USDA invests in nanotechnology

6 Apr 2016

USDA has announced an investment of more than $5.2 million to support nanotechnology research at 11 universities. The universities will research ways nanotechnology can be used to improve food safety among other things.

USDA invests in nanotechnology

USDA has announced an investment of more than $5.2 million to support nanotechnology research at 11 universities. The universities will research ways nanotechnology can be used to improve food safety, enhance renewable fuels, increase crop yields, manage agricultural pests, and more. The awards were made through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), the US’s competitive, peer-reviewed grants program for fundamental and applied agricultural sciences.

Universities receiving funding include Auburn University in Auburn, Ala.; Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven, Conn.; University of Central Florida in Orlando, Fla; University of Georgia in Athens, Ga.; Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa; University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Mass.; Mississippi State University in Starkville, Miss.; Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo.; Clemson University in Clemson, S.C.; Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Va.; and University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wis.

With this funding, Auburn University proposes to improve pathogen monitoring throughout the food supply chain by creating a user-friendly system that can detect multiple foodborne pathogens simultaneously, accurately, cost effectively, and rapidly. Mississippi State University will research ways nanochitosan can be used as a combined fire-retardant and antifungal wood treatment that is also environmentally safe. Experts in nanotechnology, molecular biology, vaccines and poultry diseases at the University of Wisconsin will work to develop nanoparticle-based poultry vaccines to prevent emerging poultry infections. USDA has a full list of projects and longer descriptions available online.

Past projects include a University of Georgia project developing a bio-nanocomposites-based, disease-specific, electrochemical sensors for detecting fungal pathogen induced volatiles in selected crops; and a University of Massachusetts project creating a platform for pathogen detection in foods that is superior to the current detection method in terms of analytical time, sensitivity, and accuracy using a novel, label-free, surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) mapping technique.

The purpose of AFRI is to support research, education, and extension work by awarding grants that address key problems of national, regional, and multi-state importance in sustaining all components of food and agriculture. AFRI is the flagship competitive grant program administered by USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Established under the 2008 Farm Bill, AFRI supports work in six priority areas: plant health and production and plant products; animal health and production and animal products; food safety, nutrition and health; bioenergy, natural resources and environment; agriculture systems and technology; and agriculture economics and rural communities. Since AFRI's creation, NIFA has awarded more than $89 million to solve challenges related to plant health and production; $22 million of this has been dedicated to nanotechnology research. The President's 2017 budget request proposes to fully fund AFRI for $700 million; this amount is the full funding level authorized by Congress when it established AFRI in the 2008 Farm Bill.

Related tags

New

Related news

Award-winning startup uses enzymes to cut sugar in fruit juice

Award-winning startup uses enzymes to cut sugar in fruit juice

31 Jan 2019

Fruit juice has come under fire for its high sugar content in recent years, but an Israeli startup called Better Juice has developed an enzyme technology that cuts sugars by up to 80% without adding or subtracting anything from the juice.

Read more 
Food Ingredients North America trade show to debut at SupplySide West in 2019

Food Ingredients North America trade show to debut at SupplySide West in 2019

16 Oct 2018

Informa announces combination of two leading global events to create U.S. “super show” for food, nutrition and health market

Read more 
Mintel highlights innovative, surprising new products in 2018

Mintel highlights innovative, surprising new products in 2018

15 Aug 2018

Food and drink innovation in 2018 continues to be influenced by flavour extremes and the impact of social media in spreading visually stimulating and fun concepts, notes Chris Brockman, EMEA Research Manager at Mintel.

Read more 
Glanbia announces performance nutrition ingredients

Glanbia announces performance nutrition ingredients

25 May 2018

Glanbia Nutritionals has announced what it describes as two new pioneering and innovative performance nutrition ingredients for formulation in functional beverages in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Read more 
Ecotrophelia UK shortlist announced

Ecotrophelia UK shortlist announced

24 May 2018

The growing trend for plant-based diets has inspired the teams that have entered this year’s student food innovation competition – Ecotrophelia UK. All five of the shortlisted products are meat-free and four are also vegan.

Read more 
Healthcare continuum drives Lonza growth

Healthcare continuum drives Lonza growth

10 May 2018

Lonza has reported what it describes as a positive start to 2018 with businesses along the healthcare continuum as growth drivers.

Read more 
Arla enters breakfast food-to-go market

Arla enters breakfast food-to-go market

9 May 2018

Arla Foods is set to launch into the breakfast food-to-go market with the introduction of its new Milk & Oats range of ready to drink beverages.

Read more 
Eurofins to acquire Covance Food Solutions

Eurofins to acquire Covance Food Solutions

7 May 2018

Global life sciences company LabCorp has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement under which Eurofins Scientific will acquire the Covance Food Solutions business from LabCorp for $670 million.

Read more 
Engaging with the Instagram generation

Engaging with the Instagram generation

3 May 2018

Colourful, exotic and unusual foods are on the rise as a growing number of consumers look for food experiences they can share on social media.

Read more 
New shake makes children taller

New shake makes children taller

1 May 2018

Nutritional Growth Solutions is introducing Healthy Height, a kids’ protein shake the company says is clinically shown to improve children’s height, to the European market.

Read more