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BSE Faculty Receive 2018 WSDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Awards

September 21, 2018  |  Pullman, WA

 

Biological Systems Engineering Faculty Lav Khot and Manoj Karkee received Washington State Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant Awards.

 

Lav Khot’s project titled “Alternative pest management technologies for tree fruit and wine grapes” was awarded $249,088.

Abstract: This WSU team, with agricultural engineering, viticulture, plant pathology and entomology expertise, will investigate use of horticultural oil thermotherapy (HOT) and ozonated water sprayer (OWS) applications for effective control of indicator pest and disease species in pear and wine grapes. Both are novel ways to transform commonly-accepted low-risk materials (oil, ozonated water) for improved pest and disease control with minimal chemical residue levels needed for export market. Our project aligns with environmental stewardship goals of using methodologies and products that have minimal off-target impacts and reduced chemical inputs. It bolsters available toolkit for organic pest management, while being equally viable in conventional and IPM-based programs .Our specific project objectives are:(1)to transform our existing laboratory-scale HOT sprayer into a field-appropriate prototype and optimization for pear psyllid, and grape mealybug and powdery mildew control;(2) to evaluate a commercially available OWS to control the above indicator pest and disease species; and (3) to engage local manufacturers to build and distribute these technologies as well as conduct extensive Extension to increase the rate of technology adoption. Objective 1 activities include:(i) HOT sprayer prototyping, (ii) evaluate its application accuracy within different canopy regions of trellised grape and large pear canopies, and (iii) assess control of indicator pest and disease species through field trials. Objective 2 activities include:(i) optimization of OWS, and (ii) bioassay-based mortality assessments with field evaluations. Objective 3 activities will focus on early engagement with growers and equipment manufacturers for meaningful outreach education of field optimized technologies.

 

Manoj Karkee’s project titled ” Precise Mechanical Solution for Vineyard Shoot Thinning” was awarded $195,232.

Abstract: This proposal is submitted by Washington State University. We propose to develop an automated solution for green shoot thinning in wine grapes. Currently, there is about 55,000 acres of wine grapes and about 900 licensed wineries in Washington with ~$5 billion economic impact to the state. Green shoot thinning, an operation to remove some of the shoots from vine cordons, is used to improve spacing and direction of shoot growth, which is essential to create healthy and productive canopies as it improves light penetration and air movement in the canopies. This operation is highly labor-intensive, costing growers >$265/acre/year. Machine thinning can reduce the cost to about ~$10/acre. However, currently available shoot thinners lack desired level of precision and speed, and require skilled operators. Our goal is to develop an automated system for precise positioning of thinning heads of a mechanical thinner. To achieve this goal, we will focus on developing; i) a machine vision system to estimate cordon/trunk location and shoot density; ii) a prototype, pneumatic shoot thinner capable of quickly adjusting thinning roller position for precise removal of target shoots; and iii) an integrated, automated thinning machine and evaluate it in the vineyard environment. By the end of the project, it is expected that our prototype and field validation study will provide sufficient data and information for companies to develop and commercialize the machine. Commercial adoption of this technology will reduce farm labor use and production cost, resulting in a substantial benefit to Washington wine grape industry.

 

Read More on the Washington State Department of Agriculture’s Ag Briefs Page and the Specialty Crop Block Grant Awards Abstract Page.

 

 

Researchers collaborate with youth for science fair projects, encourage interest in STEM

September 7, 2018  |  Richland, WA  |  By Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities

Aftab Ahamed poses for a photo with his children, Afrah Aftab and Areeb Aftab, both from Hanford High School, who earned gold and silver at the Genius Olympiad International Science Fair RICHLAND, Wash. – High school students in the Tri-Cities have seen success not only at the state level in science fairs, but also at national and international competitions after collaborating with researchers at Washington State University Tri-Cities for their research projects.

The goal of the partnerships, the professors said, is not only to provide students with exposure to a variety of science and engineering projects that can stand to have large impacts, but additionally so that more students will receive exposure to hands-on opportunities in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. With this experience, the students can witness what is possible through those career paths, they said.

Continue Reading: Researchers collaborate with youth for science fair projects, encourage interest in STEM

 

 

WSU’s apple picking machine provides potential for future orchard operations

August 27, 2018  |  Tri-Cities, WA

 

Apple season is here; and did you know a person can pick about 30 apples per minute? But, WSU’s new machine can pick those apples in about a second.

The apple picking machine was created by students and faculty at Washington State University. It can be found in a garage while some improvements are made to it. The program is all headed by Dr. Manoj Karkee, an associate professor at WSU.

