Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
Refreshment Break and Poster Session
Monday, 07/Aug/2017:
9:15am - 10:00am

Location: Room 1

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A Comparative Study of Microwave-assisted Torrefaction of Byproducts from Industrial Oilseeds

Majid Soleimani, Lope Tabil, Justin Burt, Edmund Mupondwa

Univrsity of Saskatchewan, Canada

Solid biofuel generated by thermochemical processes such as torrefaction has been considered a bio-based fuel with improved energy content and combustion characteristics. This study was conducted to investigate the feasibility of converting meadowfoam (MF) and abyssinian (AB) oil-extraction byproducts to high-energy solid fuels. A microwave-assisted torrefaction process was employed based on a central composite design to study the importance of process parameters and to optimize the combinations of the factors (byproduct type, electromagnetic power (up to 600 W), residence time (up to 50 min), and initial moisture (up to 20%) on the quality attributes of the biofuel and the conversion yield. The results indicated that the source of the fuel, residence time, and electromagnetic power would be the more important parameters in controlling this thermochemical conversion. According to the energy and elemental analyses, both byproducts showed the potential of conversion to solid biofuel with approximately 20% more HHV (higher heating value) compared to the original materials.

A review of extraction and characteristics of bast fibres

Vahid Sadrmanesh, Ying Chen

University of Manitoba, Canada

Bio-based products have many merits compared to traditional products, comprising low cost, low density, and biodegradability. Bast fibres are potential to be one of the main components of bioproducts. Although many papers have been published focusing on bast fibres, none of them has reviewed all approaches applied to extract bast fibres, and properties of bast fibres. This study presents detail characteristics of common bast fibres, including hemp, flax, kenaf, ramie, and jute, and all strategies that have been employed to extract these bast fibres. In summary, mechanical decortication and retting are the two main methods for bast fibre extraction. The main challenge of decortication is fibre wrapping around the rotating machine parts, and low fibre purity. Post-decortication cleaning is necessary to increase fibre purity. However, it is difficulty to remove shives from fibres, due the tangling nature of bast fibre. Properly designed retting process can produce high purity fibre; however, the main drawback is the generation of wastewater. Properties of bast fibre are highly variable, depending on the chemical composition and the environment conditions. Promising characteristics of bast fibres are low density and reasonably high mechanical properties which make them suitable to replace synthetic fibres; however, low thermal stability, hydrophilic properties, and low free surface energy of bast fibres are weak attributes for bioproducts. Technology is required to be developed to address the challenges for bast fibre extraction and the undesired properties of bast fibre.

An Engineering Model for Pulse Protein Wet Extraction and Isolation

AnneMarie Dewar1, Albert Quan1, Alexander van Home1, Martin Papuga1, Mahesh Sivakumar2, Rick Green2, Herve Douce2

1University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada; 2POS Biosciences, Saskatoon, SK, Canada

There is a growing consumer demand for natural, plant proteins and in particular, pulses are becoming a premier protein source for formulation into foods and beverages. Consequently, there is a significant need for the development of efficient commercial scale manufacturing processes for high purity pulse protein isolates, starch and fibre ingredients. The processing involves wet (i.e. aqueous) extraction, purification and drying to produce the powdered ingredients. The economics of processing are significantly dependent on the selection of processing techniques, equipment, and final product quality attributes. An effective process protocol with high yield, high purity and efficiency is paramount for a successful commercial processing line. Both ultrafiltration and isoelectric precipitation processes may be used for purification of protein isolates however the economic feasibility may differ with the pulse, process flow and equipment selection. In order to design an efficient process protocol for a protein isolate, process modeling was applied to predict mass, energy, water and yield of the various ingredient co-products. Each process was simulated using SuperPro Designer modeling software. This analysis also included Capital Expenses (CAPEX) and Operating Expenses (OPEX) estimates, feed and product costs, Hazard and Operability Study (HAZOP) and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP).

Characterization of hydrochars derived from fish and shrimp wastes using microwave hydrothermal carbonization

Shrikalaa Kannan, Yvan Gariepy, Vijaya Raghavan

McGill University, Canada

Seafood processing results in large amounts of solid and liquid wastes that are unsustainably dumped into landfills and oceans respectively. Alternative sustainable technologies that completely utilize seafood wastes such as fish and shrimp wastes are needed. Recently, it has been shown that the hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) that converts biomass into hydrochar is suitable not only for lignocellulosic wastes but also for non-lignocellulosic wastes such as fish and shrimp wastes. We produced hydrochar from enzymatically pre-treated fish and shrimp wastes at varying MHTC operating conditions (holding temperature – 150 – 210 °C; and time 60 – 120 min). Here, for the first time, we have characterized the elemental, material, energy, and morphological properties of the hydrochar using elemental analysis, proximate analysis, bomb calorimetry, and scanning electron microscope respectively. For fish waste, the atomic carbon and ash content, and calorific value of hydrochars ranged from ~25-57%, ~20-28%, and ~19-24.5 MJ/kg respectively, depending on the MHTC operating conditions. For shrimp waste, the atomic carbon and ash content, and calorific value of hydrochars ranged from ~39-49%, ~21-25%, and 18.26-23.22 MJ/kg respectively, depending on the MHTC operating conditions. These results suggest that the hydrochar could potentially be useful as an energy resource, as a fertilizer, and as an adsorbent. Taken together, these results confirm that MHTC produces hydrochar from non-lignocellulosic wastes such as fish and shrimp wastes of quality comparable to one produced from certain lignocellulosic, sewage and municipal wastes.

Design and evaluation of a driver interface for a tractor-air seeder system to support the situation awareness of the user

Aadesh Rakhra, Danny Mann

University of Manitoba, Canada

Drivers of agricultural machines interact with their machines using input from various systems, sensors and auxiliary equipment. The efficiency of machine operation and farm profitability both depend upon the timely and accurate decision-making of the operator, which ultimately depends upon the situation awareness (SA) of the operator. Interfaces which support the SA of the operator without creating excessive mental workload (MWL) would be ideal. In this study, various principles (i.e., SA, cognitive psychology and perceptual psychology) have been explored and applied to the design of a driver interface for a tractor-air seeder system. Goal-directed task analysis was used to determine the goals, information and situation awareness needs of the operator. Experiments were conducted in two phases. During the first phase, individual displays for 8 air seeder parameters were designed and evaluated. There was a significant improvement in both SA (mean difference = 5.0330, 95% CI (6.4728, 3.5939), p<0.0001) and MWL (mean difference = -5.2333, n = 30, α = 0.05). Based on the subjective feedback, users placed more trust in the newly-designed parameter displays compared with existing parameter displays (mean difference = 27.2667, 99 % CI (35.1497, 19.3836), p<0.0001). In the second phase, all 8 individual parameter displays were combined to form a complete user interface and compared with an existing user interface; the effectiveness of the two user interfaces was evaluated under different automation scenarios (i.e., manual steering, auto steering, fully-manual and fully-autonomous). Data analysis is continuing.

Determination of FFA, PV, and p-AV values of fish oil using the FT-NIR spectroscopy

Stacia Selinger1, Mahesh Sivakumar2, Thushan W. Gamage2, Rick Green2

1Sask Polytech, Saskatoon, Canada; 2POS Biosciences, Saskatoon, Canada

The objective of this project was to develop prediction models using the Fourier Transform - Near Infrared (FT-NIR) spectrometer for quality analyses of fish oils. Most of the fish oils have high polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) which rapidly oxidize during extraction, refining and storage processing. An inclusion of a rapid determination technique for the analysis of oxidative products in oils is vital in the fish oil processing industry. Standard wet chemistry is used to determine the oxidative products such as the free fatty acid (FFA) value, peroxide (PV) value, and para-Anisidine (p-AV) value for bleached and deodorized fish oils. The wet chemistry methods are time-consuming, labour-intensive and require the use of significant amounts of chemical reagents for performing multiple analyses. On the other hand, the FT-NIR spectroscopy requires minimal sample preparation. Also, it is a non-destructive and rapid analytical method with high sensitivity. The results showed that the correlations between the optimized FT-NIR chemical prediction models and FFA, p-AV, and PV were 92.83, 93.57, and 97% respectively. Also, these correlations had the minimum the Root Mean Square Error for Cross Validation (RMSECV) values of 0.0186, 0.612, and 0.662 for FFA, p-AV, and PV respectively. The models could now be used for in-process sample analyses.

Development of automatic potato seeder

Ilsu Choi1, Youngkeun Kim1, Yong Choi1, Hyeonjong Jun1, Taegyoung Kang1, Sanghee Lee1, Jingu Kim1, Changsik Hyun1, Hongseob Yu2

1Dept. of Agricultural Engineering, National Institute of agricultural sciences, RDA, Korea, Republic of (South Korea); 2Highland Agriculture Research Institute, National Institute of crop sciences, RDA, Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

In Korea, seeding of potatoes use 2 to 4 division of seed potatoes as seed. However, due to the lack of precision seeding technology of divided potato, seeding work depends on human resources in potato production. For this reason, the automatic potato seeder which cuts and seeds seed potato at the same time is being developed to mechanize potato seeding work. In this study, in order to produced to develop automatic potato seeder, we manufactured prototype of potato seeder and analyzed sowing performance. The principle of prototype of automatic potato seeding machine is that the power transmitted through the drive wheel drives seed metering device and then picking up potato contained in the seed bins. Picked up potato is transferred to cutting device and cut into two halves by cutting blade and seeding for 2 rows. Result of field experiment shows that miss-seeding rate 3.5 %, distance between seeding potatoes 27.5±3.8cm and seeding depth 9.7±1.1cm. Cutting performance was that divided potatoes’ ratio of left and right size at 40 : 60 and 50 : 50 was 44.5%.

Development of Open Platform for Smart Greenhouse Environmental Control System

Jaesu Lee, Youngsin Hong, Jeonghyun Baek, Hyunhwan Kim, Jeongwook Heo

National Institute of Agricultural Sciences, RDA, Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

Smart greenhouse is a greenhouse that utilizes ICT to measure indoor and outdoor environmental conditions via sensors without time and place limitation, to analyze the collected information to maintain and manage for proper plant growth. Recently, smart greenhouses have been distributed to farmers through ICT convergence projects in Korea. However, difficulties in operation and maintenance exist because of the variation of environmental controllers, core technologies of the smart greenhouse. Consequently, there is a need to implement and distribute environment controllers that use the same platform. In this study, an open platform for smart greenhouse environmental control system was developed to enhance the accessibility of developers and to implement a smart greenhouse environment controller on the same platform. The open platform for the environmental control system consist of an open source environment controller, a power controller & supply, environmental measurement sensors, and CCTVs. The internal hardware includes a Cubieboard2, base board, A/D input module, relay output module, and isolation input module. The program was developed by using Open API, and made of modules for information collection of environmental sensors, control of actuators, and remote upgrade function. As an open platform environment controller is provided with embedded programs and libraries, a developer using an open platform will be able to apply with their own control algorithms. The performance evaluation results of the open platform became real-time monitoring of temperature, humidity, CO2, wind direction & speed, solar radiation. Additionally, actuators such as ventilation windows, flow fans, heating, and CO2 generators were remotely controlled.

Effect of pre-harvest and post-harvest conditions on fruit allergenicity

Jin Wang, Sai Kranthi Vanga, Vijaya Raghavan

Department of Bioresource Engineering, McGill University, Quebec, Canada

Fruits are an important source of vitamins and antioxidants that can effectively delay aging and contribute to health and well-being of the human population. However, they are growing to be one of the most important elicitors of food allergies around the world. Fruit allergens induce an IgE-mediated (Immunoglobulin E) reaction presenting with a wide range of symptoms, from a localized oral allergy syndrome (OAS) to life-threatening anaphylaxis. But, many studies have shown that different environmental and cultivation conditions like fertilizer application, water stress, and climatic factors can influence the allergen content in fruits during flowering and ripening stages. Further, the variety, harvesting maturity, location within the peel, pulp and seeds of a fruit and storage conditions can also significantly influence their allergenicity potential to inflict on consumers. For example, unripe apples and tomatoes have lower levels of allergens compared to ripened fruits resulting in reduced risk of IgE-mediated reactions. Researchers have also shown that modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) can help reduce allergen content during storage in fruits. Post-harvest processing like peeling is also considered a good method to help reduce the overall allergenicity in few fruits whose skin contains the majority of allergens. This review will discuss the overall influence of both pre-harvest and post-harvest factors on the fruit allergen inflicting potential. We will also discuss the progress regarding the cause, symptoms and diagnostic methods of fruit based allergies.

