Engineering Research to Improve Food Safety & Sustainability
Food safety is a global concern and directly linked to the overall sustainability of food systems worldwide. According to the World Health Organisation, there are around 1.5 billion cases of food-borne illnesses around the world annually. Recent food safety issues involving low water activity and fresh foods, packaging and industrial surfaces have resulted in hundreds of product recalls, thousands of illnesses and billions of dollar losses to food industry. Currently, advanced food processing technologies are garnering considerable interest in the food industry as they show promise in improving food safety and quality. The Food Safety & Sustainability Engineering (FSSE) Research Program at the University of Alberta focuses on the development of conventional (e.g., thermal) as well as advanced, green, sustainable technologies (e.g., atmospheric non-thermal plasma, LED processing) to improve food safety and overall sustainability of food systems. Despite widespread research, engineering challenges associated with processing protocol development and implementation of these technologies are not yet adequately addressed. Following are the key research areas:
- Atmospheric Non-thermal Plasma Technology
- Pulsed Light Emitting Diodes (LED) Processing
- Thermal Processing
- Low Water Activity Environment and Microbial Survival
- 3D Food Printing and Post-processing
- Antimicrobial Coatings and Films
- Waste Water Treatment
Food Safety & Sustainability Engineering
Department: Agricultural, Food & Nutritional Science
Office: 3-16 Agriculture/Forestry Ctr
Office Hours: By appointment
University of Alberta
3-16 Agriculture/Forestry Centre
Canada T6G 2P5
2-57 and 2-49 Agriculture/Forestry Centre
Graduate Training Opportunities
Not currently accepting new graduate student/postdoctoral fellow/research assistant applications.
- Congratulations to Harleen Kaur Dhaliwal on passing PhD candidacy examination to become an official PhD candidate!
- Congratulations to Adam and coauthors on the acceptance of following manuscript in Food Research International journal. Salmonella inactivation and rapid cooling of fresh cut apples by plasma integrated low-pressure cooling. Food Research International.
- Big congratulations to Abdullahi Adam and Alvita Mathias on the successful completion of their Masters degree!
- Congratulations to Ehsan Feizollahi on winning the Andrew Stewart Memorial Prize!
- Congratulations to Ehsan Feizollahi. His presentation titled “Deoxynivalenol degradation on barley by atmospheric cold plasma treatment” was selected as the winner of the Engineering & Processing Division’s student paper competition, Cereals and Grains Annual Meeting (Cereals and Grains 20), October 25-November 13, 2020 (Virtual).
- Congratulations to Dr. Basheer Iqdiam and coauthors on the acceptance of the manuscript "Reduction of T-2 and HT-2 mycotoxins by atmospheric cold plasma and its impact on quality changes and germination of wheat grains" in Journal of Food Science.
- Congratulations to Ehsan Feizollahi and coauthors on the acceptance of the manuscript "Mechanisms of deoxynivalenol (DON) degradation during different treatments: A review" in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition.
- Congratulations to Ehsan Feizollahi and coauthors on the acceptance of the manuscript "Review of the anti-nutritional and beneficial qualities of phytic acid, and procedures for removing it from food products" in Food Research International.
- Congratulations to PhD student Muhammad Zubair on winning the Alberta Innovates Scholarship and the 2nd place for the oral presentation at the 7th Annual Alberta Nanotechnology Research Symposium 2021!
- Congratulations to Ehsan Feizollahi on passing PhD candidacy examination to become an official PhD candidate!
- Roopesh received the Faculty of ALES Research and Innovation Award for outstanding research contributions! This award is given to recognize the outstanding individual contributions of new staff members in the areas of research or innovation. The purpose of the award is to recognize new staff members with less than 10 years from the completion of a doctoral degree.
- Congratulations to Sitian and co-authors on the acceptance of the manuscript "Improvement of pea protein gelation at reduced temperature by atmospheric cold plasma and the gelling mechanism study" in Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies journal.
- Congratulations to Barun on the acceptance of the following manuscript in Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies journal.
Yadav, B., & Roopesh, M. S. (2020). In-package atmospheric cold plasma inactivation of Salmonella in freeze-dried pet foods: Effect of inoculum population, water activity, and storage. Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies.
- PhD student Ehsan received this year's Alberta Barley Student Scholarship and Alberta Graduate Excellence Scholarship. Congratulations!
- Congratulations to Bina Gautam on the acceptance of the manuscript "Influence of water activity on the heat resistance of Salmonella enterica in selected low-moisture foods" in International journal of food microbiology journal.
Congratulations to Cinu and Ehsan on the acceptance of the following publications.
- Varghese, C., Wolodko, J., Chen, L., Doschak., Srivastav, P. P., Roopesh, M. S. Influence of selected product and process parameters on microstructure, rheological and textural properties of 3D printed cookies. Foods. 9(7), 907. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9070907. Special issue “3D Food Printing: Future Outlook and Application in Food Sector”.
- Feizollahi, E., Arshad, M., Yadav, B., Ullah, A., Roopesh. M. S. Degradation of deoxynivalenol by atmospheric-pressure cold plasma and sequential treatments with heat and UV light. Food Engineering Reviews. Invited paper to the special issue for selected original research papers presented at the 2019 IFT NPD / EFFoST International Nonthermal Processing Workshop & Short Courses. DOI: 10.1007/s12393-020-09241-0 (Accepted, In Print).
