Fellow Researchers and Research Themes

Chaw Nu Nu Aye, Myanmar

Affiliation in Home Country Deputy Director, Department of Food and Drug Administration, Ministry of Health and Sports, Myanmar
Research Themes

Screening of Aflatoxigenic fungi and toxins analysis

Laboratory Chemical Hazard Unit, Division of Food Safety
Advisor Dr. KUSHIRO-MORITA Masayo


Myanmar is basically an organism economy with approximately 40 million people dependent upon agriculture in rural areas. Aflatoxin is one of the main food-safety concerns in field crops in Myanmar. So my research interest is to assess the level of aflatoxin in specified food. I am working as a mid-level manager in government food safety regulatory authority so I would like to utilize the course as effectively as possible in improving the quality and safety of food in Myanmar, within the resources available. Firstly I would like to thank JICA, NFRI, Ministry of health and Sports and the Embassy of Japan in Myanmar for giving me the opportunity to attend the JICA-Kirin fellowship program and Kirin Holdings Co., Ltd for sponsoring and funding for all expenditures. I would especially like to deeply thank my advisor, Masayo Kushiro and all the members of Chemical Hazard Unit for teaching and guiding me how to analyze toxins by efficient detection methods of aflatoxigenic fungi (DV-AM method – Dichlorvos-Ammonia) for identifying AF producing fungi using DV and AM vapor on Potato Dextrose Agar (PDA) culture plates, Glucose, Yeast Extract (GY) Agar culture plates and Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) method and High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) methods. At the beginning of a research experience, I will learn everything and it’s all new and exciting. So I’ll need to ask how to do tasks, what the equipment is called, where to find the reagents and how to clean and dispose used equipment. But I can predict my days will become easier with experience.

This is my first visit to Japan and what I noticed is that the city is so clean. My impression is that most Japanese people are very kind, considerate and seem to be very hard-working and pretty smart. Although everything is expensive in Japan, I like to go shopping because shop assistants can explain to me patiently and they are very friendly. Also, transportation system is very convenient and safe. They have buses, subways and trains that are always on time. I think if I live in Japan one year, I will have many good experiences in Japan.

Hataichanok Kantrong, Thailand

Affiliation in Home Country Department of Food Processing and Preservation, Institute of Food Research and Product Development (IFRPD), Kasersart University, Thailand
Title (Position): Researcher
Research Themes Minimum heating Pasteurization of Fruit Juice with Flesh using High Electric Field Alternating Current
Laboratory Advanced Food Technology Unit, Division of Food Processing and Distribution Research
Advisor Dr. Kunihiko Uemura


First, I would like to extend my deepest thanks to JICA, KIRIN and NFRI for giving me this valuable opportunity to do the research in Japan. Meanwhile, I also would like to extend my gratitude to Dr. Kunihiko Uemura, my advisor, for his help, invaluable advice and kind support throughout my research. All the members in Advanced Food Technology Unit are very kind, amiable, and most importantly very supportive. Research division here is well equipped with high-technology devices that would allow me to conduct a high-quality research study. I am therefore very fortunate to have this opportunity to experience living, pursuing research and travelling in Japan, the country I have dreamed to visit.

My goal for attending this program: I expect to gain more insight into the technical details of emerging technology for food processing by conducting the research and getting a network with the leading-edge researchers. When I come back to Thailand, I will apply the knowledge to do some new trend researches and develop processing and production not only at our IFRPD’s pilot plants but also in Thailand’s food industries. In addition, I will transfer this technology to students, food industry in a medium scale level, and be served as a staff at my research institute to share the technology.

LAI Quoc Dat, Vietnam

Affiliation in Home Country Faculty of Chemical Engineering, University of Technology, Vietnam National University – Ho Chi Minh City (HCMUT)
Title (Position): Lecturer
Research Themes Rapid authentications of fish sauce by fluorescence fingerprint
Laboratory Nondestructive Evaluation Unit, Division of Analytical Science
Advisor Dr. Mizuki TSUTA


In Vietnam, fish sauce production and consumption has a long history and is one of the most important parts in Vietnamese cuisine. Recently, fish sauce in Vietnam has been faced with the shortage of materials (especially, anchovy); consequently, some alternative resources have been utilized for fish sauce production. Moreover, in order to reduce the cost of production, some alternative processes have been applied. These make fish sauce in Vietnam become diverse and make its quality difficult to control, due to the lack of effective methods for analysis of characteristics of fish sauce. Fluorescence fingerprint (FF) is a technique developed by using Excitation – Emission matrix and data mining for the rapid authentication of foods. It is utilized for quality control in food industry, including its production and distribution. Thus, my project aims to apply FF as a method for authentication of fish sauce products. It will significantly contribute to improving quality control of fish sauce in Vietnam. I expect that the results obtained from this project can not only be applied to fish sauce, but also be extended for other foods.

