Meals Engineer Aims for Circularity of Entire world Foods Techniques

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Whit Pruitt, College Relations

Ebenezer Miezah Kwokie

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Ebenezer Miezah Kwofie sees foods production and usage as linear, with waste products leaking out all along the line. He’d like to turn that line into a loop to develop a much more sustainable foods process throughout the world.

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

The departments of biological and agricultural engineering and meals science are also section of the University of Arkansas Technique Division of Agriculture.

“Dr. Kowfie’s emphasis on sustainable foodstuff techniques will increase important capability to the team on sustainable foodstuff and nutrition to tackle international foods challenges,” mentioned Lalit Verma, organic and agricultural engineering section head. “Dr. Jeyam Subbiah and I are operating to develop a main of excellence in food engineering in the Division of Agriculture and the College of Arkansas.”

“Our departments’ collaboration on integrated foodstuff sustainability involves analysis of profitability, foodstuff basic safety, social impacts and other aspects,” Subbiah, head of the meals science department for the Division of Agriculture and Bumpers College, stated. “Our experts and engineers have to establish how to quantify those people metrics, and Dr. Kwofie brings an fascinating stock of expertise and working experience to the undertaking.”

Track record

“I know what we imply when we say our existing meals method is not performing,” Kwofie stated. “I know it from the subject, not just the lab.”

Just before coming to the U of A, Kwofie labored on foodstuff sustainability tasks in Africa, Latin The us and Asia. He led tasks to establish packages and versions to evaluate foodstuff sustainability in local foodstuff systems in individuals locations.

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

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

In the course of postdoctoral appointments at McGill, he executed his function in metrics and systems in Zambia, Ethiopia, Bolivia and Laos. In a separate undertaking in the course of the exact postdoc, he worked modeling sustainable industrial processing in the Dry Corridors of Honduras.

Connecting the dots

Kwofie claimed current food items programs are linear. When rice is harvested, for example, tons of straw are left in the fields. About a third of the grain’s mass — rice hulls and bran — is eliminated in the course of the milling of white rice, and generally most are squandered.

It can be a straight line, Kwofie claimed, that commences with output on the farm and passes by processing, distribution and intake. This method wastes lots of food byproducts by the close of the line.

Other crops, like legumes this sort of as peas and soybeans, are typically grown for plant-centered protein foods, Kwofie explained. “But these meals incorporate a large amount much more starch than protein,” he mentioned. “Whilst starch has enormous opportunity for non-meals purposes, it is considered a byproduct by the protein industries and is treated as these.”

His remedy is to switch the line into a circle. Kwofie said acquiring utilizes for individuals wasted byproducts is essential to circularity. The byproducts can be recycled back again into the program, utilised as soil amendments for the farms, burned to make energy or any range of other uses.

“Examining the technological, economic and environmental trade-offs of these utilization pathways gives a lot more possibilities and choices for stakeholders to make a much more sustainable alternative,” Kwofie reported.

His analysis explores the connectivity of the features that make up food units. He begins by analyzing client needs and wants. “Customers generate the farms in that the farmers know they must grow crops they can offer,” he reported.

He thinks consumers could make more educated food stuff options if they had more info about nutritional values and environmental expenditures involved with diverse food items. “This information and facts is accessible for industries,” he mentioned. “I want to search at means that exact same details can be created quickly offered to shoppers.”

Kwofie designs to market sustainable healthier foodstuff alternatives between consumers via nudging and enabling consumers to see the affect of their alternatives on their health and the environment. His lab is establishing a sustainable nutritious decision world wide web system that enables shoppers to know the diet high quality, contribution to healthful residing, and the environmental impacts of their foodstuff preference right before creating their buy. He said the system would be out there in dining spots and foodstuff courts and on U of A internet websites for all set obtain.

Understanding consumer needs can aid shape food items manufacturing, processing and distribution units to make a lot more sustainable food stuff devices to feed a hungry world, Kwofie claimed.

His appointments in a number of departments location Kwofie in an excellent position to collaborate with food stuff researchers in the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, the research arm of the Division of Agriculture, and with chemical engineers. A group with these kinds of diverse understanding and abilities can assist him join those dots.

To master additional about Division of Agriculture research, stop by the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station internet site: aaes.uark.edu. Adhere to us on Twitter at @ArkAgResearch.

About the Division of Agriculture: The University of Arkansas Method Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and family members by connecting trustworthy exploration to the adoption of best practices. As a result of the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts investigate and extension do the job inside of the nation’s historic land grant schooling system.

The Division of Agriculture is just one of 20 entities within just the University of Arkansas Method. It has places of work in all 75 counties in Arkansas and school on five method campuses.

The University of Arkansas Procedure Division of Agriculture delivers all its Extension and Investigate programs and products and services devoid of regard to race, coloration, sexual intercourse, gender identification, sexual orientation, nationwide origin, faith, age, disability, marital or veteran standing, genetic information and facts, or any other legally safeguarded standing, and is an Affirmative Motion/Equivalent Opportunity Employer.