Ebenezer Miezah Kwokie
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Ebenezer Miezah Kwofie sees meals generation and consumption as linear, with waste merchandise leaking out all alongside the line. He’d like to switch that line into a loop to build a far more sustainable food stuff method all over the world.
Kwofie has joined the University of Arkansas University of Engineering with appointments in the departments of biological and agricultural engineering and chemical engineering. He will also have a investigation appointment in the office of meals science in the Dale Bumpers School of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences.
The departments of organic and agricultural engineering and food stuff science are also element of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.
“Dr. Kowfie’s focus on sustainable foods techniques will incorporate useful potential to the crew on sustainable food items and nourishment to address world wide meals problems,” mentioned Lalit Verma, organic and agricultural engineering department head. “Dr. Jeyam Subbiah and I are working to establish a core of excellence in food stuff engineering in the Division of Agriculture and the College of Arkansas.”
“Our departments’ collaboration on built-in food stuff sustainability necessitates examination of profitability, meals basic safety, social impacts and other factors,” Subbiah, head of the meals science division for the Division of Agriculture and Bumpers Higher education, reported. “Our researchers and engineers have to ascertain how to quantify those people metrics, and Dr. Kwofie provides an thrilling inventory of techniques and encounter to the job.”
“I know what we mean when we say our current foods system is not operating,” Kwofie explained. “I know it from the discipline, not just the lab.”
Right before coming to the U of A, Kwofie labored on food items sustainability projects in Africa, Latin The usa and Asia. He led assignments to create systems and styles to measure foods sustainability in local foods systems in these areas.
“I know what it means not to join the dots,” he reported.
Kwofie gained a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at Kwame Nkrumah College of Science and Technology in his native Ghana. He attained a master’s degree in industrial engineering at the College of Boras, Sweden, and a doctorate in bioresource engineering at McGill University, Canada.
Through postdoctoral appointments at McGill, he carried out his work in metrics and systems in Zambia, Ethiopia, Bolivia and Laos. In a separate task all through the identical postdoc, he worked modeling sustainable industrial processing in the Dry Corridors of Honduras.
Connecting the dots
Kwofie stated existing meals programs are linear. When rice is harvested, for case in point, tons of straw are left in the fields. About a third of the grain’s mass — rice hulls and bran — is taken off through the milling of white rice, and frequently most are squandered.
It can be a straight line, Kwofie mentioned, that commences with output on the farm and passes through processing, distribution and usage. This process wastes numerous food items byproducts by the conclude of the line.
Other crops, like legumes such as peas and soybeans, are generally grown for plant-based protein meals, Kwofie explained. “But these foodstuff include a good deal much more starch than protein,” he mentioned. “Whilst starch has massive possible for non-food items programs, it is regarded a byproduct by the protein industries and is addressed as these kinds of.”
His respond to is to turn the line into a circle. Kwofie claimed getting works by using for those wasted byproducts is vital to circularity. The byproducts can be recycled again into the process, utilised as soil amendments for the farms, burned to generate electricity or any variety of other utilizes.
“Inspecting the specialized, financial and environmental trade-offs of these utilization pathways presents additional alternatives and solutions for stakeholders to make a additional sustainable alternative,” Kwofie said.
His research explores the connectivity of the things that make up food stuff programs. He begins by analyzing client wants and wants. “Customers drive the farms in that the farmers know they ought to grow crops they can sell,” he mentioned.
He believes buyers could make a lot more educated food decisions if they experienced extra information and facts about nutritional values and environmental costs related with various food items. “This details is available for industries,” he claimed. “I want to search at means that exact information can be made quickly obtainable to individuals.”
Kwofie plans to promote sustainable wholesome meals options amongst shoppers by nudging and enabling shoppers to see the effects of their options on their overall health and the ecosystem. His lab is building a sustainable healthy preference net platform that permits buyers to know the diet excellent, contribution to healthier residing, and the environmental impacts of their food selection just before earning their acquire. He reported the platform would be readily available in eating areas and foods courts and on U of A web-sites for completely ready accessibility.
Knowing shopper demands can support condition food stuff generation, processing and distribution programs to develop much more sustainable meals programs to feed a hungry entire world, Kwofie mentioned.
His appointments in multiple departments area Kwofie in an suitable posture to collaborate with foods researchers in the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, the investigation arm of the Division of Agriculture, and with chemical engineers. A workforce with these various knowledge and competencies can enable him join those people dots.
About the Division of Agriculture: The College of Arkansas Procedure Division of Agriculture’s mission is to reinforce agriculture, communities, and households by connecting reliable analysis to the adoption of greatest tactics. Via the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Assistance, the Division of Agriculture conducts analysis and extension function in the nation’s historic land grant schooling program.
The Division of Agriculture is one particular of 20 entities in the University of Arkansas Technique. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on 5 procedure campuses.
The College of Arkansas Process Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Study applications and solutions without regard to race, shade, sexual intercourse, gender id, sexual orientation, national origin, faith, age, incapacity, marital or veteran standing, genetic facts, or any other lawfully secured position, and is an Affirmative Motion/Equal Option Employer.