UST researchers participate in food science, nutrition int’l conference hosted by Universiti Malaysia Sabah


Three faculty members from the University of Santo Tomas, namely, Assoc. Prof. Elizabeth H. Arenas, Ph.D., from the College of Education; Prof. Ross Vasquez, Ph.D. and Assoc. Prof. Franelyne P. Casuga, Ph.D., from the UST Faculty of Pharmacy, presented their respective studies during an international conference sponsored by the Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS).

The conference which was spearheaded by the Faculty of Food Science and Nutrition of UMS took place from August 24 to 25, 2022. With the theme “Future Food: Emerging Trends, Health and Diversity”, the conference gathered hundreds of food scientists, technologists, and health specialists served as an avenue for experts worldwide to disseminate knowledge, share experiences and novel ideas, and discuss the latest research within the Food Science and Technology, Food Service, and Nutrition. The conference focused on the following areas of food science: innovative food products and processing, food safety, security and sustainability, nutrition, food anthropology, and gastronomy.  

Dr. Arenas presented a scientific poster on “Quality Assessment of Vegan Okara Sausage During Storage.” Results revealed that okara is a promising ingredient for plant-based sausage meat analogues and okara sausages can be kept satisfactorily at chilling temperature up to eight weeks. This study was funded by the DOST – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development under the  Collaborative Research and Development to Leverage Philippine Economy (CRADLE) program.

Dr. Vasquez’s scientific poster on “Safety Assessment of Canarium ovatum (Pili) Pomace as a Functional Food Ingredient for Metabolic Disorder” highlighted that the estimated median lethal dose (LD50) of pili pomace was more than 5000 mg/kg BW.  Pili pomace is safe for  repeated doses in short- and long-term exposure in rats as the serum triglyceride, total cholesterol, serum bilirubin, and liver enzyme levels were within normal values up to 90 days of treatment.

Meanwhile, Dr. Casuga delivered an oral presentation on “In Vivo Toxicity Studies and In Vitro Assays of Pili (Canarium ovatum Engl .) Oils Directed to Metabolic Syndrome.” The study confirmed that Canarium ovatum oils are safe for use in repeated doses either short term or long-term use and the oils have potential in lowering blood glucose level and blood cholesterol level and have potential in preventing neurodegeneration. These pili studies were funded by the DOST – Philippine Council for Health Research and Development.

The two-day conference featured eight keynote speakers, 114 oral presenters, and 43 poster presentations from participants worldwide. 

Arenas, Vasquez, and Casuga are affiliated with the UST Graduate School and Research Center for the Natural and Applied Sciences. 

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