1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
The objective of this Annex is to establish the Center for Agricultural Products Processing, co-located at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Mechanization Sciences, Beijing, People’s Republic of China and the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Western Regional Research Center, Albany, California, United States. Each center will conduct research, develop scientific tools and technology, and introduce improved methods for agricultural products processing in combination with other human pursuits that socially and economically maintain livelihoods and protect the environment through information exchange, education and proactive extension services. This Annex is subject to the terms and conditions of the S & T Agreement and the Protocol. In the event of any conflict between the terms and conditions of the S & T Agreement or the Protocol and this Annex, the S & T Agreement and the Protocol shall govern.
1b. Approach (from AD-416):
Cooperation under this Annex may include, but is not limited to, the following topic areas: (1) Products Development Technology: Industrialized production for traditional foods, new products development aiming at promoting health foods, functional foods and value-added foods. (2) Processing Engineering Technology: Grading technology; technologies of quality grading and on-line fast testing and examining; technologies of super critical liquid extraction, membrane separating and concentration; vacuum microwave drying, far infrared drying technology; technology of ultrahigh pressure; high intensive pulses magnetic field sterilizing and high intensive pulses electric fields sterilizing technology. (3) Agro-products Bio-Engineering and Information: Technologies of enzyme engineering, biological fermentation engineering, automation technology of electronic information, standardized processing technology and traceability of agricultural products. (4) Utilization of Agro-material Resources: Technology of comprehensive and high efficient utilization of agricultural waste. (5) Information services and technology transfer: Assemble, manage and publish data and information resources for research, education and public service. To generate broad interest and increased activities, the Parties will, upon mutual consent, involve other interested government agencies and the scientific and business communities of both countries in cooperative programs, trade capacity-building activities, and scientific cooperation and exchanges in implementation of this Annex.
3. Progress Report:
Infrared (IR) heating technology is investigated for two novel applications, namely dry peeling of fruits and vegetables; and disinfection of grains. The dry peeling is used on tomatoes, pears, potatoes, and others to replace the current lye peeling or steam peeling. The IR dry peeling is a more sustainable processing method because it does not use chemicals and water, and produces higher quality finished products. A pilot scale unit has been built and used for demonstration of the new technology in California. For disinfection of grains, the IR heating showed more than 5 log reduction of Aspergillus flavus, a mold producing aflatoxin, hence a promising technology to improve food safety for a wide range of susceptible grains. High quality, healthy, and high antioxidant containing edible oils are produced from the seeds of tomatoes, grapes and pomegranates, which were recovered from byproduct waste streams using a novel, sustainable and continuous processing method that does not involve chemical solvent.