Effects of Lighting Intensity on Nitrogen Removal efficiency using an Algae - Bacteria Consortium

Huijun Jia, Qiuyan Yuan

University of Manitoba, Canada

Activated sludge treatment is the most commonly used method in wastewater treatment plants. This process requires extensive aeration which translates into a significant energy consumption and operational cost. As photosynthetic organisms, algae play a role as “tiny aeration devices” to produce O2 for other microorganisms in natural aquatic systems. The objective of this research is 1) to exam the performance of an algae-bacteria consortium on nitrogen removal from the wastewater, and 2) to explore the effects of lighting intensity on the algae-bacteria consortia’s performance. The bacteria were the activated sludge that obtained from a wastewater treatment plant in Winnipeg, and the algae was a mixture of cyanobacteria and green algae. The wastewater treatment reactors were inoculated with this consortium. Six sets of lighting intensity (LI), low range LIs─ 1000 lx, 1500 lx, 2500 lx; high range LIs─ 1000 lx, 4000 lx, 9000 lx, were studied in two batch tests separately. Among all the LIs tested, it was found that at the lowest lighting intensity of 1000 lx, the ammonia removal efficiency was approximately 83 mg/L/d, which was up to 75% faster than that of the light intensity of 2500 lx. That efficiency of the highest LI of 9000 lx was 92 mg/L/d, which was the fastest one. However, the differences in between the lowest LI and the highest one was not significant. It was therefore concluded that the low lighting intensity could be used as an energy efficient strategy to promote the performance of the algae-bacteria consortium.

Freeze/thaw treatment for sludge dewatering, nutrient recovery and biogas production in Northern Canadian Communities

Mahrooz Sabri1, Nazim Cicek2, Qiuyan Yuan3

1University of Manitoba, Canada; 2University of Manitoba, Canada; 3University of manitoba, Canada

Biological wastewater sludge is considered a valuable source of nutrients and energy. Freeze/thaw treatment is an efficient dewatering method for wastewater sludge management in First Nation communities located in cold climate conditions. Natural freeze/thaw is a simple, practical and low cost solid-liquid separation method, which can effectively dewater sludge. This method is especially effective when used in small treatment plants in remote and cold regions as typical dewatering methods require complex and expensive equipment, skilled operators and special maintenance. The objective of this research is to evaluate dewatering, nutrient recovery and organics separation of wastewater sludge originating from different wastewater treatment processes using freeze/thaw processing. The results of experiments showed the effectiveness of this method in sludge dewaterability and solubilisation of organics and nutrients. The sludge solid content increased by approximately 10-fold after freeze/thaw processing. The treatment was effective in solubilisation of about 15.2%, 33.5% and 21.5% of total nitrogen, total phosphorus and total chemical oxygen demand to soluble one, respectively for the non-BNR sludge. These values were 6.3 %, 80% and 16.5%, respectively for the BNR sludge. The released phosphorus and nitrogen in the water can be recovered and used for agricultural purposes, which means sludge can be transformed from a waste product into a marketable product. However, anaerobic digestion of the solid cake post freeze/thaw treatment did not show enhanced methane yield compared with fresh sludge.

Evaluation of Drying Kinetics and Physio-Chemical Properties in Development of Golden Prunes

Harjeet Singh Brar1, Andrea DiNardo1, Jayasankar Subramanian2, Gopu R. Nair3, Ashutosh Singh1

1School of Engineering, University of Guelph, Canada; 2Department of Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph, Canada; 3EARTH University, Limon, 4442-1000 San Jose, Costa Rica

Plums are a prominent source of different phytonutrients including phenolic compounds and flavonoids. European plums that are commonly grown in Ontario, Canada are blue-violet in colour, and recently through conventional breeding, a new variety named yellow skinned European plums (YEPs) has been developed. YEPs has its moisture content ranging between 80-90% (wet basis), which makes it prone to microbial spoilage and reduced shelf-life. Hence, drying YEPs to prunes will not only improve its shelf-life but also increase its customer acceptability. In this study, five genotypes of novel Yellow European Plums (YEPs) (Prunus domestica) were dried using conventional dehydration process and its associated effects on YEPs nutritional and physical properties were examined. Dehydration was performed at 50°C, 60°C, and 70°C until a final moisture content of approximately 30% (wet basis) was reached. Eleven drying kinetics models were tested to fit the drying rates of YEPs. Amongst which, Modified Henderson and Pabis and Two-term exponential were observed to best describe the thin layer drying of YEPs. Phenolic content analysis also revealed that dehydration led to an increase of 25-30% in the bioavailability of phenolic compounds in dried YEPS as compared to fresh samples.

Lake Remediation studies in Killarney Lake: phosphorus budget and sediment capping

Joe Ackerman, Nazim Cicek

Department of Biosystems Engineering, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, R3T 5V6

Killarney Lake is a hypereutrophic shallow prairie lake in southern Manitoba that has had summer total phosphorus (P) levels of 250 µg/L and higher. Its small size (180 ha), shallow depth (~4 m) and tiny watershed makes Killarney Lake a good site to test ways of reducing internal P loading from sediment to the water column. An ongoing three-year study has looked at P sorption capacity of local clays in southern Manitoba and conducted both laboratory and in-lake sediment-capping trials. The effectiveness of applying a thin layer of selected commercial and local clays to immobilize sediment P release was tested with in-lake enclosures during the summer of 2015. A phosphorus mass balance within each enclosure included total P from the water column, attached algae and floating macrophytes. The results indicated clays lost most of their P adsorbing effectiveness when used in situ, possibly due to the high organic content of the sediment. The experiments produced valuable data for the whole-lake P mass balance, and coupled with 2015 input restrictions, the water-tight enclosures revealed about two thirds of the mid-summer P spike typically comes from internal loading with the remainder likely coming from inflowing waters.

Measuring the concrete slatted floors in pig barns using ImageJ

Rong Yue, Xiaojie Yan, Qiang Zhang, Laurie Connor

University of Manitoba, Canada

Quality and consistence of slatted concrete floors affect the not only the lifespan of the floors but also the animal foot health. This paper aims to develop a computer image-based utility to quality the consistence of slat and gap dimensions of slated concrete floors, as well as floor surface roughness in pig barns. ImageJ, a Java-based image processing program in the public domain, was used to develop the utility. From a floor image taken directly in the barn, and variations in slat and gap dimensions were quantified to assess the consistence of slats and gaps. A surface roughness index was estimated from the image. A correlation between the measured roughness and the roughness index predicted by the utility was developed. The results were in good agreement with the measured values.

Microwave-assisted alkali pretreatment and enzymatic saccharification processes of agricultural crop residues: A review.

Obiora Samuel Agu, Lope G. Tabil, Venkatesh Meda

University of Saskatchewan, Canada

The effectiveness of microwave-assisted alkaline pretreatments and enzymatic saccharification of lignocellulosic agricultural crop residues are reviewed in this paper. Pretreatment is a major step for the efficient and effective conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to biofuel. Microwave-assisted alkali pretreatment is one of the promising techniques used in the bioconversion of biomass into useful energy product. The advantages of microwave heating coupled with alkaline pretreatment include; reduction of the process energy requirement, rapid and super heating, and low toxic compound formation. This paper reviews recent microwave-assisted alkali pretreatment and enzymatic saccharification techniques on different agricultural residues highlighting lignocellulosic biomass treatments and reducing sugars yields, and recovery. In addition, compiled up to date research studies, development efforts and research findings related to the microwave-assisted alkali and enzymatic hydrolysis are provided.

Performance of Palm Olein During Repeated Frying of Tortilla Chips

Andrea Garcia-Perez, Abel Ceron-Garcia, Cesar Ozuna, Maria Elena Sosa-Morales

Universidad de Guanajuato, Mexico

Fried products are very appreciated by the consumers, such as tortilla chips, which are very popular in North America. The oil employed for the frying of these products is used in repeated occasions, affecting the quality of the final product. In order to improve the performance of the oils/fats, antioxidants are added. Synthetic antioxidants (for example, butylated hydroxytoluene, BHT) are being replaced by natural antioxidants; the replacement should be assuring that the performance will be the similar than the synthetic compound. The aim of this work was to evaluate the performance of palm olein with different antioxidants during the repeated frying of tortilla chips. The tested antioxidants were BHT at 200 ppm (synthetic) and ascorbyl-palmitate (AP) at 100 ppm (natural) and their blend. Tortilla dough included 2% sesame. This was sheeted, cut, baked and fried. Batches of 80 g of tortillas were deep-fat fried at 190°C for 2 min to produce the chips. Chemical indices, such as free fatty acids (FFA) and peroxide value (PV), as well as physical parameters (color and viscosity) were evaluated. Fresh olein added with BHT had PV=1.95 meq/kg, FFA= 0%. After 20 batches, the values for olein+BHT were PV=29.6 meq/kg, and FFA=0.19%; for olein+AP were PV=,13.3 meq/kg and FFA=0.27%; olein+BHT+AP, PV=11.88 meq/kg and FFA=0.29%. Due to PV was higher than 20 meq/kg, the performance of olein with BHT as antioxidant is poor, only 1 day of use. The use of natural antioxidant AP improved the performed of palm olein.

Production and optimization of phytase during solid state fermentation in potato waste

Mengmeng Tian, Qiuyan Yuan

University of Manitoba, Canada

Solid state fermentation (SSF) can divert food waste from landfills and produce high-value products. This study was aimed to investigate the feasibility of using SSF and optimize the conditions to produce phytase by Aspergillus ficuum from potato waste. Different parameters including pH of the potato waste, inoculum level, moisture content, incubation period, temperature, and supplementary nitrogen and carbon sources were evaluated. The results indicated that pH, inoculum level, and moisture content did not significantly vary phytase production. However, different incubation periods, incubation temperatures, nitrogen sources, and carbon sources changed the phytase production significantly. The ideal and economic conditions for phytase production consisted of a normal moisture content (79%) of potato waste, 1.0 ml inoculum size, and normal pH 6.1 at room temperature for 144 h incubation time. The highest phytase activity (5.17 ± 0.82 U/g ds) was obtained under the aforementioned optimized conditions. When (NH4)2SO4 was used as a nitrogen source in the substrate, phytase activity increased to 12.93 ± 0.47 U/g ds, which was a 2.5-fold increase compared to the control treatment. This study proposed a novel and economical way to convert food processing waste to highly valuable products and investigated the optimal conditions of the production of phytase during SSF in potato waste.

Recovery of nutrients and bioactive compounds from tomato industrial processing by-products

Yasmini Portes Abraham Silva1, Marianne Su-Ling Brooks2, Tânia Aparecida Pinto de Castro Ferreira1

1Faculdade de Nutrição, Universidade Federal de Goiás (UFG), Goiânia, GO, Brazil; 2Process Engineering and Applied Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada

Tomatoes are a popular crop, with worldwide production reaching around 160 million tons per year. Approximately 25% of the total production is industrially processed into tomato products, such as ketchup, soup, juice, etc. The main waste generated during the industrial processing of tomatoes is the pomace, a mix of tomato skin, seeds and a small fraction of pulp, that can vary from 1.5% - 5% of the initial weight of tomatoes. Tomato pomace is a source of pollution, with costs related to waste treatment and disposal. However, considering its chemical composition, there are possible alternative uses of this product. Tomato pomace can be considered an important source of bioactive compounds, especially lycopene, and nutrients such as oils, proteins and dietary fiber. Several extraction techniques can be used to recover these nutrients from tomato pomace, with yields that are dependent on raw material characteristics and extraction parameters. Ultrasound-assisted solvent extraction, enzyme-assisted solvent extraction, supercritical extraction and, more recently, pulsed electric field extraction are some of the most promising techniques to increase extraction yield while reducing the environmental impact of extraction procedures. The establishment of economically viable processes for effective reuse of tomato pomace through the recovery of natural ingredients would be beneficial, as it would result in additional value-added products with associated health benefits, and a reduction in the pollution and waste treatment costs caused by the tomato processing industry.

Stability of palm olein oil with different antioxidants during repeated frying of churros (Spanish fried dough pastry)

Rafael Castro-Lopez, Julian Andres Gomez-Salazar, Abel Ceron-Garcia, Maria Elena Sosa-Morales

Universidad de Guanajuato Mexico

The antioxidants are substances added in low concentrations can delay or prevent the oxidation of fats and oils. They may be natural or synthetic; synthetic antioxidants are being restricted due to potential harmful to consumers. Antioxidants are useful not only during oil storage, also for repeated frying operations in fast-food restaurants and snacks industry. The objective of this work was to study the stability of palm olein oil using the antioxidants BHT and Ascorbyl palmitate, during the repeated frying of churros. Churros are sweet snacks defined as deep-fried dough pastry, very popular in Spain and Mexico. Dough was prepared and churros were formed in strips by a manual simple extruder. Churros were fried in batches of 0.08 kg for 3.5 min at 180ºC, 25 batches of churros were fried per day. For olein palm added with 200 ppm of BHT, peroxide values (PV) increased from 1.95 meq/kg in fresh palm olein to 18.45 meq/kg after six days of usage. Free fatty acids (FFA) increased from 0 to 0.54%. Both values are within the limits of Mexican regulations for fats and oils, being maximum 20 meq/kg for PV and 3% for FFA. For olein with BHT / A. palmitate (200/100 ppm) the same performance was performed in six days whereas in four days, similar results were obtained for palm olein added with natural antioxidant Ascorbyl palmitate at 100 ppm. Therefore, a better yield was obtained when using BHT at 200 ppm as antioxidant for the repeated frying of churros.

