ASB Conference wrap-up

The Australian Society of Baking 2019 National Conference, AGM, and Chairman’s Dinner was held at Rydges South Bank in Brisbane on Wednesday October 30.

From 9am, baking industry professionals from all areas of the business were treated to presentations from a variety of industry leaders on an array of interesting topics.


Up first at the ASB Conference, Karin Blacow, Food Safety Specialist from Commercial Food Sanitation gave insights into current best practices around food safety, with a focus on allergens and microbial dangers such as salmonella and listeria. With 39 per cent of all food recalls in the last 10 years allergen related, it was essential listening for those in the food production field.

Next up, Dr Sara Grafenauer, dietician and General Manager at the Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council shocked the audience with a few hard truths about the typical Aussie diet (it involves a lot of cake, biscuits, and booze). Shockingly, poor diet was a factor in one fifth of global deaths in 2017, so it is a serious issue, and Dr Grafenauer is passionate about encouraging the uptake of wholegrains and reduction of sodium in both production and consumption of bread products.


Pictured: Steven Anderson and Dr Sara Grafenauer

The ASB Conference heard from Christopher Price from Arnott’s about online control and the company’s transition to paperless quality systems, and the complexity of making big changes and ensuring quality control in the manufacturing of some of Australia’s most well-known biscuits.

Steven Anderson from Lallemand filled everyone in on the latest exciting developments in technical enzymes, including formulas that could reduce gluten in baked goods, replace emulsifiers, reduce pastry waste, and increase shelf-life without compromising on taste and quality. As well as natural flavour solutions for bread and sourdough applications, Anderson said there are also some exciting new developments coming in the bio-preservatives space.

After lunch, Ralf Bohne from Diosna presented on how to make your bread naturally delicious through understanding pre-dough technology, Imran Ibrahim of Intralox gave his review of IBIE Las Vegas, and the afternoon’s final speaker, Alex Golub spoke about his experiences at the San Francisco Sourdough School.

Chairman’s Dinner and Scholarship Winners

Kicking off the celebratory component of the conference was the inaugural ASB Chairman’s Dinner at the Rydges South Bank Sky Lounge, which offered guests incredible views of the Brisbane city skyline.

More than 120 people were in attendance for the industry’s night of nights, which provided an opportunity for participants to catch up with friends old and new. There were lucky door prizes, a silent charity auction and great entertainment (check out the ASB’s Instagram story to get a glimpse of attendees rocking out to Sweet Caroline).

Attendees were also able to to take home a memento of the night from the EOI photo booth, which was a huge hit.

Highlights included Bob O’Mara from RVO Enterprises being inducted into the ASB Hall of Fame and, of course, there was much anticipation for the announcement of the Sydney J Packham (OAM) Baking Industry Medal and the Arthur E Denison (OAM) Trophy scholarship recipients.

The Sydney J Packham (OAM) Baking Industry Medal was awarded to Leisha Spowart of Johnny Baker in Victoria, while the Arthur E Denison (OAM) Trophy went to Courtney Campbell of Bakers Delight in Victoria. The hardworking winners will be travelling to Paris for Europain 2020, while regional winners have scored themselves SE Queensland scholarship trips.

Congratulations to the ASB committee for organising a successful conference and wonderful night.

Pictured: Courtney and Leisha


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