What SAAFoST Does
SAAFoST is a National Association which is concerned with advancing the knowledge of Food Science and Technology. This it does through encouraging scientific research, organising meetings, seminars, workshops, exhibitions, congresses, publishing papers and assisting in educational activities. Currently the Association has in the order of 2000 members throughout Southern Africa - the Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Northern branches attend to the regional affairs of the Association. The national secretariat is situated in Durban.
- Eight study grants and eight academic achievement awards, worth R160,000 pa are available to Food Science and Food Technology students via their universities.
- A post-graduate, "Koeppen" scholarship of R25,000 is available annually to an academically excellent bona fide student. All eight food science and technology universities may submit candidates but a single one is selected by a SAAFoST adjudication committee.
- Bursaries are available to matriculants/undergraduates interested in a career in food science and technology - eleven full time students have bursaries in 2013.
- A Travel Grant is available to assist food professionals, who have had papers or posters accepted, to attend international events.
- A Journalism Bursary is available to Professional Members to encourage accurate reporting.
- An International Congress is organised every second year - in 2013, the 20th SAAFoST Biennial Congress was held at the CSIR from 7 - 9 October.
- A Food Exhibition was held in conjunction with the above Congress.
- The, "Dreosti" award is available for the best local scientific paper presented at the Congress.
- The, "Ginsburg", award is available for the best local poster presented at the Congress.
- A distinguished Service Award is presented for exceptional service to the Association.
- The SAAFoST President's Award is presented biennially to an individual or organisation that best advances food science and technology for the supply of safe and wholesome food. In 2013 it was presented to Dr Aubrey Parsons, an Honorary Life Member and former President of the Association (1993 - 2001).
- Workshops or mini-symposia are frequently held between congresses focusing on sectors such as dairy, meat, beverages and others or addressing issues such as food additives, safety, health, irradiation, microwaves, shelf-life, organoleptic properties of food, labelling, new products, etc.
- Monthly, lecture meetings featuring prominent local or overseas experts are organised covering a wide range of subjects of interest to members.
- Information arising from congresses, workshops etc. is often printed and bound or placed on the Association website. Much of this material is housed in the State Library and is available to members and the public.
- SAAFoST was a co-founder of the prestigious South African Journal of Food Science and Nutrition and provided a part of the finance needed to publish the Journal until its publication ceased. The Association launched it's own quarterly magazine, "FST" in January 2012.
- As a representative on the Food Legislation Advisory Group (FLAG), SAAFoST contributes towards the formulation and revision of food regulations as published by the Department of Health.
- Two Meritorious Awards for Journalism are made available for presentation every year - one for the press and the other for radio and television. The awards are made to authors or presenters of objective and scientifically correct articles in the local press or media which contribute towards sound consumer knowledge of controversial and complex food issues.
- Careers in food science and technology are promoted by the production, distribution and presentation of a career DVD, by making comprehensive information on the career available on the website and by organising career "Roadshows" annually, in each of the branch centres of Cape Town, Durban and Gauteng.
- SAAFoST was instrumental in establishing the Food Advisory Consumer Service (FACS) in January 1995 as a resource for South African consumers interested in factually/scientifically correct information on food issues such as health, nutrition, safety, preservatives, colours, additives, chemicals, irradiation, processing, labelling, etc. The Association now administers this internet based service. (www.foodfacts.org.za).
- The Association responds to and challenges misleading articles, advertisements and claims concerning food processing and the food industry.
Click here to read 'SAAFoST in a Nutshell', a quick overview of SAAFoST and the SAAFoST Awards.