New research centre at NTU to study how food can be made more efficiently and safely

Professor Jorgen Schlundt (left) and Professor William Chen, both from NTU’s School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, will helm NAFTEC as its director and deputy director respectively.
Professor Jorgen Schlundt (left) and Professor William Chen, both from NTU’s School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, will helm NAFTEC as its director and deputy director respectively.PHOTO: NTU SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE - A new research centre has been set up at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) to study ways to produce food more efficiently, safely and sustainably.

Two areas of research it has embarked on is the study of antibiotic-resistant microorganisms in food, and the study microorganisms in the human gut and how their composition can be improved to promote health.

Speaking at the start of a four-day conference on food safety, NTU provost Freddy Boey said on Monday (Nov 7): "This new centre comes at a very interesting juncture in the development of international food technology and food science.

"We are starting to understand the importance of the different relevant entities in our food, such as microorganisms and active biochemical ingredients, and how these entities interact with our bodies."

He said NTU will work with local and overseas experts to grow this new knowledge.

The centre, called the NTU Food Technology Centre (Naftec), aims to recruit at least 20 full-time researchers and scientists within a year. It is located at the school of chemical and biomedical engineering.

It has started to work with local national agencies including the Agri-Veterinary and Food Authority, National Environment Agency and the Ministry of Health on ways to enhance food safety and security.