The Feasibility of Using Recycled and Landfill Waste for Compressed Earth Blocks in Building Construction

Katja Arnold, Jennifer Pieniuta, Kris Dick

Biosystems Engineering, University of Manitoba, Canada

This paper presents the results of an experimental study in which the incorporation of selected recycled and landfill substances in the manufacture of compressed earth block were evaluated based on compressive strength. Paper, corrugated cardboard, plastic and polystyrene were included in the mix design in various proportions along with the base materials of cement and clayey soil. All specimens contained a minimum of 50% recycled or landfill content. The density, moisture content, Poisson’s ratio, relative stiffness, and compressive strength were determined for 35 specimens. One set of 15 test cylinders contained expanded polystyrene foam (EPS) as the variable, while polyethylene terephthalate (PET) was varied for the other subset of 15 specimens. These were compared to 5 control specimens. The paper, cardboard, soil and 10% cement were kept consistent for all specimens. All cylinders were cured for a minimum of 20 days. Two specimens from each batch were heated after curing to examine the impact of heat on the EPS and PET content. In general there was a decrease in compressive strength with an increase of EPS from 1.36 to 0.59MPa. An interesting result was observed with the highest EPS content. The specimens exhibited the ability to recover approximately 80% of their total axial deflection. Specimens with PET exhibited a compressive range of 1.57 to 2.25MPa. Heat treatment of the materials did not increase the compressive strength. Based on the test results the using this material would befeasible for building construction.

The Type of Dairy Stall Bedding Material: Bacterial composition and Influence on Teat-end Microbiome

Kelsey Breanne Fehr1, Hooman Derakhshani1, Shadi Sepehri1, J C Plaizier1, Ehsan Khafipour1,2

1Department of Animal Science, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada; 2Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Bedding in dairy cow stalls is crucial for cow comfort, but different bedding materials may be habitats for different bacteria that come into contact with cows’ teat-ends, some of which influence mammary inflammation and consequently, cow heath and milk quality. Therefore, goals of this study were to identify the bacterial composition on used sand (SA), recycled manure solids (RMS), and straw (ST) bedding materials (N=54) from three farms and also to associate abundances of different bacteria on teat-ends of cows (N=133) with mammary inflammation using the mammary inflammation indicator milk somatic cell count (SCC). Bacterial DNA extracted from samples was subjected to V1-V2 16S rRNA gene sequencing. The relative abundance of the predominant phyla, Actinobacteria, was greater in SA (73.6%±5.5) than RMS (49.7%±7.3) and ST (45.1%±9.1), and the abundance of Proteobacteria in SA (4.6%±1.1) was lower than in ST (24.3%±8.2) and RBM (22.3%±8.2) (P(FDR)<0.0001); these differences were consistent with those found for cows’ teat-ends between farms (P(FDR)<0.0001). Within the Actinobacteria phylum, the abundance of an operational taxonomic unit (in the Corynebacterium genus) on the teat-end, was positively associated with Log(SCC) (P(FDR)<0.05), and its abundance in SA bedding was higher than in ST (P(FDR)<0.05) and RMS bedding (P(FDR)=0.07). These findings indicate that relative abundances of bacterial groups on used bedding differ between farms with different bedding materials, and that bedding bacterial composition may be an influential driver of the teat-end bacterial composition, which is important to mammary health.

Thermal Properties of Compressed Blocks made with Earth and Recycled Paper Cardboard Plastic and Extruded Polystyrene

Zachary Harrison, Kris Dick

Biosystems Engineering, University of Manitoba, Canada

This paper presents the results of an investigation of the thermal properties of compressed blocks using a mixture of cement, clay, recycled paper, cardboard, and either polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or expanded polystyrene (EPS). The aim of this project was to examine the feasibility of an alternative material for use as cavity infill framed structures. Blocks were fabricated using six different recipes, three with a variable proportion of EPS, and three using different ratios of plastic, while keeping the other components consistent. A hydraulic press and a mould with dimensions of approximately 304.8mm (12in) wide by 304.8mm (12in) long by 101.6mm (4in) deep were used to form the blocks. The blocks were then allowed to cure for approximately two weeks. After curing, the thermal resistance of the blocks was determined using a hot-box apparatus. By applying a temperature gradient across the blocks, with a known heat flux value the thermal resistance value was determined. RSI values ranged from 1.59 to 1.79 K·m2/W for a block thickness of 101.6 mm thick. Based on a 2x6 wood frame cavity wall the thermal range is RSI 2.19 to 2.43 K·m2/W for an equivalent 139 mm thickness. While this RSI-Value is not sufficient for use as the sole insulation infill for residential buildings in a Canadian prairie climate, it could be used in a warmer climate, or in conjunction with other insulating techniques to obtain the required thermal resistance value for cold climate applications.

Wicking Properties of Brassica Fiber in Three Different Growth Stages of Canola Waste Biomass

Laura Stephanie Soriano, Mashiur Rahman

University of Manitoba, Canada

Brassica napus plant (canola biomass) was used as raw material for fibre processing and extraction. An investigation was conducted to determine the wicking behaviour of Brassica napus (B. napus) fibre. The wicking property which is an important comfort property of any textile fibre was studied to assess the B. napus fibre’s feasibility for use in textile applications. Wicking is the procedure by which the fibres in a piece of clothing draw sweat away from the skin and up to the surface of the fabric, permitting dampness to vanish rapidly. A test method was developed to determine the horizontal wicking behavior of single fibres. The wicking property of single fibres was also compared between the different plant growth stages from which the fibre was extracted. The average horizontal wicking rate of B. napus from all stages (flowering, seed and mature stage) was found to be 0.184 mm/sec which is much higher than the industry standard (0.08 mm/sec). In addition, the results were compared with cotton, flax and polyester fibres. The horizontal wicking of B. napus fiber was faster than polyester but slower than cotton and flax fibres. These results indicate that B. napus fibre may have potential applications in the textile industry.

A Critical Review on the Cottonization of Bast Fibre

IKRA SHUVO, Mashiur Rahman, Jordan Mackinnon, Robert Duncan

University of Manitoba, Canada

Cottonization of bast fibre (flax, canola) is the process of transforming the spinning properties of bast fibres into spinning properties similar to that of cotton. These spinning properties include flexibility, softness, and single fibre characteristics that are required for making spun yarn using cotton spinning system (CSS). The CSS is the only spinning system that can produce high quality ‘fine yarn (<20 tex)’ used for apparel and non-apparel (vascular graft, geotextiles) applications. The spinning systems for bast fibres produce low quality yarn that is unsuitable for apparel items.

Cottonization has been successfully imparted on polyester by texturization and tow to top processes. Due to cottonization, polyester has been successfully spun alone (100%) or in a cotton blend using CSS. Cotton contains more than 94 % cellulose, whereas bast fibres contain up to 70 % cellulose in their structure. The remaining contents in bast fibres are composed of non-cellulosic materials including lignin, pectin, and hemicellulose that makes bast fibres stiff and unsuitable for CSS. Research has been conducted to impart cotton-like attributes into bast fibre by removing the non-cellulosic materials. However, no treatment (chemical, enzymatic or mechanical) has successfully produced cotton-like bast fibre. In this paper, we will provide a critical review of the chemical and enzymatic treatments of the bast fibres and their efficacy on eliminating non-cellulosic materials. Drawing from the polyester cottonization technique, this review paper will discuss the possibility of converging mechanical modifications of cotton spinning machinery to process bast fibres for their improvement and compliance to CSS.

A Machine Vision Based In-Season Weed Detection System for Spot Application of Herbicides

Tanzeel Ur Rehman1, Qamar Uz Zaman1, Arnold Schumann2, Aitazaz Ahsan Farooque3

1Dalhousie University, Canada; 2University of Florida, USA; 3University of Prince Edward Island, Canada

Low-bush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium ait.), often known as wild blueberry, is a perennial deciduous shrub that is native to Atlantic Canada, Quebec and northeastern United States. The improved management practices alleviated the overall crop productivity but the problem of uniform herbicide application still pertains, resulting into the increased cost of production and posing a sever threat to the local climatology. One of the major weed often found in wild blueberry fields is Goldenrod that expands due to rhizomes, subsequently resulting into dense weed patches in the different areas of fields. This patched growth of Goldenrod enables us to take an advantage of the spot or site specific application of herbicide, thereby reducing the overall cost of production and reducing the environmental hazards associated with agro-chemicals. A color co-occurrence matrix (CCM) based textural analysis algorithm was developed with an aim of providing electronic control of agrochemical application rates. The quantitative textural features from CCM were used to classify the goldenrod weed from wild blueberry fruit crop by developing the quadratic and linear discriminant relationships. A non-linear multifactor backpropagation artificial neural network (BP-ANN) based classifying model was also trained. The developed algorithm and the models were tested during the field evaluations by controlling the individual spraying nozzle through a multi-channel variable rate controller circuitry according to the requirement. The results of field evaluation indicated that CCM in combination with BP-ANN have ability to control the individual nozzle as per requirement and can help to minimize the cost of production.

Aerobic membrane bioreactors (aMBR) and tertiary reverse-osmosis (RO) filtration of Nutrient-varying Fruit Process Wastewater

Joseph Vincent Oppedisano, Ashutosh Singh, Richard G. Zytner

University of Guelph, Canada

As a $2.6 billion annual industry, post-harvest fruit and vegetable processing generates a significant fraction of the total revenue of the food manufacturing industry in Ontario. Fruit processing facilities typically require enormous volumes of water for various operations such as growing, cleaning, rinsing, pressing, water conveyance, and so on. Fruit process wastewater is typically characterized as colloidal, with high organics and nutrient concentrations, and therefore require rigorous treatment methods to meet discharge regulations. One of such technique which has proven to be very effective in producing a potable, disinfected and reusable effluent is aerobic membrane bioreactors (aMBR) followed by tertiary reverse-osmosis (RO) filtration. However, persistent challenges plague the operation of these systems when the process water composition changes. The current study focuses on modifying and optimizing MBR conditions, and determining an ideal microbial consortium, to handle varying influent characteristics.

An analysis of recycled glass and sand as gravity filter media treatment of lagoon wastewater effluent under start-up conditions

Charlie Pogue, Joe Nelson Ackerman, Nazim Cicek

University of Manitoba, Canada

As provincial regulations become stricter on the effluent water quality of wastewater lagoon treatment systems, cost efficient and low maintenance alternatives need to be developed for small rural communities. Gravity filters can be used to improve water quality of lagoon wastewater effluent. Previous studies have shown that recycled glass can be a cheap and viable alternative to the traditional sand filter bed used in the gravity filter system. In this research, recycled glass was compared to sand under filter start-up conditions through physical and wastewater quality analysis. In the physical analysis, the glass and sand were compared for particle size distribution, durability and permeability. In the wastewater quality analysis, water samples from recycled glass and sand filter beds were compared for reduction efficiency of ammonium, orthophosphate, nitrite, nitrate, chemical oxygen demand (COD), total phosphorus (TP) and total suspended solids (TSS). It was observed that recycled glass became less permeable as heterogeneous particles packed the filter bed over time. The glass was found to be more durable than the sand. The wastewater analysis showed that sand significantly reduced concentrations of orthophosphate, COD and TP in comparison to the recycled glass filter bed. Both filter beds produced similar reductions in TSS. The sand and glass filter beds were both shown to reduce concentrations of phosphorus below Manitoba Water Quality Standards effluent phosphorus requirements of 1mg/L. Under start-up conditions, glass could be used as a viable alternative to sand for wastewater filtration as it was able to reduce phosphorus below MWQS values.

Assessing the State of Food and Water Security in Indigenous Communities in Southern Ontario

Kelsie Shae McNeill, Ashutosh Singh, Andrew Binns

University of Guelph, Canada

Globally, food and water security are threatened by a number of socioeconomic and environmental factors including population growth, climate change and changes in land-use. These threats affect the availability, accessibility, utilization and stability of food and water resources required to achieve food and water security. Food and water security are linked primarily through the agricultural sector of food production, where a lack of water may result in lower yield and lead to food scarcity. Conversely, agricultural management processes may lead to contamination of water resources, highlighting the importance of evaluating food and water security using an interdisciplinary approach. Indigenous communities in Canada continue to be affected by numerous political, environmental and socioeconomic challenges to food and water security. These challenges may be related to physical and human geography, political and economic barriers, or food and water resources management and policies. In Southern Ontario, the community of Six Nations is facing obstacles to food and water security that may be associated with growing stresses in the region due to population growth, urban development and climate change. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the state of food and water security in the Six Nations region in Southern Ontario, and investigate the associated socioeconomic and environmental pressures in the area. The study also highlights the importance of incorporating traditional knowledge and community involvement into the assessment of food and water security, identification of threats and future development of solutions.

Bioactive Compound Content and Antioxidant Capacity of Solid Processing Waste from Organic and Conventional Coffee Farming



Brewed coffee is a rich source of natural antioxidants and other bioactive compounds. The coffee industry generates high volumes of solid by products, both during the coffee berry processing (pulp and silver skin) and the actual brewing (spent coffee grounds). These may contain important levels of bioactive compounds but are usually not exploited and treated as waste. On the other hand, farming methods may influence the quality of crops. Unlike conventional farming methods, the production of organic foods contributes to preserving their bioactive compound content while protecting the environment. The aim of this work was to determine the bioactive compound content in dried coffee processing waste. The effect of farming methods (organic and conventional) on total phenolic and flavonoid compound content and the antioxidant capacity was studied in silver skin and spent coffee grounds. The Arabica coffee whose processing by products were used in this work proceeded from Ixhuatlán del Café (Veracruz, Mexico). The samples were dried at 65°C until a constant weight loss. Total phenolic and flavonoid content and the antioxidant capacity of the samples were determined. Waste samples from organic farming presented a higher bioactive compound content and antioxidant capacity than samples from conventional farming. For example, the total phenolic compound content in silver skin samples was significantly (p<0.05) higher in organic samples (2.6±0.7 mg GAE/g d.w.) compared to the conventional ones (0.7±0.1 mg GAE/g d.w.). These results suggest that coffee processing by products might be an interesting source of bioactive compounds, especially when the coffee proceeds from organic farming.

