Universitas Gadjah Mada constantly improves the capacity and quality of science it has. In an effort to hold the Tri Dharma Perguruan Tinggi (Three Pillars of Higher Education) in the fields of science, University of Gadjah Mada held an International Conference Series entitled International Conference on Tropical Agriculture (ICTA). This event was the first international conference held by UGM with the topic of agriculture in tropical areas.
Located in Yogyakarta, ICTA invited professional speakers from various countries. The speakers are Prof. Mamoru Kanzaki from Kyoto University, Japan; Prof. Stefaan De Neve from the University of Ghent, Belgium; Prof. Dr. Heinz Dieter Isengard, University of Hohenheim, Germany; Dr. Mulyoto Pangestu, Monash University, Australia. In addition, there is also a keynote speaker from UGM, namely Suadi, S.Pi., M.Agr.Sc., Ph.D., and Prof. Dr. Ir. Mohammad Na'iem, M.Agr.Sc. They were the speakers in the conference held for two days from October 25-26, 2016.
At the first plenary session, Dr. Heinz explained topics related to agricultural technologies that are written in his abstract entitled "Agriculture Technology Needs Food Analysis, Quality Control of Frying Oils by Very Rapid Methods." According to Heinz, palm oil is one of the important products for Indonesia and the world for various cooking needs especially frying. In the chemical process of frying, cooking oil will undergo many changes by heat, oxygen, and compounds contained in the items to be fried. Therefore, according to Heinz, the quality of palm oil should be kept well and safe for consumption.
Two methods are commonly used to determine the quality of cooking oil. The official method is by using preparative chromatography column to determine TPM and an alternative method is by measuring the amount of dielectric on the rising fat with increasing the content of polar molecules.
"The research resulted that the official method is better than the alternative since it is very repeatable and reproducible," said Dr. Heinz.
Meanwhile, Chairman of ICTA, Yuni Erwanto Ph.D., said that the conference agenda is an amplifier for the dissemination of research and discussion in the daily practices. In line with Yuni, UGM Vice Rector for Research and Community Service, Prof. Suratman, emphasized the role of UGM to manage agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry, and fisheries in tropical areas.
"Farming in tropical regions needs to be developed to provide food and nutrients for the global community," added Suratman.