Three teams of final year undergraduate students from the Department of Biosciences participated in the 6th International Biotechnology Competition and Exhibition (IBCEx) 2020 on 18th & 19th December 2020. The event was organised by the School of Chemical and Energy Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Johor Bahru, Johor. The theme for the event was “Empowering Nations: Towards A More Sustainable Future” and there were 4 categories opened which were Environment/ Waste Treatment, Biofuel/ Renewable Energy, Green Building/ Green Technology and Biotechnology. This international event was open to all undergraduate students across all sectors and academic backgrounds not only limited to bioprocess, biomedical, and bioengineering, as long as their innovations were related to the theme. The innovations were judged under several criteria by a panel of judges from academicians and representatives of biotechnology companies. Among the 14 groups participated in the Green Building/ Green Product category, our Biosciences students won the 3rd place.
The project was led by Aimi Alina Hussin along with Nur Amira Hidayah Ahmad and Evance Yolanzio Sinel under the guidance of Dr Mohd Farizal Ahmad Kamaroddin. The aim of their project was to sterilize mollusc for safer consumption from any pathogenic bacteria using their device called OzzSter. The demand for fresh seafood in recent years is increasing despite the quality, safety and price issues. Numerous outbreaks of seafood-associated infections especially were reported frequently worldwide. Though there are some conventional methods such as chlorination, heat treatment and UV radiation, there are still many limitations as well, such as low efficiency in killing bacteria, harmful in the long run, a very costly method and may not sterilize the mollusc entirely. A sterilizer device named OzzSter built with a reactor integrated with an ozone generator, and able to kill the harmful bacterial from the shellfish was tested. This device can improve food safety and quality, which eventually extend the shelf life of the marine foods without affecting its taste and reduce the contaminant up to 7 log reduction which is comparable to the standard of sterilization method. Additionally, OzzSter is designed for an indoor environment where the targeted consumers are household and Food and Beverages (F&B) industry such as restaurants or fish market to provide a savoury shellfish meal.
The article was prepared by: Aimi Alina Hussin and Mohd Farizal Ahmad Kamaroddin