Dairy Cow Bedding Material as an Environmental Source for Milk Microbiota

Kelsey Breanne Fehr1, Hooman Derakhshani1, Shadi Sepehri1, J. C. {Kees} Plaizier1, Ehsan Khafipour1,2

1Department of Animal Science, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada; 2Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada

The aim of this study is to identify environmental origins of milk microbiota and whether different origins, such as bedding, influence milk biodiversity differently between farms. To achieve this aim, we conducted a cross-sectional survey of three dairy farms that each used a different bedding material [Straw (ST), Sand (SA), and Recycled Manure Solids (RMS)]. Milk samples (N=137) were taken to identify milk bacterial diversity. Used bedding samples (N=50) which represented each farm, along with fecal and teat-end samples from lactating cows (N=133) were the taken to identify bacterial diversity of common environmental sources of milk microbiota. Extracted bacterial DNA was subjected to V1-V2 16S rRNA gene sequencing. A Bayesian approach was used to estimate the proportion of milk microbiota from environmental origins. The overall contribution of environmental microbiota to milk for the RMS farm was 47%, followed by 43% for the SA farm, and only 25% for the ST farm. Additionally, for only the ST farm, milk bacterial diversity was significantly lower than bacterial diversity of cows’ teat-ends (P<0.05), meanwhile the proportion of milk microbiota originating from feces, and teat-ends, was positively correlated with milk bacterial diversity (P<0.01). The proportion of milk microbiota coming from bedding influenced milk bacterial diversity for the RMS farm only (P<0.05), it may be that bedding characteristics result in differences in the contribution of bedding to milk microbiota. These results provide evidence that differences in milk bacterial diversity between farms is driven partly by the level of contribution from the environmental sources sampled.

Design and fabrication of an auger type applicator for 50-ohm technology based inline RF disinfestation of stored grains

Roland Jampit Macana, Tolen Tumbong Moirangthem, Oon-Doo Baik

Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Saskatchewan, Canada

Radio frequency disinfestation is an alternative method for the current disinfestation of stored grains using fumigants and pesticides. The advantages of this method are volumetric, fast, and chemical free. However, the non-uniform heating of the system that makes the insect pests migrate to the cold spot is a major challenge for RF heating assisted disinfestation. Some studies suggested that the insect pest’s migration during RF heating could be minimized by putting physical barriers in the heating system and by using a high powered RF heating system to reduce the time of moving of the insect pests going to the cold spot. Thus, this study dealt with the design and fabrication of a continuous auger type applicator which is expected to improve the heating uniformity of the 50-ohm technology based RF system. The applicator is connected to the automatic matching network (AMN) and AMN is connected to the 15 kW and 27.12 MHz generator using 50-ohm coaxial cable. The applicator has an auger that stirs and conveys the grain continuously until it passes between the two electrodes (hot and ground) attached to both sides of the channel. The technical details of the applicator are: capacity = 45 kg (wheat) and 40 kg (canola) at 0.3 m channel diameter, rpm (motor) = 1-200 rpm, and electrode dimensions = 0.7 m length and 0.3 m width. The materials are aluminum (electrode), polypropylene (tubular channel and auger), copper (welding cable connector between AMN and applicator), and expanded metal (casing for the applicator).

Design of light emitting diode system for postharvest shelf-life enhancement of fresh produce

Isaac Spotts, Ramandeep Kaur Sandhu, Ashutosh Singh, Christopher M. Collier

University of Guelph, Canada

Light emitting diodes (LEDs) is one of the revolutionized modern technologies that has found extensive application in the agrifood industry, particularly for small scale farming. The advantageous properties associated with LEDs, including low heat radiation, high electrical and photonic efficiency, minimal production cost, and high power and narrow bandwidth optical emission, make them an attractive candidate for the post-harvest preservation of agrifood products. This study investigates a post-harvest LED system. Optimization in terms of wavelength and physical parameters was performed. The postharvest LED system was applied to fresh produce and the shelf-life enhancement performance indicators were quantified. The results obtained suggest that the applied system can be used as a promising postharvest preservation technology.

Determining the importance of real-time visual information to the remote supervision of an autonomous agricultural machine

Ivan Panfilov, Danny Mann

University of Manitoba, Canada

Fully autonomous agricultural machines are poised to become commercially available, although it is doubtful that the human operator can be completely excluded from the current human-machine system. It is anticipated that the human’s role will change from direct control of the agricultural machine to remote supervision of the agricultural machine. The human supervisor will be responsible for solving problems that lay beyond machine capacities from a remote location. Providing the information in easy-to-obtain format is key to ensuring a high level of situation awareness of the supervisor. The goal of this study is to investigate the effect of providing live video footage of machine operation on the situation awareness of the remotely-located supervisor. A simulator of the autonomous machine supervisor workplace was created to conduct the study. Participants of the study will be asked to perform a supervisory job. During half of the trials, information about machine status will be provided via indicators supplemented with video from cameras mounted on an agricultural machine. During the other half of the trials, participants will receive information about machine status only via indicators. Each trial will be stopped at a random point and the participant will be asked to describe system state at that point. It is hypothesized that providing live video footage will improve the level of situation awareness attained by the supervisor.

Development of a modified fyke net for green crab fisheries

Aitazaz Ahsan Farooque, Skylar Tang

University of Prince Edward Island, Canada

The invasion of the non-indigenous green crab (Carcinus maenas) to estuaries of Prince Edward Island and the Atlantic Region poses a challenge to fisheries management. In order to protect shellfish resources and habitats, green crabs have started to be harvested with fyke (eel) nets. The major problem with this method is the substantial amount of bycatch associated with these nets. Thus, this study focuses on the development of a non-permanent modification for a traditional fyke net to allow for a harvesting of green crabs with substantially less bycatch. The design requirements were that the modification must be reversible to maintain the integrity of the original fyke net; harvest green crabs passively, without the use of bait; reduce bycatch by 80% compared with traditional nets; and be attached and removed from a traditional fyke net in an expedite way. The final design featured a one piece attachment including a ramp and slit. The ramp allows crabs to climb up to and enter the slit through which they fall and become trapped in the fyke net. The slit minimizes the area through fish may enter the net in order to reduce the probability of fish getting trapped. A field study was performed with side-by-side traditional and modified fyke nets placed 50 m away from each other. Nets were checked every 24h for 16d and the modification was switched between nets once every 4d to account for potential differences resulting from location.

Development of Gathering type Potato Harvester - Digging Test -

Sang Hee LEE, Tae Gyoung KANG, Young Keun KIM, Il Su CHOI, Chang Sik Hyun, Yong CHOI, Hyun Jong JUN, Jin Gu KIM

Dept. of Agricultural Engineering, National institute of Agricultural Sciences/RDA, Korea

Currently harvesting of potato is conducted by using potato digger and then collected by manpower in korea. Total working hours of potato production is 58.0hr/10a and 17.1hr/10a is required for the collection work. Therefore, demand for Gathering type potato harvester is increasing. This study was conducted to investigate digging performance of potato harvester depends on blade angle.

Potato harvester used in experiments consisted of 3 parts; digging part, conveying part and loading part. Digging part was designed to change blade angle by 3 levels(20°, 23°, 26°). Soil type, moisture content and cone index was investigated at the 5 points of the test field. We manufactured separate equipment to estimate draft force. Working speed was 0.2m/s. Digging ratio, damage ratio and draft force were investigated and experiment was repeated three times in each level.

Digging ratio was 97~98% in test results and had no significant difference according to blade angle. Damage ratio was respectively 5.9, 8.2, 12% in 20°, 23°, 26°. There was a tendency to increase damage ratio as blade angle increases. Draft force also rose from 2210N to 8900N as blade angle increases. Therefore, it is concluded that it showed best digging performance at 20°.

Development of geometrical models for predicting resistance to airflow in vertical and horizontal directions in bulk grains.

Charles Nwaizu, Qiang Zhang

University of Manitoba, Canada

Resistance to air flow in bulk grains is an important parameter that determine design and operation requirements for aeration and drying systems to preserve grain quality during storage. It is a well-known phenomenon that air flowing in the horizontal direction of a grain bulk encounters less resistance than in the vertical direction. Geometrical models were developed to predict this anisotropic behaviour of resistance to airflow through bulk grains. The models were developed based on the physical principle of compaction and particle orientations that occurred in bulk grain. Predictions from the resulting geometrical models gave satisfactory agreement with experimental data from literatures.

Development of Tractor-attached Forklift

Youngkeun Kim, Ilsu Choi, Taegyoung Kang, Sanghee Lee, Hyeonjong Jun, Yong Choi, Sungwoo Kim, Changsik Hyun

National Institute of Agricultural Sciences, RDA, Korea, Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

In Korea, the main work of tractor is limited use farm work such as tillage, suspension, transportation, etc. In order to expand the use of tractor, it is necessary to develop a tractor attaching type working machine capable of various farm work.

Therefore, this study carried out to develop the tractor-attached forklift for use as transport and load of post-harvest heavy agricultural products such as cabbage, radish, potato, sweet potato, etc. in field.

Forklift was designed to operated hydraulic on the basis of 40 kW class tractor. The Dimension is 1,123 * 882 * 1,376 mm(L*W*H) and weighs 450 kg. Forklift is mounted 3-pont hitch ahead of tractor, and permissible loadage is 800 kg. The result of loading test of the front and rear wheels by each loading weight, when the loading weight was 800 kg, is measured the rear loading 20 kg. The maximum load weight should be decided less than 800 kg for safety work.

In order to investigate safety of forklift, overturning angle of each load weight was measured. The results of overturning angle test tended to decrease gradually when load was increased. A permissible overturning angle is 7° when the loading weight of 590 kg both left and right side. Economic analysis of operating efficiency reduced effort by 50% and cost by 31%.

Effect of high hydrostatic pressure on the quality of sardine meat

Fabiano Alves Oliveira1, Otavio Cabral Neto2, Ligia Marcondes Rodrigues Santos3, Amauri Rosenthal4

1Federal Center for Technological Education - CEFET/RJ, Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; 2Federal Institute Technology of Tocantins, Brazil; 3Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; 4Embrapa, Brazil

High pressure processing (HPP) can potentially induce some beneficial changes to fish meat. This study aimed to assess the quality of sardine meat processed at different HPP treatments based on the following variables pH; instrumental texture (shear force); drip loss; color (L, b, C, h, WI and ΔE). The study followed a factorial design; 4 × 2 + 1 (pressure x holding time + control) at 100, 200, 300 or 400 MPa for zero or 15 min (zero minutes being the time required to reach the set pressure). The pressurized samples statistically differed from the control for all parameters analyzed. The pH was influenced only by the holding time (pH15min > pHzeromin). The shear force increased along either with the holding time or pressure. The drip loss exhibited a tendency of maximum between 200 and 300 MPa when the holding time was 15 min, but it was not influenced by the pressure level when the holding time was zero min. All color indexes exhibited a tendency of increasing with the pressure or holding time increase. The effects seemed to be mainly related to unfolding of myofibrillar and sarcoplasmatic proteins caused by HPP. The cluster analysis followed by principal component analysis (PC1 + PC2 = 77,89 %) suggested that the higher the treatment intensity (higher pressure or holging time) more prone it is to significantly differentiate from the control.

Effect of Spatial Variability in Soil Properties on Crop Productivity of Potatoes in Prince Edward Island

Aitazaz Ahsan Farooque

University of Prince Edward Island, Canada

Potato production in Canada typically involves uniform applications of crop inputs during a growing season, ignoring spatial variations in soil/crop/yield and topographic attributes that exist within fields. Uniform application not only increases the production cost but also adversely affects the tuber yield, quality and environment. The objective of this study was to characterize and quantify the spatial pattern of variability in soil properties and tuber yield to identify the influential factors causing fluctuation in crop yield to implement site-specific fertilization. Two fields were selected in Prince Edward Island, Canada and a grid pattern of sampling points was established at each experimental site to collect soil and yield samples. Soil samples were collected from 0-25 cm depth at each grid point. These soil samples were analyzed for soil organic matter, pH, texture, electrical conductivity and soil nutrients. The volumetric moisture content was recorded at each grid point using time domain reflectometry probes. Ground conductivity readings were also recorded using Dual EM conductivity meter at same selected grid points. Crop yield was collected from each grid point manually. The collected data were analyzed using statistical, geo-statistical and geo-graphical information tools to quantify spatial variability in soil properties and tuber yield within selected fields. Correlations matrix were developed to identify the yield limiting factors and their prediction potential was assessed via sensors. These results can help to develop map based variable rate technology to achieve site-specific fertilization within potato fields.

