International Scientific Conference on Food Security and Safety

  • 17th May 2016
  • by secretary

16 to 18 May 2016. The University of Johannesburg (UJ) in collaboration with the HSRC and the Department of Science and Technology (DST) South Africa.

Food security is pivoted on four major aspects, which are availability, access, stability and utilization. In the same way, Food Safety implies “the absence of, or acceptable and safe levels of contaminants, adulterants, naturally occurring toxins or any other substance that make food injurious to health on an acute or chronic basis”.

Generally, in sub-Saharan Africa, an estimated 60% of the population depends on agriculture for their livelihoods but ironically the continent is known for numerous agricultural and associated health challenges. Some of these challenges include: limited access to arable land and services, high post-harvest losses, limited processing, inadequate access to markets and finance as well as low investment into food and agricultural research, training and extension services. Basically, various populations in sub-Saharan Africa are exposed to health hazards (such as mycotoxins, heavy metals, etc.) in their diets, directly and/or indirectly through the consumption of unsafe foods or the unavailability of nutritious foods.

​​​​Plenary Session 1: Science, technology, innovation and development for food safety and security.
Science, technology, innovation and development for food safety and security – Instrumentation for hazardous contaminants (e.g. pathogens, toxins, heavy metals, pesticide residues, etc.) detection and analyses along the value chain; Crop science and modelling; Nano/Biotechnology and biological applications for reducing food waste and loses; etc.

  • Prof. Sarah De Saeger – Ghent University (UGent), Belgium. ​ ​​Current Developments in Mycotoxin Analysis ​

    More than 25% of the world’s crops are contaminated with poisonous moulds and fungi known as mycotoxins. These toxic chemical compounds are a serious food safety threat as they cause disease and death in humans and animals worldwide. Finding solutions to mycotoxins is a global struggle. Aflatoxins, a type of mycotoxin, are carcinogenic and in Africa it can cause stunted growth in children. It is, however, a global issue and not only an African one. There have been major advances globally in improving mycotoxin analysis. There are more than 400 known mycotoxins, but even more may exist.In the European research community there is a belief that the food security problem needs to be solved first and food safety second. It is a pleasure to see that in South Africa food safety is seen as part of food security.

    Prof. De Saeger commended South Africa’s science and research community’s work into finding solutions that could reduce the risk of mycotoxtin contamination.

  • ​Keynote Address – Role of agricultural bio technologies in sustainable food systems and nutrition ​ ​​

​​​​Plenary Session 3: Food and health risk assessment and Novel and emerging food processing technologies.

Food processing, water purification, irrigation and technological challenges – High pressure processing, Food processing technologies; Industrial processing techniques; Ozone processing techniques, Radiation challenges and evolution; Novel and emerging food processing technologies, water purification and irrigation, etc.
Food and health risk assessment – Clinical implications of food contamination; Burden of food related illnesses on healthcare; Economics of GMOs; Risks associated with fertilized food crops; Food grown in metal-heavy lands; Systems modelling for food-associated risk assessment, etc.   
  • Dr. Nomusa Dlamini – Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), South Africa ; Sustainable Novel and Emerging Technologies for Food Processing and Preservation Paths to making food processing technologies impact positively on food safety and food security at household, local and national levels in Africa ​ ​​​ ​ ​
  • Prof. Gabriel Adegoke – University of Ibadan (UI), Nigeria ; Mycotoxin Research in Africa ​ ​​ ​ ​ ​
  • Prof. Hussaini Makun – Federal University of Technology Minna (FUTMinna), Nigeria ; Managing Compositions Of Fungal Populations to Reduce Human Exposure to Aflatoxins ​ ​​

​​​Keynote Speakers
Tentative Programme at a glance