BINTULU: Two research innovations from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) Bintulu Campus won gold medals at the International Conference and Exposition on Inventions by Institutions of Higher Learning (Pecipta 2019), taking place at Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia recently.
The research work on ‘sago prebiotic’ by Assoc Prof Dr Shahrul Razid Sarbini, who is the dean of UPM Bintulu’s Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, was adjudged the best in Pecipta 2019’s ‘Health, Medical, Pharmaceutical, Food and Supplemental’ cluster
It is said that prebiotic sago, made from modified sago starch, has been patented under the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO), and has also undergone pre-clinical research with the Institute for Medical Research (IMR).
Prebiotics are compounds of food that induce the growth or activities of beneficial microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi.
In addition, the sago prebiotic research group members, Siti Aisyah Zaman from Sarawak Biodiversity Centre (SBC) and Awang Zulfikar Rizal Awang Seruji from Craun Research, had also won ‘Best Research Paper Award’ at the Nutrition, Chemical and Environmental Engineering Conference in 2015; and the University Consortium Award in 2016.
“This innovation has the potential to contribute to the rural economy, especially in Sarawak. With the modification of sago starch into a prebiotic, the sale price of sago is expected to increase, and this could also uplift the reputation of sago as an important crop commodity in Sarawak and even in Malaysia,” said Shahrul during the judgment session.
Meanwhile, Prof Dr Osumanu Haruna Ahmed led the research work on ‘soil and crop productivity management’, backed by his 10 years’ worth of experience in this area – making him the authority in Malaysia’s agricultural research landscape.
His innovations, which have been used at several agricultural sites in Sarawak and also across Peninsular Malaysia, have proven to enhance agricultural productivity.
His research project has also produced three post-graduate medical students, including Dr Latifah Omar who was also involved in Pecipta2019, and is currently a lecturer at UPM Bintulu.
Overall, UPM sent 20 research teams – bagging 11 gold medals and nine silver medals from 11 clusters and three categories contested.
Pecipta 2019 is one of the largest innovation competition platforms in Malaysia, joined by nearly 500 research teams from public and private universities across Malaysia.
Source : www.theborneopost.com
Date of Input: 02/10/2019 | Updated: 14/10/2019 | asrizam
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