THE NETHERLANDS, Wageningen. Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) and Wageningen University have partnered on a PhD program on food science and technology.
It will help to meet rising demand in Singapore for qualified talent in the area, such as product development specialists, microbiologists and food safety specialists.
Freddy Boey, NTU provost professor, said the food industry is expected to be a new engine of growth in Singapore and the move will help boost efforts to become a hub in food science and technology in the Asia-Pacific region.
The PhD programme focuses on the conversion of agricultural raw materials into high-value food ingredients; sustainable food production including conversion of waste to food supplements and health effects of food products. It builds on an earlier partnership to offer a second major in Food Science and Technology in 2014 for NTU undergraduates majoring in Biological Sciences, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and Chemistry and Biological Chemistry.
With the rising trend of foodborne diseases around the world – the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore estimates 1.5 bn. cases globally each year – PhD candidates will be trained to deal with issues in food processing, security and safety.
The Netherlands is the second largest exporter of agricultural products after the US, and one of the world's three main producers of vegetables and fruit.
Professor Remko Boom, chair of Wageningen University's Food Process Engineering Group, said NTU can be its link to the continent with Asia emerging as a major player in the food industry.
The NTU PhD students will spend six months to a year in the Netherlands to complete modules and vice versa for Wageningen University doctoral student s at NTU.