Latest News

Chardonnay Marc: A ‘Trifecta’ of Health, Taste and Sustainability

January 06, 2023

UC Davis researchers are providing more insight into how grape skins and seeds, which usually go to waste during the making of chardonnay wine, may be a valuable and healthful ingredient in new food products. 

A review paper published by the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry outlines how chardonnay marc can serve as a model for developing plant-based natural product food ingredients, and perhaps make upcycling agricultural byproducts relevant to other post-harvest processing scenarios.

Farms to Fungi to Food: Growing the Next Generation of Alternative Protein

December 08, 2022

A solution to world hunger might start with boba and caviar.

Using an innovative process, engineers at UC Davis are growing “myco-foods” — small balls of edible fungi that can be processed into products like boba and lab-grown caviar with a wide range of textures, colors and flavors. These myco-foods, grown from the nutrients of agricultural byproducts like coffee grounds and almond hulls, provide an important new source of protein to feed the world.


Ned Spang featured in AP story on SB1383, CA Composting Law

December 13, 2021

FST Associate Professor Ned Spang is featured in the story (and embedded video) "California pushes composting to lower food waste emissions", by Kathleen Ronayne/AP News on December 9, 2021, speaking about the impact of California's SB1383, the bill passed in 2016 that becomes effective in January 2022.  The bill is designed to reduce methane emission from food waste that ends up in landfills, with the goal - by 2025 - of composting food w

Ned Spang Featured in Podcast on Food Waste

November 15, 2021

Nov. 15, 2021: FST Associate Professor Ned Spang was featured in the first Red To Green podcast of Season 4, which focuses on Food Waste. 

UC Davis Professor Joins National Research Project to Reduce Food Waste Across the U.S.

November 03, 2021

Food that ends up in the landfill is a waste of money and creates an abundance of greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found almost 41 million tons of food waste was generated in the country in 2017. 

Edward “Ned” Spang, a UC Davis associate professor of food science and technology, is joining researchers from American University and 13 other institutions for a $15 million, 5-year project funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation to gather data and create solutions to reduce food waste across the country.

"Upcycled food: A sustainable second chance for food loss and waste" by Edward Spang in The Hill

April 22, 2021

Have you ever eaten a banana-peel sandwich?  FST Assistant Professor Ned Spang has, and he uses what he describes as a "pleasantly surprising...palate-expanding experience" in an invited opinion piece in The Hill, April 22, 2021, "Upcycled food: A sustainable second chance for food loss and waste", in which he details how upcycling food can tackle the problems of food waste, the supply chain and, ultimately, the environment - all while keeping the “triple bottom line,"

Finding New Life for Wine-Grape Residue

April 21, 2021

California produces nearly 4 million tons of world-class wine each year, but with that comes thousands of tons of residue like grape skins, seeds, stems and pulp. What if scientists could harness that viticultural waste to help promote human health?

7 Day Food Waste Reduction Challenge

April 09, 2021

The mission of the multi-university NSF INFEWS-ER (Innovation at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems - Educational Resources) is to teach students systematic processes for analyzing problems and approaching collaboration with the transdisciplinary skills necessary to tackle global grand challenges. This year's student cohort focused on Food Loss and Waste and has designed a 7-day social media campaign centered on raising awareness around food waste prevention and reduction. Namely, the “7 Day Food Waste Reduction Challenge.” 

Why is One-Third of Our Food Wasted Worldwide?

December 05, 2020
How Stopping Food Waste Can Help Feed a Growing Population

Steam rises from the top of towering piles of compost at a landfill in western Placer County, California. The jaws of an excavator rake up and churn the heaps, unleashing a stench of decomposing food.  

Some of the food in these piles has only recently arrived from nearby restaurants, supermarkets and food processors. Sweet potatoes, oranges, butternut squash and red onions look as if they were edible when they were tossed into the garbage.

UC Davis Wants Samples of Your Fermented Foods for Science

October 07, 2020
Scientists Will Investigate Microbes in Fermented Fruits and Vegetables

It’s not always easy to find silver linings during the COVID-19 pandemic, but here’s one that food scientists at the University of California, Davis, have discovered: More people are exploring the ancient art of fermented foods.

“My mom made her first batch of sauerkraut this summer,” said Maria Marco, a microbiologist and food science professor with the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “With so many of us sheltering-in-place, fermented foods are more popular than ever.”

The Lowdown on Home Food Fermentation

December 16, 2019
6 Tips for Home Food Fermentation  

In California, fermented foods and beverages are especially trending with young people, and food safety specialist Erin DiCaprio said information is in demand.

“I get calls every day from people asking things like, ‘There’s a white film on top of my sauerkraut. Is it still safe to eat?’” DiCaprio said.

DiCaprio is working with the UC Master Food Preserver Program to teach classes on fermentation and to provide information on how to safely ferment foods at home.

Using the sun and agricultural residue to control pests

December 18, 2018

Farmers spend a lot of time and money controlling weeds and other pests, and often have to turn to chemical fumigants to keep the most destructive pests at bay. Farmers also wrestle with what to do with low-value byproducts of crop production, such as skin, seeds and hulls from fruit, vegetable and nut processing.

What if those agricultural waste streams could generate alternatives to chemical fumigants and make farming more productive, profitable and environmentally friendly?

Energy-Efficient Food Processing

December 06, 2017

FFAR has also awarded $790,000 to UC Davis to test a new technology to improve the drying methods used in food production. Moisture must be removed from harvested agricultural products to safely preserve them prior to processing into food products.