Kiruba Krishnaswamy: Food Innovation Technologies to Address Hidden Hunger
All right good afternoon everyone, it's my pleasure to welcome you back to the CAFNR webinar series. This is our 12th webinar in the series and the final one for this year. Well today we have one of our own faculty, Dr. Kiruba Krishnaswamy as the speaker, and she will be introduced by Dr. Sarah Low , who is the chair of the CAFNR Research Council. Before I hand over to Sarah I want to remind everyone to post your questions using the Q&A box, not the chat room. Sarah
will facilitate the Q&A session in the end. So without further ado, Sarah, the floor is yours. Thank you Shibu. Welcome everyone and happy finals week. I'm really delighted to introduce today Dr. Kiruba Krishnaswamy. I had the pleasure of getting to know her in 2019 during the new CAFNR faculty bus tour and we really hit it off. I saw her present at the agroforestry conference last winter and she was fantastic so I'm really glad she's able to present for us today. With that let me do her formal introduction. Dr. Kiruba Krishnaswamy is a Pillars of Pursuit food sustainability joint
hire between the College of Engineering and CAFNR. She started her research program named FEAST in the fall of 2018. Her unique skill set is integrating sustainable food system engineering by connecting upcycling of food loss, waste, food fortification to address hidden hunger and innovative micro nano encapsulation systems to deliver micro nutrients via food. Her FEAST research team consists of transdisciplinary students, engineers, scientists working together on a sustainable food process. She'll be talking a little bit today about her zero hunger set of goals, hidden hunger, connecting food and nutrition security together and those sorts of challenges. She has worked with industry and NGOs
around the world, notably in India, Canada, the USA and Kenya. Thank you Kiruba for joining us, take it away. Thank you Sarah for that kind introduction and Dr. Jose for having me here and let me share my script. Are you able to see my screen? So good afternoon everyone and I'm going to present about food innovation technologies to address hidden hunger, so the outline of my talk will be: I will give a brief journey about myself and what's food process engineering. We'll talk about hidden hunger and I'll introduce my research program, that's FEAST, current projects in our group and an overview about food innovation technologies. So how did I start? So my journey to become a food engineer started with food because I'm a big foodie and I wanted to know how they make chocolates and when I was searching, and I was good in STEM and I was interested in food, so this was the only university that was offering a food process engineering course. It's called Tamil Nadu Agriculture University and it's pretty
old. It's 114 years old institute. It's a land-grant institution and you know university had a pilot plant, like a food processing engineering pilot plant at TNA and that's where we started we worked on processing and cardinal had a dual degree at TNA. So when I was doing my undergraduate like you know we did a lot of value-added processing in the processing plant for fruits and vegetable processing like mangoes because the southern part of India is known for its spices and agroforestry. It's rich in horticulture so how do we add value
to these highly perishable commodities? So that was the interest but one particular project I was really interested was the consolidation of food security in south India which was a multi international project connecting TNAU, McGill and a lot of universities, and we were trying to transfer some of the food processing skills to rural women and improving the livelihood. So this particular experience uh gave me a profound understanding that how technology could be used to improve people's life and that's how I started to become more involved in this field and I got my commonwealth scholarship to continue my master's research at McGill and I continued my PhD at McGill in bio resource engineering and medical university is also pretty old like you know 199 years uh sorry yeah around 200 years old institution and it's an AAU institution. And then I did my post-doc in chemical engineering at University of Toronto which is also old 193 years old and it's also an AAU so McGill and TNA and University of Toronto are the only two universities outside the U.S. that has AAU status and now I'm at University of Missouri and it's a delight to be here because it's also one of the oldest institutions and something very unique. It's an AAU member and also it's a land-grant institution
so that is a very powerful combination and I'm so and that's that's why I am so excited to be here at Mizzou and do research. Another reason is Mizzou is the only university in the state of Missouri accredited to offer a food science program. So you need to be accredited by IFT, that's Institute of Food Technologists, to offer a food science program and we have a accreditation and to offer a food engineering you need to be accredited by both ABET and so we have both accreditations and we can offer the food process engineering course. So that's why Mizzou is important to
the state of Missouri. And then let's see some of the processing areas. So what are the key raw materials in Missouri, like you have agriculture, livestock production and agroforestry, right, and so when we want to develop value-added products, it could be of two things, like you know you take the raw materials and you convert into high-value products in two ways. One is a food material like so one, it can go into the food material, then it's been processed, it's been distributed and it can reach food and nutrition security. The other one is non-food and feedstock that is also needs to be processed. It's distributed and it can improve the economic security of people. So there is a lot of opportunities for processing in the state of Missouri and if you see the Show-me State Food, Beverage and Forest Product Manufacturing Initiative, you can see there could be around 71 billion dollars of increased economic activity and that's around 70,000 new jobs in the state. So there is a lot of potential for Missouri to be one of the key players in the area of processing. What I would say is Missouri has a lot of
potentials for value-added processing. So when we have value-added processing we need to know how to do this right. So that's where food processing engineering comes to play. What is food process engineering? But before we go into that, we need to look about what is food science. Food science is an interdisciplinary STEM field. It connects chemistry, microbiology, law, statistics, nutrition, physics, horticulture, biochemistry, engineering and this where food process engineering comes into play.
