Published on 10/01/14

International scientists to share research at October mini-summit in Tifton

By Sharon Dowdy

From tilapia to canned Mandarin oranges, Americans import many staple grocery products from Asian nations like China, Taiwan and Japan. Likewise, these countries import Georgia-grown products—chicken, cotton and pecans.

To share some of the latest food safety research findings, agricultural scientists from the University of Georgia and visiting scientists from five universities in East Asia will meet Oct. 12-15 in Tifton for the seventh annual International Mini-Summit on Food, Policy and the Environment.

The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences’ Office of Global Programs will host more than 25 scientists from China, Taiwan and Japan as part of the summit. This marks an ongoing partnership between UGA, Shanghai Academy of Agricultural Sciences (SAAS), Shanghai Ocean University (SHOU) and National Taiwan Ocean University (NTOU). Each year, the summit is held at one of these institutions.

During the conference on the UGA campus in Tifton, CAES food scientist Yen-Con Hung will discuss disinfection methods for produce and pesticide residues. CAES microbiologist Jinru Chen will provide an overview of her study of foodborne illnesses linked to fresh sprouts. CAES poultry scientist Claudia Dunkley will discuss how poultry production can affect the environment.

UGA scientist Gary Burtle will give an overview of how aquaculture research leads to better management practices at the university. Agricultural and Applied Economics Professor Jeff Mullen will discuss expanded irrigation in the Southeastern United States. CAES agronomist George Vellidis will conduct a precision agriculture demonstration for the visiting scientists.

In turn, the international researchers from China, Taiwan and Japan will share their research findings on the safety of sashimi from blue mackerel, extended shelf life of pomfret fillets, low-carbon agriculture, pond aquaculture in Shanghai, improvements in food safety in poultry products, poultry feed quality and agricultural policy in Taiwan.

“Our economies are so intertwined that we must find ways to work together—this begins with relationships,” said CAES Dean and Director Scott Angle. “While the immediate purpose of the meeting is to share information, the relationships we are creating are just as valuable.”

Prior to arriving in Tifton, the visiting scientists will tour a packing plant in Fort Valley, Georgia. They will be spend the last day of their visit, Oct. 15, at the annual Sunbelt Agricultural Expo in Moultrie, Georgia.

The public is invited to attend the summit presentations on Oct. 13 and Oct. 14 at the Tifton Campus Conference Center. For a detailed agenda of the summit presentations, go to

Sharon Dowdy is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

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