Food safety program targets research on various scientific disciplines to ensure food safety. The program will encourage judicious use of chemicals on agricultural crops by measuring toxic residues. Analytical detection methods including sensors will be developed to detect and quantify pathogens and chemical residues in food. Improved methods for produce handling, processing activities and storage will be developed. New biopesticides will be discovered to ensure food crops free of toxic chemicals. Educational sessions will be conducted in food safety, good agricultural practices, good handling practices, quality control, hazard analysis and critical control points, fresh produce packaging and value-added production. New attractants and repellents will be tested against insects affecting food crops. Biology and distribution of such insect pests will be investigated and sampling protocols will be developed by using remote sensing and other automated sampling methodologies. Predictive models for natural enemies of insect pests and improved methods of control will be developed. Integrated pest management techniques will be applied in organic production system to minimize the dependency on synthetic chemical pesticides and to ensure production of farm products free of toxic chemical residue. Research will be conducted in collaboration with the U.S. Army to convert animal waste into a slow-release and environmentally-friendly manure.

Knowledge Areas

  • Ensure Food Products Free of Harmful Chemicals, Including Residues from Agricultural and Other Sources
  • Protect Food from Contamination by Pathogenic Microorganisms, Parasites, and Naturally Occurring Toxins