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Media Release: Curtin Malaysia postgraduate student’s innovative idea wins gold medal at World Invention and Innovation Contest

Curtin Jaison

Photo: Jaison (left) displaying his awards with Dean of Faculty of Engineering and Science Prof Lau Hieng Ho and Dr Stephanie Chan

Miri – 8 August 2017 – Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) higher degree by research (HDR) student Jaison Jeevanandam did his university proud by winning a gold medal at the recent 3rd World Invention and Innovation Contest (WiC) 2017.

Jaison won on the merits of his novel idea entitled ‘Multi-compartment Antimicrobial Nanoformulation for Food Packaging’ which he presented at the prestigious international contest held at the Convention Center of Chung Mu Art Hall in Seoul, South Korea.

Jaison was supervised Dr Stephanie Chan Yen Shan and Professor Michael Danquah of the Chemical Engineering Department at Curtin Malaysia’s Faculty of Engineering and Science. His idea was one of 150 innovative ideas winning awards.

The WiC is a 2-day annual contest organised by Korea Invention News (KINEWS) and Asia Invention Association (AIA). Listed among the world’s prestigious invention and innovation events by the International Federation of Inventors’ Association (IFIA) in Switzerland, it is aimed at providing opportunities for students, inventors, innovators and research scientists worldwide to express their creativity and innovativeness through their novel ideas, recognising the vital significance of world innovation and encouraging inventors to continuously innovate.

Contestants comprise students at all academic levels as well as individual inventors, professors, research scientists and organisations, competing in over 20 categories such as agriculture and food industry, medicine and health, industrial design and engineering.

Jaison’s idea to control microbes-mediated food-borne diseases in food uses a novel nanoformulation process.

While nanoparticles are already being used in the food packing industry to reduce microbial inhibition, the nano coating is focused on a single microbial species, thus allowing other species to grow in food. By incorporating different nano-antimicrobial agents in a single nanoformulation to inhibit growth of different microbes, Jaison’s idea for microbial control will help prolong the shelf life of food products and facilitate long-distance transportation and safer storage.

According to Jaison, it will be highly effective in preventing microbial growth in baby food products. He cited a 2016 World Health Organisation report stating that 420,000 people died due to food-borne diseases caused by microbes and 125,000 of them were children below the age of five due to the lower immunity of children towards food-borne diseases.

Organic baby foods contain enriched nutrients which also encourage the growth of microbes that not only spoil the food but also cause illness in infants and children. Jaison said this could pose a huge problem for the global baby food industry which, according to research analysts in the United States, is set to grow steadily at the rate of 12 percent yearly in terms of revenue between 2016 and 2020.

“It is hoped my idea will help solve the challenges in avoiding microbial growth and halt the spread of food-borne diseases among infants through baby food products,” said Jaison.

In addition to the WiC, Jaison’s idea also won a ‘Special Honour of Invention Award’ from the Toronto International Society of Innovation & Advanced Skills (TISIAS) during the recent International Invention and Innovation Competition (iCAN) in Toronto, Canada.

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