CEIGRAM Seminar: «Prevention of Food Rot Along the Value Chain to Reduce Waste and Environmental Impact»

Fecha: 17/05/2023

On May 19, at 12:30h, in collaboration with the Ocean Born Foundation and Ryp Labs Inc, the seminar “Prevention of food rot along the value chain to reduce waste and environmental impact” will be held in the auditorium of the Agricultural Building of the School of Agricultural, Food and Biosystems Engineering, given by Amit Dhingra, Head of the Department of Horticultural Sciences, Professor of Genomics and Biotechnology and Senior Scientist at the Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture and Development at Texas A&M University.

The Dhingra research program investigates important biological processes in specialty crops relevant to the current and future needs of agriculture. He has been awarded three US and three international patents on regulating ripening in fruits to reduce post-harvest wastage. He has published more than 85 high impact peer-reviewed journal articles. He has trained 17 graduate students and several post-doctoral scientists, and over a hundred undergraduate students, and in 2017, he was awarded the Council on Undergraduate Research National Biology Mentor award. He serves on the editorial board of five internationally reputed plant science journals. Dr. Dhingra’s research has been featured in the New York TimesThe Atlantic, BBC, The Times of London, and several other news outlets.

Amit founded Phytelligence Inc., an agriculture biotechnology spin-off out of his lab in 2011. He has recently started his second start-up, Qualterra Inc. (www.qualterraag.com), an agricultural technology company that is creating innovations for agriculture and sustainability. He is also currently involved with Moolec Science (https://moolecscience.com/), a plant-based, alternative protein production company that was recently listed on Nasdaq, and Ryp Labs (https://www.ryplabs.com/), a post-harvest technology start-up, in the capacity of their Chief Science Officer. 

Additional information about Dr. Dhingra’s professional activities can be obtained at:

Research website – https://genomics.wsu.edu/category/news/ and https://hortsciences.tamu.edu/people/faculty-2/amit-dhingra/

LinkedIN: linkedin.com/in/amitdhingraphd

Summary of the Seminar:

– Introduction of the Ocean Born Foundation by Martin Schwab, Co-Founder and CEO

– Food waste in the EU by Megan Thode and Sören Zimmer, Special Projects Ocean Born Foundation 

– Dr. Amit Dhingra: There is a need to produce 70% more food to feed the burgeoning population. However, over 40% of the food produced globally is wasted at the postharvest stage. There is an urgent need to reduce or eliminate postharvest wastage to mitigate its negative environmental impact. Therefore, there is a need to develop and evaluate novel pre-harvest and postharvest approaches to delay or regulate ripening processes and address the postharvest disease issues. Research in the Dhingra lab focuses on addressing the challenges of food production throughout the value chain. A patented preharvest technology has been shown to improve quality, storage and reduce incidence of physiological disorders. Another patented postharvest technology enables the regulation of  respiratory and ethylene sensing and synthesis pathways to improve fruit quality and reduce wastage. Investigations into the mechanisms of these approaches are underway and will be presented. In partnership with Ryp Labs, an innovative post-harvest solution company focused on tackling food waste, we are working to understand how the volatile components of some essential oils impede fungal and bacterial pathogens in order to commercialize sustainable postharvest disease-mitigating solutions and reduce the environmental impact of food wastage.

Seminar Moderator: Fernando Escribano, investigador del CEIGRAM.

At the end of the seminar, an Ocean Beer will be invited to the attendees.

The seminar will also be transmitted online.

Registration through the following link: «Prevention of Food Rot Along the Value Chain to Reduce Waste and Environmental Impact»

Organizers of the seminar:

CEIGRAM Seminar: «Development of Climate Smart Agriculture Technologies to Improve Crop Productivity and Mitigate Environmental Risks»

Fecha: 08/06/2022

Next Monday, June 27, the Seminar «Development of Climate Smart Agriculture Technologies to Improve Crop Productivity and Mitigate Environmental Risks» will be held at the CEIGRAM headquarters and online, given by the professor and researcher Aitazaz Farooque.

Dr. Aitazaz Farooque is working as an Associate Dean & Associate Professor/Industry Research Chair – Precision Agriculture (PA) at the School of Climate Change and Adaptation, University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI). Dr. Farooque’s research focuses on fundamental understanding and development of state-of-the-art precision agriculture technologies for Eastern Canada’s agriculture industry. Dr. Farooque is actively working on machine vision, application of multispectral and thermal imagery using drone technology, delineation of management zones for site-specific fertilization, deep learning, artificial intelligence, electromagnetic induction methods, remote sensing, and digital photography technique for mapping, bio-systems modeling, hydrological modeling, artificial neural network, analog and digital sensor integration into agricultural equipment for real-time soil, plant, and yield mapping.

Dr. Farooque was selected as one of the Top 125 researchers of Canada to receive NSERC Discovery Accelerator Supplement Research Grant. Aitazaz has supervised/co-supervising 13 PhDs, 16 MScs, 1 PDF, 7 research associates, and over 30 undergraduate research students. Dr. Farooque has authored/co-authored about 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, 3 book chapters, 60 conference proceedings, 40-industry presentation, and 23 keynote/invited talks at various conferences and professional events.

Dr. Farooque has received various national awards in recognition of his excellent contributions in research, teaching, and services, i.e., Young Engineer Award 2020 – Canadian Society for Bioengineering, Scholarly Endeavor Award 2020 – UPEI Faculty Association, UPEI Presidential Award for Combined Achievement 2019 (Teaching, research, and service) and Engineers PEI Award for Engineering Excellence 2018. I am registered Professional Engineer with Engineers Nova Scotia and Engineers PEI. Dr. Farooque has garnered over $8M in research funding from various provincial, federal and industry funding agencies in Canada. Farooque is a registered Professional Engineer in both PEI and Nova Scotia.


Agriculture is a key resource to ensure food security at the planet. The increasing world population demands more food for survival, as agricultural land is shrinking because of urbanization and intensification. Agriculture production contributes significantly to global warming and is related to climate change which is very likely to affect food security at the global, regional, and local level.

Agriculture production typically involves uniform management during a growing season, ignoring spatial and temporal variations in soil/crop/weather/yield and topographic attributes that exist within fields. Uniform management not only increases the production cost but also adversely affects our environment (increased greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, nitrate leaching into sub-surface/ground waters, nutrient runoff into water bodies, damaging aquaculture and fisheries and deterioration of air quality).

The sustainable agriculture production requires discoveries, innovations, and technical skill, which need to be integrated into traditional farming to achieve sustainable agriculture practices. Hence, there is an emerging need for increased production efficiency, profitability, and environmental protection in the face of climate change, but these cannot be achieved if the agriculture fields are managed uniformly. This situation emphasizes the need to develop smart technologies that can encounter spatial and temporal variations within the agriculture fields in real-time to achieve site-specific management on an as-needed basis. Smart agriculture management using precision agriculture technologies can improve crop productivity, increase profit margins, and minimize environmental risks to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Registration through the following link: «Development of Climate Smart Agriculture Technologies to Improve Crop Productivity and Mitigate Environmental Risks»

Modality: through the zoom platform. Before June 27, the link will be provided to those registered.