prof. Dr. Andreas Schieber expressed their appreciation to all speakers and poster presenters for their excellent contributions, which made this congress a huge success. According to them, interactions of polyphenols with gut microbiota will continue to be an area of intense research activities and very likely take up even more room in future polyphenol congresses.


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