IUFoST News Brief October 2022

In this issue:

  • Training, Education, Capacity Building focus of Association of African Universities and IUFoST MoU
  • IUFoST Taskforce signals start of major international initiative
  • A look at the Singapore Congress Young Scientist winners
  • Scientific Information Bulletin (SIB) released on Fresh Produce Decontamination
  • Review and actions following Roundtable on alternative and edible protein sources
  • More congress updates, Academy functions


Association of African Universities (AAU) and IUFoST sign MoU

This Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) establishes a collaborative relationship between the Association of African Universities (AAU), and The International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST) for the purpose of organizing training and education for capacity building in Africa, especially in the areas of Food Science and Technology and Agro-food production and processing.

The Association of African Universities (AAU), an international non-governmental not-for-profit organization with an initial membership of 34 institutions in 1967 has grown to a current membership of more than 400 institutions in 46 African countries. It operates in three official languages, namely English, French, and Arabic.

As the representative voice of higher education in Africa, AAU aims to raise the quality of higher education in Africa and strengthen its contribution to Africa’s development by, inter alia, providing support to their core functions and facilitating critical reflection on, and consensus-building around, issues affecting higher education and the development of Africa.

The AAU 2020-2025 Strategic Plan recognizes that higher education is central to social and economic development of all societies, and underpins all development targets from poverty reduction to employability, health to environmental sustainability and food security.  Meeting the targets of the UN sanctioned SDGs, or African Union’s Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA 16-25), and Science, Technology, and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA 2024), will depend upon producing competent and skilled graduates with requisite skills to create jobs, take up employment, drive innovation and advance progress, and prosperity through knowledge production (research) and knowledge dissemination (teaching and learning).

AAU and IUFoST are developing a work plan for each of the first five years of the MoU addressing future food security challenges and the SDGs through actions to address and thus reduce food losses and waste; mitigating environmental effects through encouragement for innovative and new technologies; expanding knowledge of traditional foods and processes and their health aspects; educating the consumer on food choices and new alternatives; expanding knowledge of how food reacts with the body to reduce over nutrition; improve capacity building and education and training at all levels, especially in combating undernutrition, and safe food for  all. These help AAU and IUFoST in collaboration through capacity building and education to address food system issues at the global and regional levels that meet the local needs as well. This would contribute to filling the void in the supply side gaps and influencing demand changes and including nutrition into food security, reduction of the gaps from farm to consumer and  increasing the efficiency of post-farm operations and influencing demand.

The MoU will be signed formally at the 21st World Congress of Food Science and Technology in Singapore.


Launch of new IUFoST Task Force: Food Processing for Nutrition, Diet and Health  signals a major international scientific initiative

The recently initiated IUFoST Task Force: Food Processing for Nutrition, Diet and Health will review existing food classification systems to provide an objective science-base assessment of global needs of food processing-based classification systems, including recommendations for the needs and understanding of food processing and formulation of nutritious food products , diets and public health across cultures and consumer / population groups. In addition, to recommend / initiate measures to be taken for R&D activities within and between members of the global  organisations of IUFoST (representing Food Scientists/Technologists/Engineers) and IUNS (representing Human Nutritionists) with additional support by FAO.

The Task Force is co-chaired by Academy Fellows Yrjo Roos and Erich Windhab. The Advisory Board experts are led by Academy Fellow Sam Saguy.

 To hear more, don’t miss the ISFE/EAFE Session and Panel Discussion, during the Singapore World Congress on Tuesday 1st November 2022 from 15:30 to 17:00 Singapore. 


Young Scientists present to the global scientific community in Singapore

Throughout the four days of the Congress, delegates will be hearing from the foremost scientists internationally in plenaries and in sessions.  Intermingled with these plenaries will be a group of Young Scientists who warrant special attention.  These are the nine Young Scientists who have been selected by international juries as representative of the best of young science and who will be providing their research highlights to the Congress delegates.  In short, with more detail following the congress, here are the chosen Young Scientists.

Lin Chen, nominated by Singapore Institute of Food Science and Technology (SIFST)
Presentation title: The application of foodomics in food safety study.

