Combating Food Fraud using Nuclear Technology workshop

- Project Review
- Introduction of the Project Leaders


FNCA Workshop on Combating Food Fraud using Nuclear Technology

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Report of
FNCA 2023 Workshop on Combating Food Fraud
using Nuclear Technology Project

December 5, 2023

The FNCA project Combating Food Fraud using Nuclear Technology (CFF) approved by the FNCA coordinators meeting in June 2022. The project aims to undertake research for the establishment of a food provenance technology platform and a federated database for key priority food items to mitigate the incidents of fraud in the supply chain. The outcomes of this project will contribute to the larger age of the Pacific region through the development of scientific capacity of the participating countries in the application of nuclear analysis techniques in food traceability.

Photo of workshop

FY2023 FNCA online Workshop on CFF project hosted by ANSTO, Australia, was held on December 5, 2023 to discuss with the participating countries regarding the implementation plan of the CFF project including selection of food items, sample collection and analysis plan for 2024. The meeting also had a training and knowledge sharing session to discuss the application of nuclear technology on food fraud mitigation.

The Workshop was attended by 40 participants from 9 FNCA member countries, namely, Australia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Japan (observer), Malaysia, Mongolia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, including workshop staffs.

Photo of workshop


Summary of
FNCA 2023 Workshop on Combating Food Fraud
using Nuclear Technology Project

December 5, 2023

A total of nine FNCA Member States attended the meeting, facilitated by Dr. Debashish Mazumder, Project Leader Combating Food Fraud using Nuclear Technology (CFF). The meeting has three sessions. In the beginning of the sessions, Ms. Susan Bogle, Senior Science Communications Manager, ANSTO acknowledged the traditional owners and custodians of Dharawal land where this meeting has been organized and paid respects to their past, present and emerging. She mentioned that the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have lived on this continent for at least 60,000 years and perhaps longer. The traditional knowledge of country food and animals has enabled them to survive in a very harsh landscape and climate.

Session 1

Chair: Ms. Natascha Spark, Senior Manager, Government and International Affairs, ANSTO

In her opening remarks she mentioned the training course is part of a larger elective effort for social and economic development in our region through the application of nuclear science and technology. She commends Japan for its consistent leadership in the FNCA and their support to keep this going for so many years and expects Japan will continue its support into the future.
Dr. Karina Meredith, Head of Environmental Research theme, ANSTO said in her speech that ANSTO uses the fundamental nuclear science techniques as tools and techniques to build scientific knowledge and nuclear data sets to address environmental problems in Australia and the world. She mentioned our research uses nuclear science techniques to provide the best possible advice to the Australian government and global governments, also to provide benefits to the public and solutions to industry.
Dr. Meredith said, ANSTO valued the strategic partnership with FNCA and that is why the CFF project is important which is led by an ANSTO scientist Dr Debashish Mazumder.Food is one of the major tradable commodities in the Asia-Pacific region. Food safety, traceability and fraud mitigation are important for regulators, industries and consumers.
Mr. Erik Poole-Innovation and Technical Manager, Sydney Fish Market (SFM) in his speech mentioned that the Sydney Fish Market is the largest market of its kind in the southern hemisphere. SFM has been collaborating with ANSTO on a seafood provenance project for creating a level playing field for consumers in Australia. SFM has long been advocating for the country-of-origin labelling.In the past, only the fresh seafood retailers had to label their products according to country-of-origin and species. Now the country-of-origin labelling should be included not just for fresh seafood, but also for cooked seafood as well. He also mentioned that SFM has done some great work with ANSTO for building fingerprint database of seafood, but a more comprehensive database is needed to support business across Asia-Pacific region.Therefore, a collaboration like this would help Australia and the Asia-Pacific
countries. Because Australia imports about 70% of the seafood that we consume, and so most of the seafood that ends up in restaurants and retailers, pubs and clubs is potentially 70% compared to about 30% domestic production.
Mr. WADA Tomoaki, FNCA Advisor of Japan stated that the FNCA started in 2000 and now has eight projects. This project is one of the important projects sponsored by Australia. FNCA believes this project has the capacity to provide significant financial, environmental and social benefits to the entire agricultural industry across FNCA member countries by mitigating fraud in the food supply chains. A portable XRF scanner can impact stakeholders if it is adopted by the end users as the reference method for identifying food fraud. Additional techniques, such as near infrared spectroscopy may be considered or depending on the problems and materials to be analysed. It seems reasonable as the current stage to determine a limited list of the most exported food product for successful project implementation. This collaborative research project for the development of federated database under technology platform is expected to mitigate traceability challenges for biosecurity.

