The Address of Excellence in the Safety of Food Additives: DOKAM
Dec 01, 2016


A Congress “Food, Metabolism and Health: Bioactive Compounds and Food Additives” was held in our university on November 28. Yasemin Özlem Alioğlu, Istanbul Development Agency (ISTKA) specialist and a senior engineer, Hamid Aygül, Istanbul Food, Agriculture and Livestock Provincial Director, and Dr. Ercan Citil, the General Manager of ITUNOVA TTO made a speech at the beginning of the Conference chaired by our lecturer Prof. Dr. Beraat Özçelik. Following this, a project funded with a budget of approximately 1.5 million TL by ISTKA, “Food Additives - Supplies From Local Resources and Waste Research Application Center”, is introduced.

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After the presentation “Safety and Toxicology of Food Additives and Nutritional Supplements” made by Prof. Dr. Ali Esat Karakaya, a lecturer at Gazi University, some topics such as food additives, biotechnology, plant biodiversity and bioactive components were discussed by the experts.

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Dr. Ercan Çitil: “The research will turn into patents and commercial product in DOKAM.”

The opening of Natural Additives, Functional Components and Health Excellence Center (DOKAM), founded within Food Engineering Department of Chemistry and Metallurgy
Faculty, was also held in the Congress. This center, the first center of excellence established in Turkey in this context, will produce natural alternatives of additives used in the processing of foods, nutritional supplements, and functional food components beneficial to human health.

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During the food production and processing, approximately 40 percent of raw material is extracted as waste in our country where aromatic and endemic plants used also in medicine are found abundantly. In this process, the resulting waste, in fact, has a significant potential in terms of obtaining a new, high value-added and natural food component. By utilizing this potential, DOKAM aims to reduce dependence on imports and protect national wealth.

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Lately, alternative natural additives, antioxidants, dietary fibers, Omega-3 fatty acids, bioactive components like vegetable proteins and peptides will be produced without chemical solvents by means of advanced technologies such as subcritical extraction. These will be produced in the center which is seen as one of the steps to meet the rising demand due to intense consumer interest in natural and functional foods.

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Attending the opening and Congress, Dr. Ercan Citil, the General Manager of ITUNOVA TTO emphasized the importance of supervision of additives imported from abroad and stated that DOKAM will have a positive effect in this regard. Çitil pointed out that not only substitution of food additives but also export is targeted, and he also added that ITUNOVA TTO gives support to patent research in this field. Çitil finalized his words by saying: “Over time, the research to be conducted in this center will probably turn into patents, even commercial products and firms. Thus, I consider that increasing commercialization will emerge with the university-industry cooperation.”

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A plenty of research and feasibility studies were carried out in the foundation phrase of DOKAM which draws attention by gaining support primarily from our university and Istanbul Development Agency, and also Istanbul Exporters’ Association, the Union of Food Industry Employers in Turkey, ITUNOVA Technology Transfer Office (ITUNOVA TTO), and Food Additives and Ingredients Industry Association.