1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
The objective of this Annex is to establish the Center for Agricultural Products Processing, co-located at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Mechanization Sciences, Beijing, People’s Republic of China and the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Western Regional Research Center, Albany, California, United States. Each center will conduct research, develop scientific tools and technology, and introduce improved methods for agricultural products processing in combination with other human pursuits that socially and economically maintain livelihoods and protect the environment through information exchange, education and proactive extension services. 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):
Cooperation under this Annex may include, but is not limited to, the following topic areas: (1) Products Development Technology: Industrialized production for traditional foods, new products development aiming at promoting health foods, functional foods and value-added foods. (2) Processing Engineering Technology: Grading technology; technologies of quality grading and on-line fast testing and examining; technologies of super critical liquid extraction, membrane separating and concentration; vacuum microwave drying, far infrared drying technology; technology of ultrahigh pressure; high intensive pulses magnetic field sterilizing and high intensive pulses electric fields sterilizing technology. (3) Agro-products Bio-Engineering and Information: Technologies of enzyme engineering, biological fermentation engineering, automation technology of electronic information, standardized processing technology and traceability of agricultural products. (4) Utilization of Agro-material Resources: Technology of comprehensive and high efficient utilization of agricultural waste. (5) Information services and technology transfer: Assemble, manage and publish data and information resources for research, education and public service. To generate broad interest and increased activities, the Parties will, upon mutual consent, involve other interested government agencies and the scientific and business communities of both countries in cooperative programs, trade capacity-building activities, and scientific cooperation and exchanges in implementation of this Annex.
3. Progress Report:
The joint center for Agricultural Product Processing was approved and signed by USDA REE Under Secretary and MOST VM during the 4th JWG meeting. This virtual center is co-headquartered at USDA ARS Western Regional Research Center (WRRC), Albany, CA and Chinese Academy of Agricultural Mechanization Sciences (CAAMS), Beijing, China. Dr. Howard Zhang, the US Director of the Agricultural Products and Processing Virtual Center has recently proposed to host Summit meetings at leadership levels, in governments, industry and academia with the goals to better establish a solid foundation in scientific exchange and technical projects. In light of climate change and global food security both parties should further collaborate at policy levels. The summits may take place on a bi-year basis focusing on important issues such as food security and obesity, and potential sources of funding to address such issues. The summits should invite high level governmental officials to increase the visibility and impact. Industry partners should also be included to enhance the technology transfer potential of projects. Nanoscale science, engineering and technology have been recognized as a new frontier of science for food and agriculture for collaboration. An International Symposium on Applications of Nanotechnology and Biosensors in Agriculture and Food (2011 ISANBAF) was jointly organized and conducted by NC-1194: Nanotechnology and Biosensors (a multistate research committee consisting of LGU researchers) and Zhejiang University on April 14-16, 2011 in Hangzhou, China. 95 scientists attended the symposium, and 30 research papers were delivered at the meeting to present and discuss novel theories, frameworks, innovative methodologies, tools, and applications. Another meeting entitled ”Food Science and Nano-technology Symposium” was held September 22, 2011 at Jiangnan University, co-organized by University of Massachusetts - Amherst, UC Davis and Jiangnan University. Dr. Y. Martin Lo of University of Maryland through his collaboration with Prof. Hong Fu of Fuzhou University have successfully raised the awareness of the importance of regulating trans fatty acids (TFA) in food products. Started with their article published in Journal of Food Science 73(8): S383-391 in 2008 about assessment of TFA in popular foods in China, followed by several articles (2009; 2010; 2011) on developing new systems to produce low TFA hydrogenated oil, a new regulation has been put forth by the China Ministry of Health that starting from January 2012 all processed food must clearly label its TFA content. One major hydrogenated oil company in Shanghai is now collaborating with Prof. Fu to scale up the new technology for commercial production of hydrogenated oil sans TFA. Such a process, once succeeded, will have broader impacts on global operations for hydrogenated oil production. This is considered a monumental success for the persistent collaborative efforts over the years and should help safeguarding food supplies in China and beyond.