Day 1 :
Britain Tanzania Society, UK
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Petronila Mlowe, FRSPH MCIEH
Awards: Appreciation & Recognition Award from Tanzanian Government -2016.
Petronila Mlowe MCIEH FRSPH is a Senior Food Safety Auditor in UK local Government. Experienced Food Safety Trainer, food regulatory role. Vice Chair of Britain Tanzania Society and Trustee for Tanzania Development Trust as well as TUHEDA. In 2014, she founded Food Safety & Quality Consultancy providing Food Hygiene training services to food businesses in UK and Tanzania. The aim is to enhance food safety knowledge and skills to businesses by providing understanding of principles of food safety and how to incorporate knowledge with practical to control hazards throughout food chain.
Statement of Problem: Food safety concern is certainly a dividing factor between producers in the least resourced developing countries and the consumers in more developed countries. Small holder producers in developing countries like Tanzania lack quality assurance capabilities which lead to inability to sell agricultural products in more affluent markets that operate under strict food safety standards. An understanding of quality requirements has the potential to boost trade opportunity for small holders and motivate them to commercialise farming. A study carried out in Dar es Salaam Tanzania found that water used to irrigate vegetable was contaminated with various species of microbes. This potentially endangers consumer and make such products not exportable. Purpose of this Study: The study shows that how the problem of quality can be alleviated. The objective was to explore agricultural practices in Tanzania focusing on traceability. Traceability is a legislative part of management plan where stakeholders involved in the food production can track the food production and take relevant action where appropriate. Earlier stages of production have been addressed in previous studies and assessment of microbial quality of vegetables irrigated with polluted waters in Dar es Salaam city, Tanzania therefore for brevity it was excluded. Samples of green beans and avocado was collected from 50 villages in the southern Tanzania and will be tested for microbes, hazardous chemicals and physical contaminants to explore quality assurance practices. Products collected were then sampled using Mass Spectrometry and Liquid Chromatography. Results was statistically analysed and graphs drawn reflecting the findings.
TRU-ID Ltd., Canada
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Amanda M Naaum completed her undergraduate studies in Molecular Biology at the University of Guelph, followed by a PhD focused on molecular diagnostics for Food Authenticity and Traceability at the same institute. Her research focus is DNA-based assay development for species identification. She was awarded the IUFoST Young Scientist Award (2016). From 2015-2018 she was the Lead Molecular Biologist at TRU-ID Ltd., developing tests for use in certification of food and natural health product authenticity. She is currently a Visiting Research Fellow at Queen's University Belfast.
DNA barcoding, first developed in Canada in 2003, has evolved into a standard method for species identification over a wide range of organisms. In particular, food authenticity is one of the most common uses of this technology. The correct labeling of the biological species in food products is one of the critical components of authentic food. Mislabelling of species has economic, health and conservation impacts on a wide scale. As a result, DNA barcoding has been adopted as a regulatory tool by food agencies in several countries. This presentation reviews the use of DNA barcoding for seafood authenticity in particular with a focus on Canadian studies we have conducted. We compare findings from samples collected in restaurants or markets to those collected at import, showing generally increased levels of mislabelling incidences further in the supply chain. We also discuss our work to assess the readiness of public sequence databases to support regulatory testing in Canada and the ways in which citizen scientists can contribute. Finally, we conclude with the next step in DNA authenticity testing. Building on the databases of sequences available, the generation of a regulatory quality database with curated sequences of high quality has been used to create portable real-time PCR testing based on DNA barcoding data. This testing brings the power of the DNA barcode sequence library to the field by allowing testing for target species to be done on site by non-experts without needing to send samples out for Sanger sequencing. The increased accessibility to screening for particular species may help to address potential food fraud at multiple points in the supply chain.