So now we've seen how food science and food engineering are connected, but it is really food engineering state like you know. It is in the interface of science engineering and technology so it's an applied field where it connects all these and what do we do in food process engineering? We take raw materials and we transform them into food we eat. We convert them into safe and nutritious food and also we increase these products' shelf life and so that gave you an overview of what is food engineer, food processor engineering.
Now I want to take you to what is sustainable food process engineering and what I mean by this. You might ask, why do I care about sustainable food and nutrition security, right? Because the start of the 21st century saw a lot of changes and so we had a lot of climate crisis from earthquakes, tsunamis, floods and last year we had floods in Missouri. Fires, wildfires are often a big challenge and drought. These are some of the climate crisis that we face in this century and now we are in a global pandemic, right? This global pandemic has exposed some of the social disparities in the world and you can see on one hand, people having less to eat, and on the other hand, we don't know how to process a food so that goes as waste. We waste around so much tons of food and if we know like you know if we had a better food systems we wouldn't have had these challenges and who are the people who are really affected? Around 80 percent of people living in rural communities are drastically afflicted by hunger issues and 20 percent of people in the urban areas are malnourished and this is a big challenge that we need to address as we move forward towards a post-COVID era. When we talk about hunger, the first thing that comes to
our mind is chronic hunger. That is when you don't have enough food eat for a long period of time and that affects around 821 million people in this world. It is a big number, one in nine people are affected by this, but there is something called hidden hunger and that affects around two billion people, approximately one third of the world population, and it's all due to vitamins and mineral deficiency like iron and zinc. The sad thing is around seven million children, before they reach the fifth birthday, die annually because of some form of malnutrition problem. We say children are our future but we lose around seven million children and all these statistics and numbers were before the onset of COVID. It has been projected around 10 to 15 increase in these numbers are
going are going to be in the post-COVID era. So this is something we need to address. Whenever we talk about malnutrition, right, it's a complex terminology. It's complex because there are so much interconnected challenges with malnutrition. So these are some of the ecological pathways for the double burden of malnutrition. I just want to simplify this. If you take an umbrella and you call that as a double burden of malnutrition. On one side you have wasting
and stunting, so that is this particular cycle here, wasting and stunting. On the other hand you have overweight and obesity. So here that leads to overweight and obesity. The interconnecting factor is micronutrient deficiencies. That's lack of micronutrients and this is a big challenge that is affecting two billion people are affected by micronutrient deficiency as well as two billion people are affected by obesity and overweight. So these are all interconnected complex challenges. So that's one thing. On the other hand as I said before, we waste around 1.3 billion tons of food
annually. Edible food is wasted. So you have two billion people without food like suffering from hidden hunger and 1.3 billion tons of food going as waste. Waste is a terminology that's created by humans. In nature there is nothing called waste. Everything flowed in a cycle and it transformed into something else, a product. So if we could learn
