Science Shorts: Palm oil traceability, food safety technology, cultured meat challenges and more feature in our round-up

‘No sustainability without traceability’: Palm oil giant stresses value of supply chain knowledge for future success

Indonesia-based palm oil heavyweight Golden Agri-Resources (GAR) has highlighted the importance of sparing no cost in implementing traceability technology, in order to achieve greater commercial gain further down the line.

GAR achieved 96% overall supply chain traceability of its palm oil sources, which is of high significance to the food and beverage industry as it is the world’s second-largest integrated palm oil firm and supplies palm oil to many big food and beverage brands.

“Times have changed and today consumers are very careful about what goes into their foods, leading the manufacturers very keen to have information to provide to them on sustainability and traceability credentials,”​ GAR Chief Sustainability and Communications Officer Anita Neville told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

Beyond barcodes: How CP Foods, Golden Agri, Thai Union and more are tapping new tech for safety and provenance

Major food and beverage firms in APAC, including Thai Union, CP Foods and Golden-Agri are tapping new teach beyond traditional barcodes and QR codes to ensure product authenticity, prevent adulteration and provide consumers with supply chain and origin information.

In this edition of the FNA Deep Dive, we take a close look at the rapid growth of this sector in terms of format and scale, and some of the newest options being developed.

Doomed to fail? Industry experts clash on economic and nutrition feasibility of clean meat

There is still a long way to go for cell-cultured meat to become a viable meat alternative due to factors such as the large investment required, cost to the consumer, scalability and the bioavailability of nutrients for good nutrition.

This is the view of Professor Paul Wood, a professor in biotechnology at Monash University and director of national services body Dairy Australia.

Vitamin A supplementation reduces deficiency in Afghan kids – Study

Vitamin A supplementation is helping to reduce deficiency among Afghan children, with researchers recommending that all children aged six to 59 months receive supplements.

In Afghanistan, vitamin A supplementation is a key strategy to prevent deficiency among young children. Children receive vitamin A supplements as part of the National Immunization Days (NID) campaign.

“Vitamin A deficiency is a major problem. Recent history of diarrhoeal disease, reported night blindness, maternal education of fewer than nine years, and infrequent consumption of eggs, mangoes, and liver were associated with increased risk of vitamin A deficiency,”​ said the researchers.

Cyber attacks: Why ag tech innovation could be an ‘easy’ target for hackers to threaten food supplies

While ag-tech innovators are striving to power global food security improvements, international experts have warned their solutions could ‘easily’ fall victim to cyber attackers who want to disrupt food supplies.

Complex IT and math modelling at King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia, Aix-Marseille University, France and Flinders University in South Australia, has highlighted the risks in a new article in the open access journal Sensors​.

“Smart sensors and systems are used to monitor crops, plants, the environment, water, soil moisture, and diseases,”​ says lead author Professor Abel Alahmadi from King Abdulaziz University.

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