WSU researchers will examine food safety following a grant received by the Department of Biology Systems Engineering.
The department was recently awarded the $238,500 grant from the National Needs Fellowship to further research and train doctoral students to promote environmentally friendly means of food production, processing and storing.
The grant will allow three WSU doctoral students to acquire proper training for developing positive food engineering techniques and technologies. They will work with both corporations and U.S. federal agencies to further their studies.
“This is a very important grant that both recognizes ground-breaking research in food safety and the need to educate a new generation of leaders in this area,” said Howard Grimes, vice president for research and dean of the WSU graduate school.
The new grant will be used to further develop solutions for the constant conflict between providing a large enough food supply for an increasing population as well as meeting the crisis for new energy and environmental requirements, according to a WSU News release.
“It is essential that we continue to develop innovative technologies, such as our new microwave that is being introduced globally as a replacement to pasteurization, and research scientists that will continue to discover new ways to keep our food healthy,” Grimes said. “This grant will do both.”
The grant allows WSU researchers to be some of the top in the field and continue to create better technologies for the future of food sciences. It will also allow WSU to maintain its leadership on a global scale in the field of advancing innovative approaches for sustainability, according to the press release.
The three doctoral students participating in this training will be taught through not only classroom techniques, but research environments as well. The overall grant is intended to teach future leaders how to increase and advance food safety, as well as health and wellbeing in an eco-friendly way.
Juming Tang, WSU professor and one of the three researchers participating in the training, stated in the press release that the program supports WSU's vision to become a world leader in developing advanced solutions for safe food production.
The entire grant, titled “Educating Food Engineers to Develop High-Performance Integrated Processing and Packaging Technologies that Enhance Food Safety & Quality,” is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture.