Foodstuff Engineer Aims for Circularity of Environment Meals Devices

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Ebenezer Miezah Kwokie&#13

Whit Pruitt, University Relations

Ebenezer Miezah Kwokie

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Ebenezer Miezah Kwofie sees meals production and usage as linear, with squander merchandise leaking out all together the line. He’d like to change that line into a loop to build a much more sustainable food program throughout the world.

Kwofie has joined the College of Arkansas College of Engineering with appointments in the departments of biological and agricultural engineering and chemical engineering. He will also have a research appointment in the division of foods science in the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food items and Lifetime Sciences.

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

“Dr. Kowfie’s focus on sustainable meals methods will include useful capability to the group on sustainable meals and nutrition to address world-wide food items challenges,” stated Lalit Verma, biological and agricultural engineering office head. “Dr. Jeyam Subbiah and I are performing to make a core of excellence in meals engineering in the Division of Agriculture and the College of Arkansas.”

“Our departments’ collaboration on integrated food sustainability involves assessment of profitability, food security, social impacts and other features,” Subbiah, head of the foods science office for the Division of Agriculture and Bumpers College, claimed. “Our scientists and engineers have to figure out how to quantify those metrics, and Dr. Kwofie brings an exciting stock of skills and knowledge to the activity.”

Background

“I know what we signify when we say our existing meals technique is not doing work,” Kwofie explained. “I know it from the subject, not just the lab.”

Before coming to the U of A, Kwofie labored on food sustainability assignments in Africa, Latin America and Asia. He led projects to develop plans and models to measure meals sustainability in nearby food units in people parts.

“I know what it signifies not to connect the dots,” he claimed.

Kwofie gained a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at Kwame Nkrumah College of Science and Engineering 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 College, Canada.

In the course of postdoctoral appointments at McGill, he done his perform in metrics and systems in Zambia, Ethiopia, Bolivia and Laos. In a independent challenge during the identical postdoc, he labored modeling sustainable industrial processing in the Dry Corridors of Honduras.

Connecting the dots

Kwofie said existing foodstuff techniques are linear. When rice is harvested, for case in point, tons of straw are still left in the fields. About a third of the grain’s mass — rice hulls and bran — is eradicated all through the milling of white rice, and usually most are squandered.

It can be a straight line, Kwofie said, that commences with manufacturing on the farm and passes as a result of processing, distribution and intake. This procedure wastes a lot of foods byproducts by the conclude of the line.

Other crops, like legumes this sort of as peas and soybeans, are often grown for plant-based protein meals, Kwofie said. “But these foodstuff comprise a whole lot more starch than protein,” he mentioned. “While starch has big likely for non-food items apps, it is deemed a byproduct by the protein industries and is dealt with as such.”

His response is to transform the line into a circle. Kwofie mentioned obtaining employs for all those squandered byproducts is key to circularity. The byproducts can be recycled again into the system, made use of as soil amendments for the farms, burned to create energy or any range of other makes use of.

“Analyzing the complex, economic and environmental trade-offs of these utilization pathways delivers additional alternatives and options for stakeholders to make a extra sustainable decision,” Kwofie claimed.

His investigate explores the connectivity of the elements that make up food devices. He begins by examining customer desires and desires. “Customers drive the farms in that the farmers know they must grow crops they can provide,” he mentioned.

He thinks individuals could make additional informed foods choices if they had extra information and facts about nutritional values and environmental prices related with different food items. “This information and facts is obtainable for industries,” he claimed. “I want to glimpse at methods that identical info can be produced effortlessly readily available to buyers.”

Kwofie options to encourage sustainable balanced food items possibilities amongst buyers by way of nudging and enabling buyers to see the impression of their options on their health and the surroundings. His lab is acquiring a sustainable nutritious choice internet platform that makes it possible for people to know the diet high-quality, contribution to balanced living, and the environmental impacts of their food selection in advance of creating their obtain. He said the platform would be obtainable in dining locations and foodstuff courts and on U of A web-sites for completely ready access.

Knowing buyer requires can assist form meals generation, processing and distribution methods to develop additional sustainable food items techniques to feed a hungry entire world, Kwofie mentioned.

His appointments in numerous departments area Kwofie in an best situation to collaborate with food stuff scientists in the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, the investigate arm of the Division of Agriculture, and with chemical engineers. A team with these numerous awareness and competencies can enable him connect those dots.

To study more about Division of Agriculture investigation, stop by the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station website: aaes.uark.edu. Observe us on Twitter at @ArkAgResearch.

About the Division of Agriculture: The College of Arkansas Process Division of Agriculture’s mission is to fortify agriculture, communities, and family members by connecting trusted investigation to the adoption of most effective practices. By means of the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Assistance, the Division of Agriculture conducts investigate and extension perform inside of the nation’s historic land grant education and learning method.

The Division of Agriculture is just one of 20 entities in just the College of Arkansas Technique. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on 5 technique campuses.

The University of Arkansas Program Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Study programs and solutions without regard to race, color, sexual intercourse, gender identification, sexual orientation, countrywide origin, religion, age, incapacity, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other lawfully guarded position, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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