Evaluating the bending strength of wheat as affected by moisture content and variety

Shola, Hassan Kareem

University of Saskatchewan, Canada

Wheat is a major food crop utilized in so many products ranging from baked goods to pasta among others. Growth-inhibiting factors like pests, insects, fungi, lodging and weather conditions may negatively affect wheat production. Plant breeders have come up with solutions for certain yield reducing factors but are still trying to figure out a way to stop or reduce lodging which is a major factor contributing to yield. In this research, the bending strength of stems of two hundred and fifty-six varieties of wheat at two moisture content (14% and 22%) were measured alongside its modulus of elasticity with correspondence to lodging, thus identifying the cultivar with the highest bending strength and modulus of elasticity. Lodging reduces grain yield to more than 25%. Hence, genetically increasing the stem and anchorage strength after knowing which properties are essential can go a long way in reducing lodging, increasing potential yield and thus meeting the global demand for wheat.

Field Performance Evaluation of Indigenous Tractor Mounted Reaper

Muhammad Adnan, Muhammad Iqbal

University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Pakistan

The present study was conducted to investigate performance of indigenous tractor mounted reaper for wheat harvesting and to determine break-even point. The machine was evaluated for different design parameters, cost analysis and mechanical harvesting efficiency in comparison with sickle. Wheat Field was selected at University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Pakistan. Factorial experiments (3 x 3) were conducted at three wheat varieties (Fsd-2008, Lasani-2008 and Sahar-2006) with three levels of moisture contents i.e. (22%, 18%, and 15 %). The levels of tractor forward speeds were 2.77,4, and 5.2 kmh-1. The tractor was operated at selected levels of ground speed and moisture content for each variety to collect data for average percentage of cutter bar losses. Factor wise ANOVA showed that moisture contents and selected levels of ground speeds have highly significant (p=0.05) effect on cutter bar losses, but the varieties have significant effect on cutter bar losses, whereas varieties and moisture contents have significant and highly significant effect respectively on sickle losses. Results showed that at high moisture content (22%) with tractor speed (2.77 kmh-1), the cutter bar losses were significantly low. The fuel consumption, effective field capacity, field efficiency, knife cutting speed, average cutting index were 6 L/ha, 0.42 ha/hr, 72%, 1.143 m/s and 1.104 respectively. Harvesting cost and losses of reaper were 55% and 50.2% less respectively as compared to sickle. The break-even point of machine can be achieved at 9.78 ha/year. An appropriate level of tractor speed and moisture content can reduce the grain

losses and increase the overall yield of crop

Fractionation of tomato pomace by sedimentation as a strategy to increase lycopene extraction yield

Yasmini Portes Abraham Silva1, Marianne Su-Ling Brooks2, Tania Aparecida Pinto de Castro Ferreira1

1Faculdade de Nutrição, Universidade Federal de Goiás (UFG), Goiânia, GO, Brazil; 2Process Engineering and Applied Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada

Tomato pomace, an industrial by-product, was collected at a tomato processing plant and fractioned into skin and seed fractions by a batch sedimentation process. In the first step, the pomace was soaked in water at a solid:water ratio (v/v) of 1:5 for 5 minutes, forming an upper layer (mostly skins) and bottom layer (seeds). Each layer was collected and soaked separately in water (1:4 ratio of solid:water) for 3 minutes, and the soaking was repeated for the new layers for another 2 minutes. The upper layers were combined to form the skin fraction, and bottom layers formed the seed fraction. The whole pomace as well as skin and seed fractions were analyzed for CIELAB color parameters (L*, a* and b*). The samples were also freeze-dried for lycopene extraction by ultrasound-assisted solvent extraction (frequency of 40 kHz, hexane:acetone (1:1) as solvent, solvent:solid ratio of 20:1 (mL/g), 20°C for 20 minutes). Color parameter a* (red) was highly correlated to lycopene content (Pearson’s correlation coefficient = 0.990). The lycopene content of each fraction, in dry weight was: whole pomace 416.34 ± 35.37, skin fraction 645.54 ± 32.01 and seed fraction 122.87 ± 8.21. The skin fraction contained 55% more lycopene than the whole pomace. Therefore, the separation of the different fractions by sedimentation is effective in increasing lycopene extraction yield from tomato by-products. After separation, the skin fraction should be used for lycopene extraction and seeds potentially used for oil extraction.

High cell density Pseudomonas putida cultures display shear thickening behavior and effect on oxygen transfer.

Warren Blunt1, Marc Gaugler2, Richard Sparling1, David B. Levin1, Nazim Cicek1, Daniel Gapes2

1University of Manitoba, Canada; 2Scion Research, New Zealand

Increasing productivity of microbial processes targeting production of value-added bio-products is a major focus of bioprocess development. For medium chain length polyhydroxyalkanoates (mcl-PHAs), a potentially valuable biodegradable and biocompatible bio-polymer, this is often done using high cell density cultures. During such processes, gas-to-liquid mass transfer of oxygen is often rate limiting, and the mass transfer coefficient is increased through bioreactor aeration and mixing intensity. We have observed that during high cell density cultivation of Pseudomonas putida LS46 the rheological properties of the cultivation medium change significantly over time, with more than a ten-fold increase in apparent viscosity (at a shear rate of 10 sec-1) for cell densities ranging 0-25 g/L CDM. Shear thickening behavior was observed for all samples beyond a certain minimum yield shear rate of 95 sec-1. Up to that point the behavior of samples with a cell concentration of less than 10 g/L CDM was approximately Newtonian (<10 g/L CDM) and slightly shear thinning for cell densities beyond 15 g/L CDM. Many inverse correlations have been previously established between medium viscosity and kLa. This data indicates that increasing the bioreactor mixing intensity beyond the onset of shear thickening could have a detrimental effect on kLa, and productivity, during high cell density mcl-PHA cultivation processes.

In-Package Humidity Sensing RFID Tag for Monitoring Fresh Vegetables

Robin Raju, Greg Bridges

Universtiy of Mantioba, Canada

In the past decades, the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables has increased steadily. Between 1961 and 2009, the per capital consumption of fresh vegetables in Canada alone has risen to 40% (Statistics Canada, 2009). Several storage conditions affect the shelf life and quality of fresh fruits and vegetables. Relative humidity is one such important factor that affects both the water loss and rate of microbial growth in plant products. Although a high humidity condition has shown to prevent the loss of moisture, a decrease in humidity has also been reported to decrease the growth of microbes like Salmonella (Brandl & Mandrell, 2002) and Listeria (Likotrafiti, Smirniotis, Nastou, & Rhoades, 2013). Monitoring and maintaining humidity to an optimum level thus aids in preserving the food quality and extending its shelf life. In the current work a low cost, printable battery-less wireless tag for non-invasive sensing of humidity in packaged commercial food products is presented. The designed tag provides two distinct backscattered radar cross section signatures of which one is functionalized using the humidity sensitive material - polyvinyl alcohol (PVA). A variation in humidity inside a sealed package causes a change in relative permittivity of PVA. This in turn shifts the resonant frequency of the sensing signature from the tag. The other signature serves as a reference and remains unaltered. The sensor was calibrated over a humidity range of 25% to 90%.

Inactivation of Escherichia coli by High Intensity Pulsed Ultraviolet-A and Near UV-Visible Light Treatments

Amritha Jaya Prasad, Michael Gaenzle, Roopesh Mohandas Syamaldevi

University of Alberta, Canada

Bacterial contamination is one of the major threats to food safety and quality. High intensity pulsed Ultraviolet-A (UV-A, 365 nm) and Near UV-Visible (NUV-Vis, 395 nm) Light Emitting Diode (LED) treatments are emerging approaches to improve the safety of food and bioproducts. We evaluated the effectiveness of high intensity pulsed UV-A and NUV-Vis LED treatments (100 Hz, 6 millisecond pulses) on the reduction of Escherichia coli AW1.7 cells. We also analyzed the synergistic antimicrobial efficacy of UV-A with riboflavin (Vitamin B2), as it exhibits antimicrobial properties upon UV activation. Cell counts of E. coli were reduced to levels below the detection limit (~8 log10 CFU/ml reduction) after Pulsed UV-A LED treatment with dosage of 78.165 J/cm2 during 30 minutes. A similar reduction in E. coli population was observed during Pulsed NUV-Vis LED treatment with dosage of 280 J/cm2 during 20 minutes. Temperature of the treatment surface was considerably increased from 23oC to 51.5oC during NUV-Vis LED treatment while a lower temperature increase to 30oC was observed during UV-A treatment. Addition of riboflavin at concentrations of 400µM and 800 µM did not significantly improve the inactivation efficacy of UV-A treatment up to 60 minutes. This study shows the potential of Pulsed UV-A and NUV-Vis LED treatments to inactivate the E. coli. Knowledge obtained through this project will help us to select appropriate treatment conditions to reduce E. coli population in various food and bioproducts.

Investigating the impact of whole body vibration on farm machinery egress performance: developing a test protocol

Behzad Bashiri1, Stephan Milosavljevic2, Marcus Yung1, Catherine Trask1

1Canaidan Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture (CCHSA), University of Saskatchewan,; 2School of Physical Therapy, University of Saskatchewan

In Canada, farming is a hazardous occupation, with persistently high rates of fatal injuries and hospitalizations despite increased mechanization. Machinery use is the most common cause of injury in agriculture. Driving on-farm vehicles, in particular, can expose farmers to both whole body vibration during operation and to risk of falls on egress. Although both of these hazards have been investigated individually, it is plausible that whole body vibration impacts the risk of egress injury. Occupational whole body vibration has a number of effects on health and performance, and can adversely influence balance, coordination, and perception; likely increasing the risk of falls from machinery. Understanding the effects of whole body vibration on egress performance will allow for the development of preventive interventions that will ultimately enhance the health and economic productivity of Canadian farmers. The goal of this project is to investigate how exposure to whole body vibration influences the risk of falls and egress-related injuries from agricultural vehicles. The proposed experimental design will involve performance measures pre- and post-whole body vibration exposure on a lab-based tractor simulator. This paper reports on the development of a tractor egress test paradigm and selection of physiological and biomechanical performance measurements to detect the short-term effects of whole body vibration.

Lipid and carotenoid synthesis by the oleaginous yeast, Rhodosporidium dibovatum, grown on glucose versus glycerol

Maryam Mirzaie1, Irene Fakankun1, Nima Nasirian2, David B. Levin1

1University of Manitoba, Canada; 2Islamic Azad University, Shoushtar, Iran

Production of microbial single cell oils (triacylglycerides) has been the focus of much research because of their structural similarities to vegetable oils. Carotenoids are also high-value products synthesized by microorganisms, such as microalgae and yeast, and have important applications in animal feed, in human nutrition and nutraceuticals, and in medical research. Rhodosporidium diobovatum is a “red” yeast that can synthesize and accumulate high concentrations of both triacylglycerides (TAGs) and the carotenoid β-carotene. Thus, in this study, we assessed the relationships between lipid and carotenoid synthesis by R. dibovatum 08-225 in nitrogen-limiting medium (GMY) containing equal mass (40 g/L) of glucose or glycerol. The cultures were also supplemented with additional substrate at 72 hours (h) post-inoculation (pi) and continuing adding it every 24 hours for more 5 days. After 72 h pi, for 5 days, the glucose and glycerol cultures produced approximately equal amounts of cell mass, but the glycerol cultures produced slightly greater amounts of lipid (38.31 ± 0.1 % dcw) than the glucose cultures (37.48 ± 0.09 % dcw) at 192 h pi. Glycerol cultures produced higher amounts of ß-carotene at 48 h pi (245.80 ± 6.95 µg/g dcw, versus 201.44 ± 0.89 µg/g dcw at 24 h pi in Glucose media, respectively). After 48 h pi, ß-carotene production significantly decreased in both cultures, but after the addition of fresh substrates at 72 h pi, ß-carotene concentrations stayed constant at around 80 µg/g dcw in these cultures, with a sharply increased in lipid concentrations.

Investigation of Antioxidant Content for Different Genotypes of Yellow European Plums

Andrea DiNardo1, Jayasankar Subramanian2, Ashutosh Singh1

1School of Engineering, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Road East, Guelph, Ontario, Canada, N1G 2W1; 2Department of Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph, 4890 Victoria Avenue North, Vineland, Ontario, Canada, L0R 2E0

European Plums (Prunus domestica L.) are part of the Rosaceae family which includes other stone fruits such as peaches, nectarines, apricots, and cherries, etc. European Plums are traditionally blue-black in color, however, through conventional breeding, yellow skinned European plums have been developed, called YEPs. YEPs have high phenolic and antioxidant content when compared to traditional European Plums, which helps to reduce cardiovascular diseases, improves gastrointestinal health, and lowers the risk of certain types of cancers. Total phenolic content and antioxidant capacity of five Yellow European plums (Prunus domestica) were studied using heat reflux extraction. Fresh plum fruits were extracted in a water bath at 50°C and 70°C while freeze dried plums were extracted at 50°C, 60°C, and 70°C. An increase in total phenolic content and antioxidant scavenging activity was observed in freeze dried samples as compared to the fresh plums due to an increase in bioavailability. Total phenolic content for the fresh fruit ranged between 20 to 50 mg GAE/100 g fresh weight (fw). The phenolic content for the freeze dried samples ranged from 87 to 307 mg GAE/100 g. Antioxidant capacity was expressed as DPPH scavenging activity, reported in percent (%), which ranged between 13.58% to 29.96% for the fresh and 41% to 45.89% for the freeze dried plums.

