Category Archives: Day 1: August 5th Sunday, 2012

Pingfan Rao at “Meet the Leaders of Today and Tomorrow”

Pingfan Rao spoke in Sunday’s “Meet the Leaders of Today and Tomorrow” session about the importance of recognizing not only what your strengths and passions are, but also recognizing the areas that aren’t suited to you.

When he was in high school, Rao built his own TV, attracting neighbours for years who came to watch at his house.  He assumed he’d go the electronics route until taking his university entrance exams and finding out that he could get into any university in China. He was recruited to do a food packaging course at Fuzhou University and ended up developing a strong passion for food science.  After doing his PhD in Osaka, Rao returned to China where at the time, milk drinks were very popular.

He persuaded his colleagues to make a milk drink product, and turned his lab into a production plant. Despite it being a phenomenal success, he knew this was not for him.

“After 4 years I knew I was not a business person at all, that does not suit me,” said Rao.

Instead, he turned his focus to studying how food interacts with the body, and found his niche.

“In the future when we talk about how food can make you happy, how it can make you stressed, I think that one day it will be the ultimate human technology- the food science technology.”

Dr Pingfan Rao was inducted as IUFoST’s new president at Thursday’s General Assembly. He currently serves as the Director of CAS.SIBS – Zhejiang Gongshang University Joint Center for Food and Nutrition Research, Hangzhou, China.

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Industry Leaders Summit: Addressing Industry’s Role in Food Security, Top Challenges in a Global Economy

From left: Lim Chee Kian, President, Yi Prime Pte Limited, Singapore; Michael Knowles, VP, Coca-Cola; Diana Banati, ILSI Europe Executive Director; Randy Giroux, VP Food Safety, Quality and Regulatory Compliance, Cargill

Industry leaders from around the world spoke Sunday about the challenges their respective industries have faced and how the food industry as a whole can work to achieve the common goal of improving food security.

Co-Chaired by Allan Paulson (Canada) and John Lupien (Italy/USA), the four industry experts speaking were; Lim Chee Kian, President of Yi Prime Pte Limited in Singapore; Michael Knowles, VP at Coca-Cola; Diana Banati, ILSI Europe Executive Director; and Randy Giroux, VP Food Safety, Quality and Regulatory Compliance at Cargill. Individual talks were followed by an opportunity for audience members to ask the experts questions about their perspectives on the industry’s role in food security.

Upon being asked about the sustainability of utilizing subsidies and other such price controls, Randy Giroux had this to say: “We look at products and ask whether they’re the types of products that can sustain themselves over time without price support. Some need short-term support, for example, we were supportive of credits for biofuel because this kind of thing takes time and a large capital investment. We want to see an end game, not perpetual support. The intention should be to make sustainable products. We have never been in a more unstable time in food prices in the long term. As a general comment, those price control systems distort price and result in people growing products they shouldn’t be growing, at prices they shouldn’t be sold at. We need to rely on farmers to do what they do best. We talk to traders who have been in the business for 30 years and these are unprecedented price swings that they’re seeing- the highest the prices have ever been. Not surprisingly, we’ll be importing corn to the US from Brazil for some of our meat production, which goes to show the shortage we’re dealing with. “

Education was another theme of the panel discussion, both at the farming level as well as for end consumers. Michael Knowles specified that educating the industry about water usage has become a priority because it’s one of the most wasted resources within agriculture.

“With regards to the importance of extension and public education, in the US we don’t focus on training farmers regularly,” said Randy Giroux. “But best practices don’t just apply to the US. At Cargill, we think of agriculture on a global scale. We lose tons of grain just in storage because farmers aren’t properly trained about using best practices.”

One audience member asked how companies could regain consumer trust after so much attention has been paid to outbreaks and other such scandals.

“As consumers become more aware of food security and safety, we all share the responsibility for educating them. In order to have consumers not misperceive what we’re doing, we need to provide sufficient information, and often the media are only interested in scandals,” said Diana Banati.

“So much bad science is being published- one of the problems is that the wrong information is getting out,” added Knowles. This problem is indicative of a need for greater communication between the food science industry and the public. Randy Giroux pointed out that Cargill often has a hard time finding food scientists equipped with the “soft skills” of being able to communicate their knowledge to consumers, and that this skill needs to be made part of the training food scientists receive.

Nigel Sunley from South Africa asked the leaders about the flipside of the sustainable coin- whether companies have a responsibility for sustainable consumption.

“We work with the WHO to market to appropriate age groups – with absolutely no marketing to those under age 12. Responsible marketing is vital to Coke,” said Knowles. “It’s important to note that we never advocate high consumption, but rather moderate consumption. We have a published policy on our website, and we ensure our marketing doesn’t stray from these policies and as such, Coca Cola invests huge amounts of effort and resources to mitigate obesity issue.”

Mary Schmidl from IUFoST brought up that the problem of food security now includes the simultaneous existence of having nutrient deficiency and caloric excess; that there are enough calories in the world  but rather that what is needed is sufficient nutrients.

“The issue of hunger isn’t about calories, it’s about providing the right nutrients at the right place at the right time,” responded Knowles. “There’s a difference between being hungry because people don’t have enough calories, and being malnourished.”

Lim Chee Kian ended his talk with a quote from Dr Chua Sin Bin: “Hunger exists because we lack the will, the heart and the collective image to end it.” He added that his hope for this IUFoST congress is that it will contribute to the will, the heart and collective image to end world hunger.

Opening Ceremony!

The Traditional Brazilian band camp drumming in…

The Dancers came to entertain and start the night…

The Ceremony began with one or two people saying a few words…

Registration Day

The main expocentres.

