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Eurofins Foundation “Testing for Life” Student Award

Congratulations to Yigong Guo of NRG, for winning the Eurofins “Testing for Life” Student Award from the AOAC International.

Dr. Guo is a full time Mitacs Accelerate funded post-doctoral researcher in NRG, working with Dr. Anika Singh on enhanced delivery systems of protein-based therapeutics and valorization of agricultural waste to create novel food ingredients and packaging. His research has garnered global media attention for its potential to improve the lives of patients relying on protein-based therapies.

Congratulations to Hong Sy, recipient of the 2022/2023 BCIT Student Association President’s Award!

The BCIT Student Association President’s Award celebrates outstanding faculty and staff who have gone above and beyond during their service at BCIT. NRG researcher Hong Sy was presented with the award during BCIT’s 2023 June Convocation in recognition of her extraordinary dedication in securing weekly food donations for the Student Association Food Pantry.

As a Research Associate in BCIT’s Natural Health and Food Products Research Group (NRG), Hong works with small and medium-size food companies providing expertise in food manufacturing processes and the implementation of HACCP programs.  She balances her time assisting in community and student initiatives in response to food insecurity.

Hong has represented BCIT as part of the Steering Committee for the British Columbia Collaborative for Social Infrastructure (BCCSI), an initiative funded by the McConnel Foundation and spearheaded by 4 post-secondary institutions (BCIT, UNBC, SFU, and VIU) to support each institution’s challenges with food systems from a social, cultural and environmental perspectives.

In 2021, BCCSI established the Nourishing Innovation Program to engage students in taking leadership role to create and implement solutions to improve nutrition and food security on campus. “Nearly 40% of post-secondary students in Canada experience food insecurity.  Our hope with this contest is to empower students’ voices to develop innovative ideas to spark a movement within BCIT to address food security on our campus”, says Hong Sy.

With guidance from Hong, BCIT Students Amanzhan Duisek and Mike Chen (School of Energy) and Rakhymzhan Duisek (School of Business + Media) developed an innovative solution to facilitate transportation of BCIT students in residence to local grocery stores.  Their creativity led them to win second place in the 2021 BCIT Student Innovation Challenge ( and first place in the “Campus Nutrition and Food Security Contest”.

BCIT researchers analyse poisonous sand ginger

In February 2022, a small number of poisoning cases in the Fraser Health region ended up in the hospital after consuming a meal made with a product labeled as “sand ginger powder”. Symptoms included cardiovascular illness, vomiting, and dizziness.

Based on the circumstances and reported symptoms the BC Drug and Poison Information Centre suspected the sample may have contained Aconite (monkshood) root. The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) subsequently provided a sample of the product to the BCIT Natural Health and Food Products Research Group (NRG) for confirmatory analysis, and NRG was able confirm this, resulting in a public health warning.

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