New department to advance food industry

19 August 2019 | Education
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Prof Tan (middle) celebrating NUS FST’s 20th Anniversary with guests

The NUS Food Science and Technology Programme (FST) celebrated its 20th anniversary with a new milestone — its elevation to an academic Department under NUS Science. NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye made the announcement at the NUS FST 20th Anniversary Gala Dinner at the Kent Ridge Guild House on 8 August.

“FST Department will be Singapore’s first Department of Food Science and Technology in the university sector… It will play a pivotal role in convening expertise across the different Faculties of NUS and fostering significant research collaborations to help Singapore to achieve food resilience and security as well as to advance Singapore’s food industry,” said Prof Tan.

FST’s establishment [in 1999] was an act of foresight and gumption, as applied and multidisciplinary programmes were still rather rare and novel then.

In his speech, Prof Tan also paid homage to NUS FST’s two decades of development, which has seen a doubling of its undergraduate intake, growth of its postgraduate student numbers, and the accreditation of its bachelor’s and honours degrees by the International Union of Food Science and Technology — the only certified FST degrees in Singapore. He also lauded the programme’s high-quality research outcomes, which have gained international recognition. “FST’s establishment [in 1999] was an act of foresight and gumption, as applied and multidisciplinary programmes were still rather rare and novel then,” Prof Tan shared.

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From left: FST Programme Director Prof Zhou Weibiao and Prof Tan accepting Bonds of Discovery, a commemorative art piece by FST alumna Ms Yvonne Loo. Ms Loo created this representation of a Benzene ring using acrylic paint mixed with food dyes from pandan, turmeric and anthocyanin.

The Gala Dinner was attended by 260 NUS FST staff, students and alumni, as well as collaborators from government and the food industry. Guests were treated to performances and games as they ate and mingled. The event closed with a cake-cutting ceremony led by Prof Tan.

As part of its anniversary celebrations, NUS FST held a charity golf event in March to raise funds for its NUS-FST Alumni Endowment Fund. It will also host an international symposium at the end of the year.