Raylene Reimer, Professor, PhD, RD

Faculty of Kinesiology
University of Calgary

From Microbes to Dinnerplates: The Fascinating World of Fermented Foods

Fermented foods have a long history of use by humans. While originally used for food preservation, fermentation can also improve the nutritional value and the taste and texture of foods. Consumption of these foods is gaining popularity in Canada due to newly created products, cultural heritage, renewed interest in food preservation and sustainability, and perceived health benefits. This session will provide an overview of the various foods that are altered through fermentation and the microbes used to ferment them, highlight the scientific evidence for health benefits of fermented foods, and examine the direction that the fermented foods marketplace and research are likely to go in the future.

Speaker/Chair Bio:

Dr. Raylene Reimer is a Professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Calgary. She holds a joint appointment in the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology in the Cumming School of Medicine and is a Full Scientist in the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute. She is also a Registered Dietitian. Dr. Reimer has an internationally recognized translational research program focused on the role of diet in modifying gut microbiota and host metabolism in the context of obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases such as fatty liver disease and osteoarthritis. She has done extensive research in animal models to study how maternal diet and more recently paternal diet, influences offspring's gut microbiota, glucose tolerance and ultimately obesity risk. Translating findings from animal models to human clinical trials is a key way in which Dr. Reimer spans bench to bedside research. She has published >200 research papers and is principal inventor on several patents. She is a Fellow of the Obesity Society and has been invited to serve on two separate international expert panels to define the scope and appropriate use of the terms prebiotics and synbiotics. Her work has been widely recognized by the media (over 130 media interviews) and with several awards including the Earle Willard McHenry Award for Distinguished Service in Nutrition and the Centrum New Scientist Award for Outstanding Research from the Canadian Nutrition Society, and a Killam Annual Professor award.