Three New Projects Funded

In the second open call for proposals from the Innovation Institute for Food & Health (IIFH), applicants from across multiple sectors and disciplines were encouraged to collaborate in designing cutting-edge projects to improve energy efficiency across the food system. An initial joint endeavor between the Energy Institute at Colorado State University (CSU) and the University of California at Davis (UCD) emphasized technologies and processes to address energy inefficiencies, food safety and nutritional content in food preservation.

Energy inputs present the greatest cost for food production and processing. Yet ineffective preservation results in huge spoilage waste across storage and distribution channels, and introduces food-borne toxins that affect countless populations in the US and abroad. Disrupting this high-cost, high-waste scenario is our target for impact in the next 12-24 months.

You are invited to contribute to the next innovation cycle to make a systemic difference. Stay tuned for information about our 2018 Request for Innovation.

Energy-Food Projects

FOOD – Reducing energy use and food waste in poultry meat preservation
Utilizing microbiome and bioinformatic tools to improve poultry meat preservation, and develop indicators predictive of quality, shelf-life and nutritive status.

ENERGY – Saving energy through gasification of food waste to fuel food preservation
Analysis of food processing and agricultural waste streams to explore the commercial potential of a waste-to-energy gasification technology supplying food preservation processes.

FOOD – Zeolite regeneration and use for improved food preservation
Developing mobile, scalable and inexpensive desiccant technologies to enhance food preservation, nutrition capture and storage.

* COLLABORATIVE PROGRAM – Partnership with Foundation for Food & Agriculture
IIFH worked with national partner Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) to develop $1.79 million food waste and drought tolerance programs to improve drying methods and shelf-stablilty of products across the food system.

Food, Ag and Health Projects

In the first open call for proposals from the Innovation Institute for Food & Health (IIFH), non-profit and industry applicants from across multiple sectors and disciplines were encouraged to collaborate in designing cutting-edge projects to accelerate transformation at the interface of food, agriculture and health. Our first pilot brought county families together with expertise from the Yolo Food Bank, Family Hui and UC Davis to address prevalent issues of food insecurity and food waste locally.*

IIFH went on to fund uncommon collaborators across a portfolio of projects in the broad fields of food, agriculture, health, engineering and technology. Transdisciplinary perspectives can revolutionize sustainable agriculture and food safety, and secure access to nutrition for all. We now invite you to join our next innovation cycle with the 2017 Request for Innovation.

HEALTH – Assessing the health impacts of wheat varieties
Evaluating the health effects of a new wheat variety with increased dietary fiber, including impact on adult blood sugar levels without having to adjust eating habits.

HEALTH – Improving the quality and safety of Rwanda’s dairy market
A community-based curriculum to train smallholder farmers in Rwanda on ways to improve the quality and safety of the country’s dairy infrastructure, as it aims to double milk consumption by 2018.

ENGINEERING – Developing the ultimate weapon against bacteria
A techno-economic analysis of novel biologics production and use for food safety antimicrobials, and an alternative to traditional antibiotics.

TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT – Using insect surveillance to reduce pesticide use
Application of sensor technology and big data to create a collection of sensors and algorithms to monitor pests and insects, reducing use of pesticides and crop damage.

TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT – Mapping and coordinating data between food systems and stakeholders
Development of a centralized framework and location for mapping, developing, storing and interpreting data streams between food systems and stakeholders to lay the foundation for a technology driven food system.

AGRICULTURE – Developing a production pipeline for a plant-based meat substitute
Improving cropping, harvesting, handling and post-harvest methods to develop a reliable supply of protein derived from alfalfa.

AGRICULTURE – Creating optical assays to detect crop exposure to drought
Developing a hybrid platform that couples biological specificity with nanochemistry to detect specific crop stress in real time.

FOOD – Applying Design Thinking to systemic food challenges
Training students in evolved Design Thinking and rapid prototyping to create solutions for systemic food challenges, such as waste.

* FOOD – Feeding Yolo and beyond
IIFH’s first pilot project uses abundant local produce to create a delicious and nutritious shelf-stable meal reflecting the cultural preferences of predominant food insecure families in Yolo County.