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Nanotechnology in Food and in Agriculture

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Start time (UTC): 
2015-February-18, 16:00
Presenter
Presenter name: 
Victor Acha
Presenter institution: 
Institut Polytechnique LaSalle Beauvais
Details
Description: 

A large proportion of people living in developing countries face daily food shortages as a result of environmental impact or political instability, while in the developed world there is a food surplus. For developing countries the drive is to develop drought and pest resistant crops, which also maximize yield. In developed countries, the food industry is driven by consumer demand which is currently for fresher and healthier foodstuffs. Nanotechnology is the manipulation or self-assembly of individual atoms, or molecules into structures to create materials and devices with enhanced properties such as better physical strength, chemical reactivity, electrical conductance, and optical effects. Nanotechnology has the potential to revolutionize the agricultural and food industry with new tools for the molecular treatment of diseases, rapid disease detection, enhancing for instance the ability of plants to absorb nutrients. Smart sensors and delivery systems will increase the efficiency of pesticides and herbicides, allowing lower doses to be used. Several companies have gone public research programs about the development of new applications including smart packaging, on demand preservatives, and interactive foods. The prediction is that nanotechnology will transform the entire food industry, changing the way food is produced, processed, packaged, transported, and consumed. This presentation will review the key aspect of theses transformations, highlighting current applications in the agrifood industry and what future impacts these may have.

Speaker: Victor Acha got his B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering at the San Francisco Xavier University, Sucre (Bolivia), his MSc in Food Engineering and his Ph.D. in Bioengineering at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium. He worked at the Mexican Institute of Oil (Mexico) in the treatment of oil effluents, at the Colorado State University (USA) in the development of biosensors for environmental applications, and at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (USA) in the development of biosensors for (bio)medical applications. His current research interests lie on the treatment of polluted waters by ozonation, bioprocess modeling, model-based estimations (software sensors and adaptive control), and also in the development of simple, fast and low cost methods for measuring biomolecules, ideal for real-time monitoring, such as (bio)sensors for environmental, biomedical, and food safety applications. He is permanent member of the labellized Research Unit HydrISE (Hydrogeochemistry and Soil water interaction at LaSalle Beauvais.

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