The Ag e-Dispatch The newsletter of the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences en Copyright 2013 Wed, 19 Jun 2013 16:40:10 -0500 SAES's Kannapolis connection called upon for food safety expertise Dr. Leonard WilliamsAn article in the June issue of Business Today NC leads off with alerts that "Blueberries and brain health, chia seeds and their nutritional impact, broccoli and preventing eye disease ... are examples of some of the most recent findings from the NC Research Campus (NCRC). " Before the article's first paragraph is over, it cites "Leonard Williams, PhD, director of the NC A&T State University Center for Excellence in Post Harvest Technologies as "one of the scientists leading the food safety charge [at the NCRC]."

Williams has also been selected to lead a panel discussion of latest trends in food protection when some of the food safety professionals attending the International Association for Food Protection ( IAFP) visit the NCRC in late July. Charlotte will be the host city for the IAFP's 2013 annual meeting — July 28 to 31 — a gathering that is expected to draw 2,500 food safety professionals working in processing operations, quality control, research and development, and for regulatory agencies. (The meeting will also bring more than 140 companies with food safety products and technologies to demonstrate to the Charlotte Convention Center.) IAFP attendees who opt for the NCRC tour visit will get a look at the genomics, proteomics, genetics, NMR, microscopy and analytical sciences laboratories at the David H. Murdock Research Institute following the Williams-led panel discussion.]]> Agricultural Research CEPHT Wed, 19 Jun 2013 16:40:10 -0500 Roadmap for National Science Foundation grants unfolds in Kannapolis pen and paperThere will be a one-day workshop at the N.C.  Research Campus in Kannapolis on Tuesday, April 23, that will give comprehensive training in writing and developing research proposals for the National Science Foundation (NSF). The workshop will be led by Dr. Henry L. Bart, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Tulane who has served on NSF review panels. Among the specific topics on the workshop agenda are the various types of NSF awards, the NSF’s peer review rating systems. The workshop will also cover the functions of the various pieces of proposals, and offer an assortment of tips for organizing and writing a proposal.]]> CEPHT Wed, 10 Apr 2013 16:29:30 -0500 Food science crews making news research beaker iconDr. Leonard WilliamsWith newspapers across the state providing such unsettling reports as "A new strain of norovirus could make this a busy year for the nasty intestinal disease [norovirus] (Raleigh News & Observer) and that "State health officials say a new strain of norovirus is making North Carolinians sick," (Asheville Citizen-Times) media inquiries to the N.C. Research Campus reached critical mass for a Web page and a news release devoted to recurring questions regarding norovirus. The authority on foodborne pathogens selected for guidance is Dr. Leonard Williams, director of the SAES's Center for Excellence in Post Harvest Technologies at the N.C. Research Campus. Williams' advisories for avoiding norovirus are to wash produce thoroughly in warm water, and that "Vegetables like lettuce that have multiple folds need to be scrubbed meticulously." He's also an advocate of frequent and conscientious hand washing when the hands will be handling food.

Dr. Jianmei YuDr. Jianmei Yu, an SAES assistant research professor, is the co-author of an article that appeared in a late fall issue of the International Journal of Food Science and Technology that provides an extensive review of research into the "Functional components of grape pomace: their composition, biological properties and potential applications." Yu's co-author for the article is Dr. Mohamed Ahmedna, a former SAES food science professor and director of the Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies who is now at Qatar University. Yu and Ahmedna's review of research work with the wine industry by-product includes grape pomace's health and nutritional benefits (it increase the fiber and antioxidant when added to other foods) and its untapped potential as a food preservative.

The current issue of The Open Mycology Journal has an article on the potential medicinal mushrooms hold for providing poultry producers a non-chemical method for "keeping birds healthy and free of disease in an intensive, confined rearing environment." The team of authors for "Open Access Effect of Level and Type of Mushroom on Performance, Blood Parameters and Natural Coccidiosis Infection in Floor-Reared Broilers" is led by Dr. Willie Willis of the Department of Animal Sciences, and includes Dr. Omon Isikhuemhen of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Design, Dr. Salam Ibrahim of Family and Consumer Sciences, SAES Research Associates Felicia Anike and Steven Hurley, and two SAES graduate students, Joi Nicole Jackson and Dannica Wall.]]> Animal Sciences CEPHT Family and Consumer Sciences Food Sciences Wed, 27 Mar 2013 17:34:46 -0500 Many ways indeed info iconOn Nov. 27, President Barack Obama announced his intent to appoint A&T's chancellor, Dr. Harold L. Martin Sr., to the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD). The BIFAD was established to advise the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) on the roles agricultural policy decisions and higher education should play in addressing food security — and the absence of it — in developing countries. The current BIFAD chair is Dr. Brady J. Deaton, chancellor of the University of Missouri.