this from nature and change our perspectives, then we wouldn't be calling it as waste but rather 1.3 billion tons of raw materials that could be transformed into food and could feed the people who are in need of it and that's the whole vision of my research program. I do know this is a very complex challenge. There is no single solution to address this problem, but every small contribution can lead to addressing this challenge. So how are we addressing this challenge in a research group? A research group is called the FEAST lab that is food engineering and sustainable technologies lab. We work in three areas. One is sustainable food engineering that is upcycling of waste and food
loss and value addition to food, like recovering micronutrients and then fortifying those foods with micronutrients to address the problems of hidden hunger and once we develop therapeutic food, then we need to deliver them efficiently so developing innovative technologies for oral delivery mechanisms to deliver these micro nutrients and by active compounds so the interested population groups, we're interested in women, children and elderly, and urban and rural populations in tribal communities. So if you see here that everything is connected to zero hunger. So zero hunger is the human sustainable development goal number two, that is SDG2 and this is the... you would have seen this particular thing. Something I would really want you to
see is the 70 code that is SDG number 17. And this is something very unique about and comparing MDGs to SDGs. You cannot address challenges: hunger, poverty, malnutrition, climate crisis by addressing them in silos because water, energy, all these things are interconnected so you need to have an integrated approach to address these problems. And so that gave an overview of my program and how it's connected with zero hunger. Now let me share with you some of the current research
that is happening in the group. The first research I want to share with you is about sustainable food engineering that is upcycling of food waste and food loss. So here this particular project we like you know Black and Veatch funded this project and it was upcycling of food waste. For example
there is a tremendous growth in consuming Greek yogurt the past decade. In 2005 one percent of the market was Greek yogurt but now nearly half of the yogurt market is taken by Greek yogurt industry. So for every one cup of Greek yogurt, approximately two to three cups of acid whey waste is generated. So that's for one cup, you get at least three cups of waste and this is an environmental problem because like generally it's dumped down in the surroundings which is not good and it affects both the land and water resources. So it it is a threat to the marine life and sometimes like you know people are using it as an animal feed and in fertilizer and also it's been used in anaerobic digestion but as the demand for greek yogurt increases, then the amount of waste is also going to increase, right? So we need to find more sustainable solutions to address this particular problem otherwise we might be creating a lot of environmental issues disposing this waste.
That's why there's a need for a novel method to upscale the waste. So what do we do is like that was on one side but on the other hand we had some underutilized ancient grains like millets. These grains are drought tolerant. They are climate resilient. They have health-promoting phytochemicals and they are considered as functional foods and in the U.S. they are currently used as livestock feed or bird feed and these are gluten free and it has high proteins, fiber, vitamins and minerals. What was the reason we took this is because we need to have a base. So we took this
millets and mixed with the acid whey to upcycle it, to develop baby feeding food so we could recover some of the minerals, like high level of calcium and bioactive compounds that are generally present in the whey when we mix with the millets then we could develop healthy formulations for baby food. You can see the colors are different here. When you have different lists, you have different texture profiles but once we do a spray drying process then you could change the surface morphology. You can change the texture, the flowability of the powder and make it more uniform and this is a simple processing that we do here in the lab. You take acid, we mix it with millets, different combinations and develop nutrition millet based nutritious weaning food powder formulations so that's one upcycling of food waste.
