2 November 2011

CUHK Showcases Innovative Platform for Authentication of Dried Seafood and Tonic Food Products at InnoCarnival 2011 and China Hi-Tech Fair



The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) will take part in the InnoCarnival 2011 from 5 to 13 November at the Hong Kong Science Park and the China Hi-Tech Fair (CHTF), the largest and most influential exhibition on high technologies in China, from 16 to 21 November at the Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Centre. This is the eighth year that the University has participated in CHTF and this year, a total of 18 technological innovations developed by CUHK will be exhibited. One of them is the project 'First-Stage Development of Platform for Authentication of Dried Seafood and Tonic Food Products' led by Prof. Kwan Hoi-shan, Director of the Food Research Centre, CUHK, with a funding of HK$3 million from the Innovation and Technology Commission of the Hong Kong Government. It is developed for DNA-based authentication of common dried seafood and tonic food products in Hong Kong. 

Thanks to its duty-free policy, Hong Kong has been recognized as the largest regional entrepôt for dried seafood and tonic food products. However, it is still quite difficult for the industry and the relevant authorities to verify the origins and species of these products for authentication, quality control and assurance, to avoid issues such as the recent case of fake bloody bird nest. With Testing and Certification Industry being one of the six priority industries, it is important to reinforce relevant development. 

In his project, Prof. Kwan develops a platform and database for DNA-based species authentication of common dried seafood and tonic food products in Hong Kong by providing essential DNA information that can be used by the government authorities, local industry and testing centres. The platform will enable the industry to regularly monitor and verify the origins and species of these products and will also provide the authorities concerned with molecular references. Such efforts are deemed useful to curb mislabelling and fraudulent substitution in the local market. The project will help enhance the reputation of the local industry and boost the confidence of the public and tourists in purchasing these products in Hong Kong. In the long-term, the platform will serve as an important foundation for setting up a comprehensive food safety and quality management system for food products. 

The platform being developed will provide both essential morphological data and DNA sequence datasets for species authentication of major dried seafood and tonic food products being sold in the local market. Apart from a diagnostic kit for DNA-based species authentication, a rapid kit that enables quick differentiation of genuine and fake products will also be developed for front-line quality control. In future, a comprehensive Food DNA Database will also be developed to facilitate authentication of other food products. 

Apart from the above project, CUHK will showcase another 17 latest innovation projects at CHTF. All are welcome. 

The 13th China Hi-Tech Fair

Date: 16-21 November 2011 (Wednesday to Monday)
Time: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Venue: Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center, Fuhua Third Road, Futian District, Shenzhen(Booth no. of CUHK: 8G01)
Transportation:

Arrive Lok Ma Chau MTR station, then enter Shenzhen via Futian border. Take Shenzhen metro to Convention and Exhibition Center station

Website:

http://www.chtf.com/

Prof. Kwan Hoi-shan, Director of the Food Research Centre, CUHK
Prof. Kwan Hoi-shan, Director of the Food Research Centre, CUHK

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