Those who take their search for more details on Martin's BIFAD appointment to the Division of Research and Economic Development (DORED) website will find the narrative begins with two paragraphs covering USAID and moves along to a third paragraph that begins "The School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at N.C. A&T is addressing international food security issues in a number of ways." The DORED website then provides links to two articles covering SAES research. One link is to DORED's Evolution Magazine where there's a story about Dr. Manuel Reyes "introducing conservation agriculture techniques to farmers in Cambodia and the Philippines," and also a link to the hot-off-the-press 2012 issue of RE:search, in which one article has details on "Dr. Lijun Wang and Dr. Abolghasem Shahbazi, [who] are among the leaders of the university’s new NSF CREST Bioenergy Center, which is developing the technology to produce biofuels more efficiently...."

Dr. Wang examines beaker contents

The DORED website also links up media coverage of an A&T connection to agriculture on an international scale that flows exclusively through the SAES. The president of the Republic of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, and a delegation of Ecuadorian government officials took a swing through Kannapolis on Oct. 30 for a tour of the N.C. Research Campus. Plans are on the drawing board for a "city of science and technology in northern Ecuador" and the Research Campus is of keen interest because it similarly revolves around "a combination of agriculture, nutrition, science and health." Dr. Leonard Williams, interim director of the SAES’s Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies (CEPHT) and lead scientist for food safety and microbiology, gave President Correa and his delegation a tour of CEPHT facilities.]]> Agricultural Research CEPHT Wed, 12 Dec 2012 16:17:34 -0500 Sang and Hanner cap. grant among DORED's top five Dr. Shengmin SangThe National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has awarded Dr. Shengmin Sang of the SAES's Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies on the N.C. Research Campus in Kannapolis and Dr. Tracy Hanner of the Dept. of Animal Sciences $300,000 to expand research into colon cancer and nutrition-related health issues. The SAES scientists will apply the NIFA funding to identify the components in wheat bran that seem to reduce the risk of colon cancer. A long-term goal is to develop wheat bran components as dietary agents to prevent or treat cancer in future human studies. The grant, one of six to SAES research scientists and Extension specialists from the NIFA 1890 Capacity Building Program that were recently announced, is among five that the Division of Research and Economic Development's has selected as "the top new research projects funded recently at North Carolina A&T."

Another recent research recognition for Sang is an invitation to join the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center's membership roster as a researcher. Lineberger is a nationally recognized leader in cutting-edge cancer research and treatment. One of only 40 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers, UNC Lineberger brings together physicians and scientists to investigate and improve the prevention, early detection and treatment of cancer.]]> Agricultural Research CEPHT Wed, 28 Nov 2012 12:23:52 -0500 Light showed research iconDr. Leonard WilliamsA research team led by an SAES associate professor of food microbiology who is also the interim director for the SAES's Center for Excellence for Post-Harvest Technologies (CEPHT) at the N.C. Research Campus in Kannapolis, Dr. Leonard Williams, has had a study of food sanitizers published in the May issue of the International Journal of Food Engineering. The research team, which also includes Dr. Janak Khatiwada, a CEPHT postdoctoral research fellow, compared results when peracetic acid, hydrogen peroxide and a biodegradable GRAS sanitizer were used alone as well as when they were used in combination with pulsed ultraviolet light (PUV) to address Salmonella spp. on tomatoes. Study results indicated that peracetic acid had the most pronounced effect on suppressing Salmonella spp. on the tomatoes, and also that "applying PUV alone ... might not be as effective in inactivating Salmonella spp. ... but when it was combined with sanitizers its effect was significantly increased." The International Journal of Food Engineering article is entitled "Disinfection of Salmonella spp. on Tomato Surface by Pulsed Ultraviolet Light and Selected Sanitizers."]]> Agricultural Research CEPHT Wed, 27 Jun 2012 12:46:45 -0500 Kannapolis research gains international following Dr. Leonard Williamsresearch iconA research team led by Dr. Leonard Williams, associate professor of food microbiology and interim director for the SAES’s Center for Excellence for Post-Harvest Technologies (CEPHT) at the N.C. Research Campus in Kannapolis, has had findings accepted for publication in a recent issue of the international research journal Foodborne Pathogens and Disease. The research team, which also includes Dr. Janak Khatiwada, a CEPHT postdoctoral research fellow, investigated "Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing of Shiga Toxin–Producing Escherichia coli from Various Samples by Using a Spiral Gradient Endpoint Technique." Their work yielded data showing a growing trend of antimicrobial resistant strains of Escherichia coli, a pathogen implicated in outbreaks of foodborne disease conveyed through ground beef, leafy vegetables and raw milk. The topic of current public concern has pushed the article to the 20-most-read listing at the Foodborne Pathogens and Disease website.