Mohsen Gavahian, nominated by the Taiwan Association for Food Science and Technology (TAFST)
Presentation title: Pineapple core valorization by ohmic heating: bioactives, antioxidant activities, system performance efficiency, and energy consumption.

Iris Haberkorn, nominated by the Swiss National Committee to IUFoST, Swiss Academy of Sciences
Presentation title: Leveraging cellular agriculture through technological innovation – Emerging pulsed electric field processing for single-cell biorefinery applications.

Biniam Kebede, nominated by the New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology
Presentation title: Tackling today’s and future food science and nutritional challenges: A foodomics approach.

Jeyan A. Moses, nominated by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, India.
Presentation title: Advances in food 3D printing for personalized nutrition applications.

Xiaonan Sui, nominated by the Chinese Institute of Food Science and Technology (CIFST)
Presentation title: Emerging trends of protein-based meat alternatives in China.

Haizhou Wu, nominated by the Swedish National Committee for Nutrition and Food Sciences, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Presentation: Examining the mechanisms of lipid oxidation in muscle food systems and development of new cost-effective stabilization technologies.

Rachma Wikandari, nominated by Indonesian Association of Food Technologists (PATPI)
Presentation title: Development of meat substitutes from filamentous fungi cultivated on left over boiling water of tempeh factory.

And 2021 Young Researcher Award Winner Dominic Agyei from University of Otago, New Zealand. Presentation title: Bioprocessing and food applications of two hydrolytic enzymes from Lactobacillus leichmanii 313: narrative of a 10-year research endeavor.


New SIB : Fresh Produce Decontamination: Adapting to a World of Sustainable Resources

The latest in the series of Scientific Information Bulletins (SIBs) produced by the IUFoST Scientific Council is on the subject of Fresh Produce Decontamination.  This peer-reviewed SIB, Fresh Produce Decontamination: Adapting to a world of Sustainable Resources, was written for the Scientific Council by Dr. Ahmed E. Yousef, of the Department of Food Science and Technology, Department of Microbiology, The Ohio State University, USA. 


Although decontamination is used widely in the food industry, it is generally more challenging and resource intensive when applied to fresh produce. Decontamination of fresh produce entails application of microbiocidal treatment (e.g., use of sanitizers), which is often accompanied or preceded with product washing. The most resource-intensive decontamination procedure is used with the “fresh-cut” produce category. In this case, water is applied liberally to wash the product with concomitant or subsequent sanitizer application. Although this process is intended to reduce fresh produce microbial load, it may increase product cross-contamination. If done right (e.g., monitoring and maintaining acceptable sanitizer level throughout the process), the operation can reduce product spoilage and alleviate illnesses resulting from pathogen transmission. Considering the ongoing climate change and the anticipated freshwater shortage, the industry needs to economize water usage; however, this should not be done at the expense of product safety. Similarly, processors should find alternatives to the traditionally used aqueous sanitizers, to cut down on pollution and on the costly disposal of processing water. The industry may consider waterless sanitization procedures with a preceding aqueous rinsing or a brief washing. Non- aqueous or gaseous decontamination technologies, such radiation, cold plasma, ozone, and chlorine dioxide, have been tested and seem promising. To make these alternative technologies industrially applicable, extensive optimization and scale-up efforts are needed with industry and government support.

This and the others in the  IUFoST SIB series are available on the IUFoST website here


‘Sustainable and Edible Alternative Protein Sources' Roundtable produces call for further action

IUFoST had a very successful roundtable on Sustainable and Alternate Edible Protein Sources on September 22nd from 08.00 to 10.00 ET (GMT-4). The roundtable was well represented with internationally renowned experts who discussed the state-of-the-art status of the current situation on the topic  with an insight into the future scenario. Speakers included Dr. Julian McClements, University of Massachusetts, USA; Janitha Wanasundara, Agriculture and Agri Food Canada; Jaykant Yadav, from Central University of Rajasthan, India; Elisabeth Noonoumi Zanou from UNICEF, Congo and Stephanie Guilbert, Member Scientific Council of IUFoST, France. The Session was Chaired by Dr Fereidoon Shahidi and Dr Hongda Chen , IUFoST Scientific Council  Chairman and Chairman elect respectively.

