About this Research Topic
Reducing food loss and waste is critical for creating a Zero Hunger world. Target 12.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals calls for halving the amount of per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels by 2030, and also reducing food losses along the production and supply chains. While agricultural scientists are working towards increasing supply for the rising global population by enhancing crop productivity, the goal of food scientists remains to ensure that the agricultural commodities produced fulfill their objective to provide for the nutritional requirements of the consumers. One mechanism for providing for global nutritional requirements is to reduce food waste.
The post-harvest transit period for edible commodities (especially fruits, vegetables, arable grains, dairy, meat, seafood) has experienced huge losses (>14% up to the retail point of sale). Researchers have been striving towards minimizing the losses, while also generating information about the condition of edible commodities and providing decisive parameters to detect the imminent threats in a timely manner. Researchers have attempted to prevent these losses through the use of technologies like nano-formulations, modified atmosphere, rapid methods or kits for detection, and other methods.
The management of disease outbreaks, contamination, allergen exposure in the supply chain, post-purchase handling, and disposal, is a serious task as these issues pose immense challenges to growers and food processors. As well as these aforementioned issues, the lack of cold storage chain, unavoidable physiological changes, and microbial growth also pose a grave threat to produce. Advancements in technologies designed to ward off the imminent dangers in the food chain (for example to detect insect infestation or fungal growth), during storage and during breaches of storage protocol, etc. have already been well researched and implemented.
Recent advances in this inter-disciplinary field (agriculture, food science, food engineering, material science, chemistry, and microbiology) need to be compiled and brought forward along with the relevant updates in food regulatory policies that are already in place. This Research Topic will compile advances in research towards preventing food spoilage, enhancing shelf life, and monitoring conditions during storage. Perspectives for risk management and any criteria that render the food unfit or unacceptable for consumption shall be covered, including but not limited to:
• Interdisciplinary insights and technologies for preventing spoilage in food;
• Biological threats to food during handling, storage, and transportation;
• Shelf life determinant factors for food;
• Spoilage reduction and improvement of safety in the food supply chain;
• Adulterant and contaminants detection;
• Allergen detection and mitigation;
• Shelf life prediction and simulation models;
• Risk management and assessment.
Keywords: Food Storage, Shelf Life, Zero Hunger, Sustainable Development Goals, food science
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