 

Read more about the project on NBC Right Now: WSU’s apple picking machine provides potential for future orchard operations

 

BSE Faculty and Students Attend ASABE 2018 – Student Wins First Place Award

BSE at ASABE 2018 August 1, 2018  |  Detroit, MI

Faculty and Graduate Students from Biological Systems Engineering attended the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) 2018 Annual Meeting. The event took place  July 29, 2018 – August 01, 2018 in Detroit Michigan.

BSE Faculty included Lav Khot, Troy Peters, Juming TangManoj Karkee, Sindhuja Sankaran, and Qin Zhang.

WSU alumnus Dr. Norman Scott was also in attendance.

 

More information about the meeting can be found on the ASABE Annual Meeting 2018 Website

 

 

Kapil Khanal with ASABE Award

In addition, BSE Master’s student Kapil Khanal (advised by BSE faculty member Dr. Manoj Karkee) won the first place Boyd-Scott Graduate Research Award for his research titled “Red Raspberry Bundling and Taping Mechanism.”

More information on the Boyd-Scott Graduate Research Award can be found on the ASABE Webiste

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food Engineering Students, Graduates, & Faculty Attend IFT 2018

BSE at IFT 2018August 2, 2018  |  Chicago, IL

Students, former graduates and faculty from the Food Engineering Division participated in the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting and Food Expo 2018 at Chicago, IL, and won several awards and recognition, highlighting BSE and WSU. The IFT Annual Meeting is one of the events that every food technology professional looks forward to each year. IFT 2018 brought together 23000 attendees from industry, academia and government, focused and passionate towards the science of food. Here is a list of our achievements this year:

 

 

Attendees:

  • Faculty: Drs. Gustavo Barbosa-Cánovas and Shyam S. Sablani
  • Students: Atisheel Kak, Jiewen (Grace) Guan, Juhi Patel, Li-Huei (Emily) Chen, Pavitra Krishna Kumar, Zhi Qu
  • Past Graduates: Drs. Ellen Bornhorst, Hongchao Zhang, Sumeet Dhawan

Poster Presentations:

  • Food engineering division:
    • A fluorescence-based method for estimation of oxygen barrier properties of wall materials in spray dried microcapsules
      Atisheel Kak*, Poonam Bajaj, Kanishka Bhunia, Nitin Nitin, Shyam S. Sablani
  • Food microbiology division:
    • Water activity at treatment temperature is the determining factor to influence thermal resistance of Salmonella enteritidis PT30 in different flour matrices
      Jie Xu, Jiewen (Grace) Guan*, Juming Tang
  • Food packaging division:
    • Effect of barrier properties of polymer pouches on shelf life of Microwave-Assisted Thermally Sterilized Ready-to-Eat Macaroni and Cheese*
      Juhi Patel*, Hongchao Zhang, Juming Tang, Carolyn F. Ross, Tom C. Yang, Shyam S. Sablani, Renata Queiroz
      Third place, Student poster competition, Food packaging division
    • Shelf life stability of a Ready-to-Eat sweet potato puree processed using Microwave-Assisted Thermal Sterilization and packaged with high barrier polymeric pouches
      Hongchao Zhang*, Juhi Patel, Kanishka Bhunia, Chandrashekhar R. Sonar, Saleh M. Al-Ghamdi, Carolyn F. Ross, Juming Tang, Shyam S. Sablani.
  • Refrigerated and frozen foods division:
    • Understanding ice recrystallization during frozen storage and its influence on mechanical properties of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) var. Russet Brown
      Pavitra Krishna Kumar*, Kanishka Bhunia, Juming Tang, Barbara Rasco, Pawan S. Takhar, Shyam S. Sablani (*Second place, Student poster competition, Refrigerated and frozen foods division)

*Presenting author

Division Leadership:

  • Food engineering division – Student representatives
    • 2016-2018
      Jie (Chris) Xu
      Pavitra Krishna Kumar*
      *Outstanding division volunteer award
    • 2018-2020
      Sumeyye Inanaoglu
      Jiewen (Grace) Guan
      Yonas Gezahegn
  • Food packaging division – Chair
    • 2018-2019
      Dr. Shyam S. Sablani

Symposium: Marcel Loncin lectures: Advances in Food Materials Science:

  • Co-moderators:
    Dr. Shyam S. Sablani
    Dr. Shelly J Schmidt, Professor, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, IL
  • Oral presentation: Rational design of encapsulation systems for improved oxidative stability of micronutrients
    Dr. Shyam S. Sablani

Past Graduates Attendee Achievements:

  • Emerging Leaders Network Program: Dr. Sumeet Dhawan
  • Division poster competition judges:
    • Fruit and vegetable processing division: Dr. Ellen Bornhorst
    • Food packaging division: Dr. Hongchao Zhang

 

More information can be found on the IFT website

 

WSU Microwave Technology Featured in Harvard Business Review Article

sept17-21-86283984Harvard Business Review  |  September 22, 2017

The supermarket and grocery business is likely to suffer strong headwinds in the future, due to long-term shifts in consumer behavior. Although many people don’t realize it yet, grocery shopping and cooking are in a long-term decline. They are shifting from a mass category, based on a daily activity, to a niche activity that a few people do only some of the time.

