1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
The objective of this Annex is to establish the ‘virtual’ Joint U.S.-Sino Food Safety Research Center between the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), Shanghai, the People’s Republic of China. ARS and SJTU, hereinafter referred to as the “Parties”, which hereby affirm their mutual interest in, and desire to promote and develop cooperation in training and research programs through collaboration in the ‘Center.’ This Annex is subject to the terms and conditions of the S & T Agreement and the Protocol. In the event of any conflict between the terms and conditions of the S & T Agreement or the Protocol and this Annex, the S & T Agreement and the Protocol shall govern.
1b. Approach (from AD-416):
Cooperative activities may be conducted in food safety and all the related fields cooperated in the future. Cooperative activities in other areas may be undertaken and included within the scope of this Memorandum by mutual decision of the Parties in accordance with thee enabling authorities of each Party. Cooperative organizations also may include Purdue University of the United States and Shanghai Engineering Research Center of Food Safety of China. Cooperation under this Annex may include, but is not limited to, the following topic areas: • Develop new rapid pathogen detection processes and effective assessment and control systems to resolve the obstacles related to food safety occurred in food industries and business. • Develop new analysis methods of chemical hazards in foods and their surrounding environments. • Basic research on food safety issues. • Food safety technological standards. • Recent priority and specific targeted research areas involve: -Using nucleic acid and/or protein-type of biomarkers to screen the presence of Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, Vibrio parahaemolyticus and other pathogens and toxins; identification and characterization of their toxic genes -Developing rapid and effective pathogen concentration/capture processes -Integrated the detection and capture processes to form automated detection platforms that are suitable for high-throughput needs. Cooperation arrangements may include: • Exchange of scholars and students between Jiao Tong University and ARS for six month or longer terms • Exchange information through seminars during short visits • Arrangements of annual research meetings between Parties to evaluate the progress and effectiveness of established collaborations and to propose new collaboration opportunities. The annual meetings should take place alternately between US and China. • Whenever possible, the Parties will consider developing joint research proposals geared toward solving food safety related specific trade issues. • Establishment of a Joint US-Sino Food Safety Research Center among Parties To generate broad interest and increased activities, the Parties will, upon mutual consent, involve other interested stakeholders and entities that may contribute to improved technological processes including value added and agricultural utilization through the engagement of the scientific and business communities, trade capacity-building activities, and scientific cooperation and exchanges during the implementation of this Annex. These activities may be driven towards the ultimate goal of improving the nutritional food safety of the food supply.
3. Progress Report:
1) ARS-ERRC established a non-funded Cooperative Agreement with China Agricultural University on March 13, 2012, to address “Food Safety & Quality, Application of Novel Technologies & Utilization of Waste Pomace from Fruit & Vegetable Processing-Collaborative Research.” 2) The Deputy Director of SJTU-Bor Luh FSC visited ARS-ERRC to present a seminar on food safety research progress in his labs and discuss additional collaborative efforts. 3) An Associate Professor of Food Science, Fujian Agricultural & Forestry University, is visiting ARS-ERRC, Wyndmoor to develop predictive models for C. sakazakii in reconstituted powdered infant formula, and L. monocytogenes in fresh-cut cantaloupe and liquid eggs. A manuscript on C. sakazakii in reconstituted infant formula has been accepted for publication: Two other manuscripts on L. monocytogenes are in preparation. 4) An ARS scientist assisted a Ph.D. student from Nanjing Agricultural University to develop a proposal on a predictive model for thermally processed foods. The student was awarded a scholarship under the State Scholarship Fund by the China Scholarship Council to pursue her study in the USA as a visiting student at ERRC for 14 months starting in August 2012. 5) Scientists from the Shanghai Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau and at East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai are working with scientist from ARS-WRRC on sensitive and specific detection of Norovirus in fruit and vegetable products. 6) ARS-WRRC also has a research project with the Shanghai Shuneng Irradiation Technology Company, (SSITC), to develop detection technologies for foodborne pathogens and to validate the use of electron beam radiation for reduction of foodborne pathogens. 7) ARS-NCAUR, Center Peoria is hosting two scientists from the Henan Academy of Agricultural Sciences (HAAS). Both are here to learn existing methods for detecting mycotoxins in foods, and to collaboratively develop new methods. 8) ARS-Quality & Safety Assessment Research Unit is hosting a visiting scientist from the China Agricultural University, Beijing China, to learn hyperspectral imaging techniques and to collect hyperspectral imaging data on aflatoxin-infected corn kernels. 9) The Biosciences Research Laboratory, Fargo, ND is collaborating with the North Dakota State University’s Soil Science Department on the environmental fate and transport of endogenous hormones from a production agriculture setting. An ARS project working with a particular hormone conjugate is being carried out by a PhD graduate student from Inner Mongolia, China. 10) A BARC scientist recently concluded a productive six month visit to China, during which she established two food safety research programs, delivered a keynote speech in the Food Safety Symposium, discussed food safety issues with fresh-cut produce processors, served on the editorial board of a food science journal, and visited several institutes to give seminars and discuss research collaborations.