An initiative in Wageningen University sees PhD candidates from the Department of Food Microbiology at Wageningen University visit a different country every two years, to allow PhD candidates the opportunity to exchange academic knowledge with different research institutions, universities, and companies. This year, the destination was China (from May 10th to May 24th). This program is also called the PhD Food Microbiology Symposium or the Food Microbiology Biotechnology Workshop.

The Wageningen delegation 2019 included 12 PhD candidates from different fields of research, one education and research assistant, Wilma Hazeleger and the head of the department from the laboratory of Food Microbiology, Prof Dr Marcel Zwietering.  The group had the opportunity to present and discuss their research at various locations across China. PATHSENSE ESR 10 Kah Yen (Claire) Yeak who works in NIZO Food Research Ede, NL was one of the 12 PhD candidates.

Before setting off on their travels the PhD candidates wrote an abstract and sent it to all the companies and universities that they had planned to visit. Based on their research interests, they selected a few PhDs to present at their institution. The group of 12 PhD candidates had the chance to give 2-4 presentations in this trip. The cities that they visited were Beijing (北京) > Zhenjiang (镇江) > Wuxi (无锡) > Suzhou (苏州) > Shanghai (上海) > Hangzhou (杭州).

Chinese Agricultural University (CAU): On 13th of May 2019 the group arrived at their first destination, Beijing. In Beijing they attended a PhD workshop on Biotechnology together with other graduate and undergraduate students from the Chinese Agricultural University (CAU) and Korea University (KU).

PATHSENSE ESR 10 Kah Yen (Claire) Yeak had the opportunity to give an oral presentation of her PhD research at this workshop.

The event was hosted by Prof. Han Bei Zhong from CAU, who coincidentally was a graduate from Wageningen University in NL. It was a great opportunity for Kah Yen ESR 10 to present her PATHSENSE research in this workshop in Beijing, China. Throughout the day, there were many open discussion sessions, idea sharing and interactions among Ph.D. candidates and the students had the opportunity to also discuss their research topics with the two leading professors from CAU as well as Korea University.

On the 14th May, the group visited the China National Research Institute of Food and Fermentation (CNRIFFI), where PATHSENSE ESR 10 Kah Yen (Claire) Yeak had another opportunity to present her PATHSENSE research.  Later they visited the Chinese National Centre for Food Safety Risk Assessment.

In Zhenjiang, the group also visited the well-known Hengshun Vinegar Company, an international trading corporation, where the group also shared their research, mainly focusing on fermentation.

In Wuxi, they attended the Food Microbiology Symposium at the Jiangnan University, where PATHSENSE ESR 10 again presented her research findings so far. And near to Suzhou, they went to a yellow rice wine company to learn about the methods that they used (the traditional Chinese spontaneous fermentation and visited their pilot plant).

In Shanghai, they visited the bright dairy company (one of the top 3 biggest dairy companies in China), Walmart and Unilever innovation center. The final stop was the Zhejiang University. In all of these locations, the group presented their research.

In conclusion Kah Yen (Claire) Yeak, PATHSENSE ESR 10, who was chosen to present in the China agricultural university (CAU) in Beijing, China National Research Institute of Food and Fermentation, Jiangnan University and Walmart Shanghai was afforded an excellent opportunity to disseminate her research and to communicate and share knowledge with other researchers across the globe.