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Nanotechnology Application in Packaging of Agricultural Products

By

Prof. Z. D. Osunde

Dept. of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering,

Landmark University, Omu Aran.

 

Abstract

Nanotechnology, centers on the characterization, manufacture, and control of organic or inorganic matters with dimension from 1 to 100 nm.  Nanotechnology has a wide range of application in medicine, biotechnology, electronics, agriculture, material science etc..  The challenges of food insecurity, environmental degradation and climate change are engaging researchers in exploring nanotechnology as a new source of key improvement for the agricultural sector.  One of such improvement is application of nanotechnology in the production of biodegradable packaging materials for food and agricultural products.  Presently wide ranges of materials are in use for food and agricultural products packaging.  These include glass, metal, paper, plastics or synthetic polymers and paper board.   Due to a number of advantages they possess, plastics or synthetic polymers are the most widely used. However, one of the major disadvantages of synthetic polymers is their huge negative impact on the environment.  They do not degrade and remain in the environment for a very long time hence creating huge amounts of waste, leaching and release of toxic substances. Nanocomposite biodegradable films produced by blending cassava starch, nanoparticle and plasticizers which are easily degradable are successfully used for packaging of agricultural products.  Nanoparticles in the film improve the shelf life, mechanical, thermal and barrier properties of the film. The production process of biodegradable films is simple and does not pose any danger what so ever, the raw materials can also be sourced locally. Biodegradable films will play a big role in packaging of agricultural products, reduce environmental degradation and creates job opportunity for small scale producers. 

 

Profile of Professor Zinash Delebo Osunde

Professor Zinash Delebo Osunde is a seasoned Faculty in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Landmark University, Omu-Aran. She is a Professor of Agricultural Engineering (Crop Processing and Storage) from the Federal University of Technology, Minna. She is currently on sabbatical leave in Landmark University. ProfessorZ. D. Osunde attended a number of professional training in the subject matter area of “processing and storage of agricultural products”across the globe, some of which include: I.I.T.A. Ibadan, Nigeria in 1991;   International Agricultural Centre (IAC) Wageningen, the Netherlands in 2004; MASHAV course at Bet Dagan, Israel in 2006; MASHAV course at Maizube Farms, Niger State in 2008. She also attended a specialized CEFE methodology entrepreneurship training programme organized by GTZ and CEFE International in Abuja in 2008; and a Regional Workshop on ‘local economic development’ in Pretoria, South Africa in 2012.

Professor Z. D. Osunde belongs to several professional bodies among which include the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Nigerian Institution of Agricultural Engineers (NIAE), Association of Professional Women Engineers in Nigeria (APWEN), International Network of Women Engineers and Scientists (ICWES) and the National Association of Women in Academics (NAWACS).  She is a registered engineer with COREN and a Certified National Senior Adviser of CEFE International.   She has served as external examiner and Professorial assessor to several Higher Institutions in Nigeria at various times. She has supervised several undergraduate and postgraduate diploma students, 14 Master’s and 6 Doctoral students to date. She has several journal publications, including chapters in books to her credit.  She is a recipient of research grant from the university research board and TETFUND (Institution-Based Research Intervention).

A distinguished academic, Professor Zinash Delebo Osunde will be presenting a Seminar with the topic,“Nanotechnology Application in Packaging of Agricultural Products”.