Another thing I wanted to share is how do we have post-harvest reduction in fruits and vegetables? Mostly the Agroforestry Center is providing us a lot of samples. I'm so glad that we are able to get some high value compo like you know samples like the pawpaw. This is a colorimetric analysis of the pawpaw fruit. This is a PH analysis of the pop-up fruit juice so we're trying to add value to this Missouri based crop, and black walnuts and berries so these are some of the value addition to prevent post harvest losses in agroforestry sector. So here, this is the berries. We could use a spray dryer to convert berry juice into powder so
that could increase the shelf life of the product and also can be used as food colors so so that's one area of sustainable food engineering. Now let's go now, since we have recovered some of the micro nutrients, we need to fortify them, right? So we need to go, we'll talk about fortification of food. Here I'm going to talk about this particular project. This is an ongoing project funded by
Missouri Soybean uh MSMC and collaborators Dr. Kristin Bilyeu and we are trying to develop high value products used for high oliec soybean. So why soybean? Soybean is an excellent source of proteins and micronutrients and it has a high nutrient content and it can be obtained at a very low cost. So if we are going towards more sustainable diets, plant-based diets, then soybean is one alternative solution because it could address problems of both malnutrition and hidden hunger. And now like we want to fortify with vitamins, right? There are two types of vitamins. One
is the fat soluble vitamins that is A, D, E, K and then the other one is the water soluble vitamins. So here in the soybean project, we'll see how both these vitamins can be fortified into the matrix. First thing we'll see about fat soluble vitamin and uh how oil be an excellent food carrier vehicle to carry it so one, this oil is high nutritional improved nutrition profile it has high oleic acid contents that is around 72 to 75 percent of oleic acid.
That means it could increase the temperature of cooking like a high temperature tolerance and it has low saturated fatty acids, it has no trans fats and it's more sustainable and it could improve the frying conditions like longer frying times and that's why uh high oleic soybean is an excellent source of fortifying with vitamin A. How do you do this processing, right? Generally mixing when you fortify foods, it happens in a centralized facility and oil processing is already taking place in a centralized facility so if we want to fortify the oils, you could already use the pre-existing infrastructure in the plant and just by adding some mixing tanks, dosing pumps and static mixer and a flow meter that controls the amount of refined oil that's going to come into the system, you could mix them and fortify the oils and this could be used rather like you know this could be stored in storage tanks and then packaged in a photo system. When we are packaging this we need to be careful because the system needs to be degassed and uh also it needs to be packaged in a photo productive uh packaging system. So that's a simple schematic showing how we could use oil as a fortification so that we saw about vitamins like fat soluble vitamins. Now what happens to water soluble vitamins? they are also heat liable so you need to encapsulate them. Here we do micro
encapsulation. There are different ways of micro encapsulation. I'm just going to share with you one example using the spray dryer. Here you can see like this is a tofu waste that you can generate after soybean processing. It goes into a peristatic pump. Then as it goes then you have a spray nozzle here, that atomizer that sprays very fine droplets around 150 to 200 microns in size, droplets by the time that droplets comes down, you have hot air around, like you know the inlet temperature we keep around 140 degrees or so, there's going to be a convective heat transfer happening inside the drying chamber and then it goes into, we can uh control the feed rate, the aspirator percentage and all those things and it gets into the cyclone separate here and you can see fine droplets of particles being formed and then by the end of this process, you can see a fine powders like you know encapsulated powders that has been collected at the bottom. This is a simple schematic of how micro encapsulation is done using spray drying
and that's the same schematic but here we have after it goes into the spray drying process. You could get any encapsulated powder or a powder without encapsulation and we need to do a lot of optimization to get the right physical characteristics, like the powder quality solubility so that's why we do a response of this methodology to optimize those formulation and what are these variables right here like we have to control the proper feed rate, inlet temperature, the aspirator percentage, the outlet temperature viscosity of the feed, the compressed air pressure and the thermal efficiency. All these factors, they have to be optimized in order to get a perfect encapsulated product. If not, if your encapsulation efficiency is not good, then your product might degrade over period of time. So that's why optimization is very important
