KARACHI      -       The food scientists have to play a very important role in society. The food industry has become one of the fastest-growing businesses of the country and it could expand its revenue a lot if qualified food scientists are inducted into the industry.

The Food Science and Technology Department of the University of Karachi has been doing an extraordinary job by producing talented and skillful food scientists. These youngsters would become the backbone of the food industry in Pakistan and hopefully, we would be able to compete with the rest of the world in this domain.

These views were expressed by the speakers during the inauguration ceremony of a newly renovated seminar hall at the University of Karachi on Thursday. The Consulate General of Malaysia Khairul Nazran Abd Rahman, the Chief Executive Officer United King Sheikh Muhammad Tehseen and Karachi University Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Khalid Mahmood Iraqi jointly inaugurated the United King Seminar Hall at the Department of Food Science and Technology, KU.

Chief guest Khairul Abd Rahman expressed that this new center would be a place for looking back on that rich history in grateful remembrance. He said that it would be a place to think about the future and how this profound heritage could shape and inform tomorrow’s world in the food industry.

“Food scientists are the wizards of the food industry. Food science and technology professionals have the role of advancing the science of food, ensuring safe and abundant food supply and contributing to healthier people everywhere.”

Consulate General of Malaysia Khairul Rahman said that the department of food science and technology plays an important role to serve as a foundational resource for public outreach and education and to address misperception and misinformation about processed foods.

He shared that with an intake of 1.42 million tones of Malaysian palm products in 2018, Pakistan was the fourth-largest importer behind India, EU and China, which is about 49 percent of our total export to Pakistan.

However, he mentioned that unfortunately, there have been attempts in Pakistan to label palm oil as unsuitable for food. But, he claimed that this is basically misleading and does not portray the spirit of brotherly relations between the two nations.

He expressed that the Malaysian government might set up the Center of Excellence for Palm Oil within the University of Karachi and intends to support relevant activities including training, student attachment at the Malaysian Palm Oil Board, supporting research activities and seminar sponsorship.

The KU VC Professor Dr Khalid Iraqi informed the audience that Karachi University never compromises upon the merit and that is why it has earned a good reputation from local and international industries and many of leading business companies are now working with the University of Karachi on different platforms.

He expressed that the food science and technology department is producing well-trained human resource for the market and food-related industries could be benefited from the research of faculty members and students.

“Students should not hesitate to face challenges because it helps us in learning and exploring new dimensions as well as enhancing the skills of the individuals.”

The CEO United King Sheikh Muhammad Tehseen expressed that it was a small step towards bridging the gap between the academia and the industries and observed that local industries need solid support and help from the academia to further establish their businesses.

“The contribution in the education sector is our topmost priority and as the food industry is increasing day by day we will need to look after its scientific needs and impact and these food scientists will be great assets for us in the coming future.”

He said that the provincial food department also seeks help and support from the department of food science and technology to design its working area, rules and regulations and other important matters.

The former Chairman All Pakistan Restaurant Association Waqas Azeem expressed that academic institutes and industries would come closer in the near future as they are the need for each other.

The representative of the Sindh Food Department Zulfiqar Ali Nizamani, departmental chairperson Professor Dr Shahina Naz, faculty members Professor Dr Syed Asad Sayeed and Professor Dr Abid Husnain, Dr Farha Essa of Dr Essa Laboratory and Diagnostic Center also spoke on the occasion while representatives of APRA, Karachi Association Sweets and Nimco, Korangi Association of Trade and Industry and Federal B Area Association of Trade and Industry attended the event.

Later, Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the KU VC Professor Dr Khalid Iraqi and CEO United King Sheikh Muhammad Tehseen to promote student’s activities in the department and to develop joint academic and industrial co-operation.