UC Davis researchers

2018 Program Funding – IIFH Helps Secure $1.79 Million

The UC Davis Innovation Institute for Food and Health (IIFH) is committed to cross-sector partnerships that expand and engage a vibrant innovation community. In December 2017, IIFH worked with national partner Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) to develop food waste and drought tolerance programs. More than $1 million in seed funding was awarded to UC Davis researchers and collaborators, and matched by IIFH funding. These investments will be used to improve drying methods and shelf-stability of products across the food system, and ensure that source crops are drought hardy in preparation for an ever changing climate.

The food processing industry has only been incrementally innovated upon since the 1950’s.  Dr. Irwin Donis-Gonzalez hopes to increase efficiencies in food preservation and energy usage to generate optimal health outcomes, and ultimately revolutionize the food processing industry.  “This new method will use innovative moisture-absorbing technology instead of exclusively relying on heated air to dehydrate produce, such as grains, nuts, rice and seeds, for optimum storage and distribution,” said Donis-Gonzalez.

By delving into the genetic basis for drought tolerance, traits for improved root capabilities are being uncovered and made publicly available by Dr. Pamela Ronald. This project is a prime example of how public-private partnerships can advance our understanding of plant genetics to develop crops resistant to drought and other climate extremes,” said Sally Rockey, Executive Director of FFAR.

The food processing industry has only been incrementally innovated upon since the 1950’s. Ineffective preservation methods currently introduce a host of harmful byproducts in the form of aflatoxins, which affect countless consumers each year.  The goal is to increase efficiencies in food preservation and energy usage for optimal health outcomes, and ultimately to revolutionize the food processing industry. Read more: @FoundationFAR