Collaborating with China on food security, safety

By Jane Payumo, Office of International Programs

Hill-in-China-150PULLMAN, Wash. – Scientists from China will come to Washington State University this year following a recent visit to six top Chinese research institutions by WSU faculty to discuss collaborations on food security, safety and processing.

“Chinese laboratories that we visited are very modern and well-equipped, but they face many challenges in data analysis,” said Herbert Hill, Regents professor in chemistry and one of the WSU trip participants. His research includes the potential of ion mobility spectrometry to detect contaminants in food.

Hill examines an IMS instrument with Chinese scholars.

“Through research collaboration, WSU and Chinese scientists can complement each other’s strengths in addressing this challenge,” he said.

Other WSU work, including using microwave processing to enhance food shelf-file and development of food safety control systems, was addressed by Juming Tang, WSU distinguished chair of food engineering and associate director of biological systems engineering, and Barbara Rasco, professor of food science.

“Our trip to China marks exciting progress in stretching WSU’s impact on food safety, security and processing technologies around the globe,” said participant Nancy Magnuson, interim vice president of research.

The visit also facilitated discussions about signing a memorandum of understanding for faculty exchanges, education abroad opportunities, short-term training, online programs and joint degree programs. Many of WSU’s international faculty, scholars and students have been trained in the Chinese institutions that were visited.

The trip was proposed by the WSU Office of International Programs to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service’s Scientific Cooperation Exchange Program, which promotes long-term cooperation in agricultural science and technology to enhance overall relations between the U.S. and China.