Mekong Institute organized a 5-day Regional Training Program on the “Safe Use of Additives in Food” on July 25-29, 2022 at Mekong Institute, Thailand. The training course aims to enhance the participants’ understanding of food additives and their functional uses, their application in different food products, and the safe allowable levels of use. Likewise, the course aims to enhance awareness on the regulations, labeling requirements and the emerging trends in food additive use. Twenty-three CLMV participants from relevant government agencies, research institutions, and food processing enterprises attended this training course.
“Food -- fresh and processed -- is an important agenda in Mekong Region’s efforts to accelerate its development to becoming a global business hub. Agriculture and tourism sectors remain a priority in this region, and food is particularly significant for the tourism sector. Hence, it is essential to understand the appropriate application of additives following the set regulations to ensure the food is safe,” said Mr. Suriyan Vichitlekarn, Executive Director of Mekong Institute, in his welcome and opening remarks. He encouraged the participants to share their relevant key challenges at work and actively interact with the experts and their peers throughout the training program.
As part of the training requirement, participants were requested to develop action plans that will allow them to apply the knowledge and skill gained from the training. A total of 17 group and individual action plans were developed, mostly about raising awareness on the safe use of food additives through localized training programs, developing guidelines, and incorporating the topic into existing food-related courses in universities. Some participants opted to test and apply additives that can improve the color or texture of products or prolong the product's shelf-life.
Funded by the New Zealand Aid Programme, this training program was organized under the Mekong Institute Food Safety Project PROSAFE, which aims to strengthen the food safety capabilities of agri-food supply chain stakeholders in CLMV.