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13th ASEAN Food Conference Theme: “Meeting Future Food Demands: Security and Sustainability” Max Atria, Singapore EXPO, Singapore, 9-11 November 2013

Ken Buckle and Richard Khaw



The 13th biennial ASEAN Food Conference (AFC 2013) was held on 9-11 September 2013 at the Max Atria within the Singapore EXPO complex near Changi International Airport, 13 years since the 6th AFC was hosted by Singapore in 1997, and 31 years since the inaugural AFC was hosted by Singapore in 1982.


AFC 2013 delegates at plenary sessions  


SIFST and IUFoST delegates


Mr Koh Boon Liang, President of host organisation the Singapore Institute of Food Science and Technology (SIFST) and also President of the Federation of the Institutes of Food Science and Technology in ASEAN (FIFSTA), with Mrs Ser-Low Wai Ming, Chair of the Organising Committee of AFC 2013, and Dr Makarim Wibisono, Executive Director of the ASEAN Foundation, welcomed delegates. The conference was organised by SIFST in conjunction with the ASEAN Sub-Committee on Food Science and Technology (ASEAN-COST) and FIFSTA. Other FIFSTA members also represented at the conference were the institutes or associations of food science and technology from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.


Conference Statistics

The conference attracted a total of 594 persons from 28 countries, including 358 delegates, 167 students and 11 invited speakers. Country totals included Singapore 192, Thailand 107, Indonesia 58, Malaysia 47, Philippines 30, Vietnam 24, South Korea 22 and Australia 19. Papers presented included 151 oral and 164 poster presentations (of which 28 were food safety, 27 food processing, 20 food chemistry / biochemistry, 20 food analysis / quality assurance, and 19 food product development).


Technical Program

Opening and Plenary Speakers

The Opening Address was presented by Mr Lim Hng Kiang, Singapore Minister for Trade and Industry, who officially opened AFC 2013. Plenary speakers over the three days included:

  • Prof Pingfan Rao, IUFoST President (Better food science for a better world);
  • Prof Mary Schmidl, IUFoST Council Member (The new wealth is your health);
  • Prof Gustavo Barbosa-Canovas, IUFoST Scientific Council Chair (Advanced methods to sterilise foods);
  • Prof Siree Chaiseri, Vice-President, Kasetsart University (Flavour of South-East Asian foods);
  • Prof Walter Spiess, IAFoST President (Food security in a global perspective);
  • Prof Jeyakumar Henry, Singapore Institute of Clinical Sciences (The role of food technology in improving global nutrition: opportunities and challenges);
  • Prof Mark Tamplin, Food Safety Centre, University of Tasmania (Global food safety); and
  • Prof Rickey Yada, IUFoST President-Elect (Overview of food nanoscience and technology).


Concurrent Sessions and Technical Tours

Concurrent sessions were conducted on day 1 (6 sessions), day 2 (7 sessions, including the Graduate Research Paper competition) and day 3 (5 sessions). Lunch symposia were conducted on day 1 (Dr David Cai, BASF: We care! How BASF approaches the global challenge of sustainability and social responsibility) and day 2 (Mr Patrick Low, AsureQuality Singapore: The food sleuth – protecting your brand; and Mr John Rawcliffe, Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association: Manuka the whole story and consumers’ rights).


Two technical tours were conducted on the afternoon of day 3. The first tour, for 22 delegates (including the author), visited Unicurd Food Company (Pte) Ltd, a major soy curd processing plant which is part of the Vitasoy group, and  ALS Technichem (S) Pte Ltd, a modern testing laboratory and accreditation organisation which is the Singapore branch of Australia Laboratory Services (ALS) Global from Brisbane, Australia The second tour, with 26 participants, visited Chop Hup Chong Food Industries Pte Ltd, a BBQ meat and products manufacturer, and the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) of Singapore, which is the authority that plays an important role in environmental protection in Singapore, and safeguarding the health of animals, fish and plants.


Social Events

The Conference Gala Dinner was held at the Hilton Hotel on Orchard Road. About 370 guests were welcomed by the President of SIFST, Mr Koh Boon Liang, who introduced the Guest of Honour Mr Zee Yoong Kang, CEO of the Health Promotion Board of Singapore. During dinner the following awards were made:

  • AFC 2013 Awards: ASEAN Best Postgraduate Research Paper and ASEAN Quiz Bowl (see details below);
  • ASEAN Best Food Products Recognition  awards were made to the following companies for best product in each ASEAN country:
    • Indonesia: PT Biofarmaka Indonesia (Cajuput Candy)
    • Malaysia: Veri Malaysia (Ice Cream Collection)
    • Myanmar: Shwe Nyar Myay Group (Dehydrated Onion)
    • Philippines: Davao Cacao (Malagos Chocolate)
    • Singapore: The V Pte Ltd (Heritage Cookie Collection)
    • Thailand: Pantai Norasingh (Instant Tom Yum Paste)
    • Vietnam: BanhChung Tan Uoc-ThanhOai (Vietnamese Square Rice Cake);
  • Accreditation of Institutes of Higher Learning by IUFoST:  four institutes of higher learning were awarded IUFoST Certificates of Approval for having met “International Guidelines in Food Science and Technology Programmes of Study” at the degree or associate degree levels:
    • Bogor Agricultural University (IPB), Bogor, Indonesia;
    • National University of Singapore (NUS);
    • Singapore Polytechnic (SP); and
    • Nanyang Polytechnic (NP).


