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Achievements of food scientists, horticulturalists and meat scientists acknowledged
Author: Engela Duvenage
Published: 03/11/2016

The excellence of staff and students of the Faculty of AgriSciences have been acknowledged in many ways over the past few months – from food science to horticulture and meat science.

Prof Pieter Gouws of the Department of Food Science was appointed as the South African representative on the International Commission of Food Microbiology and Hygiene during its recent FoodMicro conference in Dublin.

The Department also received accreditation for its undergraduate Food Science degree by the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST). This was in recognition for the high standard of the Food Science degree at Stellenbosch, placing it on par with food science degrees around the world.

In 2015 Prof Gunnar Sigge was elected to the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting Scientific Programme Advisory Panel (AMSPAP) for the 2016 and 2017 versions of the Institute's Annual Meeting and Food Expo. During this IUFoST Congress, Sigge was also invited to chair the Panel for IFT17, which will be held in Las Vegas, USA, from 25 to 28 June 2017. Sigge is one of only two non-Americans to serve on AMSPAP

Prof Louw Hoffman, the SARChI chair in Meat Science and Nutriomics in the Department of Animal Sciences, was elected to serve another term as an honorary member of the council of the South African Wildlife Management Association (SAWMA).He was also a judge in the recent Agri SA Toyota Young Farmer of the Year and Toyota New Harvest of the Year awards.

Students involved in this SARChI Chair also made their mark at the 62nd International Congress of Meat Science and Technology (ICoMST 2016) in Thailand. PhD animal science student Tersia Needham won the award for the best oral presentation by a young researcher for her talk on the use of immunocastration in Dohne Merino ram lambs to optimise growth and carcass quality.

PhD food science student Maxine Jones won second prize in the poster category for young scientists. Her poster focused on how drying and the addition of vinegar changes the physicochemical properties of traditional South African biltong.

Dr Asanda Mditshwa of the Department of Horticultural Science received a special award for continued excellence and achievements from the Agricultural Sector Education and Training Authority (AgriSETA). In 2013 she was a runner-up in the Best Graduate-Internship Awards. She obtained her PhD in December 2015.

CP van der Merwe, a final year student following the BScAgric with Horticulture and Soil Science programme, is the third recipient of the Ballie Wahl merit award. It is sponsored by the Citrus Technical Association (CTA).