Global Food



In Minnesota, an emerging industry is starting to capture the attention of crop growers, fish processors, distributors, restaurants and many others. Aquaponics — a year-round way to grow aquatic animals and plants in the same system — lets growers produce food locally and sustainably, and it’s on the rise. There are now more than 40 aquaponics producers in the state, up from only three in 2010.

There’s just one problem with growing aquaponically: Even the growers themselves aren’t sure how best to do it.

Bioresponsive Food Packaging for Continuous Monitoring of Food Spoilage

The researchers aim to develop new bioresponsive milk packaging concepts. Soft nanotechnology and stimuli-responsive polymers will be used for safe and cost-effective integration of colorimetric biosensors into packaging film. The goal is to enable early detection of food spoilage with the naked eye through colorimetric changes of a bioresponsive label, or by exposing the label to a commercially available hand-held Raman spectrometer.

Management and Analysis of Big Data for Near Real-time Detection and Early Response to Food Animal Health Threats

Some devastating livestock viruses can be carried as far as six miles through the air, making biocontainment a primary challenge for hog and poultry operations. To help shore up these industries' defenses against such diseases, researchers at the University of Minnesota have joined forces with a Minnesota pig growing operation and a local manufacturer of a unique animal health product to determine whether electrostatic particle ionization can reduce the spread of airborne viruses among farms.