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Advanced Food Enginomics

The world’s population is expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050.[1] How do we ensure a safe, sustainable and secure food supply while addressing mounting waste and the increase in chronic disease?

From the paddock to the plate, Professor Fariba Dehghani and her team of engineers in the Centre for Advanced Food Enginomics (CAFE) are exploring the biological and food preparation processes that make us healthier.

When you enjoy your morning glass of orange juice, consider the waste that results from the 1.7 million metric tons of juice production worldwide each year.[2] Supported by industry partner Defugo, our researchers are using this citrus peel waste to develop a supplement for cancer patients in remission.

On the home front, we’re all guilty of wasting food or suffering the consequences of eating something past its ‘best before’ date. We’re developing smarter food packaging with printable food ink sensors, designed to detect gases produced by bacteria as the food deteriorates. As well as supplying manufacturers with valuable data and informing new storage solutions, the new technology will help family budgets as we waste less of our weekly food shopping.

Dr Dale McClure’s work with environmentally-friendly microalgae is looking to convert industry wastewater into high-value natural compounds such as Vitamin K1, which is essential for blood coagulation but may also promote bone and cardiovascular health. Fucoxanthin, a weight loss aid and Lutein, shown to assist with age-related macular degeneration, are also exciting prospective supplements to make our food healthier while repurposing waste.  

See how we're redefining possible in other areas of research.

 

[1] http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/news/population/2015-report.html, accessed 3 May 2018.

[2] https://apps.fas.usda.gov/psdonline/circulars/citrus.pdf, accessed 3 May 2018.



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