By George Munene
Ariel Buzera, a Food Science and Technology PhD student at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, has won the top prize in a poster presentation during the ‘Green Food Tech: sustainable processing for tomorrow’s food!’ international event held in Montreal, Canada.
The conference is widely recognized for its emphasis on environmentally sustainable practices and innovative technologies, creating an optimal opportunity for researchers to present and highlight their scholarly contributions.
Ariel was the only African researcher in a pool that attracted over 150 researchers and students from across the globe.
His presentation is part of his ongoing PhD research which centres on the conversion of indigenous potato varieties into flour. Through his innovative methodology, he strives to tackle the issue of post-harvest potato losses, diminish reliance on wheat flour, and alleviate allergic reactions caused by wheat gluten among the Kenyan population.
By exploring alternative flour options, Ariel revealed that his research breakthrough offers a glimmer of hope for a sustainable solution to multiple challenges faced in the food industry.
He added that the conference presented him with an exceptional opportunity to engage with esteemed experts in his field and compare his research with that of fellow students from various parts of the globe.
“The experience at the conference was invaluable. I have gained valuable insights, exchanged knowledge, and broadened my understanding of global developments in food science and technology,” said Ariel.
Ariel expressed his gratitude to JICA through the Africa-ai-Japan project for funding his research and the conference organisers- INAF, Université de Laval, and GastronomicQc Lab-for creating a remarkable platform for researchers and students to present their work.
He further thanked his supervisors noting that they were instrumental in his research success.
Ariel stated that winning the top accolades is not only a morale booster but also serves as a driving force, motivating him to explore new avenues of research.
“This accomplishment serves as a testament to my dedication, hard work, and passion for making a positive impact in the field of food science and technology. It not only brings pride to JKUAT and Kenya as a whole but also highlights the immense potential and talent that African researchers possess,” said Ariel.
He hopes that his academic journey and research success will inspire and encourage other aspiring researchers to pursue their dreams and contribute to the advancement of science and technology in Africa and beyond.