The world produces sufficient food to meet the need of everyone at present. Yet, despite of our continued efforts, progress in eradicating hunger has been slow in general. The world is still a home of 805 million chronically hungry people and the vast majority of them live in developing countries. One in every nine people on the planet suffers from chronic hunger, and one out of every four children under age five in developing worlds are stunted. Looking at the future, the world would likely face serious challenges in future food security. Present world population of 7.2 billion is predicted to exceed 9 billion by 2050, and the per capita average food consumption would exceed 3,000 kcal/day by 2050 from 2,770 kcal/day in 2005/07. To meet the rapidly increasing food requirements, the world food production needs to be increased by 60% worldwide by 2050. If the world fails to achieve this target, there would be a high risk of food shortage, food riots, social and political unrest, and other negative consequences as witnessed during the food price crisis in 2007-08. On the other hand, there are number of serious challenges and uncertainties which would negatively influence future food production and productivity increase such as very limited arable land expansion potential, increasing scarcity of water resources, negative impacts of climate changes and increasing competition on the use of land and water between food crops and bio-energy crops. FAO predicts that it would be possible to increase food production by 60% by 2050 on the assumption that nearly 90% of food production increase should come from existing arable lands through yield increase and agricultural research. Therefore, agricultural research and education is expected to play an extremely important role in feeding the world in the future and achieving world peace and stability.
On 8 November 2013, Super Typhoon Yolanda (internationally, “Haiyan”), a category-five typhoon, traversed the central Philippines. It was reportedly the strongest recorded storm ever to hit land, with winds over 300 km h-1 and storm surges over 4 m around coastal towns of the central Philippines. Total losses from the storm were PHP 571.1 billion (USD 12.9 billion); the estimate for Leyte Province was PHP 9.4 billion. In Leyte, the typhoon almost totally destroyed most crops, fishing boats and gear, aquaculture infrastructure, seaweed farms, mangroves, onshore facilities, and markets. The Leyte Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan was initiated to restore the economic and social conditions of the people in Leyte to at least pre-typhoon levels, and to establish greater disaster resiliency. However, to simply re-establish pre-typhoon conditions would be a missed opportunity. The tragedy should be used to foster sustainable and climate-resilient agri-fisheries in the province of Leyte. The typhoon calamity demonstrated that the current practice of mono-cropping (or monoculture) is unsustainable and not resilient to climate change. Agriculture systems that are small-scale and labor-intensive, with diverse crop strategies that consider on-farm, farm-related, and off-farm food and income generation should be developed. Fisherfolk and coastal communities need holistic programs that ensure destroyed areas are sustainably rebuilt with a long-term perspective. Premium fisheries programs should develop the capacity of fisherfolk to diversify their income sources. The focus should be on the link between nutrition and agri-fisheries to improve nutrition. This would involve incorporating crops with various nutritional values, crop duration, seasonality, and resilience to the changing climate into farms, home and school gardens. Successful post-disaster recovery will require an effective partnership with the local people. To be sustainable, the local people must take ownership of the development project; this requires knowledge and sensitivity to local cultures, beliefs, and practices.
Rice is one of the most important staple foods in Asia, including Indonesia. Despite great efforts to increase rice production in Indonesia, imported rice is still needed due to high per capita consumption coupled with high population growth. One approach to overcoming these problems is to prepare extruded rice analogues by using yellow corn flour (maize flour or cornmeal) and corn starch as the base material. The dough moisture content and the extrusion temperature can influence the degree of gelatinization of rice analogues, which in turn affects the hardness of the rice analogue. This research studied the effects of dough moisture contents of 35%, 40%, and 45% and extrusion temperatures of 70°C, 80°C, and 90°C on the degree of gelatinization and the crystallinity of the resulting rice analogue. Raw materials used in this study were yellow corn flour, corn starch, glycerol monostearate and water. A twin screw extruder was utilized, operating at a screw speed of 75 rpm and a feed rate of 42.2 kg of dough per hour. The degree of gelatinization of the produced rice analogue was analyzed by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and polarized light microscopy, and the crystallinity was analyzed by X-ray diffraction (XRD). Our results showed that the dough moisture contents and extrusion temperatures examined in this study caused the starch granules gelatinized completely (degree of gelatinization 100%). The A-type crystals of corn flour and corn starch changed into V-type crystals after being extruded into rice analogues, which may be due to the formation of lipid-amylose complex compounds.