Session 2

Chair: Ms. Patricia Gadd, Research Program Manager, ANSTO

This session has been designed to provide participants a clear picture about ANSTO's provenance technology which has been developed over several years of research in collaboration with University and Industry partners in Australia. The training session is part of sharing ANSTO's expertise on the application of nuclear analytical techniques for food traceability with the participants. Dr. Mazumder provided a lecture on food provenance technology for combating fraud in the supply chain followed by the application of handheld XRF for seafood analysis presented by Mr Jason Bertoldi, topic for the development of fingerprint database was presented by Dr. Carol Tadros and the application of machine learning algorithm for determining provenance was presented by Dr. Jagoda Crawford.

Session 3

Chair: Professor Jesmond Sammut, University of New South Wales (UNSW)

This session discussed the implementation plan including selection of food items, sample collection strategy, analysis plan for 2024 for the development of fingerprint database for provenance solution in the Asia-Pacific countries. In session 3, the following country leads presented their implementation strategies for 2024.

  1. Dr. Debashish Mazumder, ANSTO, Australia
  2. Dr. Roksana Huque, BAEC, Bangladesh
  3. Ms. Henni Widyastuti, BRIN, Indonesia
  4. Mr. Mohd Noor Hidayat Adenan, Malaysian Nuclear Agency, Malaysia
  5. Ms. Uranchimeg Lkhagva, National Reference Laboratory for Food Safety, Mongolia
  6. Dr. Angel Baustista, PNRI, Philippines
  7. Dr. Chakrit Saengkorakot, TINT, Thailand
  8. Dr. Nguyen Thi Hong Thinh, Institute for Nuclear Science and Technology, VINATOM, Vietnam

Dr. Mazumder presented the outline of the research strategy, and milestones need to be achieved for successful implementation of the CFF project. The participating countries subsequently presented their implementation plans and timelines followed by discussion to achieve consensus decision on activities for 2024. Professor Sammut, facilitated the discussion session and the following major decisions were made after thoughtful discussion by the participants:

  • Tiger prawn (Penaeus monodon) has been selected as a common food item by most of the participating countries as a learning exercise and baseline for the establishment of data connectivity for the development of provenance technology platform for mitigating the incidents of fraud in the supply chain.
  • The participating countries also decided to include the following food items (Table 1) in the project for the development of a database for mitigating fraud and ensuring transparency within country supply chain and data connectivity with FNCA countries to support trade.

Table 1. Food items proposed by the participating countries to be included in the CFF project.

* Seafood selected as common items for the establishment of a federated database and provenance technology platform

Country Interest on food items
Australia Tiger prawn* to start with
Bangladesh Tiger prawn* and Spice powder,
Indonesia Tiger prawn* Barramundi and Rice
Malaysia Tiger prawn* and Mango
Mongolia Honey and Vegetable oil
Philippines Tiger prawn* and Mango, Coffee, Cacao, Honey, Halal Organic food
Thailand Tiger prawn*, Coconut Juice, and Mango
Vietnam Tiger prawn* and ST25 rice
  • The participating countries agreed that a total of 60 tiger prawn samples (n=60) including farms and wild from different geographical locations of the country will be collected following the research design proposed by Australia for the establishment of the provenance technology platform for seafood (Figure 2). Participating countries will start collecting samples from
  • February 2024 and will send them to ANSTO for elemental analysis being conducted through the Handheld XRF scanner at ANSTO.
  • ANSTO will provide analytical results to the participating countries and build a federated database for traceability solutions.
  • ANSTO will take the lead to prepare manuscripts for publication from this seafood analysis and scientists from participating countries will be included as co-author for the publication.
  • ANSTO will provide participating countries sample preparation, storage and import permits to send samples to Australia for analysis.
  • Further training on data analysis, interpretation of results and database development will be organised in the future within the scope of the project.
Figure 2

Figure 2. Research design and seafood sampling plan discussed and decided by the participating countries.

Mr. WADA Tomoaki, FNCA Advisor of Japan said that there is no objection to selecting tiger prawn and mango. However, tiger prawns are not in the Japanese market as it is in the northern limit for tiger prawns, so as a country it would not contribute but will participate as an observer state. He indicated that Japan's contribution to the project will be through Dr. SUZUKI Yaeko (NARO) by providing analytical support. Dr. SUZUKI Yaeko indicated that she is happy to share her rice database and can assist with isotopic analysis of food samples.
Ms. Natascha Spark Ms. Natascha Spark, Senior Manager, Government and International Affairs, ANSTO thank Mr. WADA (FNCA, Japan) for his continued support in managing these FNCA projects. She also thanks representatives from the participating countries for their


Program of
FNCA 2023 Workshop on Combating Food Fraud
using Nuclear Technology Project

