Hot Topic Symposia and Featured Sessions

Hot Topic Symposia and Featured Sessions

The AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo is more than just a conference — it is a prime opportunity to advance your career and grow your network, all in one place. Professionals from all over the world come together online and in-person to share insights and perspectives while building new connections.

Hot Topic Symposia and Featured Sessions

Hot Topic Symposia address how critical developments both current and on the horizon, will impact the edible oils and fats, surfactants and detergents, plant proteins and related sustainable materials industries.

Climate change: What can the vegetable oil and related industries do about it?

Session organizers: Alan Paine, Consultant, ARP Lipids Consulting, UK and Richard H. Barton, President, N Hunt Moore & Associates Inc., USA

Climate change is at the forefront of international concerns, and the edible oil and related industries have to consider what their part in this critical issue. All areas of the industry, including farming, transportation, extraction and refining, contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. Biofuels made from oil could potentially reduce emissions in other sectors. Vegetable oil production is a moderate-sized industry using about 6% of worldwide farmland and can make a worthwhile contribution. Every industry will have to make changes even to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Sustainability opportunities in edible oils and fats supply chain — from farm to fork

Session Organizers: Serpil Metin, Megan Leill, and Beatriz Bettler, Cargill Inc., USA

Sustainability is critical to improving the health of both people and planet across our global food system. From carbon sequestration at the farm level, to connections between planetary health and personal health, each node in the agricultural supply chain faces different challenges and opportunities to mitigate risks and accelerate sustainability. This hot topic symposium focuses on the impacts and opportunities of environmental, social and health/nutrition perspectives of sustainability across the edible oils and fat supply chain.

Microbial lipids for foods as a solution

Session organizer: Saeed M. Ghazani, PhD, Research Associate, Food Science Department, University of Guelph, Canada

With the current increasing world population, one of the main concerns is how to feed 10 billion people globally by 2050. However, more importantly, a question that arises is how we can overcome this challenge sustainably, efficiently, and safely while addressing climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, as well as losses in forests and biodiversity?

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, the price of foods has increased significantly, leading to increases in poverty, especially in undeveloped and underdeveloped countries. The FAO reported that global food prices rose in May 2021 at the fastest monthly rate in more than a decade.

One of the main routes to change the current situation would be to transition from animal-based foods to plant-based foods. However, this transition is not simple. We need to mimic the physicochemical and functional properties of main food components (proteins, fats, and carbohydrates) in animal-based foods. Moreover, the organoleptic properties of plant-based foods should be identical animal-based ones. For example, we need to provide proper alternatives for animal fats such as milk fat, beef tallow, and lard to produce similar plant-based foods while considering the sustainability of applied fats and oils. The palm oil and coconut oil that are currently used to formulate plant-based foods are not sustainable sources.

Moreover, other than fully hydrogenated plant oils, there are no other reliable vegetable fats and oils to replace animal fats. Cocoa butter and other exotic butters such as shea butter are not proper choices due to their limited supply, high price, and quality fluctuation. Microbial oil production could be a solution that could provide sustainable fats and oils without pesticides, herbicides, or heavy metals residues and year-round production with a small footprint and without the need for land.

Creating a trans free world

Session organizers: Paul R. Smith, Ph.D., Principal Scientist, Cargill R&D Centre Europe, Cargill, Belgium and Serpil Metin, Principal Scientist, Research and Development, Cargill Inc., USA

It has been widely recognized that trans fats have bad effects on human health. Legislative and consumer pressure has led to their removal and reduction in many countries. Now there is an industry approach to remove trans fats globally. This session will cover the global approach to removing trans fats, consider their nutritional importance and discuss how trans fats can be replaced from the perspectives of academics, oil supplier and consumer goods manufacturers. We will also consider the situation in different regions with a specific focus on Asia.

25th Anniversary of the Journal of Surfactants and Detergents

Session organizers: Douglas Hayes, University of Tennessee, USA and Nancy A. Falk, Formulation Consulting LLC, USA

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Journal of Surfactants and Detergents (JSD), the journal is sponsoring a special session consisting of invited papers presented by members of the JSD editorial board. JSD publishes scientific contributions in the surfactants and detergents area. This includes basic and applied science of oleochemical and petrochemical surfactants; development and performance of surfactants in all applications; and development and manufacture of detergent ingredients and their formulation into finished products.


If you have questions about Hot Topic Symposia and Featured Sessions at the AOCS Annual Meeting, please contact Ellen Snipes, Director of Meetings and Exhibits at