ICT and AFSTI Mumbai Chapter join forces to celebrate World Food Safety Day 2024

Centred around the theme “Food Safety: Prepare for the Unexpected,” the event underscored the steadfast commitment of both institutions to food safety and sustainability

The Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai (ICT), in collaboration with the Association of Food Scientists and Technologists of India, Mumbai Chapter (AFSTI Mumbai), hosted a significant event to commemorate World Food Safety Day. Centered around the theme “Food Safety: Prepare for the Unexpected,” the event underscored the steadfast commitment of both institutions to food safety and sustainability.

The day’s activities were divided into two halves, featuring a blend of insightful lectures and engaging competitions. The event commenced with a grand inauguration ceremony attended by distinguished delegates. Chinmayee Deulgaonkar, President of AFSTI Mumbai, opened the session with thought-provoking remarks, setting the stage for meaningful discussions on innovative approaches to food safety and health. Dr Jyoti Gokhale, Secretary of AFSTI Mumbai, discussed the association’s role in building a cohesive ecosystem for stakeholders and highlighted key initiatives, including the upcoming Food Techie Sherpa Lecture series, the M. M. Chitale lecture and award, Nutrition Week 2024, and the flagship ICFOST 2024.

Professor A. B. Pandit, Vice Chancellor of ICT Mumbai, delivered an inspiring keynote address, energizing the audience for the day’s proceedings.

A notable highlight was the Professor J. V. Bhat Memorial Lecture. Subhaprada Nishtala, Vice President of AFSTI Headquarters, introduced Prof. J. V. Bhat, celebrating his contributions to food microbiology. Ritesh Mathur, VP of AFSTI Mumbai, introduced the guest speaker, Dr. Jayant Bandekar, a retired scientist from BARC. Dr. Bandekar’s address focused on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and emerging food pathogens, providing valuable insights into the threats posed by resistant microbes to global food safety and public health. His expertise left attendees with a deeper understanding of the potential threats from resistant pathogens and the role of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in this process.

Student Engagement Technical Session

The next session featured an innovative segment titled “Janta ki Adalat” (Consumer Court) – a panel discussion by and for students. This platform aimed to foster knowledge exchange and critical thinking among students. The panels represented various stakeholders in food safety, including regulators, manufacturers, news reporters, food scientists, nutritionists, and consumers. Eighty-three students from prestigious institutions across Mumbai, such as SK Somaiya College, Nirmala Nikethan College of Home Sciences, D.Y. Patil, SVT, SNDT, and ICT Mumbai, participated in the event. The first panel discussion, “Safe Foods Now, for a Healthy Tomorrow,” supervised by Samiksha Pawar, addressed contemporary issues and innovations around pesticide-free and preservative-free foods.

The second discussion, “To Feel Best, Eat the Best!” supervised by Logesh V. N, focused on the benefits of reducing salt, sugar, and fats in the diet. Both discussions were judged by esteemed AFSTI Mumbai Chapter members Dr. S. B. Bhalkar, Dr. Prakash Kondekar, and Ritesh Mathur. The judges provided constructive feedback, highlighting key points and offering criticism. Two best speakers from each panel and two best questions from the audience were awarded books published by Dr. Smita Lele, a veteran food technologist.

The student awards ceremony, moderated by Dr. Jyoti Gokhale, included a concluding address by Dr. Prabodh Halde, Past President, AFST(I), which was greatly appreciated. Ashish Dabade, Joint Secretary of AFSTI Mumbai, concluded the event by expressing gratitude to all participants, organizers, and attendees.

The event was a resounding success, offering valuable insights and fostering a spirit of collaboration among food scientists and technologists. The well-structured program and engaging sessions were highly appreciated by all participants. This event exemplified the dedication and hard work of the Food Engineering and Technology Department at ICT Mumbai and the AFSTI Mumbai Chapter, showcasing their unwavering commitment to promoting food safety for access to safe and nutritious food.

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