Inaugural Asia Pacific Symposium on Food Safety
The inaugural Asia Pacific Symposium on Food Safety, held at the Faculty of Science on 21 August, was jointly organised by the Southeast Asia Association for Food Protection (SEA AFP) and the Asia Pacific Institute of Food Professionals (APIFP). The Faculty’s Food Science and Technology (FST) Programme participated as one of the organisers.
The Asia Pacific is a fast-growing and diverse region which presents unique challenges in food safety, such as the increase in salmonellosis and food adulteration. Strengthening regional cooperation and collaboration is crucial to better understand and address these challenges. The symposium also served as a platform to facilitate future partnerships and raise awareness on regional food safety issues. Topics covered at the symposium included food safety challenges in Southeast Asia, chemical adulterants and contaminants and recent research trends on food preservation.
The symposium commenced with Prof ZHOU Weibiao, Director of the FST Programme, welcoming the speakers and participants. The symposium featured speakers from universities and food industry stakeholders in the region, who exchanged knowledge on different aspects of food safety.
Prof William RILEY from Jinan University, China emphasised that poor food practices do not only affect consumers. Food fraud also risks the reputation of established food industries. Dr CH'NG Ai Lee from the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) shared on Singapore’s practices, challenges and regulatory strategies to ensure food safety. Prof RATIH Dewanti-Hariyadi of Bogor Agricultural University spoke on new regulatory criteria to improve consumer confidence in Indonesia’s microbiological food safety, while Dr Malik Altaf HUSSAIN of Lincoln University compared microbiological food safety challenges faced by the food industries in Australia and New Zealand. Mr Patrick LOW of Covance Laboratories, a global organisation in pharmaceutical development and nutritional chemistry and food safety, discussed potential analytical techniques for chemical analysis. Lastly, Prof YUK Hyun-Gyun, from the FST Programme, presented his recent research on the detection and prevention of food-borne diseases.
The symposium was well-attended and well-received by participants. Many attendees expressed their hope that the symposia would continue to be held in subsequent years. The main organisers, SEA AFP and APIFP, will continue to work closely on future symposia and workshops.
Prof Zhou Weibiao, Director of the FST Programme, delivering his opening remarks
Prof William Riley, Jinan University, speaking about food safety challenges from an industry perspective
Prof Yuk Hyun-Gyun, Assistant Professor in the FST Programme, speaking on characterisation, control and detection of food-borne pathogens
The event was well-attended