UP PhD candidates selected to present papers at IAFP

Posted on November 06, 2015

Earlier this year, two PhD candidates in food science from the University of Pretoria (UP), were among a group of only 19 students from across the world selected to present papers at the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP). 

The IAFP is an international body that represents over 4 000 educators, scientists, government officials and professionals involved in aspects related to the growing, storing, transporting, processing and preparing of all types of food. Its purpose is to protect the global food supply.

The IAFP hosts an annual meeting that has earned global recognition as the leading food safety conference. This year’s meeting, held in Portland, Oregon, USA, had a record-breaking 3 200 attendees representing 49 countries.

Every year the IAFP awards several postgraduate students its Student Travel Scholarship to enable them to attend the meeting. This year, 19 of these scholarships were available. Two PhD candidates from the University of Pretoria’s Department of Food Science, Desmond Tichaona Mugadza and Victor Ntuli, were awarded IAFP Student Travel Scholarships for their outstanding work in the area of food safety. They were the only students from African universities to receive the scholarships.

Mugadza presented a paper entitled, ‘The characterisation of Bacillus cereus in extended shelf life milk’. Reflecting on the event, he said, ‘Being at such a prestigious meeting was a great experience and an opportunity to mingle with experts and receive technical insights into my PhD work.’

Ntuli said that the IAFP’s acceptance of his paper entitled, ‘The characterisation and source tracking of E coli in bulk milk sold in the informal sector in South Africa’ showed that his work was internationally relevant. ‘Other attendees showed interest in our work. It was found to contribute valuable information on the risk analysis of milk sold informally to the public and on food safety in general,’ Ntuli said.

Both Mugadza and Ntuli are focussing their PhD dissertations on the area of microbiology, food safety and risk assessment. They are both supervised by Prof Elna Buys, Head of the Department of Food Science at UP.


- Author Louise de Bruin

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