Seafood Provenance Project showcased to NSW Senator
Representatives from the Seafood Provenance Project, led by the Australia's Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), recently showcased their latest research outputs to Senator The Hon Tim Ayres and other major stakeholders. UNSW's A/Professor Jes Sammut (Chief Investigator on the project and Honorary Research Fellow at ANSTO), and Dean of Science Professor Sven Rogge attended the meeting.
Jes Sammut and ANSTO staff member / Adjunct Professor in the Centre for Ecosystem Science Dr Debashish Mazumder worked closely with Sydney Fish Market to deliver nuclear-based technologies that can be used by wholesalers, retailers, compliance officers and other actors in the seafood supply chain. The project team showcased a number of initiatives including the development and application of a handheld XRF (an Olympus Vanta pXRF) to produce elemental profiles of seafood samples to determine their origin and production methods. A key member of the project team was Dr Karthik Gopi, a former honours and PhD student supervised by Jes Sammut and Dr Debashish Mazumder, who conducted the baseline laboratory work and produced mathematical models to process isotopic and elemental data for provenance determination. Additionally, Dita Malo, a former honours student of Jes and Debashish developed and tested the protocols for handheld scanning of seafood on the market floor.
Senator Tim Ayres, the Assistant Minister for Trade and Assistant Minister for Manufacturing, praised the project team for delivering industry-relevant provenance tools.
“The success of this project was underpinned by industry involvement and a multidisciplinary team of researchers from ANSTO, UNSW, the National Measurement Institute and Macquarie University. At every stage of the research program, we have ensured that industry needs were met,” said Jes Sammut.
“Former UNSW students, Dr Karthik Gopi and Dita Malo, were well supported by Industry and Government and spearheaded the research. Their research was ground-breaking and will help protect seafood supply chain actors and consumers from food fraud,” said Jes Sammut.
The project is aligned with UNSW’s commitment to translate research into meaningful societal outcomes and impacts, and the research was funded by Sydney Fish Market and the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, as well as ANSTO.