USSEC Supports International Conference on Tempe in Indonesia
- General News
The International Conference on tempe and its related products, organized by Atma Jaya University in collaboration with Food Review Indonesia, was held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia from February 15-17.
Tempe is a popular Indonesian fermented soyfood consumed by all sectors of the local population, and is quickly catching on as a health food in the Asian region, as well as in the West. As its native land of origin, Indonesia dominates global tempe production.
Key discussions at the conference focused on the applications of biotechnology, best practice approaches by the industry and tempe businesses, the socio-cultural and historical significance of tempe, and international policies governing its production, sale and market acceptance. The conference also included workshops and a pre-conference field trip to various sites of attraction in Yogjarkarta, famed for its UNESCO heritage palace complex.
The conference was attended by participants hailing from a range of sectors such as the food industry, research institutions, universities, and healthcare arenas, as well as nutritionists and government officials. Beside the conference program, networking opportunities abounded among the researchers, professionals and youth conference delegates.
The conference was divided into two sessions: General Conference and Youth Conference. Speakers included both international and national speakers of prominence, such as Dr. Mark Messina, Professor Dominique A. Vuitton, Dr. Dong Soon Suh, Professor Che Ok Jeon, Professor Busaba Yongsmith, Professor F.G. Winarno, Professor Mary Astuti, Dr. Roy Sparringa, and Professor Made Astawan.
USSEC supported the conference by covering the cost of speakers Dr. Messina, an associate professor and nutrition consultant, and Dr. Astawan, professor of Food, Nutrition and Health at Bogor Agricultural University.
Dr. Messina presented the topic “Soy and Health: Benefits and Controversies.” He highlighted research supporting the health benefits of soyfoods in the prevention of heart disease and breast cancer, and in supporting skin health and men’s health, while dispelling myths about the potentially harmful effects of soyfoods, such as concerns over soy intake increasing breast cancer risk, feminizing men and increasing the risk of gout. The presentation was well received and considerable discussions and interaction followed, with members of the audience asking several questions mostly relating to health effects. Dr. Astawan presented the success story, “Rumah Tempe Indonesia (RTI): A Center of Excellence.” USSEC has worked extensively with RTI, whose goal is to improve Indonesia’s tempe industry.