Lipid content of tomato processing by-product

Yasmini Portes Abraham Silva, Marcela Garcia Reis, Marinete Rocha Fernandes, Tânia Aparecida Pinto de Castro Ferreira

Faculdade de Nutrição, Universidade Federal de Goiás (UFG), Goiânia, GO, Brazil

Tomato pomace is a by-product generated during tomato industrial processing, containing tomato skin and seeds. Currently this by-product has no commercial value, despite being a potential source of nutrients. This work evaluated the lipid content of tomato pomace and its seed fraction. The by-product was collected from a processing plant and dried in oven at 45°C until moisture of 10% (wet basis). After drying, the pomace was sieved for separation of the seed fraction from the skin fraction. The oil was then extracted from both the whole pomace as well as from the seed fraction, using chloroform and methanol as extraction solvents, at room temperature (25 ± 3 °C). The oil content of the by-products, in of dry weight, was of 144.82 ± 13.19 for the seed fraction and 131.33 ± 11.74 for the whole by-product. The presence of the skins did not affect the oil extraction from the seeds, since the whole by-product and the seed fraction did not present significantly different lipid contents. It should be noted, however, that the skins could potentially be used for extraction of lycopene, a carotenoid with important antioxidant activitiy, and therefore the separation is still recommended. Considering the large amounts of tomato pomace produced worldwide, the use of the seeds for oil extraction represents an alternative use for this waste as a source material to obtain nutrients, thus reducing pollution caused by food processing.

Metabolic engineering of Pseudomonas putida LS46 for enhanced production of polyhydroxyalkanoates.

Riffat I. Munir, Parveen K. Sharma, David B. Levin

University of Manitoba, Canada

Pseudomonas putida strains have been widely studied for their ability to synthesize medium chain length polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) polymers with different monomer compositions from a wide range of carbon sources. P. putida is known to synthesize PHA polymers either via the β-oxidation pathway when fatty acids are used as carbon source or the fatty acid de novo biosynthesis pathway in the presence of glucose or glycerol. Previously, studies have identified pha J1 and pha J4 genes (R-specific enoyl-CoA hydratases) in the β-oxidation pathway, and pha G gene (hydroxyl acyl ACP CoA transacylase) in de novo biosynthesis pathway to play a significant role in the production of PHAs. These genes encode important “monomer offering” enzymes that supply substrate to PHA synthase (encoded by pha C), the enzyme that polymerizes PHA polymers. In addition, PhaG has been shown to directly link the fatty acid de novo biosynthesis with PHA biosynthesis pathway. Genetic manipulation of these genes via gene knockouts and genetic recombination, which may enhance PHA production, are being investigated.

Microwave heating as a post-harvest treatment for white corn against Sitotroga cerealella



Corn (Zea mays L.) is one of the most important crops in the world, for both human and animal feeding, starch and syrup production and bio-fuel. However, its losses reach 10-20% of the production volume, mainly due to insects. Among the pests that attack corn, Angoumois grain moth Sitotroga cerealella (Oliver, 1786) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) is distinguished during storage. Currently, chemical fumigants are employed with disinfestation purposes, but they have been reciently restricted because of their negative impact in the health and the environment. There are other alternative methods, such as thermal treatments, which include dielectric heating (microwave and radio frequency). The objective of this work was to design and apply microwave post-harvest treatments for white corn against S. cerealella. Power levels of 293, 390 and 475 W were applied to a batch of 250 g until reach the target temperature of 50°C in the grain center and held for 3 min, followed by air-forced cooling during 3.5 min. One batch was left as a control without treatment. Thermocouples and thermal imaging camera were used to evaluate the heating uniformity. Heating times were 56, 40 and 37 s, for 293, 390 and 475 W, respectively, during which, 100% of mortality in fifth-instar larvae was achivied (p˂0.05). The quality of treated white corn was followed thoughout germination ability (95±5%), moisture content (11.99±0.03% w.b.), hardness (136.285±11.162 N), density (788±2.05 kg/m³) and color (L*=69.36±0.93; a*=1.76±0.5; b*=25.20±0.89). The proposed treatments were effective for post-harvest corn desinfestation, without affect the quality of the grains.

Modeling of effective moisture diffusivity and activation energy of distillers’ spent grain pellets during superheated steam drying

Rani Puthukulangara Ramachandran, Jitendra Paliwal, Stefan Cenkowski

University of Manitoba, Canada

The determination of the coefficients used in drying models and the effects of different variables i.e., moisture content, temperature and velocity, are essential for modeling any of the drying processes. The present study was conducted to determine the effective moisture diffusivity and activation energy of the distillers’ spent grain (DSG) pellets during superheated steam drying. The experiments were done with cylindrical pellets of two moisture contents (25, 35% wet basis), and with three different concentrations of condensed solubles (0, 10, 30% w/w) dried at three steam temperatures (120, 150, 180°C) and three steam velocities (0.5, 1.0, 1.5 m/s), respectively. The comparison of drying characteristic and the analytical solution of Fick’s law of diffusion for an infinite cylinder allowed for the determination of the effective moisture diffusivity of the pellets. The experimental results showed that the effective diffusivity increased with an increase in steam temperature and velocity. The value of effective diffusivity of DSG pellet was in the range of 2.49 × 10-9 to 1.79 × 10-8. The dependency of the effective moisture diffusivity on temperature was established using Arrhenius equation and the pre-exponential factor and activation energy of the equations were determined using experimental data. The activation energy of the pellets was found to be increasing with steam velocity, moisture content, and percentage condensed solubles. These findings could serve as a fundamental input parameter to numerically model the superheated steam drying of DSG pellets.

Moisture diffusivity during hot-air drying of red prickly pear peel (Opuntia streptacantha)

Jeniffer Shaaron de Jesus Patlan-Gonzalez, Julian Andres Gomez-Salazar, Abel Ceron-Garcia, Maria Elena Sosa-Morales

Universidad de Guanajuato, Mexico

Red prickly pear (Opuntia streptacantha) is an important fruit in Mexico. Peel is usually discarded, however, biocompounds should be extracted from it in order to give added-value to this by-product. Hot air drying keeps as an easy, cheap and suitable method to preserve organic material, for further extraction of compounds. The aim of this work was to study and model the hot air drying of red prickly pear peel using two temperatures (80 and 85 °C), during 6 h. The water activity in fresh and dry pulp was measured, as well as the moisture content and total soluble solids in fresh pulp. For drying, air velocity was 2.27±0.04 m/s, for batches of 70±2 g. The peel was cut in strips with thickness of 0.009 m. The relative humidity (RH) was determined. Several empirical and diffusional models were applied to describe the drying. Also, the biocompounds concentrations were evaluated. Fresh pulp had 0.9607±0.003 for water activity, 89.3±1.6% (w.b.) for moisture content and 11.5ºBx. The best correlation coefficient was achieved with the empirical Page model. The diffusion coefficients were 8.75 and 9.88x10-9 m2/s for 80°C and 85°C, respectively, at 28.1% RH. Activation energy was 11.95 kJ/mol. Dry peel had water activity between 0.29 and 0.30, and moisture content between 9.22 and 12.26% (w.b.). In dry peel (per gram of dry matter): total phenolic compounds were 127-146 mg equivalent gallic acid/g, total flavonoids 352-379 mg quercetin/g , betalains 0.38-0.55 mg/g and for anthocyanin 80-81.6 mg cyanidin 3-glucoside/g.

Natural wetlands as additional wastewater treatment for phosphorus removal in First Nations communities in Manitoba

Vanja Karpisek, Nazim Cicek, Qiuyan Yuan

University of Manitoba, Canada

At least 60% of First Nation communities in Manitoba, including the Lake Manitoba First Nation, are located in wetland areas. Wetlands can be used as an effluent-polishing step in removing phosphorus from wastewater. 47% of First Nations communities in Manitoba served by facultative lagoons failed to achieve the total phosphorus (TP) concentration of 1 mg/L in proposed regulations for effluent discharge into the environment. The Lake Manitoba First Nation community facultative lagoon system treats domestic wastewater and seasonally discharges effluent into a wetland that connects to Lake Manitoba. This research was performed to estimate phosphorus removal efficiency through the natural wetland during the vegetation growing season. The secondary treated wastewater was discharged at a mean flow rate of 2,823 m3/day, resulting in a hydraulic loading rate of 22 cm/d with TP loading of 5 kg/day to an adjacent natural wetland. The average total phosphorus concentration reduction utilizing the observed treatment area of 1.3 ha was more than 70%, achieving the desired TP concentration below 1 mg/L. Data analysis showed that significant increase occurred in TP concentrations only in the Meleb series soil, in 20-40 cm depth interval in comparison to 0-20 cm and 40-60 cm depth intervals at the end of vegetation growing season. Hence, the main accumulation of TP occurred in the 20-40 cm soil depth. These short-term study results indicate the potential of natural wetland treatment applications under cold continental climate conditions, as an effluent polishing step to satisfy regulatory requirements for phosphorus reduction in smaller First Nations communities.

Optimizing the production of value added products from microalgae through In-silico approach

Mohit Jain, Vijaya Raghavan

McGill University, Canada

Microalgae has been the production house for thousands of natural and unnatural compounds, having significant commercial importance ranging from pharmaceutical drugs, food additives, cosmetics, bioenergy etc. With recent advances in the knowledge volume about the novel compounds produced from microalgae, they are being the prime targets for procuring those compounds. To mitigate the overexploitation of microalgae, production of compounds from algae should be optimized. To optimize the production of compounds, an in-silico approach called genome scale metabolic reconstruction (GSM) was used in our work.

Genome Scale Metabolic reconstruction can be defined as the reconstruction of metabolic network i.e. chemical reactions and enzyme involved in organism metabolism, using genomic information of the organism or in other words it is a strategy of correlating the genotype and the phenotype of an organism. The optimization through reconstruction is a step wise approach which involves functional genomic annotation of the microalgae genome, automatic reconstruction through the help of software, manual curation, simulation of all the reactions in the network using mathematical modelling (flux balance analysis), validation and the last step includes wet lab experiments. All together, GSM reconstruction is not restricted to just optimization study apart from this it works as an excellent strategy in the field of metabolic engineering for developing novel products and in prediction of organism responses to genomic changes and environmental stresses.

Phosphorous Removal from Contaminated Water Using Ground Zebra Mussel Shells

Kenton Connor McCorquodale-Bauer, Nazim Cicek, Joe Ackerman

University of Manitoba, Canada

Zebra mussels are invasive to Manitoba and deposit a mass amount of shells when they die, which are inconvenient and a nuisance to beach goers. The composition of the zebra mussel shells was examined to determine if a use could be found to provide an incentive for shell collection and removal. It was determined that Zebra mussel shells contain 87% calcium carbonate by mass. The effectiveness that these shells have as a phosphorous binding agent to remove phosphorous from water was examined. The shells were ground and sieved through a 75 μm mesh and mixed with phosphate water for 10 minutes at 100 rpm. It was found that the shells had no effect on phosphorous levels in the water. The ground sieved shells were then heated for 13 hours in a 550 ̊C oven. It was found that these shells effectively removed significant amounts of phosphorous from stock solution containing 8.93 mg/L of phosphorous. At doses of 2.0 g/L and 2.5 g/L the applied heated ground zebra mussel shells were found to reduce phosphorous by 94.2% (0.522 mg/L) and 95.2% (0.429 mg/L) respectively, at lower pH levels than calcium oxide could achieve. From the preliminary results in this report, more research into the feasibility of using zebra mussel shells as a material to reduce phosphorous in waste water is recommended.

Preliminary results on superheated steam processing of barley.

Clifford James Dueck1, Marta Izydorczyk2, Stefan Cenkowski1

1University of Manitoba, Canada; 2Canadian Grains Commission

Established barley bulgur production steps are; cooking, drying, pearling, and cutting. CDC Hilose (high amylose, high beta-glucan) barley variety was tested with superheated steam (SS) for the drying phase of production. Of interest, for this study, is the effect of the SS as a drying treatment on the finished bulgur product. The palatability and potential appeal to consumers of the product are measured through water absorption during cooking, cooking time, colour, and particle size distribution after cutting.

Preliminary results appear to show that the 120C SS treated Hilose variety is friable and porous. The implications of these observations were noted when the setting for pearling removed 12% of the product as opposed to the anticipated 5%. Cooking time for the SS treated Hilose was less than half when compared to oven drying as a standard.