Williams and Khatiwada are also part of a research team that has had a study of the "Synergistic Effects of Green Tea Catechin and Phytic Acid Increases the Cytotoxic Effects on Human Colonic Adenocarcinoma Cell Lines" published in the International Journal of Cancer Research. The experiment described in the article was designed to determine effects of differing concentrations of green tea extract and phytic acid in combating the development of cancerous cells. The study complements findings from previous epidemiological and animal experiments concerning the associations between a reduced risk of colon cancer and diets rich in fiber.]]> Agricultural Research CEPHT Wed, 30 May 2012 16:50:36 -0500 <![CDATA[Galloping gourmets should be fixin’ to saddle up]]> tractor iconThe Center for Environmental Farming Systems — operated jointly by A&T, N.C. State and the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences to promote sustainable agriculture — is one of the major beneficiaries from the Farm to Fork Community Picnic that will be Sunday, May 20, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the W.C. Breeze Family Farm Extension and Research Center north of Hillsborough.

A number of honored and acclaimed chefs from Piedmont restaurants will be showing their support for locally grown foods by serving up some dishes that convert meat and produce from local farms into gourmet cuisine. UNC TV did a feature on the 2009 picnic that includes a few words from Alex Hitt, one of the owners of Perrigrine Farms, which won the A&T Extension's 1995 Small Farm of the Year Award.

There is a cap on the number of tickets that will be sold and tickets to the Farm to Fork Community Picnic have become such a hot commodity that members of the CEFS staff strongly suggest that galloping gourmets get themselves a ticket very promptly if they don't want to get shut out. Tickets are $100 and available online.

The 2012 date has also been set for another central Piedmont agricultural get-together that's highly supportive of local agriculture: The third annual Great Tomato Tasting at the A&T State University Farm will be Saturday, July 14. From 8 a.m. until noon on Tomato Tasting Saturday, there will be short seminars covering selecting, planting, maintaining and cooking tomatoes. ]]> CEPHT Wed, 02 May 2012 17:16:29 -0500 Gingered ails Dr. Shengemin SangA news release was recently issued by North Carolina Central with the headline "Researchers from NCCU, N.C. A&T Develop Anemia Treatment." The release goes on to say that TinChung Leung of NCCU and Dr. Shengemin Sang of the SAES's Center for Excellence in Post Harvest Technologies have findings concerning "a promising use of ginger that may lead to the development of a treatment for anemia that the scientists were invited to present  at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Chicago [in April]." Leung and Sang, both part of their respective universities' staffs at the  N.C. Research Campus in Kannapolis, have found that a compound in ginger called gingerol can combat anemia in mice and zebrafish. 

The 2012 issue of the Agricultural Research Program's annual magazine, Re:search, carried a story, "Functional Foods for Disease Prevention" that provides the complete background on Sang's research as well as other promising developments emanating from his work with  gingerol and other compounds found in ginger.]]> Agricultural Research CEPHT Wed, 02 May 2012 17:14:24 -0500 New grant for dietary research approaches half a million Dr. Shengmin Sanggrant iconDr. Shengmin Sang, lead scientist for functional foods at the Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies, has received a $490,000 grant from the USDA to research the connection between diabetes and flavonoids, which are a group of compounds found in fruits, vegetables, herbs and teas. Sang’s project was deemed “outstanding” by the USDA’s competitive Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), and was among 7 percent of the submitted proposals earning that designation. Recent research in Sang’s functional foods lab at the North Carolina Research Campus indicated that flavonoids could minimize complications of diabetes. ]]> Academic Departments Agricultural Research CEPHT Food Sciences Wed, 25 Jan 2012 16:22:50 -0500 Austria in and Taiwan on award iconThe interim director of the SAES’s Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies (CEPHT) has received an Andrew Mellon HBCU Faculty Fellowship from the Salzburg Global Seminar to fund his participation in a seminar in Austria in mid-November, and the CEPHT’s lead scientist for functional foods has been selected for a Young Investigator Award that came with an invitation to make an oral presentation the 2011 International Conference on Food Factors (ICoFF) in Taiwan Nov. 20 – 23.

Dr. Leonard WilliamsDr. Leonard Williams, interim director of the CEPHT, will be off to Salzburg Nov. 13 to participate in a session concerning “Transforming Agricultural Development and Production in Africa: Closing Gender Gaps in Policy and Practice” at one of the Salzburg Global Seminars. The Salzburg Seminars are organized to bring together leaders in academia, government, business and non-profits for discussions of political, social, and cultural issues of global concern.