- Congratulations to Ehsan and coauthors on the acceptance of the manuscript "Effects of Atmospheric-Pressure Cold Plasma Treatment on Deoxynivalenol Degradation, Quality Parameters, and Germination of Barley Grains" in Applied Sciences journal. This was an invited paper to the special issue "Plasma Techniques in Agriculture, Biology and Food Production" of the journal.
- Congratulations to Samir Subedi and coauthors on the acceptance of "Simultaneous drying of pet food pellets and Salmonella inactivation by 395 nm light pulses in an LED reactor" in Journal of Food Engineering.
Congratulations to Ehsan and Zubair on the selection of their abstracts to the Graduate Student Poster Competitions at IFT conference in 2020.Ehsan will compete in the Non-thermal processing division and Zubair will compete in the Protein Division .
- Congratulations to graduate student Amritha Prasad and coauthors on the acceptabce of the manuscript "Application of light emitting diodes (LED) in food processing and water treatment" in Food Engineering Reviews.
- Congratulations to graduate student Ehsan Feizollahi and coauthors on the acceptance of the manuscript "Factors influencing the antimicrobial efficacy of dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) atmospheric cold plasma (ACP) in food processing applications" in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. https://doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2020.1743967
- Congratulations to Samir Subedi and coauthors on the acceptance of "Inactivation of Salmonella and quality changes in wheat flour after pulsed light-emitting diode (LED) treatments" in Food and Bioproducts Processing. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fbp.2020.02.004
- Congratulations to graduate student Barun Yadav on the acceptance of the manuscript "Effect of In-Package Atmospheric Cold Plasma Discharge on Microbial Safety and Quality of Ready-to-Eat Ham in Modified Atmospheric Packaging during storage" in Journal of Food Science. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1750-3841.15072
- Congratulations to Samir Subedi on his successful Masters thesis defense!
- Congratulations to graduate student Amritha Prasad on the acceptance of the manuscript "Inactivation of Escherichia Coli and Salmonella using 365 and 395 nm high intensity Pulsed Light Emitting Diodes" in Foods. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8120679
- Graduate student Ehsan Feizollahi attended the 2019 EFFOST-IFT International Nonthermal Processing Workshop and Short Courses at Tecnologico de Monterrey, México, from November 3-6 and delivered a lecture titled "Effect of atmospheric cold plasma on the degradation of deoxynivalenol". Congratulations to Ehsan on winning the second place in student oral presentation competition at the EFFOST-IFT International Nonthermal Processing Workshop!
- Graduate student Ehsan Feizollahi received Brewing and malting barley research institute award in agronomy. Congratulations!
- Congratulations to Dr. Lihui Du and Amritha on the acceptance of our paper "Inactivation of Salmonella spp. in wheat flour by 395 nm LED and the related functional and structural changes of gluten" in Food Research International. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2019.108716
- Congratulations to PhD student Ehsan on his selection as a Vanier Canada graduate scholarship nominee at the university level!
- A new Masters student joined our group. We welcome Muhammad Faisal Arif!
- We welcome a new visiting PhD student, Cinu Varghese to our group. Cinu received Shastri Research Student Fellowship (SRSF)-Doctoral award to do research for 5 months at University of Alberta. She is a PhD student at IIT Kharagpur, India.
- Two undergraduate interns joined our lab this summer. We welcome Sabrina Chang and Yuxuan Ge. They will work on 3D food printing.
- Congratulations to Barun Yadav on passing his PhD candidacy examination to become an official PhD candidate!
- We welcome a new postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Basheer Iqdiam to our lab. Basheer finished his PhD from University of Florida. His research will focus on the application of atmospheric cold plasma technology to reduce mycotoxins in grains.
- Graduate students Barun and Samir attended IFT Annual Meeting, New Orleans, June 2-5, 2019. Two posters titled "In-package modified atmospheric cold plasma treatment of ham: Influence of gas composition, ham formulation and storage on quality and safety" and "Comparative Study of 275, 365, 395 and 455 nm Pulsed Light Emitting Diode treatments for microbial inactivation at low water activity conditions" were presented.
- Dr. Roopesh delivered a presentation on the topic "Application of Atmospheric Cold Plasma Technology to Improve Food Safety and Sustainability" at Canadian Institute of Food Science and Technology Annual summit, Halifax, Nova Scotia, May 22-24, 2019
- We welcome Jorge Humberto Sánchez Ochoa, Mitacs Globalink intern from Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico. Jorge will spend three months in our lab to work on the synergistic antimicrobial efficacy of atmospheric cold plasma technology and nano-composite films.
- Our manuscript "Cold Plasma Treatment of Ready-To-Eat Ham: Influence of Process Conditions and Storage on Inactivation of Listeria innocua" has been accepted for publication in Food Research International. Congratulations to graduate student Barun!
- J Gordin Kaplan Graduate Student Award for Masters student, Samir Subedi to present his research at IFT19 Food Expo in New Orleans, USA from June 2 to 6, 2019.
- In collaboration with the industries, University of Alberta collaborators, and University of British Columbia, Dr. Roopesh received an NSERC CRD grant entitled “Development and understanding the efficacy of advanced technologies for mycotoxin detection and degradation in feed materials”
- Dr. Roopesh received NSERC ENGAGE grant and a Mitacs Accelerate grant with graduate student internship.
- A new postdoctoral fellow position is available in our lab.
- Our manuscript "Atmospheric cold plasma and peracetic acid-based hurdle intervention to reduce Salmonella on raw poultry meat" (DOI: 10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-18-377) has been accepted in Journal of Food Protection. Congratulations to Shreyak and Barun!
- Two new Masters students joined our lab in January 2019. We welcome Abdullahi Adam and Alvita Mathias.