This SRD of IUFoST was important especially considering the follow up discussions and actions  over a year since the UN Food Systems Summit held during September 2021. The speakers and discussants and Chairs of the Roundtable emphasized the application to Plant Proteins to have commercially viable technologies for innovative and affordable nutritious foods from cereals, pulses, legumes, millets, oilseeds, algae, microbial sources, insects, and other locally grown sources of plants. It was also emphasized that it needs to cascade with backward integration of sustainable agriculture along with interdisciplinary approaches which are sustainable and can reach the consumer with  value addition and ensuring adequate nutrition and food safety in the final product and many of them can be sustainable replacement of animal proteins in diets. Dr Prakash, President of IUFoST in his concluding remarks thanked the Speakers and Chair and Participants and wanted the scientists to focus on  scaling up innovations in Plant Proteins to cater to the industry need for various functionally modified proteins of high-end desired properties. For example, there is a need to further examine the role  of specific enzymes to a food product in question  and also to take advantage of traditional protein rich foods from various food cultures globally and make it affordable, adaptable, and reachable using modern scientific tools of Food Science and Technology and the IUFoST knowledge platform for novel edible protein rich products.


Countdown to the World Congress in Singapore

The first opportunity in four years for the global IUFoST scientific community to meet face-to-face is almost here at the 21st World Congress of Food Science and Technology,  happening in Singapore from 31st October to 3rd November 2022.  Many exciting events and key scientific sessions are on offer.  Adding to that are the competitions that have attracted a record number of entries from all parts of the world.

Academy News

For the two classes of inductees of new Fellows from 2020 and 2022 to the International Academy of Food Science and Technology, Wednesday, November 2nd begins on a high note with the first plenaries delivered by Lifetime Achievement Award Winners and Academy Past Presidents Dr. Delia Rodriguez-Amaya (Brazil)  and Professor Ruth Oniang’o (Kenya) to be followed by the Induction Ceremony of new Fellows from 2020 and 2022.  The IUFoST Distinguished Lecturer , Dr. Joachim von Braun, United Nations Food Systems Summit Science Group Chair, will then address the international scientific gathering.  The subject of Dr. von Braun's address is Food Systems in Crisis are Confronted with Hard Choices: the Opportunity for Innovations.

That evening Fellows of the Academy and new inductees will gather for a  celebratory dinner at one of Singapore’s most stunning attractions – the Singapore Botanic Gardens – where Fellows will enjoy a dinner prepared especially for them in a restaurant open only for this distinguished and pre-registered group of renowned scientists.  The dinner is sold out and Fellows who have registered for the dinner will receive a confirmation card by 19 October to be shown for admission to the restaurant.  Fellows with questions should write to the IUFoST Secretariat – secretariat@IUFoST.org.  Subject line: Fellows Dinner. 

More on the Congress Schedule:

The Singapore Congress Team, chaired by Mr. Richard Khaw, SIFST President,  has prepared an outstanding programme.

Registered delegates may choose from among the three pre-congress workshops. For those already registered for the Congress who have not signed up for a workshop yet, this is a last opportunity as the workshops are now at, or near,  full capacity click here to register; and for those of you who are registering now for the congress, use the normal registration portal by clicking here.

The Congress scientific programme begins in earnest on 31 October with the opening sessions throughout the morning. Sir Peter Gluckman, International Science Council President, and the Singapore Minister of Trade and Industry are among the VIPs opening the 21st World Congress of Food Science and Technology. See the Congress programme  for the depth and breadth of the scientific sessions during the four days beginning on Monday, 31st October.

Remember too that there is a Gala Dinner on Tuesday, November 1st  for those who have registered. During the Gala the winners of the Global Food Industry Awards will be announced.

On Thursday, November 3rd, the Congress closes after morning sessions and the Closing and Awards Ceremony, at which the winners of all the other congress competitions will be announced and recognised. Immediately after the Closing Ceremony, the IUFoST General Assembly begins for invited delegates and observers. Space is limited so observers will receive confirmation in advance.


See you soon in Singapore!