December 5, 2023


Session 1: Opening the meeting
Facilitator: Ms. Natascha Spark (ANSTO)

  1. Welcome remarks: Ms. Susan Bogle and Ms. Natascha Spark
  2. ANSTO’s perspectives on food provenance research collaboration with FNCA countries: Dr. Karina Meredith
  3. Significance of provenance technology for seafood business in Australia: Mr. Erik Poole
  4. FNCA’s perspectives in the CFF project: Mr. WADA Tomoaki
  5. Self-introduction of participants

Session 2: Training and knowledge sharing
Facilitator: Ms. Patricia Gadd (ANSTO)

  1. Nuclear technology for combating food fraud: FNCA CFF project Implementation plan and milestones for 2024: Dr. Debashish Mazumder
  2. Application of portable XRF scanner for seafood sample analysis: Mr. Jason Bertoldi
  3. Development of fingerprint database: Dr. Carol Tadros
  4. Machine learning algorithms for provenance: Dr. Jagoda Crawford

Coffee Break


Session 3: Workshop and Discussion
Facilitator: Professor Jesmond Sammut (UNSW)

Presentation from countries agreed to be involved/nominated their country lead for CFF project

  1. Australia: Dr. Debashish Mazumder (ANSTO)
  2. Bangladesh: Dr. Roksana Huque (BAEC)
  3. Indonesia: Ms. Henni Widyastuti (BRIN)
  4. Malaysia: Mr. Hidayat Bin Adenan (NM)
  5. Mongolia: Ms. Uranchimeg Lkhagva (MASM)
  6. The Philippines: Dr. Angel Baustista (PNRI)
  7. Thailand: Dr. Chakrit Saengkorakot (TINT)
  8. Vietnam: Dr. Nguyen Thi Hong Thinn (VINATOM)
16:25-16:30 Closing and thanks: Ms. Natascha Sparks (ANSTO)

List of Participants
FNCA 2023 Workshop on Combating Food Fraud
using Nuclear Technology Project

December 5, 2023


Dr. Debasish Mazumder

Ms. Natascha Spark

Ms. Patricia Gadd

Dr. Karina Meredith

Ms. Susan Bogle

Dr. Jagoda Crawford

Dr. Carol Tadros

Mr. Jason Bertoldi

Mr. Richard Bufill

Ms. Giorgia Kilpatrick

Mr. Erik Poole
Sydney Fish Market

Prof. Jasmond Sammut
University of New South Wales (UNSW)


Dr. Roksana Huque
Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC)

Dr. Md. Shakhawat Hussain
Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC)

Md. Ashikur Rahman
Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC)

Md. ShahJalal
Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC)


Ms. Henni Widyastuti
National Reseacrh and Innovation Agency (BRIN)

Ms. Ashri Mukti Benita
National Reseacrh and Innovation Agency (BRIN)

Mr. Indra Mustika Pratama
National Reseacrh and Innovation Agency (BRIN)


Mr. Mohd Noor Hidayat Adenan
Malaysian Nuclear Agency

Prof. Dr. Fatimah Md Yusoff
University Putra Malaysia

Dr. Salmah Moosa
Malaysian Nuclear Agency

Shyful Azizi Abdul Rahman
Malaysian Nuclear Agency

Dr. Nazaratul Ashifa Abdullah Salim
Malaysian Nuclear Agency

Dr. Azilah Abdul Malek
Malaysian Nuclear Agency

Dr. Nurul Elma Sabri
Malaysian Nuclear Agency

Siti Aminah Omar
Malaysian Nuclear Agency


Ms. Uranchimeg Lkhagva
National Reference Laboratory for Food Safety

The Philippines

Dr. Angel T. Bautista VII
Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI)


Mr. Chakrit Saengkorakot
Thailand Institute of Nuclear Technology (TINT)

Ms. Nichtima Uapoonphol
Thailand Institute of Nuclear Technology (TINT)


Dr. Thinh Nguyen Thi Hong
Institute for Nuclear Science and Technology
Vietnam Atomic Energy Institute (VINATOM)

Mr. Nguyen Duc Tam
Institute for Nuclear Science and Technology
Vietnam Atomic Energy Institute (VINATOM)


Mr. WADA Tomoaki
FNCA Advisor of Japan

Mr. OBATA Ryoji
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)

Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)

Mr. KUMAGAE Koichi
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)

Dr. Yaeko Suzuki
National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO)

Dr. YOSHIDA Mitsuaki
Nuclear Safety Research Association (NSRA)

Ms. CHE Jong-ah
Nuclear Safety Research Association (NSRA)

Forum for Nuclear Cooperation in Asia