A few people turned up…

Cape Town Declaration

XVth World Congress of Food Science and Technology

Cape Town, South Africa

1. We, the delegates to the 13th General Assembly of the International Union
of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST) held in Cape Town on August
26th 2010, recognise the valuable efforts already made by IUFoST to
promote and set objectives and standards for our profession, and we call on
IUFoST to further strengthen our efforts by means of the following principles
while continuing to monitor and report on the outcomes.

2. We recognise that access to nutritionally adequate and safe food is the right
of each individual. Accordingly we re-affirm the commitment made in our
Budapest Declaration (1995) in which we recognised the indispensable role
of food science and technology and undertook to apply it in seeking to
ensure the world-wide year-round availability of the quantity and variety of
safe and wholesome foods necessary to meet the nutritional and health
needs of the world’s growing population. Of particular importance are:

  • promotion of the safety and quality of all foods;
  • reduction of physical and nutritional losses in the food value chain;
  • adaptation and improvement of traditional foods and processes, while respecting the traditional, ethical, cultural and religious aspects involved;
  • beneficial application of science and technology;
  • development and dissemination of improved knowledge of food composition;
  • facilitation of domestic and international food trade;
  • development of food materials with improved functionality;
  • more efficient and environmentally sustainable food production, processing and packaging;
  • education in nutrition, food science and technology at all levels.

3. We recognise that there are many factors currently contributing to or
aggravating food and nutrition insecurity: poverty, poor health, natural
disasters, poor soil, water shortages, use of food crops for biofuel, political
and economic factors, wars, corrupt or inefficient governments, and the
global economic crisis. Moreover, in decades to come, with the expected
substantial increase in the world population (9.1 billion by 2050), mostly in
the poorest and least developed countries, coupled with the possible effects
of climate change, the demand for food, water and energy will greatly
increase. Thus, combating food insecurity must address both the present
and growing future problems. Many of the foregoing factors are beyond the
ability of food science and technology to control, or its expertise to
ameliorate. We accept that the problem of food insecurity has huge political
and economic dimensions and will not be solved by food science and
technology alone nor even by science alone; but it will certainly not be
solved without the contribution of science and of food science and
technology.

4. We reaffirm our commitment to seek to ensure food safety and in particular
protection from chemical or microbiological contamination, both by applying
existing food science and technology knowledge and by gaining improved
knowledge through research.

5. We reaffirm our continuing responsibility for promoting food science and
technology education and training at all levels and through all appropriate
means

  • for the present and future generation of food scientists and technologists;
  • for those involved in food production, whether urban or village, at all stages of the processes of sourcing, manufacture and distribution;
  • by engaging with the general public, to help them understand and welcome the benefits resulting from the application of food science and technology
  • for policy makers to assist them in taking science-based decisions.

6. We reaffirm the need for ongoing active collaboration and exchange of
information with other bodies, including governments, multilateral, bilateral
and non-governmental organisations, academic bodies, research
institutions, the private sector, communities and individuals, but particularly
those of the sciences contributing to or related to the multi-disciplinary
subject which is food science.

7. We recognise our continuing responsibility to promote and encourage
professionalism, transparency, professional competence and professional
integrity among all food scientists and technologists.

This Declaration was approved by the General Assembly Delegates to the XVth World Congress of Food Science and Technology, held in Cape Town, South Africa, 2010.

The Link – http://iufost.org/cape-town-declaration

IUFoST Aims and Objectives

The International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST) is the global scientific organization for food science and technology supporting programmes and projects to increase the safety and security of the worlds food supply.  IUFoST is a not for profit country member organization, each country represented by its national food science organisation.  IUFoST is one of 31 Unions worldwide elected to full membership in the International Council for Science (ICSU) and IUFoST represents food science and technology to other world bodies.

With over 65 members countries, four regional groupings EFFoST in Europe, WAAFoST in Africa, FIFSTA in Asia and ALACCTA in Latin America and representing more than 200,000 food scientists and technologists worldwide, IUFoST is the world voice of food science and technology.

IUFoST Vision is to Strengthen Global Food Science and Technology for Humanity

The IUFoST Mission is to promote international co-operation and information exchange, to provide education and training to food scientists and technologists around the world and to promote professionalism and profession organisation among food scientists and technologists.

IUFoST responds to worldwide needs by: 

Delivering educational programmes, student scholarships and opportunities for young scientists, as well as Distance Education, which currently being developed for Sub-Saharan Africa.

Providing scientific expertise through the provision of experts for short courses and workshops, and organizing conferences and symposia, in partnership with our Adhering Bodies, on important current issues such as food safety, security, traceability, and food defense.

Providing global leadership through our biennial World Food Congresses, guidelines for professional behaviour, and scientific information bulletins on currently important topics such as obesity, nanotechnology, biotechnology. These bulletins are used by government, industry and academia worldwide.

Stimulating exchange of knowledge in the international food science and technology community through the electronic magazine “The World of Food Science, the annual review of the state of global food science and technology, textbooks, world congress review papers and the Hunger Handbook applying food science and technology to improve nutrition and promote national development.

Representing scientific integrity as an authoritative global scientific voice representing the worlds food science and technology community. This includes endorsing and sponsoring programmes of scientific merit worldwide.

Maintaining the International Academy of Food Science and Technology (IAFoST)  to recognize individuals with outstanding achievements and leadership in the field.  These distinguished elected Fellows develop and accomplish initiatives related to adequacy and safety of the worlds food supply in support of IUFoST.