Oil-containing wastewater is generated during postharvest processing of crops and during food processing, and the oil reduces the efficiency of wastewater treatment processes and decreases water quality. In Japan, the water quality standard for facilities above a certain scale is set by the Water Pollution Control Law at <30 mg of n-hexane extracts per liter. There are many technologies for separating oil and water, including centrifugation, floatation, flocculation, and absorption. The recovered oil can be used as fuel and as a feedstock in the manufacture of tires, and especially the oil recovered under proper sanitary conditions can be used for cooking. Separation of the oil can also help to reduce the scale of wastewater treatment facilities, leading to a reduction in construction costs. In addition, separation improves wastewater quality and allows for the recycling of water, which is used in large quantities for food processing. In this separation engineering study, Value Function and Separative Work Unit were used to evaluate the economics of introducing oil-water separation technology to a food processing factory. The results, which revealed the economic performance equivalent to the degree to which the separation technology improved the wastewater treatment process, can be used to aid in decision-making regarding the feasibility of introducing oil-water separation technology in food processing facilities.
Palm oil has been a key driver for economic development in producing countries in Southeast Asia, especially Malaysia and Indonesia, and the rapid growth of the palm oil industry has played an important role in the Malaysian economy. The sustainability concept is having a huge impact in the palm oil industry as it faces unprecedented scrutiny from governments, regulators, investors, and consumers in terms of how its business practices, supply chain, and products impact the environment. This paper gives an overview of recent research developments in refining processes and product diversification. Recent technologies for the preparation of oils, fats, and their derivatives using palm oil as a starting material are discussed. Research in the following areas is reviewed: (1) development of low free fatty acid crude palm oil; (2) refining process improvements to reduce 3-monochloropropane-1,2-diol and glycidol levels; (3) development of new palm-based emulsion products; and (4) production of palm-based functional lipids. Continuous improvements in our understanding of the refining process of this major edible oil will play an important role in the sustainable development of the palm oil industry. Safety and health issues related to palm oil products are also closely related to the sustainable development of the palm oil industry.
Grain barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) is the predominant raw material used to produce malt for industries such as brewing and the food industry. In Thailand, barley has been introduced to Thai farmers to improve farm income and reduce barley imports, but the seed quality of Thai-grown barley is often lower than required for profitable malt production, especially in the aspect of seed germination and vigor, and high pathogen contamination. Thus, this study was conducted to evaluate the effects of different seed priming methods on seed quality of Thai barley for malt production. Three experiments were conducted. The first experiment was hydro-priming: seeds were primed in deionized water for 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, or 16 hours. The second experiment was hydro-priming plus potassium nitrate treatment: seeds were primed in four different concentrations of KNO3 solution: 2.5, 5, 10, or 20 mg/ml for 6, 8, 10, and 12 hours. The third experiment was osmo-priming by PEG4000: seeds were primed in solutions of three different osmotic potentials: −0.50, −0.75, or −1.50 MPa for 10, 12, 14, or 16 hours. All seed priming methods accelerated barley germination and increased seed vigor. Primed barley seed germinated within 1 day. Barley seeds were primed with hydro-priming plus KNO3 at 5 mg/ml for 12 hours had significantly high seed germination and speed of germination. Hydro-priming plus KNO3 and osmo-priming by PEG4000 could speed up seed germination. We conclude that all three of these seed priming techniques could be effectively applied to improve barley seed quality in the Thai malt industry. However, further study is needed to evaluate the effects of seed priming methods on barley seed storability and other attributes of malt quality.
This paper discusses the use of nematode community indices for evaluating the health of agroecosystems and the effects of farming practices such as tillage and cover crop management on nematode community structure. Nematodes can be used as bioindicators of soil health because they are ubiquitous and have diverse feeding behaviors and life-history strategies, ranging from colonizers to persisters. By combining the assessment of nematode feeding groups with colonizer-persister (c-p) scaling of functional guilds, nematode faunal analysis has become a more powerful tool, allowing this phylum to be used as a bioindicator of soil health and food web condition. In a 9-year study conducted on the Kanto Plain of Japan, tillage disturbance showed a significant negative correlation with the structure index (SI) that is an indicator of food web state affected by stress or disturbance. Although cover cropping and nitrogen fertilization did not affect pathogenic nematode densities during the experimental period, cover cropping did significantly reduce the proportion of pathogenic nematodes in the total nematode abundance, and nitrogen fertilization increased the degree of rice yield reduction with greater pathogenic nematode density. Our findings suggest that no-tillage (NT) and crop rotation will be effective for controlling pathogenic nematode densities, because NT reduced their numbers and increased soil ecological diversity. Over the experimental period, SI increased not only in NT plots but also in those treated with a moldboard plow or rotary cultivator. These results suggest that increases in soil carbon foster a more diverse nematode community structure. Long-term nematode community changes will be an important focus of future research, and this information will be helpful for developing more sustainable agriculture in Japan.
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