Senior Chinese Diplomats Pay Visit to Professor Da-Wen Sun in 2010

Pictured (l-r) UCD Professor of Food and Biosystems Engineering Da-Wen Sun with Chinese Ambassador His Excellency Mr. LUO Linquan

On 11 December 2010, a 10-member delegation from the Chinese Embassy in Ireland led by senior Chinese diplomats His Excellency Ambassador Liu Biwei, Counsellor Lan Heping and Counsellor Zhang Shujing visited Professor Da-Wen Sun and UCD Food Refrigeration and Computerised Food Technology (FRCFT). This event started with a research seminar followed by a technical tour in the research labs and experimental demonstrations.

Professor Da-Wen Sun, UCD School of Agriculture, Food Science and Veterinary Medicine, chaired the research seminar. At the opening speech, Ambassador Liu highly praised the excellent quality of research work in food engineering conducted by Prof Sun and his team, stressed the importance of collaboration between UCD and China, and encouraged the Chinese students to study hard to contribute to UCD research, and to play a role in promoting cultural exchange between Ireland and China. At the seminar, four presentations were given to the Chinese delegation to showcase the UCD research in food engineering, including cutting-edge research work conducted in UCD FRCFT in three EU Research for SMEs projects and one FIRM project. The three EU projects are COOL-MEAT: A Novel Method for Improving the Vacuum Cooling of Cooked Meats, MINISCRYSTAL: Method for Improving the Quality of Frozen Foods by Assisting the Freezing Process and Reducing the Size of the Ice Crystals, and ULTRAFINEWINE: Novel Method for Assisting and Accelerating the Aging Process of Wine. The FIRM project is Rapid, Objective and Quantitative Determination of Meat Quality by Non-Destructive and Non-Contact Hyperspectral Imaging System. After the seminar, while touring the research facilities, experiments were performed to demonstrate the use of vacuum cooling for rapid chilling of foods, enhancing food processing by power ultrasound and application of hyperspectral imaging  technique for food quality evaluation and control. The delegation showed great interests in these novel and powerful technologies and discussed enthusiastically into details. In the concluding remarks, Ambassador Liu thanked Professor Sun for his invitation and wished that UCD food engineering research would continue to prosper and hoped that its collaboration with China could be further enhanced.

UCD Food Refrigeration and Computerised Food Technology, directed by Prof Sun, is an internationally recognized centre of excellence for food engineering research and education. The main research activities of UCD FRCFT include cooling, drying and refrigeration processes and systems, quality and safety of food products, bioprocess simulation and optimisation, and computer vision technology. Up to now, UCD FRCFT has published over 500 papers and 10 books, including more than 200 refereed journal papers. UCD FRCFT has established extensive research collaboration with Chinese universities and research institutes. Currently three Chinese students funded by UCD-CSC scholarship scheme are studying for their PhD degrees under supervision of Prof Sun. The UCD-CSC scheme is affiliated with the Ministry of Education of China to assist Chinese students to pursue postgraduate research in UCD leading to a PhD.

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