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Integrating food science and technology into humanitarian efforts

July 18, 2018

Humanitarian diagram

To prevent, mitigate and respond more efficiently to hunger and malnourishment crises around the world, food science and technology should be integral to humanitarian programs, declared professor Dominique Bounie, who received the 2018 W.K. Kellogg International Food Security Award for his lifelong work on finding innovative solutions to humanitarian and emergency feeding problems. Dr. Bounie, who teaches food engineering and technology at the University of Lille in France, presented the W.K. Kellogg Lectureship on the “Role of FST (Food Science and Technology) in Addressing Food Security Issues in Humanitarian and Non-Humanitarian Contexts.” 

Dr. Bounie’s talk centered on food security and the role of products (e.g., fortified blended flour, leaf extract/concentrate, etc.), processes (e.g., containerized food production units, extrusion, low-cost processing, etc.) and people and systems (e.g., quality management) in the creation of a Humanitarian Food Science and Technology framework. Whereas humanitarian programs are focused on preparedness, relief, rehabilitation and development, humanitarian food systems are based on agriculture, processing, procurement, logistics, programs, and control. 

Dr. Bounie displayed and described a Food Security Flower, which has Food Security at its core with four surrounding petals of Availability (i.e., domestic food production, imports, stocks and aid), Accessibility (i.e., distribution and logistics, purchasing power, and market facilities), Utilization (i.e., food safety and quality, preparation, conservation, water quality, care, and feeding), and Stability (i.e., weather variability, political and economic factors, and price fluctuations.