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First National Conference on Development of Food Science and Technology in Myanmar, Myanmar Convention Centre, Yangon, Myanmar, 4-6 September 2014



Alastair Hicks




U Zaw Min Win, Chairman of Myanmar Industries Association (MIA) and Myanmar Food Processors and Exporters Association (MFPEA), Daw Win Win Kyi, President of Food Science and Technology Association of Myanmar (FoSTAM), Justin Pau, General Manager of Bangkok Exhibition Services and Fraser Hawkes, Country Manager of Allworld Exhibitions, hosted a press conference to announce ProPak Myanmar 2014 − the first international processing and packaging trade event for the food, drink and pharmaceutical industries held in Myanmar.



                        ProPak Myanmar 2014 exhibition            Press Conference at ProPak Myanmar


Myanmar’s Economic Growth

Myanmar’s economic growth is expected to pick up to an annual rate of 7.8% for the next two fiscal years (2014-15 and 2015-16), according to the press release of Asia Development Bank. The country’s economic growth for the fiscal year 2013-14 ending in March was estimated at 7.5%. ADB is keen to support investment in the energy, transport, urban, agriculture and social sectors such as education and health, to help build the foundations for inclusive growth (source: Xinhua).


Myanmar’s seafood exports are expected to rise this year as the European Union (EU) is planning to import farmed seafood products from Myanmar,following the removal of trade sanctions on the country. This would help the country boost seafood export, as reported by New Light of Myanmar newspaper. Myanmar produced 4.5Mt of seafood products including wild and farmed species in 2012, up from 4.1Mt in 2011. EU expects to become Myanmar’s next prospective seafood market (source: Xinhua).

Myanmar has earned more than $US350M from export of over 200,000 t of fisheries products in the past eight months of this fiscal year (2013-14), according to the Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Rural Development. The country has exported more than 96,000t of fisheries products through normal trade route and over 110,000t of the products through border trade routes during this period. In total, it is expected to earn $US700M from seafood export for the whole year (source: Eleven Weekly Media).




Myanmar’s fruit exports hit US$23M within the first two months of the fiscal year of 2013-14, according to the Ministry of Commerce. Myanmar has exported over 100,000t of mangoes, melons, dried plums and other fruits during the period.  Over 70,000t of watermelons and 14,000t of mangoes were exported across land and sea trade routes, mainly to China and Singapore. In the past, Myanmar exported most of its fruits to China. However, over the last three years it has started to target new markets in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand as well as participate in international fruit festivals around the world (source: Eleven Weekly Media).


Myanmar breweries: Denmark-based Carlsberg and its partner Myanmar Golden Star (MGS) will begin operating their first factory by the end of 2014, according to MGS Company. The company is planning to export a million cans of beer (Myanmar beer) per month to Europe. Carlsberg owns 51% of Myanmar Carlsberg Co. Ltd, and MGS owns 49%. The initial investment is believed to be US$35-50M. Carlsberg is a Danish brewing company located in Copenhagen, Denmark. In 2009 it was the 4th largest beer company in the world (source: Myanmar Business Network).


The First National Conference

The forst national conference was held on the Development of Food Science and Technology in Myanmar, from 4-6 September 2014 at Myanmar Convention Centre, Yangon. It provided opportunities to meet and share experiences as well as strengthen networking among international food scientists and scientists in related fields from academia, government and food industries. The theme, Food Science and Technology Issues in Myanmar, highlighted significant developments in applications of food science and technology, with an emphasis on food product quality and safety. The conference featured a series of presentations and discussions in plenary and poster sessions, informal gatherings, and equipment exhibitions.


Day 1 Thursday 4 September: The opening session was launched by Ministers His Excellency U  Nyan Tun, Ministry of Electric Power and Industry, Science and Technology, and His Excellency U Than Myint, Ministry of Economics Planning and Commerce, from the Yangon Regional Government.


An opening address was presented by U Zaw Min Win, Chairman of Myanmar Industries Association (MIA) and Myanmar Food Processors and Exporters Association (MFPEA). A welcome to all distinguished delegates was made by Justin Pau, General Manager of Bangkok Exhibition Services. The speeches highlighted that ProPak Myanmar 2014 presented over 185 exhibitors from 23 countries, three international pavilions from Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand, and over 1500 trade visitors per day   visited the exhibition and conference.


Other talks included:

  • Role of the Food Science and Technology Association FoSTA Myanmar’ by Daw Win Win Kyi, President of the Food Science and Technology Association of Myanmar (FoSTAM);
  • Keynote speech on Agro-Food Processing: A Strategic Vision for the Mekong Region – Myanmar by Alastair Hicks, Visiting Professor of Agroindustry to FoSTA Myanmar;
  • Keynote speech on Current Situation of Food Industries in  Myanmar  by Dr Cho Win Maw, Managing Director, Pharmaceutical and Foodstuff Industries, Ministry of Industry;
  •  Certified Food Professionals CFoP for  the Food Industry by Darunee Edwards, President of The Food Science and Technology Association of Thailand (FoSTAT); 
  • Consumer Protection Activities in Myanmar by Ministry of Commerce speaker U  Khin Zaw, and Daw Myo Myo Htike, Deputy Director, Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs;
  • Financing Small and Medium Enterprises for the Development of the Food Industry in Myanmar by Dr Than Tun, Chairman, Small and Medium Industrial Development Bank, Yangon;
  • Processing of Tropical Fruits in Upper Myanmar, in particular on dried wood apple, by Dr Schwe Sin Mon, Assistant Lecturer, Department of Industrial Chemistry, Yadanabon University;
  • Food Safety and Logistics in Myanmar by Dave Warren, Managing Director, KOSPA Cold Chain Logisitics Co Ltd;
  • Studies of Nutritive Constituents and Microbial Analyses of Fermented Flacourtia rotendifolia (Na-ywe) Leaves by Dr Moe Moe Aye, Lecturer, Department of Chemistry, Yangon University;
  • The closing remarks were presented by Dr Myo Thant Tin, executive committee member FoSTAM.


