Project Info

Complete
Project Title 
AGRICULTURE AND FOOD TECHNOLOGY ALLIANCE
Project Number 
38
Organization 
CEC
End-use 
Other
Sector 
Commercial, Agricultural
Project Year(s) 
2003 - N/A

13.001 Agri-Food Processing and Production Technologies
13.003 Agri-Food Technologies Window

Project Description: The purpose of this program is to provide information and guidance to help energy companies, production agriculture operations, and food processors meet the demand for a safe and adequate food supply while meeting the newly mandated rules of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. Projects focus on food safety, energy efficiency, and environmentally sound processes for solid and liquid waste disposal. All projects have direct applicability or are tied to processes used extensively in California agricultural production and food processing.

AFTA offers technical assistance and customer support in all areas of agricultural production and food processing. The alliance's base of knowledge and expertise may be applied to diverse areas such as animal waste management, aquaculture, membrane and other concentration technologies for treating food production and food processing wastewater streams, food safety and regulatory issues, crop production, and handling and irrigation technologies. AFTA holds joint meetings and workshops for customers, with topics ranging from ozone usage for both agriculture and food processing, to biofuels, membrane technologies, flocculation methodologies, and legislative and regulatory concerns. These meetings allow customers the opportunity to network, discuss customers' needs and provide solutions, and evaluate and discuss future projects and programs. By having available communication tools for common or reoccurring problems, the program can often solve problems before they begin. AFTA staff also tracks emerging technologies in the Agri-Food industry and makes the findings available to program participants.

This project supports the PIER Program objectives of:
• Improving the environment, public health and safety by providing information on electrotechnologies that help California food producers and processors ensure a safe and adequate food supply.
• Providing environmentally sound electricity by expanding the use of electrotechnologies that replace or supplement processes that may harm the environment.

Proposed Outcomes:
1. Develop an Agri-Food Processing and Production Technology Solution Package for the Commission that is tailored to the needs of the California agriculture and food processing industries. The solution package may include consulting meetings between AFTA and Commission representatives, as well as the delivery of technical reports, agri-food news updates, and other information products.

2. Provide a window on news and developments in the agri-food sector by monitoring legislative, regulatory and technical publications, industry contacts and emerging technologies, and making this information available to participants in a timely manner.

Actual Outcomes:
1. Agri-Food Processing and Production Technology Solution Package
• Keith Carns, AFTA Director and Vice President of Global Energy Partners, paid a consulting visit to Commission headquarters and met with Pramod Kulkarni and other Commission staff to discuss California agri-food issues and potential research projects, including R&D on an advanced ethanol production process utilizing feedstock other than #2 yellow corn.

• The following AFTA publications were published and delivered in 2002:

• Shelf Life and Pathogen Growth in Irradiated Sausage (1006955)
• Enhancement of Food Safety (1006956)
• Ozone Applications in Fish Farming (1006975)
• Cumberland County College Fish Barn: An Aquaculture Education & Commercial Demonstration Facility (August 2002)
• Product Concentration: an Assessment of EPRI Freeze Technologies 1985-2002 (1007399)
• Treatment of Cut Vegetables with Aqueous Ozone: Technical Assessment (1007465)
• Ozone Improves Processing of Fresh-Cut Produce: Tech Application (1007566)

2. Agri-Food Technologies Window
• Five issues of Food Industry Currents were published in 2002. This quarterly newsletter reports on agri-food industry developments and trends. In May a special fifth edition of the newsletter was published that discussed the implications of the 2002 Farm Bill.
• The Commission received listings of all nonproprietary AFTA publications, newsletters, Industrial News Today, e-mail alerts, meeting invitations, and hotline access to discuss problems, opportunities and potential projects with the AFTA staff.

Project Status: This project is complete.