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Formation of Myanmar Association of Food Science and Technology (MAFST)


Alastair Hicks



A meeting was held in Myanmar at the Logistic Training Center, Myanmar Port Authority Compound, Yangon from 23-24 November 2012 for the formation of the Myanmar Association of Food Science and Technology (MAFST), under the auspices of the Union of Myanmar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UMCCI) and their member Myanmar Agro-based Food Processors and Exporters Association (MAFPEA).


Purpose and Scope

MAFST was established as a professional association in Myanmar, with a generic Constitution in line with the other members of the Federation of Institutes of Food Science and Technology in ASEAN (FIFSTA). The meeting was arranged through the UMCCI member, Myanmar Agro-based Food Processors and Exporters Association (MAFPEA), to discuss the MAFST formation and constitution, with discussions held between the private sector, the Associations of UMCCI, academics and teachers of food science and technology, and concerned government officials from ministries related to the field. 


The generic Constitution provided (since 2002) has been translated into Myanmar language by Daw Win Win Kyi to ensure accuracy. The final document and outcome of the meeting will be submitted through the Ministry(ies) by the MAFST official(s) to obtain clearance at appropriate levels for MAFST establishment and registration.


Once registration of MAFST is completed, this finalises its membership of FIFSTA. This enables MAFST to hold professional technical meetings for members, and also for it to arrange an ASEAN Food Conference in the future. Later, MAFST could become an adhering body to the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST).



Funding in support of the meeting was provided by Bangkok Exhibition Services (BES) General Manager Justin Pau who attended the meeting. While BES was the main sponsor of MAFST, other forms of practical support, both financial and in-kind were provided by the Food Science and Technology Association of Thailand (FoSTAT) and participating local academics, government, private sector, including  UMCCI, FIFSTA, IUFoST, also the Global Harmonization Institute (GHI).



The meeting consisted of eighty six (86) professional personnel from appropriate academic, government and private sector departments or associations, in order to obtain a consensus of informed and professional opinion about MAFST and its establishment. The concerned participants of the meeting were drawn from the following organisations:


  • Academics: from Food Science / Technology courses at Yangon University, and Yangon Institute of Technology, also recent retirees from these institutions with an institutional memory of their food science programs.


  • Government Ministries:  Professional Officers from departments in the Ministries of:
  • Science and Technology
  • Commerce
  • Industry
  • Fishery and Livestock
  • Health
  • Agriculture and Irrigation
  • Livestock and Fisheries.


  • Private Sector:  invited representatives of Myanmar trade associations in the food industry, including:              
    • Rice Millers Association,
    • Pulses, Beans and Sesame Association
    • Seeds Merchants Association
    • Rice and Paddy Traders
    • Edible Oil Dealers Association
    • Fisheries Federation
    • Livestock Federation
    • Women Entrepreneurs Association
    • Plastic Industries Association
    • Farm Crop Producer's Association
    • Oil Palm Producers' Association
    • Fruit and Vegetable Producer and Exporter Association
    • Agro Based Food Processors and Exporters Association
    • Onion, Garlic and Culinary Crops Production and Exporting Association
    • Perennial Crop Producers' Association, and
    • Sugar Cane Manufacturers Association.


Program of Meeting

Day 1 included a welcome speech by U Zaw Min Win, Chairman of MAFPEA; introductory remarks by resource person Alastair Hicks, an opening speech by Darunee Edwards, President of FoSTAT, and opening remarks by Justin Pau, BES. In the afternoon keynote discussion papers were presented by Alastair Hicks and Darunee Edwards on IUFoST, FIFSTA, FoSTAT and  MAFST, and the MAFST Constitution (translated into the Myanmar language by  Daw Win Win Kyi) was tabled, discussed and edited.


On Day 2 a final Constitution was presented, and the inaugural meeting of MAFST was held. Closing remarks were presented by Dr Myo Thant Tyn, Patron of MAFST, and a Certificate of appreciation was issued to each participant.


Minutes of First Meeting

Executive committee members include:

Daw Win Win Kyi, Chairperson

U Sein Thaung Oo, Vice-Chairperson 1; U Hnin Oo, Vice-Chairperson 2

U Than Htay, Treasurer

U Nyan Lin, U Than Oo, U Tun Aung, Daw Si Si Win and Dr Thein Myint AungDaw Theint Theint Hlaing, Joint-Secretary and Dr Kyaw Nyein Aye, Secretary

MAFST patrons include Dr  Myo Thant Tyn.



Working Groups

Working Groups were formed in the areas of Research and Development, Ethical and Standards, External Relations, Food Safety and Public Awareness, and Training, Workshops and Seminars


Action Plans

Action plans for each working group for 2013 are shown below:


Research and Development Working Group

The R&D Working Group will conduct research related to food safety Issues in current food markets in Myanmar. The research topics are to be prioritised in the order of edible oils, food colours, food additives, pesticide residues and the microbiology of foods. Product development for some traditional food items are also to be considered.


Ethical and Standards Working Group

The Ethical and Standard Working Group will organise a project to study current issues on ethical behaviors of food manufacturers and standardisation of marketed foods. Especially, the ESWG will survey and review current laws and regulations. In 2013, there will be some programs regarding ethics of food scientists and technologists.


External Relations Working Group

ThesExternal Relations Working Group will organize fund raising events and find sponsors for MAFST activities, with at least one event during 2013. ERWG will be responsible for partnership relations and dealing with organisations local and abroad.


Food Safety and Public Awareness Working Group

The FPWG will organise a Mobile Campaign for Food Safety Awareness in the Public program in the year 2013. The group will also approach TV channels, such as MRTV4 and the like, for awareness talks or programs.


Training, Workshops and Seminars

The TSWG will conduct training and produce publications in the coming year. The group will publish a quarterly journal or newsletters on training, seminars and workshops in 2013.


The list of participants and the names of responsible persons for (but not limited to) the  five working groups, may be requested from Dr Kyaw Nyein Aye, MAFST Secretary, who also participated actively in the organisation of this historic workshop.



Dr Alastair Hicks is a special envoy for FIFSTA to enable the five ‘newer’ ASEAN countries to form professional Associations of Food Science and Technology (Vietnam 1999, Brunei 2005, Cambodia 2012, and  Myanmar 2013) providing them with a generic constitution based on that of the five ‘older’ ASEAN countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand), with 2015 as the goal for all ASEAN countries to be established in FIFSTA, then to become Adhering Bodies of  IUFoST. Laos PDR is yet to form a  Association.


Dr Hicks is Adjunct Professor of Agro-Industry, Mae Fah Luang University, Thasud, Muang, Chiang Rai 57100, Thailand, and a Fellow of the International Academy of Food Science and Technology; Email:



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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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