Day 2 Friday 5 September: Speakers on the second day included:

  • A welcome by U Hnin Oo, Vice-President, Myanmar Fisheries Federation;
  • An introduction of Overseas Exhibition Services OES by Fraser Hawkes, Country Manager of Allworld Exhibitions;
  • FoSTA and IUFoST and the Role of Food Science and Technology by VIP guest Prof. Pingfan Rao, Past President of IUFoST who reported on the recent 17th World Congress of Food Science and Technology held the previous week in Montreal, Canada;
  • Keynote presentation on Role of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of Myanmar by Dr Tun Zaw;
  • Keynote address on Financing Small and Medium Enterprises for the Development of Food Industry in Myanmar by Dr Than Tun, Chairman, Small and Medium Industrial Development Bank, Yangon;
  • Microbial Quality of the Drinking Water Sources in the Fishpond Abundant Area of Myanmar by local researcher Dr Shane Htet Ko, Program Coordinator for the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI);
  • Aflatoxins in Peanuts: Problem, Control and Prevention by local researcher Su Hlaing Chein and Anil Kumar Anal, Food Engineering and Bioprocess Technology, Asian Institute of Technology;
  • Myanmar Traditional Food (MTF) Business by Dr Sint Soe of the Myanmar Scientific and Technological Research Department, Ministry of Science and Technology, and  Myanmar Sausage Processing by Daw Hla Tin;
  • Acidified Food Preservation and its Role in Food Industry by international Visiting Professor to Chulalongkorn University, Thailand, Dr Juan Silva of Mississippi State University (MSU);
  • Food Analysis Act of Malaysia’ by international  guest speaker Dr Nik Ismail, Past President of the Malaysian Institute of Food Science and Technology (MIFST);
  • Current Status of Food Security, Food Safety  and Nutrition in Myanmar by a speaker from the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (MOAI);
  • Dried Fruits: Mangoes and Pineapples and their Processing by Daw Hta Hta Gyi, Daw Khin Khin Nwe , Daw Lin Lin Myat, Daw Aye Aye Mu  and Daw Win Ei San of the Central  Research  and  Development Center, Ministry of Industry.


A Panel Q&A session on all these technical subjects was then held with all speakers present on stage, a very lively session with many technical issues raised and answered.


The closing words were spoken by U Sein Thaung Oo, Committee Member of FoSTAM. Press conferences were then held by the speakers with members of the local media.



Members of the Executive Committee with Daw Win Win Kyi, President of FoSTAM,  Prof Pingfan Rao Past President IUFoST, Darunee Edwards, President of FoSTAT with visiting Professor Alastair Hicks, both Honorary Fellows of FoSTAM, at the opening of the Conference, and later enjoying the ambiance of the Schwedagon Pagoda in Yangon


Day 3 Saturday 6 September: Yangon Technological University (YTU), located in GyogoneYangon, is the premier engineering university of Myanmar. Established as a Department of Engineering under Rangoon University in 1924, YTU is the country’s oldest and largest engineering university, and one of the most selective universities in Myanmar. The university offers bachelor, master and doctorate degree programs in engineering disciplines to nearly 8000 students. YTU is a member of ASEAN University Network, Southeast Asia Engineering Education Development Network (AUN/SEED-Net), and Greater Mekong Sub-Region Academic and Research Network (GMSARN).



Yangon Technological University


Most YTU students are enrolled full-time in 18 engineering academic programs, over 2000 students are also enrolled in part-time programs. Of the nearly 11000 students who graduated between 1997 and 2004, over 50% received bachelor degrees, 10% master, 4.5% postgraduate diploma, 32.5% undergraduate diploma, and 2.4% PhD.  The International speakers, along with members of the Executive Council of FoSTA Myanmar, were invited to meet the professors and staff of Yangon Technological University, Ministry of Science and Technology, to discuss curriculum issues in food science and technology. They first met with the Rector (ret’d), now Technical Expert to the university, then a round table meeting was held. The IUFoST Guidelines for recognition of Curricula in Food Science were introduced to the assembled academic staff at the meeting and a lively discussion followed, in anticipation of a new Department of Food Process Engineering to be established in 2015 at the University.


Dr Alastair Hicks is an Honorary Fellow of the Food Science and Technology Association of Myanmar (FoSTAM), a Life Member of the Food Science and Technology Association of Thailand (FoSTAT), an elected Fellow of the International Academy of Food Science and Technology (IAFoST), and Life Fellow  of the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology (AIFST). He was the Senior FAO Regional Officer for Agroindustries and Postharvest with the FAO / UN Regional Office for Asia and Pacific (Thailand) for over 20 years following earlier work as a Food Industries Officer with FAO / UN (Rome). He maintains strong interests in international education and professional development, and is an African – born Australian citizen living in Thailand; 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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