Roundtable discussion: Can sugar survive a public health crisis?

‘Globesity’ gets more critical every day – but people still crave the sweets, snacks and desserts they have loved for so long.

How are companies responding to this public health epidemic, and is ‘self-regulation’ in the form of smaller portions and low-sugar varieties enough? Or are public policymakers right to intervene with sugar taxes or mandatory reformulation? What’s in store for sweeteners?

In a changing food landscape we debate the role and reputation of sugar and other sweeteners.

Anke Sentko, Graham MacGregor PhD, Niamh Michail, Ronit Romm & Sam Rowe

Anke Sentko
Vice President Regulatory Affairs & Nutrition Communication
BENEO Institute

Anke Sentko graduated from the University of Bonn, Germany in 1982 with a diploma in Nutrition and Economy. After a time as employee at SÜDZUCKER in Research & Development and food legislation (1982 – 1990) she set up her consultancy SentkoConsult GmbH.
Consulting in matters related to national, regional and international regulatory affairs and approval processes including the preparation of dossiers for Health Authorities and developing nutrition communication concepts accordingly became a key focus of her activities. At the same time, Anke Sentko became Regulatory Affairs Manager for Palatinit GmbH, Germany, responsible for approval processes of food ingredients, claims and pharmaceutical excipients.

Graham MacGregor PhD
MA, MB B Chir, FRCP, FAHA, FMedSci
University of Cambridge

Graham MacGregor is Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine (Barts & The London) and Honorary Consultant Physician at St George’s Hospital, London. He is a visiting Professor at St George’s Hospital Medical School, London.

Professor MacGregor trained as a nephrologist but became interested in blood pressure control mechanisms, particularly related to the renin-angiotensin system, the mechanisms whereby salt puts up blood pressure. He has published more than 400 scientific articles on various aspects of blood pressure and cardiovascular medicine.

Niamh Michail

Niamh Michail is a journalist for FoodNavigator.
Based in Montpellier, France, she writes about food and beverage product development, regulatory issues such as food labelling and big industry topics ranging from sustainability to public health.
Niamh has a degree in modern languages and European studies from the University of Birmingham in the UK.

Ronit Romm
Head Chemist
DouxMatok Ltd.

Ronit Romm is the Head Chemist at DouxMatok Ltd., a startup company whose vision is to allow the perception of greater sweetness upon the intake of sugars, making sugars taste sweeter than they already are.
Prior to that, Ms. Romm has acquired experience in water technologies at Water-Gen Ltd- a startup company developing machines that can produce water from air, where she served as Head of Chemistry. Throughout her work she took part in the development of various systems, including the development of a machine designated for water purification, in collaboration with the Israeli MOD and Ministry of Health.
Ms. Romm holds a B.Sc. in physics & Chemistry and MSc in Organic and Organometallic Chemistry both from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HUJI), bot graduated Cum Laude.
Ronit voluntarily co-founded and manages “S.M.A.R.T.”, a LinkedIn group established in the aim of helping students develop their career during and after their academic years.

Sam Rowe
Communications Consultant

Sam Rowe is communications manager at UNESDA Soft Drinks Europe and also runs her own small consultancy. Based in Brussels since 1997 she has over 30 years experience in the food and drink industry across a range of comms disciplines including corporate communications, b2b, crisis and issues management, reputation building and media. Sam has previously held director positions with consultancies including Hill and Knowlton, Fleishman Hillard and Weber Shandwick. She holds a BA honours degree in Modern History and Politics from the University of London, Royal Holloway College and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.