and at the end you will find powders that are encapsulated. These are some of the products developed in the lab: soy milk powder, soy meat powder and you can improve the color, the flavor the texture of these raw materials before and after spray dry and some of the ongoing projects that we have is optimization of food processing parameters by fortifying with B12 and developing products like soyleic milk, yogurt, tofu and extruded okra product and this particular project is funded by MSMC and so we're thankful to our funders. Now we saw upcycling, we saw fortification, now let's talk about delivery, because we want to deliver the food, right? So here like you know oral delivery systems. Dysphagia is a problem. So here you see a person eating food. He's chewing his food and as the food passes into a system, generally it should go down
but here like you know it's going in the wrong way so he's choking. So this is a problem and this is called dysphagia. It's a swallowing impairment disorder and it affects around 10 to 15 million Americans and predominantly premature babies and elderly. So these are the two groups that are predominantly affected by dysphagia. When someone is having this physio what happens? Then they get malnutrition will become problem because they're not getting the right nutrients. Dehydration is another problem and if it goes in the wrong side, then it could lead to aspirational pneumonia, poor quality of life and sometimes mortality. So this is a big challenge
and we are developing food-based oral delivery systems to address this and we're partnering with Dr. Teresa Lever from MU School of Medicine and this particular project is funded by the Coulter Acceleration so so that gives an overview all the these projects that we have and how everything is connected to the zero hunger and so that is an overview. Now we saw my different food FEAST lab projects. I would like to share
some of my very favorite food innovation technologies that reaches millions of people. The first one is Beyond Meat and this is an amazing food engineering innovation. I hope many of you in the college might know Dr. Fu-Hung Hsieh. He's the inventor of this technology, and he's a professor for engineering and professor emeritus, and he's an amazing individual and an excellent food engineer. So what was his innovation, right? He took raw materials like the soy meal and protein and used a system called the extruder. Extruder is used to extrude materials so there are three different zones, very important. One is
the feeding zone where you have the hydration and compression and then it goes into the kneading or the mixing zone. This is zone two where like you know you have kneading and the raw material is getting unfolded. The proteins are getting unfolded and then as it goes into the third zone where you have melting shearing and fiber formation. This is very important here because we're going to incorporate temperature and then by changing the dyes we could form textures and align fibers that could mimic the structure of meat so that was the innovation and now we know that beyond meat has expanded drastically.
You can see that how something from the lab could be transferred into an industry scale . If you want to put it as a process flow diagram, when you talk to food engineer, you'll see they will always talk about process flow diagrams. So there are various unit operations that needs to be sequentially aligned so your first raw material in your final product are completely in a safe nutritious way so that's where most of the processing parameters are important. If someone is interested to learn more please do contact me, I'll explain this whole thing. To sum this up, University of Missouri Food Engineering Lab, something from the lab has now reached global markets, right? And now it's reaching around how like 100,000 grocery stores and we are reaching people and also if you are interested, try the Beyond Pizza. That's really
great and a simple innovation, innovative technology, but it could reach millions of people and also it could improve the health of people, have a positive impact on climate and also improve animal welfare so there are so many things that we could do with innovations and food so that's one example. The other example that I want to share with you is double fortification of salt. It's also one interesting food engineering innovation so why salt? That is the iodization of salt. You don't hear people suffering from goiter because
the iodization of salt is one of the successful fortification program in the world and it's consumed by everyone, irrespective of their socio-economic status, gender, religion, region, and everyone consumes salt at regular intervals. So we thought we saw it was an excellent platform to deliver micronutrients and this particular, this is a completed project by Gates Foundation and Grand Challenges Canada where we tried to add iron, zinc, folic acid, vitamin B12, iodine onto a solid matrix and all these things are based on this double fortified salt technology. We take, this is the process flow diagram, a simplified processbook diagram for the DFS, you take ferrous fumarate and it's extruded into ferrous fumarate. I showed you an extruder before, right? A same extruder can be used for different applications by changing the screw size, by changing the die. You could use it for different applications and so then after that's been extruded, we coated color-masked and micro-encapsulated to form an iron-free mix. Then ironing is sprayed on salt to form iodized salt. When you blend these two things, you form the
