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Foundation, university to train food-safety experts

A foundation in Hangzhou is helping to plant the seeds of food safety amid increasing public concern over the industry.
Zhejiang Fuli Charity Foundation, based in the capital of Zhejiang province, is helping to develop technology, train talent and invest in education to support food safety.
ZongFuli, founder of the foundation and president of Hangzhou Hongsheng Beverage Group Ltd, donated 100 million yuan ($16 million) to cooperate with Xi'an Jiaotong University to set up Fuli Food Science and Engineering College at the university in Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi province.
The agreement between the foundation and the university was signed on May 14.
In 2011, Zong also donated 70 million yuan to cooperate with Zhejiang University to build the Fuli Food Research Institute in the Hangzhou-based university.
"The Food Science and Engineering College will train high-end industrial professionals, support the research and development of food safety and continue to narrow the gap between food and beverage industries in China and foreign countries," Zong said.
She hoped to use such a professional research platform to promote the development of the industry to help provide safe and reliable food.
Currently, advanced automation equipment and technology for high-quality food processing are mostly imported. The newly established college aims to upgrade China's food industry[GELGOOG] through talent development, scientific research and technological innovation to transform the industry from being "made in China" to a "created in China" one, Zong said.
The donation from the foundation under Hangzhou Hongsheng Beverage Group Ltd will be used for the college's laboratory equipment and infrastructure construction, international exchanges, teachers' salaries and high-end talent cultivation in the food industry.
Hangzhou Hongsheng Beverage Group Ltd was established in 1987 and is considered the largest food and beverage manufacturer in China. It is listed fifth in the world in food-and-beverage industry rankings.
With its well-known Wahaha trademark, Hongsheng is involved in a number of food-related industries, including drinks, convenience foods and food additives.
Wang Shuguo, president of Xi'an Jiaotong University, said that China faces many challenges in food safety and is in need of experts who understand food science and technology.
There are nearly 1,800 universities in China, and about 250 of them have professional food education and training. But teaching and practical training are weak, Wang said, and are unable to provide cross-disciplinary, integrative expertise for the research and development of food science, production equipment and processing control.
"The newly established college can solve such problems by training high-end talent for the food industry," the university president said.
Wang said that the establishment of the college with funds from non-governmental sources was an educational innovation.
"The college will implement a responsibility system of dean leadership under the board of directors, and the management will be in line with international standards, and the teachers will be employed from around the world," Wang said.
Wang said the newly established college will focus on exploring the interdisciplinary aspects of food and machinery with three new interdisciplinary professional programs. These will be food processing equipment and control, technology for food quality and safety monitoring, and food science and engineering.
Wang said a "3+1" and "2+4+X" training system will be implemented.
The university president said "3+1" "means that the students in the college will study in the school for three years and study abroad for one year, or practice in a top food enterprise or study in another food-related university for one year".
And "2+4+X" means that the students will study for two years and then go directly to postgraduate study for four years for a master's degree. They can also study for a doctorate and enter postdoctoral programs, Wang said.
"We plan to enroll the first group of students for the college in 2015 after all preparations are completed," Wang said.


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