Dr. Shengmin SangDr. Shengmin Sang, lead scientist for functional foods at the CEPHT, was selected for a Young Investigator Award by the scientific committee of the 2011 ICoFF. The ICoFF has a conference every four years to bring together experts from around the world to share views and expertise in food sciences, and the overall theme for the 2011 conference will be ‘Food for Wellbeing-from Function to Processing.” Sang will make an oral presentation describing his discoveries on the biological transformation of black tea during digestion, which is important to understanding its health effects.]]> CEPHT Wed, 02 Nov 2011 16:34:57 -0500 Two Food Day focal points not far from campus food iconSAES faculty, staff and students with an interest in making National Food Day a fitting educational experience on Oct. 24 have two good choices within a 90-minute drive from campus. There will be thousands of forums and events promoting healthy diets across the country on Food Day, including the North Carolina Game Changers program at the N.C. Legislative Building from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The first featured speaker, whose address will begin at 10:15 a.m., is Dr. Barry Popkin, the Carla Smith Chamblee Distinguished Professor of Global Nutrition at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Popkin has been conducting research into dietary behavior and the sociodemographics of eating patterns. His Food Day topic will be “Setting the national context: U.S. diet trends.” Sheri Castle, author of The New Southern Garden Cookbook: Recipes for Enjoying the Best from Homegrown Gardens, Farmers' Markets, Roadside Stands and CSA Farm Boxes is another featured speaker lined up for Food Day in Raleigh. Her closing note address will begin at 2:30. Those attending the Game Changers Food Day program in Raleigh who can bring along a donation of fresh fruits and vegetables can be assured that program organizers will get the donation to less fortunate families who will appreciate the food.

There will also be a series of Food Day activities at the North Carolina Research Campus that will actually begin Oct. 20 with the opening of a year-round, indoor farmers market that’s a partnership between the NCRC and the Piedmont Farmers Market.  The new farmers market is at 120 West Avenue in downtown Kannapolis, and it will be open Thursdays from 3 to 6 p.m. The restaurant 46 in downtown Kannapolis will commemorate National Food Day with a menu of locally grown foods from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 24. Two $12 meal options will be available: one built around baked pumpkin and butternut squash manicotti with swiss chard and asiago, and another featuring North Carolina dayboat flounder fillets. At 7 p.m. on Oct. 24, there will be a Food Day screening (free and open to the public) of the documentary "Forks Over Knives," which scrutinizes claims that most degenerative diseases can be controlled by diet modifications. The screening will be in the events room of the David H. Murdock Core Laboratory Building on the NCRC campus.]]> Agricultural Research CEPHT Food Sciences Wed, 19 Oct 2011 16:44:07 -0500 Re:search rolls out documents iconThe 2011 issue of Re:search, the Agricultural Research Program’s annual magazine, is printed and ready for distribution. The 2011 Re:search has five articles covering the facilities, scientists and projects progressing at the SAES’s Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies at the N.C. Research Campus in Kannapolis. It also has a feature introducing the four SAES students selected to inaugurate the new Undergraduate Research Scholars Program. (And even if you’re a patient person, willing to wait until the mail carrier delivers your copy of Re:search, you’ll want to take a look at the Re:search website for added attractions. The Re:search online presence now includes a video component, Re:Search in Motion.)]]> Academic Departments Agribusiness, Applied Economics and Agriscience Education Agricultural Research Animal Sciences CEPHT Family and Consumer Sciences Natural Resources and Environmental Design SAES University Wed, 19 Oct 2011 16:42:50 -0500 ARP seminar series to begin Oct. 20 A trio of SAES scientists will kick off the Agricultural Research Program’s 2011-12 seminar series on Thursday, Oct. 20. in a program that will begin at 11 a.m.

• Dr. Abolghasem Shahbazi, director of the Biological Engineering Program, will discuss “SAES Bioenergy Research.”

• Dr. Lijun Wang, associate professor of biological engineering, will discuss “A Biorefinery for Sustainable Bioenergy Production.”

• Dr. Shengmin Sang, lead scientist for functional foods, at the SAES’s Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies at the N.C. Research Campus in Kannapolis will discuss “Using Flavonoids to Manage Diabetes and FightAGE (Advanced Glycation End-products)

The seminar presentations, in Room A-14 of the C.H. Moore Agricultural  Research Station, are open to all A&T faculty, staff and students.]]> Agricultural Research Biological Engineering CEPHT Natural Resources and Environmental Design Wed, 05 Oct 2011 17:06:26 -0500 Webb-based information portal for SAES faculty info iconThe SAES's fall faculty meeting — in the Webb Hall Auditorium on Thursday, Sept. 22 — will begin at 11 a.m. and should wind up by 12:30 p.m. The meeting agenda includes the annual election of representatives for the SAES Promotion and Tenure Committee, and an update on changes in the University’s General Education Policy. Guest speakers who will be providing updates are Mary Mims, special assistant to the provost, and Dr. Scott Simkins, the director of A&T's Academy for Teaching and Learning.]]> Academic Departments Agribusiness, Applied Economics and Agriscience Education Agricultural Research Animal Sciences CEPHT Family and Consumer Sciences Natural Resources and Environmental Design SAES Wed, 21 Sep 2011 17:04:26 -0500