double fortified salt so why it's important, there are few reasons why we need to encapsulate them. So if you see this is an extruded iron premix before it's encapsulated you see a lot of pores and if there is a lot of force in system then there is going to be a chemical interaction between iron and iodine and that might lead to the sublimation of iodine so that's why we coat it. We encapsulated with different materials here to prevent that form a physical barrier between these two chemicals to avoid the interaction and also improve the shelf life of the product. That is the technical side of it but how did that reach so many people, right? So it's all about partnerships. The technology was developed in the university, researchers in North America and Canada and then it was transferred to food industries like JVS and salt industries in India, then global NGOs like Gates Foundation. Gates and China together then you have international local NGOs and you have community development workers and then you have the government of Uttar Pradesh, India, Canada, all these stakeholders came together to solve a problem of malnutrition in India. And initially it started with reaching 24 million
people, that was our initial target, but after the success of one state, other states also wanted it and now it's reaching around 60 million people like a simple engineering innovation can reach so many people and it also aligns with like so many SDG goals like SDG number two, SDG number three, that is good health and well-being, gender equality, because we are improving the maternal nutrition status of women and also partnership for goals so so that is one thing. Throughout all these projects what I learned one thing is, be it a farm in Missouri or a community in Kenya, something that connects us all is food because we all eat and food has a very powerful...it's a very a powerful connector so that is something that I learned and I'm still looking forward to learn more about food. To summarize what did we see today? We saw an overview of my research program upcycling food waste and food loss, fortification of food with hidden hunger and oral delivery system, and all these things connecting human sustainable development goals and few current research programs and food innovation technologies reaching millions of people. So one few take home message from this talk, like if I had
to leave, I would say if we want to build, like post-COVID era, a resilient food system then we need to act locally, think globally, and partnership is the key to success in the 21st century because everything is connected. Some of my friends and I would like to thank my team, you know all my amazing students. This is a team. FEAST is like a family. We have a lot of students. here my current students, my former students and all my collaborators like very kind and very knowledgeable and supportive collaborative team and all my funding agencies who've supported us towards doing all this research that we do in the lab and my special thanks to the Deaton Institute and MU Agroforestry Center. Thank you so much for this opportunity and if I need to leave one quote with everyone listening I would say this is an interesting profound quote that we could think about because we just have one home. Thank you. Thank you Dr. Kristaswamy. That was excellent. We appreciate your comments. I had one
question to get started and before I ask my question I'll encourage everyone to put their questions in the q&a function. But one question I had for you is how can we as CAFNR faculty or students in CAFNR collaborate with the FEAST lab? If you have something that goes as based and you think, like, hey, this is something going on, come and talk to us. I'll be happy to talk to you and discuss and see how we can take it forward. Great! And I can vouch for Kiruba.
She is very collaborative and even for me as a social scientist, we have tried to collaborate on some things but I think there is a lot of connectivity. I mean for me, in extension economics, there was a lot of talk this summer about the resilience of the food system and right now we have a fantastic food system in the U.S. We create a lot of food. It's very inexpensive but there was, you know, talk about, well, should we diversify? Should our supply chains um be more diverse? So I appreciate your comments on the COVID resiliency too. I'm not seeing any questions in the Q&A so I'll go ahead and ask my second question.
Kiruba, how does the hidden hunger, have you studied that a lot in OECD countries versus developing countries and you talked about this being a global a global issue. is this something that's on the radar in the U.S. or in other OECD countries? Yes, like you know, if you see that umbrella, one side, you have stunting and wasting, on the other side, it's overweight and obesity. So you can see a child in the same, in a U.S. household. A child could look like he's fed and he's healthy. He might not, he or she might not have the
right micronutrients, like you know vitamins and minerals, so the kid is deprived of those micronutrients and these are very key for developing both physically and cognitively. If these micronutrients are not present during the early development stages like when a mother is pregnant or like during the first thousand days of the child's life, then that could have a drastic impact throughout his life, like performing in school and it's like a cyclic cycle. If the mother is having a micronutrient problem, then the baby might have, and then it's an intergenerational thing. Then that might lead to poverty and that could lower
employment. Again it's malnutrition, so it's like a cyclic cycle and food could be a powerful tool to break that cycle and we could see that social disparities, even in the U.S. like you know some communities like under represented minorities. There are so many pockets, like food desert pockets, where you can see that it's very pronounced. Definitely I can relate. I was anemic when I was pregnant and as a result my son was anemic for three or four years. It took a long time to get his iron levels back up just because I was so
