Valio held an international Science Seminar in Helsinki on 30th of January. The Seminar celebrated Valio’s hundred years of research and development history, and served as a herald for the following hundred years. We also presented Valio’s nutrition agreement, which aims to improve consumers’ well-being through reducing salt and sugar intakes. Presenters offered an audience of 200 a varied look into what’s going on in the food and nutrition research as well as on what’s to come.
“Valio’s research and development is helping to solve global challenges. Roughly half of the world’s arable land is not suited to farming vegetables that are suitable for humans. Grasslands and ruminants have an important role in converting solar power into food for us, to feed the Earth’s growing population. It is necessary to produce animal and plant-based food responsibly,” says Valio’s EVP for Product Groups and R&D, Tuomas Salusjärvi.
Now and in the future, researchers can make use of artificial intelligence. Maria Ritola, founder of an AI start-up, Iris, believes that artificial intelligence will not replace researchers, but will instead lighten their work load in areas that humans are not at their best.
Technology Academy Finland chair, Marja Makarow gave a presentation on the new developments of the Finnish research system and innovation policies. Finland is reaching for a world-leading position in an innovation environment by 2030. Makarow emphasised the important of international mobility for researchers.
Bacteriology professor Pentti Huovinen, University of Turku, offered us with an eye-opening introduction to the world of gut bacteria. There is no small amount of them – more than the total number of cells in the human body. Taking care of our bacterial populations promotes good health and well-being, and Huovinen issues a reminder to follow dietary recommendations.
Valio’s SVP for Research and Technology, Anu Kaukovirta-Norja, used the seminar as a platform to unveil Valio’s nutrition agreement that aims to improve Finnish health and well-being. The ambitious targets for reducing salt and sugar content in Valio’s products by 2020 are part of our responsibility program as well as our continued efforts to improve public health.
Valio’s nutrition agreement helps consumers to reduce their use of sugar and salt, and makes it easier to make low-salt choices or recipes. During 2015–2020, Valio will double the number of snack products it makes that are unflavoured, sugar-free, and with 20 to 50% less sugar than before. The goal for reducing salt content is to sell seven million kilos of Valio ValSa® reduced-salt products annually by 2020. Valio will also provide the amount of salt content in all Valio recipes by 2020.