Two UGM lecturers-cum-researchers have been honored by the Indonesian Food and Drug Authority (BPOM) for their dedication and contribution to the agency.
The two are Prof. Endang Sutriswati Rahayu from the Faculty of Agricultural Technology and Dr. Jarir At Thobari from the Faculty of Medicine, Public Health, and Nursing. They were given the awards at the 22nd Anniversary of BPOM at Ciputra Artpreneur Theater Jakarta on February 15, 2023.
To reporters, Endang Sutriswati Rahayu, who is familiarly called Trisye, said that she was happy and grateful for the award she received and admitted that she did not expect to get it.
“Of course, I am thrilled to get this award. I never expected it before,” Endang said on Wednesday (22/2).
Trisye has helped draft BPOM regulations on probiotic claims since 2005. These regulations continue to undergo adjustments to harmonize with international laws, especially from neighboring countries.
“The latest regulation on probiotic claims in food was issued in 2022. I was involved in drafting it,” Trisye said.
The agency also appointed her as an expert in the 2008 Codex Committee on Food Additives (CCFA) in New Zealand to discuss regulations related to fermented milk-based beverages.
Together with other experts from the Bandung Institute of Technology and IPB University, she participated in Codex meetings on food contaminants, particularly those related to mycotoxins.
“Since the pandemic, Codex meetings on contaminants have been held online, with the last one taking place in May 2022,” she said.
Trisye has been working on probiotics in food for more than 20 years. The results of her research have been declared ready for commercialization.
“The results of our research are ready for adoption by the industry. We hope our indigenous probiotic products will soon be on the market,” Trisye said.
The research has gone through the screening stage to human clinical trials to study the health benefits. Several tests have proven the benefits of indigenous probiotics for stunted children and respondents with obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
“We are currently studying the benefits of indigenous probiotics for fatty liver patients in collaboration with other universities,” she added.
The clinical trials have also shown that the indigenous probiotic strains she studied have the potential to maintain a healthy body as they can improve gastrointestinal health. She added that the intervention of probiotics could significantly alleviate patients’ pain and reduce the incidence of diarrhea in individuals with asymptomatic COVID-19 infections by treating their dysbiosis.
“Dysbiosis can also cause diarrhea. Probiotics help cure dysbiosis by colonizing the gut, providing protection to the epithelium, nourishing the gut environment, and boosting the immune system, thus accelerating the recovery process of COVID-19 patients,” she concluded.
Author: Gusti Grehenson