May 10, 2021

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Is Food In You

Food items Engineer Aims for Circularity of Environment Food items Systems

5 min read
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Whit Pruitt, University Relations

Ebenezer Miezah Kwokie

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Ebenezer Miezah Kwofie sees food stuff creation and use as linear, with squander products leaking out all along the line. He’d like to flip that line into a loop to create a additional sustainable food system all over the world.

Kwofie has joined the College of Arkansas Higher education of Engineering with appointments in the departments of organic and agricultural engineering and chemical engineering. He will also have a research appointment in the section of foodstuff science in the Dale Bumpers College or university of Agricultural, Food stuff and Daily life Sciences.

The departments of organic and agricultural engineering and food items science are also part of the College of Arkansas Program Division of Agriculture.

“Dr. Kowfie’s emphasis on sustainable food items systems will add worthwhile ability to the group on sustainable meals and nourishment to tackle global food items problems,” explained Lalit Verma, organic and agricultural engineering office head. “Dr. Jeyam Subbiah and I are operating to develop a main of excellence in foodstuff engineering in the Division of Agriculture and the College of Arkansas.”

“Our departments’ collaboration on built-in food items sustainability necessitates assessment of profitability, foodstuff safety, social impacts and other features,” Subbiah, head of the foodstuff science department for the Division of Agriculture and Bumpers College or university, explained. “Our experts and engineers have to figure out how to quantify those metrics, and Dr. Kwofie delivers an enjoyable inventory of capabilities and experience to the endeavor.”

History

“I know what we suggest when we say our current foods procedure is not operating,” Kwofie reported. “I know it from the subject, not just the lab.”

Ahead of coming to the U of A, Kwofie labored on food stuff sustainability jobs in Africa, Latin The us and Asia. He led assignments to produce programs and versions to evaluate foods sustainability in area food systems in those people locations.

“I know what it usually means not to connect the dots,” he stated.

Kwofie acquired a bachelor’s diploma in chemical engineering at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technological innovation in his indigenous Ghana. He acquired a master’s diploma in industrial engineering at the University of Boras, Sweden, and a doctorate in bioresource engineering at McGill University, Canada.

All through postdoctoral appointments at McGill, he conducted his work in metrics and systems in Zambia, Ethiopia, Bolivia and Laos. In a separate project for the duration of the identical postdoc, he worked modeling sustainable industrial processing in the Dry Corridors of Honduras.

Connecting the dots

Kwofie reported current food methods are linear. When rice is harvested, for case in point, tons of straw are remaining in the fields. About a third of the grain’s mass — rice hulls and bran — is removed throughout the milling of white rice, and frequently most are squandered.

It can be a straight line, Kwofie explained, that starts with creation on the farm and passes by processing, distribution and consumption. This system wastes a lot of foodstuff byproducts by the finish of the line.

Other crops, like legumes these kinds of as peas and soybeans, are generally developed for plant-based protein foods, Kwofie said. “But these meals comprise a lot a lot more starch than protein,” he explained. “Whilst starch has substantial probable for non-food apps, it is deemed a byproduct by the protein industries and is taken care of as these kinds of.”

His solution is to flip the line into a circle. Kwofie explained obtaining uses for these squandered byproducts is essential to circularity. The byproducts can be recycled back again into the process, made use of as soil amendments for the farms, burned to create vitality or any amount of other takes advantage of.

“Analyzing the complex, financial and environmental trade-offs of these utilization pathways delivers more prospects and solutions for stakeholders to make a additional sustainable choice,” Kwofie said.

His analysis explores the connectivity of the components that make up food techniques. He begins by examining client needs and dreams. “Consumers drive the farms in that the farmers know they will have to improve crops they can market,” he reported.

He believes individuals could make much more knowledgeable foodstuff alternatives if they experienced far more facts about dietary values and environmental charges associated with distinct meals. “This data is out there for industries,” he said. “I want to look at strategies that exact facts can be created effortlessly available to customers.”

Kwofie programs to advertise sustainable healthier foods options between consumers by means of nudging and enabling customers to see the influence of their decisions on their health and fitness and the setting. His lab is building a sustainable healthful preference website platform that permits individuals to know the nutrition excellent, contribution to healthful residing, and the environmental impacts of their meals option ahead of producing their obtain. He stated the system would be obtainable in eating places and food stuff courts and on U of A internet sites for prepared entry.

Understanding client needs can assist shape food items production, processing and distribution units to establish extra sustainable food stuff techniques to feed a hungry environment, Kwofie claimed.

His appointments in multiple departments place Kwofie in an perfect situation to collaborate with food scientists in the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, the investigate arm of the Division of Agriculture, and with chemical engineers. A group with these various expertise and expertise can assistance him hook up those dots.

To master extra about Division of Agriculture analysis, stop by the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station web-site: aaes.uark.edu. Observe us on Twitter at @ArkAgResearch.

About the Division of Agriculture: The University of Arkansas Method Division of Agriculture’s mission is to bolster agriculture, communities, and households by connecting dependable research to the adoption of most effective procedures. By means of the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Assistance, the Division of Agriculture conducts study and extension get the job done inside the nation’s historic land grant training system.

The Division of Agriculture is one particular of 20 entities inside of the College of Arkansas System. It has places of work in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on 5 technique campuses.

The College of Arkansas Process Division of Agriculture delivers all its Extension and Investigation courses and products and services without having regard to race, colour, intercourse, gender id, sexual orientation, countrywide origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information and facts, or any other lawfully safeguarded position, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Chance Employer.

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