Recovery of carotenoids from food processing wastes

Yasmini Portes Abraham Silva1, Marianne Su-Ling Brooks2, Tânia Aparecida Pinto de Castro Ferreira1

1Faculdade de Nutrição, Universidade Federal de Goiás (UFG), Goiânia, GO, Brazil; 2Process Engineering and Applied Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada

Carotenoids represent one class of more than 600 bioactive compounds, which can be further classified into carotenes or xanthophylls. These compounds, such as lycopene, alpha- and beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, present a series of important sensory, technological and physiological properties. For example, they are responsible for providing the colors yellow, orange and red to several fruits and vegetables, such as tomatoes, peppers, watermelon, and grapefruit. They are also associated with a high antioxidant activity and when consumed in the diet contribute to provitamin A activity and help to regulate the immune system. Carotenoids are synthesised by plants, bacteria, fungi and algae, therefore animals obtain them through diet. Plants are currently the main source of carotenoids for human health and for application in the food industry as food additives (being used as coloring agents and antioxidants). Several of these compounds have been successfully recovered from a variety of food processing wastes, mostly from vegetable wastes such as tomato, pomegranate, carrot and red pepper wastes, but also from shrimp wastes, where the extracted carotenoids present high purity and biological value. Since the production of synthetic carotenoids is a costly process, the recovery of these high-value added compounds from processing wastes represents a viable alternative, while also reducing the amount of wastes generated by the food processing industry. In this paper we discuss the recent work associated with the extraction and recovery of carotenoids from food processing wastes, by reporting on the most promising sources and extraction techniques, and future prospects.

Simulating aerosol movement in experimental chambers using computational fluid dynamics

Amy La, Qiang Zhang

University of Manitoba, Canada

Aerosol transmission of diseases poses serious threats to human and animal health. Our understanding of complex processes involved in airborne disease transmission is still limited. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) may provide a power tool to further our understanding of how disease pathogens are spread via aerosol transmission. In this study, we use a CFD model to simulate the movement of aerosols in an experimental chamber. Liquid aerosols containing Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus were artificially generated into a pair of connected experimental chambers operating at a set ventilation rate. Aerosol concentration was continuously monitored with an optical particle counter until steady state conditions were achieved. The CFD model simulates the experiments and quantifies aerosol movement and distribution inside the experimental chambers.


Monica Lia Peña-Galvan, Karen Ileana Minjares-Castañeda, Maria Elena Sosa-Morales, Abel Ceron-Garcia, Julian Andres Gomez-Salazar

Guanajuato University, Mexico

During the refrigerated storage of the meat, there are important changes of the physical-chemical parameters that have a repercussion on its quality. The objective of this work was to study the behavior of the physical-chemical parameters in the pork meat during its refrigeration and the interaction between them. For this purpose, 27 cylinder cuts of Semimembranosus Muscle were placed randomly into refrigeration chambers (5±2°C) during 9 days. Each day, three cylinder samples were taken out from the refrigeration chamber and the values of pH, color, moisture, texture, weight, shrinking and volume were determined. Kinetics and experimental data were modelled by means of empirical models and mathematical equations considering the shrinkage in function of radius changes, moisture and volume of the samples. A decrease in the weight was observed through the storage with a range from 52.17g to 20.01g. Moisture content presented values from 76.41% to 51.96%. Regarding to the color and texture, samples showed an increase in firmness values with the storage from 3.32N to 23.48N, while the parameters L and b* decreased from 46.67 to 26.52 and from 12.19 to 9.35, respectively, and for a* (6.05 to 16.49) increased, which represents the loss of brightness and pink tonality. The pH values increased with storage from 5.9 to 6.49. A good fit was obtained between the experimental and calculated data for the physical-chemical parameters (R2 > 0.95). A mathematical equation was obtained considering the shrinkage in function of radius, moisture and volume.

Synthesis and physical properties of polyhydroxyalkanoate polymers with novel monomer compositions by recombinant Pseudomonas putida LS46 expressing a novel PHA Synthase (PhaC116) enzyme

David B. Levin1, Parveen K. Sharma1, Riffat Munir1, Warren Blunt1, Chris Dartiailh1, Juijun Cheng2, Trevor Charles2

1University of Manitoba, Canada; 2University of Waterloo, Canada

A derivative of Pseudomonas putida LS461 (deletion the phaC1-phaZ-phaC2 genes) was constructed by introducing cosmid JC123 carrying a novel phaC116 gene from a metagenomic clone. The resulting strain, P. putida LS46123, was able to synthesize polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) polymers with novel monomer compositions when cultured on glucose or free fatty acids, and accumulated PHAs from 9.24 to 27.09% of cell dry weight. The PHAs synthesized by P. putida LS46123 contained up to 50 mol% short chain length subunits (3-hydroxybutyrate and 3-hydroxyvalerate), with the remaining monomers consisting of various medium chain length subunits. The PhaC116 protein expressed by P. putida LS46123 had an amino acid sequence identity of 45% with the PhaC1 protein of the parent strain, P. putida LS46. Predicted 3-D structures of the PhaC116 proteins from P. putida LS46123 and P. putida LS46 revealed several differences in the numbers and locations of protein secondary structures. The physical and thermal properties of the novel polymers synthesized by P. putida LS46123 cultured with glucose or free fatty acids differed significantly from those produced by P. putida LS46 grown on the same substrates. PHA polymers with different subunit compositions, and hence different physical and thermal properties can be tailor made for specific applications.

Synthesis of Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) production from vegetable oil by Pseudomonas chlororaphis strains PA23 and PA23-63

Parveen K. Sharma, Riffat Munir, David B. Levin

University of Manitoba, Canada

Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) have attracted extensive interest as environmentally friendly biodegradable plastics. Many bacteria synthesize short (SCL) and medium chain length (MCL) PHA polymers as carbon and energy storage reserves when they are grown under nutrient-limitation Characteristics of MCL-PHA resemble those of elastomers, latexes, and resins. Pseudomonas chlororaphis strain PA23 was isolated from soybean root and was able to protect canola from stem rot disease caused by the fungal pathogen Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. This bacterium secretes a wide-range of compounds, including the antibiotics pyrrolnitrin, phenazine 1-carboxylic acid (PCA), and 2-hydroxyphenazine (2-OH-PHZ), together with chitinase, protease, lipase, and siderophores. Synthesis of PCA conveys this strain with a bright orange color. P. chlororaphis PA23 can grow octanoic, nonanoic acid as well as in canola oil and produced 1.56-2.61 g/L cell dry weight and accumulated PHAs from 10.6% to 28.3% of cell dry weight (cdw). P. chlororaphis PA23-63 is a non-pigmented strain derived from PA23 that does not synthesize PCA. We have determined that P. chlororaphis PA23-63 was also able produce 2.42-5.14 g/L cell biomass and accumulated PHA from 11.7% to 32.5% of cdw from octanoic acid, nonanoic acid, waste fryer oil, and canola oil. Recombinants of P. chlororaphis PA23-63 are being constructed to produce PHAs with novel monomer composition from directly from vegetable oils.

Thermal Model of a Passive Solar Greenhouse

Shreya Ghose1, William David Lubitz1, Youbin Zheng1, Yun Kong1, Martha Gay Scroggins1, David Llewellyn1, Mary Ruth McDonald1, Rene Van Acker1, Ralph C. Martin1, Evan Elford2

1University of Guelph, Canada; 2Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs

High tunnel greenhouses are ideal for growing small fruits and vegetables in a protected environment. When compared to horticulture in open fields, the regular growing season of a crop can be extended as temperatures inside a high tunnel are higher than temperatures recorded in open fields. Organic high tunnel horticulture can improve the yield, quality, prevent disease and lead to better pest control of the crop.

Variables such as air and soil temperatures, solar insolation, airflow and wind speeds have been measured inside the high tunnels, and in open fields for two growing seasons (2015 and 2016) at Guelph, Ontario. A one-dimensional energy model has been developed and validated for Quonset style passive solar high tunnels using the measured variables to understand how they influence the microclimate inside the tunnels. Analysis of the data collected from previous seasons have shown lower than expected frost resistance inside the high tunnels. The insect screening has significantly lowered the ventilation inside the tunnel, leading to higher temperatures and humidity levels when compared to unscreened tunnels. Some stratification has been observed qualitatively.

The model and data collected is part of a longer study that will be beneficial to farmers. It will help them choose the type of crop best suited for the microclimate inside the tunnels and extend the duration of the growing season. Developing system models using these data can also help identify methods of reducing energy costs through structural changes and by modifying operating methods.

The performance of fluted coulters for vertical tillage

Zhiwei {Bob} Zeng, Ying Chen

University of Manitoba, Canada

Understanding the effects of the working parameters on the resulting soil and residue conditions is important to improve the performance of vertical tillage tools. In this study, two vertical tillage tools: 8- wave and 13-wave fluted coulters, were tested in a wheat stubble field at three different working speeds: 12, 16, and 20 km/h to examine the effects of tool geometry and working speed on the tillage performance of the fluted coulter. The soil-related variables (soil disturbance width, soil throw width, and soil sticking on the coulter) and residue-related variables (residue cover and residue distribution uniformity) were measured. The results showed that the soil disturbance width was significantly affected by the working speed and coulter geometry while the other measurements were only sensitive to the working speed (p<0.05). The 13-wave coulter had a 17% lower soil disturbance width as compared with the 8-wave coulter. Increasing the working speed increased the soil disturbance width (5.7 to 13.1%) and the soil throw width (2.5 to 45.1%), but decreased the soil sticking (31.4 to 76.6%) and the residue cover (5.1 to 11.0%). The residue distribution uniformity decreased by 5.5% from 12 to 16 km/h, but increased by 10.0% from 16 to 20 km/h. The effect of working speed was more dominant than the coulter geometry in altering the tillage performance of the fluted coulter.

Usability assessment of self-propelled windrower: A case study of MacDon windrower

behzad bashiri, Danny Mann, Uduak Edet

University of Manitoba, Canada

Prototype testing of agricultural machines has typically focused on the structural and/or functional performance of the machine, with limited attention given to its usability. There is growing recognition, however, that machine performance can be maximized when attention is paid to the interaction between the operator and machine. A thorough knowledge of this interaction is required by design engineers if usability is to be considered at the design stage. The objective of this study was to determine whether design engineers from a local agricultural machinery manufacturer possess sufficient understanding of the interaction between the operator and machine that usability can be adequately considered during the design process. The research involved interviews with design engineers followed by in-field observation of machine operators. Comparison of task analysis completed based on interview with design engineers and in-field observation of machine operators, respectively, was performed. The comparison confirmed that design engineers at the local company possess sufficient understanding of the interaction between the operator and machine. Nevertheless, field observations identified an unexpected discrepancy between operator attention to the right and left sides of the machine which warrants further investigation. It was also observed that operators seldom used the information displays during field operation, preferring information derived from environmental cues. Moderate levels of mental workload, measured by the Driving Activity Load Index, were observed which is ideal for machine operators. The level of situational awareness experienced by operators, as measured by the Situation Awareness Rating Technique, was adequate to maintain a high level of performance

Workplace Safety: The Emergence and Importance of a Clothing Safety Label based on Consumer Choice

Marjia Khanom, Mashiur Rahman, C. Emdad Haque

University of Manitoba, Canada

An investigation has been carried out to understand consumer awareness regarding workplace safety in textiles and apparel industry in the developing countries. Workers’ safety appears in consumers’ attention only when a fatal accident occurs (in 2013, 1,129 workers died & 1,650 injured in Bangladesh). More than 100 participants at the University of Manitoba were surveyed using SurveyMonkey software using a 5-point Likert Scale. The majority of consumers is aware of and concerned about the poor workplace conditions in clothing industries. Despite being aware of the situation, >80% of the consumers had either ‘Never’ (56.3%) or ‘Rarely’ (30.2%) complained to the retailers. However, it was revealed that majority of the general (88.5%) and brand consumers (85.3%) will ‘Never’ - 36.5% and 34.7%, or ‘Rarely’ - 52.1% and 50.5% respectively purchase clothing from a retailer if they became aware that the clothing was made in unsafe working conditions. It was found that consumers would like to have a safety label M=4.08 (max: 5) in the clothing that is certified by an ‘independent third party’ (56%) and would like to pay additional cost (90%) towards this safety label. Analysis of Variance showed that male participants are more likely to complain to the retailers than female participants about the factory conditions (F=4.29, P=0.04, df. F1, 91). Also, University of Manitoba staff are more concerned about the factory conditions than students (F=5.21, P=0.03, df. F1, 93). Similarly, participants over the age of 30 concerned more than participants under the age of 30 (F=5.12, P=0.03, df. F1, 93).

Understanding the requirements for a blind-spot detection system on agricultural machines from the operator's perspective

Xin Chen, Danny.D Mann

University of Manitoba, Canada

The operator of a modern agricultural machine is unable to physically see all around the machine, a factor that contributes to accidental run-overs. There is a need to devise an effective blind-spot detection system for agricultural machines to enable operators to avoid these accidental run-overs. This paper borrows a model, called the Human Activity Assistive Technology (HAAT) Model, from the discipline of occupational therapy in an attempt to identify the requirements for a blind-spot detection system from the operator’s perspective. Within the context of the HAAT model, a blind-spot surrounding an agricultural machine may be considered to be a form of disability (i.e., blindness) experienced by the operator. The HAAT model considers the abilities of the human (in this case the machine operator), the activity to be completed (in this case to eliminate accidental run-overs while driving the machine), and the context in which the task occurs with the objective of identifying an appropriate technology solution (or assistive device) that should enable the human to complete the desired task in a satisfactory manner. Advantages and disadvantages of both a camera-based blind-spot detection system and a sensor-based blind-spot detection system are discussed within the context of the HAAT Model.

