Indonesia Needs Biotechnology Researches and Innovations to Increase Food Production.

Biotechnology has become one of the focus in the National Research Master Plan (NRMP) until 2030. The reason behind this was the government’s need for innovative researches that may increase the quality and quantity of food and crop production in Indonesia. In this case, educational institutions have a crucial role in upholding the program. Educational institutions can partake in this master plan by establishing Biotechnology and Food Technology programs.

Universitas Pelita Harapan (UPH) is one of the universities that offer a Biotechnology program that focuses on the studies of cells, cell culture, and tissue. UPH Biotechnology is committed to producing graduates who are able to create business opportunities with products using biotechnology.

In order to support food production in Indonesia, Biotechnology has to collaborate with other disciplines and one of them is Food Technology, which is also available at UPH. UPH Food Technology focuses on nutrition, food quality, and functionality, as well as value-added and effect of processing on food constituents and ingredients.

In Biotechnology UPH, students are equipped with multi-disciplines course subjects that are relevant to the current demand. As an example, through the Functional Food and Nutraceutical course, students will obtain an understanding of functional food and its development. Students are also equipped with a variety of skills to create products for industries, including the food industry through their ability to utilize Bioprocessing and fermentation technology, enzymology technique, and many more.

Moreover, the lecturers of Biotechnology UPH are always developing new researches. One of them, Tjie Jan Tan, a Senior Lecturer at UPH Biotechnology, has at least 13 publications including books and journals. Most of his researches talked about food technology. One of his books, ‘Probiotics & Beyond’, aims to reveal the important role of probiotics for the body; another one of his books, while in his other book, ‘In Vitro and In Vivo Prebiotic Activities of Purified Oligosaccharides Derived from Various Local Bananas (Musa sp.): Tanduk, Uli, Raja Sereh, and Cavendish’, he aims to evaluate the activity of oligosaccharide or probiotics in a variety of different species of local bananas.

Both the Biotechnology and Food Technology Department of UPH have always encouraged its students to use the knowledge that has been given to them to caret innovations that may answer the current trends and needs. Aside from in-class activities, UPH Food Technology also encourages students’ innovative creativity through Food Explore, one of the faculty’s biggest annual event. In 2019, Food Explore 12 UPH brought the topic ‘Food Sustainability’ which is very relevant to the government’s focus back then. The event was filled with a series of talk shows and seminars. Moreover, there was an exhibition showing 30 food innovations that students created with unique ingredients; made by ensuring both its nutritional quality and benefits. Some of them were edamame-based healthy snacks, low-sugar boba, ice cream made from sweet potatoes, and many more.

So, for those of you who want to pursue higher education and are interested in Biotechnology and Food Technology, wait are you waiting for? Enroll yourself in UPH and realize your dream of becoming a part of a generation that improves the food quality in Indonesia. (na)