Resolving The Halal And Toxicity Perceptions

THURSDAY, 28 AUGUST 2014 12:28

By Saiful Bahri Kamaruddin
Pix Ikhwan Hashim

BANGI, 20 Aug 2014 –  Researchers at The National University of Malaysia (UKM) and corporations must swiftly deal with the ongoing public perceptions of toxicity and halal food status which could potentially damage the commercial viability of some products.

UKM Vice-Chancellor Professor Datuk Dr Noor Azlan Ghazali urged researchers at the Faculty of Science and Technology’s (FST) School of Chemical Science and Food Technology and the private sector to collaborate in resolving the pressing issues affecting the country’s food and edible oil industries.

Opening the Malaysia International Conference On Oils and Fats (SMILE) 2014 organised by the FST here today, Prof Noor Azlan threw a challenge to the faculty to collaborate with the relevant companies which should be located on campus.

“I believe there are serious links between capital and people with research universities. The issues of toxicity and halal products must be dealt with. Your facilities can help the industry,” he said.

Scientific research should convince the public of the safety and validity of halal products, including oils and fats based products. It  has to play a pivotal role to generate understanding and produce solutions through evidence.

Prof Noor Azlan envisioned UKM becoming a Technopolis or Technology Park where researchers, academics and industry work together to produce innovations.

His vision is that of UKM hosting a research park which supports university-industry and government collaborations with the intent of creating high technology economic development and advancing knowledge.

The inspiration of UKM becoming a technology park came to him during a visit to Turkey in April, where the university signed memoranda of understanding with two Turkish research institutions.

“On one campus (in Turkey), they have 600 joint projects between academia and companies. Our Centre For Innovative Collaboration should get 20 faculty members to focus on such research to make sure the whole campus is aware,” he said.

He noted that the conference’s theme “Sustainable and Green Oleo chemistry: Nurturing the Future” was important as cooperation between the universities, research centres and industries would broaden and hasten the impact of research, development and commercialisation of oils and fats-based products.

Nearly seventy researchers and representatives of the private sector took part in the two-day conference.

Present at the opening were Dean of FST Prof Dr Sahrim Ahmad, eputy Dean, Research and Innovation (FST) Prof Dr Rusli Daik, Chairman of School of Chemical Sciences and Food Technology Assoc Prof Dr Wan Aida Wan Mustapha and Chairman of SMILE 2014 Dr Muhammad Rahimi Yusop.