On 16 and 18 August 2023, the IMU Dietetics with Nutrition programme hosted an enlightening series of Industry Partner Workshops (IPWs), providing final-year students in the Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Dietetics with Nutrition programme a unique opportunity to delve into cutting-edge products and services offered by industry leaders in the field of clinical nutrition and food service management. These workshops served as a vital link between academic knowledge and its real-world application, offering students a glimpse into the innovative technologies and practices that are shaping the future of dietetics.
Session 1: Rational - Revolutionising Food Preparation
The first session featured Rational, a leading manufacturer of high-tech combi ovens. Combi ovens are combination ovens that expand upon standard convection ovens, able to generate conventional moist steam or superheated steam. These ovens can also shift between cooking modes automatically during the cooking process – saving time, space, and money for professional food preparation. Students were treated to a live demonstration of the ultra-modern oven. It was amazing to see the incorporation of AI and the digital controls and interfaces with many programmable options to customise each cook to the chef’s or restaurant’s desired outcome.
Guided by a skilled chef, a complete lunch with multiple dishes was prepared in just an hour, highlighting the efficiency and quality of combi oven-cooked dishes. This experience underscored the role of technology in streamlining kitchen operations, reducing errors, and enhancing food production.
“The workshop truly opened our eyes and made us think about the potential harmonization between food, nutrition, health, and technology,” says Nadira Izreen binti Jafril and Tan Zi Ying (final-year students in the Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Dietetics with Nutrition).
Session 2: Oral Nutrition Supplements (ONS) - Abbott Laboratories, Nestle Health Sciences, and Pharm-D
In the second session, three prominent companies specialising in oral nutrition supplements (ONS) – Abbott Laboratories, Nestle Health Sciences, and Pharm-D – were invited to IMU. They introduced students to a wide range of ONS products, each meticulously tailored to specific nutritional requirements and patient preferences.
Representatives from these companies shared insights into the diverse product offerings, accompanied by scientific studies supporting the efficacy of the ONS. This exposure emphasised the critical role of evidence-based research in delivering patient-centred dietetics care. Moreover, the tasting sessions organised by the companies allowed students to sample various ONS formulas and reflect on their acceptability, while considering the potential challenges and barriers towards ONS consumption faced by patients.
“This holistic approach, taking into account nutritional benefits, financial accessibility, and taste perceptions equipped us with a better understanding of different enteral formulas and its real-world applications,” says Tan Huey Shin and Faustina Anne A/P Santhana Dass (final-year students in the Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Dietetics with Nutrition).
Session 3: SECA - Exploring Anthropometry Equipment
The final session featured, SECA, a renowned and innovative pioneer medical scales and instruments company where students gained insights into their latest products established based on their commitment to innovation.
Students learned that individuals may have vastly different nutritional and health statuses due to variations in body composition, influenced by factors like age, gender, and ethnicity. Been able to personally test out the new bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) machine increased students’ understanding of the functions and capabilities of the measuring equipment on a more comprehensive level.
Developed in collaboration with medical professionals, the graphic presentation feature simplifies the analysis of measurements by offering convenient visual results that are easy to understand. Its cloud-based software management streamlines administrative tasks, enabling healthcare providers to dedicate their full attention to patient care.
“As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of nutritional science and healthcare, interactions with industry leaders like these are pivotal in shaping the future of dietetics. They have deepened our understanding of emerging technologies and practices while emphasizing the importance of evidence-based and patient-centered care. The practical insights gained from these sessions will undoubtedly serve as a cornerstone in our journey towards becoming accomplished dietitians,” says Wong Jin-Yi and Soon Qiao Qian (final-year students in the Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Dietetics with Nutrition).
Written by: Siti Nurhana Binti Abd Wahid (Clinical Instructor)