IUFoST President Pingfan Rao (l) and Past-President Geoffrey Campbell-Platt (r) present a momento to SIFST President Koh Boon Liang



The ASEAN Food Quiz Bowl Competition, organised in conjunction with AFC 2013, is a question and answer competition of knowledge and quick recall.  Covering topics in the field of food science and technology, this competition is to facilitate interaction among undergraduate students in the field of food science and technology from the different ASEAN-member countries, to recognise and support the intellectual achievement of students, and to provide a platform to engage in a friendly competition. There were 7 participating teams from Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and Singapore, with Prof Alastair Hicks and Mr Koh Boob Liang (FIFSTA) as moderators.  Thailand emerged as the champion for the competition, followed by the Indonesia and the Philippines. 


The ASEAN Postgraduate Best Research Paper Competition was also held in conjunction with AFC 2013.  This competition was organised to encourage and arouse interest in research relating to food science and technology, to provide an opportunity for selected food science and technology postgraduate students studying in local universities to present their original research papers, and to provide a forum for postgraduate students to exchange their knowledge.  The competition was chaired by Dr Iain Brownlie of Newcastle University (Singapore Campus), with Prof Ken Buckle (13th AAFC International Advisory Committee) and prof Anne Goldman (IUFoST Governing Council) serving as judges. Six presenters from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore participated. Ms Chanida  Kupradit from the School of Biotechnology, Institute of Agricultural Technology, Suranaree University of Technology, Thailand, emerged as the winner for her presentation on Development of an oligonucleotide array for detecting foodborne pathogens in fresh chicken meat.  


Chanida Kupradit (Thailand, 4th from left) wins the ASEAN Postgraduate Research Paper Competition


Sponsors and Supporting Organisations

Principal supporters included:

  • Cornerstone: Malaysia Dairy Industries Pte Ltd
  • Platinum: BASF
  • Gold: AsureQuality, Davisco, MPOC
  • Silver: ALS, IFIS
  • Bronze: All Eights, BioMérieux, Gourmet, ITS Science and Medical, Prima Singapore, Sigma-Aldrich.


Supporting organisations included:

  • Organisers: SIFST / FIFSTA
  • Funding: Singapore Exhibition and Convention Bureau, Singapore Workplace Development Agency; ASEAN Foundation, IUFoST
  • Professional Bodies: Institution of Engineers Singapore, Singapore Food Manufacturers’ Association, Singapore Manufacturing Federation, Singapore Nutrition and Dietetics Association, Singapore Professional Centre, Singapore Society for Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Institutes of Higher Learning: Institute of Technical Education, Massey University, Nanyang Polytechnic, National University of Simgapore, Newcastle University (Singapore Campus), Singapore Polytechnic, Temasec Polytechnic.


14th ASEAN Food Conference …. The Philippines, August 2015

The 14th ASEAN Food Conference (AFC2015) will be held at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City, The Philippines in August 2015. The theme will be “The Bigger Picture: One ASEAN Through Food Technology”.  The ASEAN Food Conference flag was accepted by Mr Marty Panganiban as President of the Philippine Association of Food Technology (PAFT) who will host the next conference in Manila.


(l to r) Richard Khaw, Ngan-Loong Mann Na, Ser-Low Wai Ming and Koh Boon Liang present the ASEAN Food Conference flag to Marty Panganiban and his PAFT colleagues at the AFC 2013 Closing Ceremony


Dr Ken Buckle is Emeritus Professor, Food Science and Technology Group, UNSW, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia; he is a former President (1995-97) of the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology (AIFST), a former President (2001-03) of the International Academy of Food Science and Technology (IAFoST), a former Chair (2003-06) of the IUFoST Scientific Council, and Chair (2006-) of the Editorial Advisory Board of The World of Food Science, e-mail: . Dr Richard Khaw is Senior Manager, Food and Pharmaceutical, ALS Technichem (S) Pte Ltd, and was Chair of the AFC2013 Secretariat Committee and Publicity and Protocol Committee; e-mail:  

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IUFoST Scientific Information Bulletin (SIB)



John Spink, PhD
Food Fraud – and the focus on prevention – is an important and evolving food industry focus. Even though the vast majority of these incidents do not have a health hazard in some ways they are more dangerous because the substances and actions are unknown and untraceable.  The types of food fraud stretch the traditional role of food science and technology to include criminology, supply chain traceability and other control systems. The food authenticity and integrity testing will be the most complex actions and their value should be assessed in terms of the contribution to prevention. This Scientific Information Bulletin (SIB) presents an introduction, review of incidents, the fundamentals of prevention which then provide insight on the optimal role of Food Science and Technology.
See IUFoST SIBS below for the complete Food Fraud Prevention Scientific Information Bulletin.






Congratulations Prof. Dr. Purwiyatno Hariyadi

Congratulations to Prof. Dr. Puwiyatno Hariyadi who has been elected to the position of Vice-Chair of the  CODEX Alimentarius Commission.

Dr. Hariyadi is a Fellow of the International Academy of Food Science and Technology (IAFoST) and Senior scientist, SEAFAST Center; Professor, Dept. Food Science and Technology, Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia.

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