Brunei: Halal Science Centre in offing

Move to innovate food production technology.

imgresBRUNEI Darussalam is working towards the establishment of a Halal Science Centre, Halal Product Academy and collaborating with well-known universities abroad.

The efforts are taken in a bid to develop and strengthen the country’s capabilities in halal science and innovation as food and non-food products are produced extensively.

Minister of Industry and Primary Resources Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri SetiaHj Yahya Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar said this in his keynote address at the opening ceremony of the International Seminar on Halal Science and Innovative Product Development.

“To pursue matters pertinent to halal science and technology, we are working closely with the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Ministry of Health and Universiti Brunei Darussalam towards the establishment of BruneiDarussalam Halal Science Centre,” said YB Pehin Dato Hj Yahya, adding that with the establishment of thecentre, Brunei’s capabilities in halal science and technology such as in halal authentication, detection, innovation as well as research and development will be further developed and strengthened.

A booklet provided at the event stated that the centre will analyse food products, both raw and processed; food ingredients; and non-food products; and do research and development on analytical methods and products on halal-related issues.

To firm up decisions on halal matters, the minister said that the government will set up a Halal Product Academy which consists of syariah scholars, halal scientists and halal industry experts. “This is very much relevant nowadays when food and non-food products are produced extensively using a wide variety of ingredients and scientifically labelled,” he said.

Brunei is currently streamlining its capabilities in the field of analytical services with world-class technologies and experts such as working together with Japan Food Research Laboratories in Japan as well as Osaka University in Japan and Florida State University in the United States.

At the event bearing the theme “Making Connections Finding Solutions”, he said that the food chain has become so long and people’s lifestyles have changed significantly. This, he continued, has resulted in the need to preserve and process meat into various meat products.

“With technological advances in the meat processing industry, the tendency to adulterate and cause fraud are increasing to get more business profits at the expense of consumers,” he said.

The technological advancement is also applied to other products including health supplements and cosmetics, he added. The halal issues include blood-derived ingredients in food and dietary supplement products, animal-derived gelatin in food and pharmaceutical products as well as animal-derived collagen-peptides in cosmetics and dietary supplement products, he explained.

On the sidelines of the event, Hj Sabri Hj Mohd Taha, head of Halal Industry Innovation Centre, gave positive response on the initiative of the Halal Product Academy. Asked when it will be established, he said, “In a very near future, InsyaAllah.” He said that the Halal Product Academy would promote collaboration among ulama, halal scientists and experts from halal industries in ensuring a product is derived from halalsource. Hj Sabri also delivered his presentation titled “Nurturing the local halal industry” at the event.

The two-day seminar, which was organised by the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources through itsHalal Industry Innovation Centre, aims to share original works of world-class scientists in the halal field on the cutting edge technologies and advancements and to establish an international platform for interaction on halal science and halal business between participants and international halal experts.

The seminar is divided into three sessions, which are Halal Science Innovation, Halal Detection or Certification and Halal Innovative Product Development. Twenty-five working papers are being presented by various speakers. Six local speakers are from the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Ministry of Health,Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Halal Industry Innovation Centre, Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources and State Mufti Department, while 20 invited speakers are from Japan, Korea, Indonesia, the Netherlands, Thailand, the United States, Malaysia, France and Australia. More than 250 participants, including from foreign countries attended the seminar.

The sessions continue in the morning today while the closing ceremony will take place later in the afternoon.

The Brunei Times