Strengthening a network on encapsulation in food safety and aquaculture at Nha Trang University

The International Workshop “Encapsulation in Food and Aquaculture”, funded by the Agency for French Speaking Universities (AUF) was organized on June 9-10, 2015 by Nha Trang University in Nha Trang, Vietnam.
The aims of this workshop to provide an opportunity to share knowledge and experience in encapsulation techniques and future application in aquaculture sector in South East Asia and to setup linkages and cooperation among scientists and experts in interdisciplinary way
Representatives and experts coming from various institutions from Cambodia, Malaysia, France, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam have participated to this workshop including Institute of Technology of Cambodia (Cambodia), AgroSup Dijon (France), Nha Trang University, Hanoi University of Science and Technology, Vietnam Academy of Science and Vietnam National University of Agriculture (Vietnam), Monash University (Malaysia), Singapore National University of Singapore (Singapore), Asian Institute of Technology (Thailand). Nine presentations followed by rich discussions on the encapsulation technology applied in food, nutrition and aquaculture. This workshop was also a very good opportunity for exchange and sharing of up-to-date knowledge and for establishing of future collaboration among participants.
During the network, the Nha Trang University (contact person: Tran Hai Dang), with its tradition of research on encapsulation, has taken an active place. Under the direction of its rector, Trang Si Trung and vice rector Khong Trung Thang, and Ngo Dang Nghia, it organised the present meeting which aimed at presenting research fields of the members of the network, including  participants from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam and France. Following the will of the supporting agency (AUF), a goal was also to initiate collaborative projects in the region. Taking into account the acuteness of the food safety problems in the region (food safety is in the strategic axes of development of Asean for its present integration stage) and especially the need for antibiotic substitution together with the huge development of Asian aquaculture, the meeting topic was about the contribution of encapsulation in food safety and particularly in aquaculture.
The first day of the meeting was dedicated to scientific and technology presentations. After a point on research in Nha Trang University by Ta Thi Minh Ngoc,  a presentation of the Tropical Bioresource & Biotechnology projects on biodiversity exploration by Chu-Ky Son from Hanoi University of Science and Technology and a presentation of the Encapsulation network by  Yves Waché from AgroSup Dijon, Chan Eng Seng from Monash University in Malaysia presented an inexpensive way to improve productivity of monodisperse bead production and Paul Heng from the National University of Singapore presented technologies using calcium alginate for coating and encapsulation. Encapsulation of microbial activity was also a centre of attention with the presentation of Anil Kumar Anal from the Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand which dealt with living cells for health purpose and the one of Phi Quyet Tien from the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology about enzyme nano-encapsulation. Eventually, the link with aquaculture was done with Ngo Dang Nghia (Nha Trang University) and with Nguyen Ngoc Tuan from Vietnam National University of Agriculture. The second day focused on the building of collaborative projects and it included presentation on potential funding programmes. All members have agreed to define a specific topic of the network which focuses on Delivery systems for bioactive compounds for aquaculture and animal feed.
The encapsulation workshop was a key element of the Pre-project for Interuniversity Scientific Cooperation (PCSI) “Creation of a network on bioencapsulation in South East Asia” funded by the Agency for French Speaking Universities (AUF) during 2014-2015. This PCSI has been coordinated by Nha Trang University in collaboration with AgroSup Dijon (France), Nha Trang University, Hanoi University of Science and Technology, Vietnam Academy of Science and Vietnam National University of Agriculture (Vietnam), Monash University (Malaysia), Singapore National University of Singapore (Singapore), and Asian Institute of Technology (Thailand).
 

The network Encapsulation in South-East Asia.
At the origin of this network is the Tropical Bioresources & Biotechnology Laboratory (www.umr-pam.fr/relation-internationale/tropical-bioresources-biotechnology.html). This lab is an international joint lab between Hanoi University of Science & Technology in Vietnam, the University of Bourgogne Franche-Comté and AgroSup Dijon in France. This lab is active in food research with main activities on traditional fermented food (safety, quality, process and as a source of strains and ideas for new fermented food) and on tropical bioactive compounds (Cao-Hoang, Chu-Ky, Ho Phu, Husson, Le Thanh, Le-Thanh, et al., 2013). It is particularly involved in Asian programmes to decrease the use of antibiotics in animal feeding and human food. Initially limited to the joint projects of the three founding universities, this project has moved on to a network of labs involved in food technology and biotechnology in South-East Asia initiating network projects in food safety, quality, microbial process and biotechnological production of actives compounds.  For several activities it develops encapsulation systems that are appropriate for protecting and targeting actives. To stimulate research and application in this field, the network Encapsulation in South-East Asia was created with goals of training, sharing research and technology but also developing collaborative projects between academic labs and with the private sector.

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Picture: Participants at PCSI Bioencapsulation Workshop during June 9-10, 2015 at NTU, Nha Trang, Vietnam