From my deep heart, I am thankful to JICA-KIRIN Fellowship Program and NFRI for giving me a great opportunity to work and enjoy the atmosphere at NFRI. This is the second time I study at NFRI. First time, during my 2 years and a half of research (2009 – 2011)*, I was deeply impressed by the very creative, productive and nice staffs and the advanced facilities at NFRI. At that moment, I lived and studied with what I called "my second family" (Dr. Nabetani’s lab.) and created so many sweet memories. Now, I can, again, study on a new interesting field under the kind support from Nondestructive Evaluation Lab. with nice and friendly people, especially my advisor, Dr. Tsuta. With these, I expect that the knowledge and results I will obtain from this program will be fruitful for cooperation between Japan and Vietnam, and of course, between NFRI and HCMUT.

*Note: The first time of his study at NFRI was not through the Fellowship Program but when he was dispatched to Hokkaido University through a program of JICA Technical Cooperation.

Nguyen Thi Minh Huyen, Vietnam

Affiliation in Home Country DNA Identification Center, Institute of Biotechnology, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, Vietnam
Title (Position): Principle researcher
Research Themes Study the recovery mechanism of Bacillus subtilis vegetative cell after treatment with High Hydrostatic Pressure (HHP)
Laboratory Applied Microbiology Unit, Division of Food Biotechnology
Advisor Dr. Takashi Inaoka


I have had great impressions about Japan since my first time to visit here. Most of the house decoration is so nice; the people are very kind; I need to learn many things from Japanese, in terms of planning exactly before doing something, saving energy, etc. I had a second chance to come to Japan for attending the "The 7th HOPE Meeting for Nobel Laureates" organized by JSPS, and met Japanese Emperor and his wife in the dinner reception. This meeting brought a lot of impressions for me because that was the first time in my life to see directly such high personages. Even in Vietnam, I will never have a chance like that because the Royal family in Vietnam does not exist now. From those many great impressions, I have always wanted to come back and have chance to work or collaborate with Japanese researcher. JICA-Kirin fellowship program provided me the opportunity to come back and work in Japan as I wished.

I am now working under the guidance of Dr. Takashi Inaoka, who is working on the recovery mechanism of HHP - injured Bacillus subtilis. This research is important for us to understand better what will be happen to the bacteria against the pressure stress. HHP treatment will be more effective in food industry and will create safer foods for human being. The methods of study using transcriptome and metabolome are also new for me. Therefore, it is very helpful for me to improve my knowledge and skill in my research career. I also hope that through my stay at NFRI (NARO), I will be able to make a network of connections among fellows as well as with our advisors and other friends which will be helpful for us in our future career.

I would like to thank JICA, Kirin holding company and NFRI (NARO) for giving me the chance to come here and Dr. Takashi Inaoka for accepting me to work under his guidance. His smile face that I can see everyday encourages me a lot during the time I am far from my family.

Dr. Panneerselvam Vijayaraj, India

Affiliation in Home Country Lipid Science Department CSIR- Central Food Technological Research Institute Mysore, Karnataka, India.
Title (Position): Scientist
Research Themes Reduction of calorie intake by inhibiting pancreatic lipase enzyme for the management of obesity and diabetes
Laboratory Nutritional Biochemistry Unit, Division of Food Function Research

 Dr. Kohji Yamaki


I was born and raised in India, obtained the Doctoral Degree from Bharathidasan University. I'm proud to be a Lipid Biochemist because I was trained in Asian Lipid-Man Prof. Ram Rajasekharan laboratory. My primary research interest is to understand lipid metabolizing enzymes and its regulation to combat lifestyle disorders like obesity and diabetes.

On behalf of all the Fellows, I would like to express our sincere gratitude to JICA-KIRIN fellowship program for their continuous support to the young researchers and providing the platform to straighten our research career in Food Science and Technology at Food Research Institute, NARO (FRI). FRI is one of the vibrant food research institutes in Asia to address the country's health issues by a scientific approach to building the healthy nation. A special appreciation to my research advisor, Prof. Kohji Yamaki for his support and experimental strategies for our project. He surprised me many times; whenever I was tired, immediately he offers green tea. I feel I am so lucky to be part of his team because it’s an excellent experience with his lab members, like a family.

Everyone knows in the world about Japanese natures, but there are few things I learned from them. I realized that Japanese loves to enjoy their life in all circumstances. Focus on their work "ichinichi ichizen" (one day, one good thing) which means we should try to commit just one thing, no matter how small, but should be completed in the same day. They listen more with the intent to understand not just to reply, they talk very less but achieve more. Good manners are free of cost; they invest more to keep others happy. So, it appears to me that I am living among awesome peoples in the world. I’m waiting to see Tsukuba precious Sakura.