anemic when I was pregnant and I'm a well-fed wealthy person, so it's hard to imagine how difficult it is for more disadvantaged populations. I'm not seeing any questions in the Q&A. Shibu shall we turn it over to you? Well let me ask you a question and then we will try to wrap it up if there are no further questions. Well Kiruba, you talked about the soy oleic or the high oleic soybean, an invention from our own researchers in CAFNR, so you talked about some products and could you elaborate a little bit more on the commercial potential for some of those products? Are you already working on that or is that further down the road? There is a lot of interest because the soy oleic has a very good oleic acid content, 70 percent of oleic acid. That means the temperature of processing, if we are processing a food at higher temperature, then the oil from this is good. It can withstand temperature and because the biggest problem in oil is the rancidity and oxidative rancidity so if this particular oil can withstand those processing temperatures then it could have a longer frying life and also it also has a lot of health benefits, like you know cardio protection. So there is a lot of research
going on there from a processing aspect, the amino acid profile is excellent so that's where some of the food industries are interested and also this particular soy oleic variety that Kristin and the CAFNR Mizzou team has developed is a non-GMO variety. So there's there is a demand in the Millennials and the Gen C generation towards more sustainable products so there is a big market for products using this soy oleic variety that we have. So are you currently working with anyone exploring the market or is anyone helping you with that? I'm more focusing on the research side of it but once we get some formulations planning to contact some of the industries who might be interested. OK all right I did talk a few initial discussions but we want to have some products, some good data so we could show these other end products because this particular fortification of B actually it starts this like you know should start and fall like but COVID had an impact so we are going to start in January, the B12 project. All right well thank you Kiruba. Sarah it looks like you have a couple of questions in the chat box. We have a couple questions. Andrew Clark asks,
Americans seem to like Greek yogurt and generate the acid whey but is there enough local interest in a weaning food or is it more likely to be a USAID product for underdeveloped countries? It could be both because here USAID project as well as here communities like food deserts where you don't get enough nutrients and they are tending towards more more alternatives. This could be a viable alternative because the millets, actually Dr. Rob Myers from Plant Science, the shared program, he has done a lot of research saying that millets can grow in the Midwest and these are drought-tolerant and climate-resilient crops. So there is an opportunity for it to be available even for the U.S. population like everyone could consume it, right? The last question was...that is a need and... Sure, uh, the last question we have, I'm probably not gonna know how to pronounce this, but it's some uh probably Latin word for iron. What are the challenges to encapsulate ferrous fumarate?
Encapsulation. That's a good question. So ferrous yeah ferrous fumarate is a challenging complex because the color is brown in color. If you start using in an extruder, if you start using ferrous fumarate, if it's a stainless steel three one sixteen or four thirty depending upon, your system can be completely brown and then when your product as a consumer, we always want to have products that are more like you know mild white, and here we are trying to fortify with salt which is pretty much white in color, so first challenge is masking the color. The second challenge in that is we are trying to add this ferrous fumarate in an iodine complex like an iodized salt. So ferrous is more absorbed. Ferric is not absorb, like it's not bioavailable, and here our iron is an iodic form so if you put these two competing chemicals together then the iodine will supply if it's not properly encapsulated so that's why you need to have an encapsulation proper, like coding mechanism, to prevent the chemical reaction between these two.
If we don't do that, then there is no point in adding these micronutrients. The end goal is I think we have little web technical difficulty there. There we go. Can you hear my answer for encapsulating that? Yeah we heard. Should I repeat? OK OK great, thank you so much! Those are all the questions we had. I want to thank everyone for participating today and we hope to see you at the next CRC webinar which will be in February. Happy holidays everybody! Shibu I'll let you close.
All right, well, let me also thank Kiruba and everyone for your participation. Well I like your quote there, or your statement, Kiruba. Food connects us all, indeed. Food connects us all and the holiday season is approaching so we'll be eating a lot of food.
Well food indeed connects us all. Thank you again Kiruba and and thanks to everyone for attending the webinar. As sarah said our next webinar is on February 18th. You can see the announcement on the screen now. Dr. Kerry Clark will talk about funding opportunities in international
research and scholarship. I also would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a safe and healthy holiday season. Happy holidays everybody and thanks again. See you next year! Alright bye.