Research Areas

1. Technologies Based on Infrared Radiation Heating

Infrared (IR) radiation heating-based processing technologies have emerged as new food processing methods for enhancing food quality and safety, improving energy and processing efficiency, reducing water usage and wastewater generation. Our research team through systematic research has been making continued progress in broadening the understanding of IR heating for food processing, bridging the knowledge gaps on IR heating and its applications, and translating fundamental research findings to food and agricultural product processes, including drying, blanching, peeling, roasting, disinfection and disinfestation.

2. Functional Products from Food and Agricultural Processing By-products

Food and agricultural processing by-products are normally used as animal feeds with low value or directly disposed of in landfills which could cause severe environmental damages in the long run. These by-products are untapped sources for potential valuable food ingredients, such as antioxidants and pharmaceutical compounds. In line with our visions for developing energy efficient and sustainable food processing technologies, we are actively researching on novel extraction and separation methods and physiochemical and bioactive properties of the by-products and their extracts for value-added utilizations.

3. Tree Nut Processing

Tree nuts, such as almonds, walnuts and pistachios, have high nutrient contents, including natural antioxidants and unsaturated fatty acids, and are recognized as healthy snacks. California is one of the main production areas of tree nuts in the world with a large acreage, great production volume and significant economic impact. Post-harvest processing of tree nuts is very important for ensured product quality and safety. Our research works on tree nuts processing focused on efficient drying, roasting and pasteurization.

4. Post-harvest Processing of Rice

Rice is one of the most important crops in the world. Bearing acreage of rice in California is approximately 500,000 acres, with the annual crop valued at approximately $780 million. Our research team studies and develops new rice processing methods, including drying, disinfestation and disinfection, stabilization and milling, as well as value-added utilizations.

5. Modeling and Simulation of Food Processing

Mathematical modelling is an important tool for understanding the mechanism of heat and mass transfer, designing of food processing systems and optimizing the operational parameters. The modeling results could provide crucial  information for the control of food processing and product quality. Our research focuses on modeling of heating and mass transfer and processing optimization of various foods under different processing conditions. Click for more info.

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