Determination hidden insect pests in cereals by low-field NMR and MRI

Shao Xiaolong1, Hui Li1, Wei Song1, Jitendra Paliwal2, Qiang Zhang2

1College of Food Science and Engineering/Collaborative Innovation Center for Modern Grain Circulation and Safety/Key Laboratory of Grains and Oils Quality Control and Processing, Nanjing University of Finance and Economics, Nanjing, China; 2Department of Biosystems Engineering, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3T 5V6, Canada

Low-field nuclear magnetic resonance (LF NMR) was introduced as a novel nondestructive method for detecting hidden insects in cereal grain. In this study, LF NMR and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques were used to detect wheat and hidden insect pests rice weevil (Sitophilus oryzae) for the different characteristic signals between them. The results showed that signal intensity of rice weevil (Four growth periods: Larvae, pre-pupal stage, pupal stage and adult stage) were greater than that of wheat (p < 0.05); It’s also showed that there was a significant difference in water characteristics between the wheat and rice weevil with four stages. The transverse relaxation time of wheat seeds was 0.5-1.5ms, while that of rice weevil with the four stages were 35-65ms. The MRI images of infected wheat have big difference from that of uninfected wheat, and hidden insects with the four growth periods could be easy to be identified. We were able to measure the differences in wheat and rice weevil signals by LF NMR and MRI, so as to determine whether the wheat was infected.


Luis Midence, Kris Dick

Biosystems Engineering, University of Manitoba, Canada

The research presented in this paper focuses on sustainable building practices that promote the use of local, readily available material while implementing low cost building practices. Stabilized and un-stabilized rammed earth reinforced polyvinyl chloride (PVC) columns where tested in axial compression. The load-deflection behaviour was investigated. Based on the results of the test program a recommended design value was determined. Cylinders were also tested to evaluate unconfined rammed earth and provide the characteristics and behaviour under compression loading. Analysis of the data indicated that columns with a 10% cement-stabilized mix provided the highest resistance with an average maximum compressive strength of 3.12 MPa (452.40psi) and an average maximum deflection of 69.37mm (2.73in). The design value for deflection based on the column height of 2.44m (96in) was 4.88mm (0.19in) with a recommended design load of 22.35kN (5018lbs) for these columns. The un-stabilized rammed earth and the 5% cement stabilized columns had a proposed compressive design value of 5.68kN (1,274lbs) and 13.11kN (2,942lbs) respectively. A comparison of the average compressive strength of the cylinders and columns indicated an increase in compressive strength provided by the enclosing of the PVC on average was of 0.73MPa (105.85psi). Based on the research to date, it was concluded that this technique shows potential for building applications.

Interdigitated Capacitor Sensor for Honey Cell Content Monitoring in a Smart Hive

Cyrus Shafai, Valerie Beynon

University of Manitoba, Canada

Beekeeping is an important industry responsible for both honey production and crop pollination. Beekeepers today often have hundreds of hives spread throughout large areas requiring long travel times to access them. Therefore, hives are only inspected periodically. When workers do come to inspect the hives, they may have been full for days before the honey is harvested, or not full when workers inspect them. These problems result in lower hive productivity, and wasted resources. The research presented is a capacitance sensor technology for monitoring the cell contents in a hive frame. Simulations and experimental testing are presented showing the sensor system performance for measuring water, honey, and various concentrations of sugar water, to observe the effects when nectars of various sugar concentrations are collected. It was found that the capacitance increases with the liquid level and it can be determined if the cells above are at least 25%, 50%, or 75% full. It was also found that the capacitance is inversely related to the sugar concentration of the liquid due to the changing relative permittivity. The capacitance measured for honey was on average 81% of the capacitance measured for the same heights of water. Therefore, over time it is expected that the capacitance will increase as the bees fill the cells with low sugar concentration nectar and then decrease as the water evaporates and the honey ripens. Once the capacitance reaches the value for full cells of honey, the system can potentially indicate that the region is ready for harvest.

Non-destructive and rapid discrimination of hard-to-cook beans using hyperspectral imaging technique

Lina Diaz Contreras, Chyngyz Erkinbaev, Jitendra Paliwal

University of Manitoba, Canada

Legumes stored under adverse environmental condition have a tendency to develop a hard-to-cook (HTC) defect, which extends the cooking time of beans and lowers their nutritive value. A rapid inspection tool for pre-screening seeds from different locations within a storage structure could help identify and discard the HTC seeds prior to processing. The objective of this study is to investigate potential of a short wave near infrared (SWIR) hyperspectral imaging system for rapid and non-destructive identification of HTC beans. For this purpose selected white beans grown in Manitoba were used in this study. The HTC phenomenon was artificially induced by storing seeds in a desiccator under simulated condition of high temperature and high relative humidity. The HTC and control (i.e. easy-to-cook (ETC)) seeds were scanned with push-broom hyperspectral imaging prior to cooking. Hardness of seeds and optimal cooking time were estimated using a texture analyzer and boiling of seeds in water for specified periods of time, respectively. These reference values were used for developing discrimination models based on spectral and spatial data extracted from hyperspectral images of beans. Preliminary results show that HTC seeds with similar visual appearance to the ETC seeds had different chemical composition due to the complex biochemical changes that occur during storage.

Determination of Mung Bean Quality by Single Kernel Characterization

Chyngyz Erkinbaev, Kieran Derksen, Jitendra Paliwal

University of Manitoba, Canada

Legumes such as beans, lentils, and pulses are considered as nutrient-rich healthy food sources. There is a need for a rapid and reliable laboratory technique that could replace labor intensive traditional methods of individual kernel quality assessment. In this study, a single kernel characterization technique to determine four physical properties (diameter, weight, moisture content, and hardness) of two mung bean varieties was assessed.

Results show that the individual characterization could accurately predict the weight of beans and moderately correlate the diameters of seeds. A good correlation was obtained between the moisture readings from rapid single kernel characterization unit and traditional oven drying method. Hardness values obtained using single kernel unit were positively correlated to maximum forces measured using an Instron universal testing system. Automated characterization of single beans provides a single step rapid alternative method to measuring four different quality parameters using separate time-consuming techniques.

Bioconversion of food waste into value added products

Zachary Mansell Cameron Nellis1, Satwinder Kaur Thind1, Manickavasagan Annamalai1, John Van de Vegte2, Ashutosh Singh1

1School of Engineering, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada, N1G 2W1; 2Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Elora, ON, Canada, N0B 1S0

Around the globe about 1.3 billion tonnes per year of food is wasted or lost, starting at the production stage and ending in the consumers/consumption domain. A Value Chain Management Center report published in 2011 suggested that in Canada 40% of its total food production is lost along the food-supply chain, amounting to $27 billion or 2% of its GDP. Factors responsible for the generation of wastes in the fruits and vegetables industry supply chain include overproduction, defected produce, excessive inventory, inappropriate processes or processing wastes, transportation and handling waste including storage losses and losses related to consumer household. Loss at field / packaging / processing and transportation adds up to 30% of the total loss throughout the food supply chain in Canada. One could reclaim the loss values by utilizing appropriate technological tools including the novel drying, extraction, and processing systems and produce products and by-products with added value. This will allow the Canadian food supply chain to be more sustainable and have reduced carbon footprint.

Effect of biochar Amendment on the Fate and Transport of Bisphenol A, F and S in Soil and Potato Irrigated with Wastewater

Ali Mawof1, Shiv Prasher1, Eman Elsayed1, Stéphane Bayen2, Christopher Nzediegwu1, Jaskaran Dhiman1, Emma Anderson1

1Department of Bioresource Engineering, McGill University, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, H9X 3V9, QC, Canada; 2Department of Food Science, McGill University, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, H9X 3V9, QC, Canada

In the last decade, the occurrence of bisphenol in the environmental compartments has raised lots of concern. Being an endocrine compound, bisphenol has the ability to cause harmful effects to aquatic life. Bisphenol was widely detected in the surface water. Therefore, there is a need to evaluate the potential risk of the presence of bisphenol in crops irrigated with wastewater. Therefore, this study was conducted to (1) investigate the fate and transport of bisphenol A, F and S in potato tubers in soil irrigated with synthetic wastewater; (2) examine the effect of plantain peel biochar as a soil amendment on reducing the concentrations of bisphenol in soil and potato. A field lysimeter study for two seasons was conducted to investigate the abovementioned goals. Results showed that none of the tested bisphenols was found in the flesh of potato tubers after harvest in both seasons. In the first season, the concentration of bisphenols in topsoil increased over the four months study, indicating the cumulative effect in the topsoil. However, this trend was reversed in the second season, indicating a decline in bisphenol removal efficiency. It is assumed that growing crops could have promoted the microbial community in soil. Therefore, the degradation rate of bisphenol on topsoil could be increased subsequently. More studies are needed to further investigate the effect of biochar on bisphenol fate in soils.

Effect of Plantain Peel Biochar on the Uptake of Cd and Zn in Spinach Irrigated with Wastewater

Christopher Nzediegwu, Shiv Prasher, Eman Elsayed, Jaskaran Dhiman, Ali Mawof, Emma Aderson

Bioresource Engineering Department, Macdonald Campus, McGill University, Canada

Globally, the use of wastewater for irrigation is increasing due to scarcity of freshwater. Wastewater, especially in developing countries, contains Cd and Zn at toxic levels. The presence of Cd and Zn in food chain, can cause serious health problems. In a previous study, plantain peel biochar (PPB) significantly reduced the uptake of Cd and Zn in potato tubers by 69% and 33%, respectively (p<0.05). Therefore, this study investigated the effect of PPB on the uptake of Cd and Zn in spinach leaves irrigated with wastewater. Six PVC lysimeters (1.0 m x 0.45 m) were packed with sandy soil, and mixed with 1% PPB (w/w) at the top 0.1 m. Spinach was transplanted, followed by the application of inorganic fertilizers (21-0-0 and 0-0-61). Synthetic wastewater was applied every10 days (7.2 mm d-1 for 4 irrigations). Spinach leaves were harvested, thoroughly washed, oven dried (60oC for 2 d), digested, and analysed with ICP-MS for Cd and Zn. The results showed that Cd and Zn were taken up by spinach leaves in both PPB treatment and control (without PPB). Biochar amendment did not show significant effect on the uptake of Cd and Zn (p>0.05). The effect of biochar on heavy metal uptake could vary from plant to plant. Therefore, the crop type is a key factor influencing the decision of adding biochar as an amendment to soils irrigated with wastewater.

Uptake of Heavy Metals by Potato and Spinach Plants Irrigated with Wastewater in Hydrogel and Biochar Amended Soil

Jaskaran Dhiman, Shiv Prasher, Eman ElSayed, Christopher Nzediegwu, Ali Mawof, Emma Anderson

Department of Bioresource Engineering, McGill University, Canada

Increase in food demand caused by growing population would require increased freshwater supply for agriculture and would thus stress the freshwater resources. Alternate sources of irrigation water such as wastewater could help us conserve the planet’s precious resource. However, wastewater may contain contaminants like heavy metals (e.g. Cd and Zn) which could be taken up by plants and enter the animal and human food chains leading to serious health ailments and environmental pollution. Use of polyacrylamide super absorbent polymers (SAP) and SAP-plantain peel biochar (PPB) mix as soil amendments to reduce heavy metal uptake by plants is proposed. Lysimeters (1.0 m x 0.45 m Φ) packed with sandy soil (1.35 Mg m-3) were used to carry out the study. SAP and SAP-PPB mix were added to top 0.10 m of soil (1% w/w). Potatoes were grown for the first year, and the experiment was repeated the following year by growing potato and spinach plants (transplanted) using synthetic wastewater. Plants were also fertilized using nitrogen (21-0-0) and potassium (0-0-60) inorganic fertilizers. Edible parts of potato and spinach plants were extracted for heavy metal (Cd and Zn) analysis using standard procedures. For SAP and SAP+PPB mix treatments, mean Cd heavy metal uptake was reduced by 77.7% and 94.2%, respectively for potato peels, and by 53.1% and 80.0%, respectively for potato flesh samples as compared to control (no amendment) for the first year. Analysis for second year potato and spinach samples is also being carried out and the results will be presented.

Evaluation of Ragi bi-functional alpha-amylase and trypsin inhibitor structure using molecular modeling

Shannon Fenwick1, Sai Kranthi Kumar Vanga2, Vijaya Raghavan2, Ashutosh Singh1

1University of Guelph, Canada; 2McGill University, Canada

Proteins are an abundant nutrient in food which determines a product’s functional and chemical properties. Proteins’ secondary and tertiary structures are altered when they are subjected to thermal and electromagnetic external processing stresses. Standard testing methods pose challenges when studying these changes in protein structure. However, Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations help overcome this issue through visualization. The application of molecular modeling has been used to investigate the bi-functional inhibitor protein of trypsin and alpha-amylase from Ragi seeds under thermal, static electric field and oscillating electric field stresses, providing an opportunity to study the molecular changes during processing. In this research, the changes in protein structure were analyzed using STRIDE secondary structure analysis, Root Mean Square Deviation (RMSD), Solvent Accessible Surface Area (SASA), Radius of Gyration (Rg), and dipole moment distribution. Molecular modeling provides the knowledge necessary in protein dynamics to help design and improve processing methods, and engineer proteins with desirable structural properties, specifically the removal of enzyme inhibitors, through these acquired modifications.

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