Financial Times

International symposium discusses range of food and health issues

Some 200 participants including 20 world- renowned scientists from Japan, Australia, Oman, USA, India and Singapore took part in the recent international symposium on ‘Innovations in Food Science and Technology and Healthcare for Social Wellbeing’ organised by the Institute of Chemistry and held in Colombo.

The Symposium focussed on two sub themes, ‘Food Science and Technology for Social Wellbeing’ and ‘Innovations in Chemical Sciences for Healthcare’. The first sub-theme covered areas such as post harvest technology, developments in food science and technology, developments in quality assurance and food safety. The ongoing global food crisis has once again drawn the attention to the fundamental role of the agriculture in human wellbeing and food security, according to organisers of the event.
One of the factors contributing to food insecurity is the high incidence of post harvest losses .

The goals of the post harvest technology are to reduce post harvest losses of food materials, maintain quality, nutrition value and safety of fresh produce The innovative technologies that have been developed and the application of such technologies were presented by two overseas experts from Oman and Japan.

The consumer health and wellbeing, facing the challenge by the consumers was presented taking different examples of developments in health promoting foods, convenient foods, functional foods, etc.
Micro and nanotechnologies for food processing focused on developments of micro channel emulsification technology in Japan. Trends in food formulations for a healthy diet and how the agri-food industry has responded to this new knowledge by developing designer commodity oils/fats and food products were presented.

Applications of non-destructive, instrumental analytical systems for the detection of pesticides in food and other techniques for detecting food contamination were also presented while the application of the developed methodology for detecting pesticides in fruits and vegetables was discussed. A non-regulatory approach to managing of low-level chemical contamination in food, case studies in Australia and the food safety management in Sri Lanka were among the discussions.

Local research findings on post harvest management of Papaya and use of a plant extract in bakery industry were presented. The second sub-theme covered innovations in chemical sciences on healthcare diagnostics, treatments, traditional medicines and healthcare products, phyto-pharmaceuticals, analytical technologies in healthcare product research and development, and food formulations for critical care.

Advances made in the drug development in the development of anti-cancer agents targeting to disrupt the dynamics of cell division process and effective therapeutic agents for treatment of various neurological disorders were presented by two scientists.

Food formulations for critical care its current status and problems were discussed and the necessary inputs in chemical sciences in the food formulations were highlighted. Several research papers on natural products as sources of anti oxidants, and developments in bio- control method for control of mosquito larvae were presented.


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