The Food Processing and Engineering Lab focuses on topics related to (1) engineering for food nutrition, quality, and safety, and (2) the application of nanotechnology in foods. The team investigates traditional thermal as well as emerging innovative non-thermal processing technologies that lead to improvements in the quality, safety, and shelf-life of food products. Ongoing research focuses on the application of cellulose nanocrystal and agricultural wastes, such as grape pomace, to develop active nanocomposite food packaging as a means of addressing issues around food safety, agricultural sustainability, and environmental impact.
One highlighted project investigates the effects of thermal processing on the nutritional, functional, and bioactive ingredients in chickpeas, with the aim of helping the hummus industry better understand the scientific principles at work during the preparation of its products. The overall objective of the program is to support the needs of small farmers and the food industry through offering access to expertise and facilities, while at the same time fostering partnerships between the university and industry for mutual benefit. The program also provides a platform for training students in state-of-the-art research and technologies, building on their academic experience and enhancing their competitiveness for careers in food and related industries.