“One promising innovation is MATS technology, or microwave assisted thermal sterilization, created at Washington State University. This FDA-approved technology creates multiple benefits. First, it sterilizes food with minimal heat, pressure, and time so that the texture and taste of the food remains restaurant-quality. Second, thanks to the minimal degradation of quality, there is a super-clean label (meaning the product will have few chemical-sounding, unpronounceable ingredients) and an incentive to add high-quality ingredients. Third, the food remains packaged at room temperature, and remains safe to eat for months on end. [continue reading]

Source: The Grocery Industry Confronts a New Problem: Only 10% of Americans Love Cooking

Effects of Sugars, Furans, and their Derivatives on Hydrodeoxygenation of Biorefinery Lignin‐Rich Wastes to Hydrocarbons

July 02, 2018  |  Pullman, WA

 

Bin Yang ArticleBiological Systems Engineering Faculty Professor Bin Yang published the the research paper titled: “Effects of Sugars, Furans, and their Derivatives on Hydrodeoxygenation of Biorefinery Lignin‐Rich Wastes to Hydrocarbons

 

 

 

 

Abstract: Hydrodeoxygenation of biorefinery lignin‐rich wastes to jet fuel hydrocarbons offers a significant opportunity for enhancing the overall operational efficiency, carbon conversion efficiency, economic viability, and sustainability of biofuels production. However, these wastes usually mainly contain lignin with sugars, furans, and their derivatives as “impurities”. Although several factors, including reactant structure, solvents, or the decreased ratio of catalyst to reactant, could be responsible for the jet fuel hydrocarbons yield loss, we found evidence that glucose, xylose, and 5‐hydroxymethylfurfural dramatically decreased conversion yields. For example, xylose and glucose lowered the final hydrocarbon yield by 78 and 63 %, respectively. The results revealed that these compounds could suppress metal catalysts and inhibit lignin depolymerization and hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) reactions thus decrease yields of jet fuel range hydrocarbons from biomass‐derived lignin. The first‐principles calculations and TGA results from spent catalysts validated these findings.

 

Read more about the paper on the Wiley Online Library: Effects of Sugars, Furans, and their Derivatives on Hydrodeoxygenation of Biorefinery Lignin‐Rich Wastes to Hydrocarbons

WSU researchers creating catalyst to improve jet biofuel production

RICHLAND, Wash. – Efforts to create an environmentally friendly catalyst that will lower the cost and increase the efficiency in producing bio-based jet fuels has netted Washington State University researchers a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

WSU Tri-Cities associate professor Hanwu Lei and his research team aim to develop the catalyst — a substance that increases the rate of chemical reactions and lowers the energy needed to perform the reaction — from forestry and agricultural waste products.

 

[ Read full article in WSU Insider ]

 

FEC Club Visits Pacific Foods

Food Engineering Club at Pacific FoodsThe FEC is comprised of 20 student members and one faculty advisor. Under the supervision of three core faculty members, these students conduct research in advanced thermal and non-thermal food technologies as well as polymeric packaging technologies to help the food industry address challenges of increasing consumer demand for safe, nutritious, and high-quality food products.

FEC visited Pacific Foods as a part of their March 2018 Professional Development activity. 11 graduate students, 2 visiting scholars from China and Brazil along with faculty Dr. Gustavo Barbosa-Cánovas participated in the activity. The participants got a chance to take a detailed tour of the manufacturing process, product development lab and waste recycling facility. Our guides explained the entire process in detail, such as production of chicken broth, extraction of soy milk, cooking of meals, Aseptic filling of product into cartons, final packaging and retorting.

 

[ Read full article in Newsletter ]

 

Waled Suliman Receives 2018 Amazon Catalyst Grant

PULLMAN, Wash. – Amazon Catalyst program has awarded $177,735 in grants to 10 Washington State University teams comprised of students, faculty and staff across disciplines and locations.

The collaborative program between Amazon and WSU launched early in 2018 to fund projects deemed globally impactful and disruptive.

What are the next inventions that will change how people live their lives and conduct business? This is the question WSU’s Amazon Catalyst Program applicants are looking to answer with their disruptive ideas, innovative projects and impactful inventions.

 

[ Read full article in WSU Insider ]

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