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AG e-news August 26, 2020

August 26, 2020 — 

News and events from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences


Masks now required at UM – All UM faculty, staff and students—as well as visitors, contractors and vendors— will be required to wear a face mask in all indoor common or shared spaces on campus. In addition, masks are also required where social distancing cannot be maintained in any campus setting. This takes effect immediately (as of Aug. 24) on the Bannatyne campus, and on Sept. 1, 2020 for all UM campuses.



The Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre has re-opened! Visitors must pre-book visits – no drop-in visitors allowed. Learn more about planning your visit including the COVID-19 safety protocols.  They have one more Summer Fun Event planned –  a Pizza Party on Saturday, August 29.  Spots are limited and pre-registration is required by emailing ffdc [at] umanitoba [dot] ca (indicate the number of guests in your party).

University Prep Week runs August 31 to September 4. Over five days, students are invited to check in with virtual homerooms, participate in workshops, attend special lectures and faculty-led sessions, and explore the many student communities at UM.

Welcome Day, an orientation for new degree students, will take place on September 8.

The Virtual 2020 Orientation for the Diploma in Agriculture Program will run September 10, 11, 14 and 15. First year diploma students will come together in virtual homerooms where they will meet School of Agriculture instructors and staff, industry members, student leaders, and each other. Sessions will include information on the Diploma program, student services and organizations, and Q&A chats constructed by the students themselves.  A virtual orientation is also being planned for parents to share information on how they can support their daughters/sons with the farm management project.  More virtual sessions will take place with parents and partnering farm managers in October.



Martin Entz, Plant Science, and the Natural Systems Agriculture Lab was part of the Canadian team which was selected as a Food Systems Vision Prize finalist. This competition, launched by the Rockefeller Foundation in partnership with SecondMuse and OpenIDEO, challenged people to conceive of a regenerative and nourishing food system that can be created by 2050.

Dilantha Fernando, Plant Science, has been presented with the 2020 Canadian Phytopathological Society Award for Outstanding Research. As the Society’s most prestigious award, consideration is given to research involving new concepts, the discovery of new phenomena, or principles in plant pathology or novel application of existing principles. Read the full citation.

Joanne Thiessen Martens, Soil Science Ph.D. student, is the recipient of this year’s Karl Ivarson Scholarship, which is awarded annually to students in soil science and related disciplines. The scholarship is presented by the Canadian Foundation for Food and Agricultural Education and is based on academic achievement, leadership and career interests.

A number of Biosystems Engineering students were winners of the 2020 Canadian Society for Bio Engineering (CSBE/SCGAB) awards, despite the cancellation of the in-person conference. In the Undergraduate Design Project Award, students Laurissa Bridgeman, Georgia Loewen and Alyssa Ruta are three of five members of the team who prepared a design report entitled “Motorized Joystick Mount for Power Wheelchairs”. Students Dimitri Eckhardt and Griffin Swanson are two of four members of the team who prepared a design report entitled “Maple Leaf Agri-Farms Organic Waste Management”. For the Undergraduate Thesis Award, George Dyck was selected for the thesis entitled “Development of calibration techniques for the determination of the dielectric properties of wheat using a novel dielectric test cell” (Advisor: J. Paliwal). For the Graduate Thesis Award (M.Sc.), Navjot Brar Kaur was selected for a thesis entitled “A comparative evaluation of processing of yellow peas (Pisum sativum L.) with hot air and superheated steam” (Advisors: J. Paliwal & S. Cenkowski).  And finally, the CSBE/SCGAB Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship which is presented to a student member of the Society with the highest GPA in the preceding semester went to Eva Kwok.

Harry Sapirstein has been appointed as Senior Scholar within the Department of Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, effective July 1, 2020.

Ranjan Sri Ranjan, Biosystems Engineering, has shared a teaching resource video entitled “Teaching with Technology Demo”.

Ranjan also presented a one-hour virtual workshop titled “Teaching and Research with Technology – Learn about apps to enhance your academic life” at the 24th Annual TASME (Technological Advances in Science, Medicine and Engineering) Conference in Toronto on August 23.  There were over 450 participants signed up to virtually participate in this conference from around the world.

Trust Beta, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, was the keynote speaker in the Health session on the topic “Phytochemical components of cereal grains and their health properties” at the Australasian Grain Science Association 2020 conference, which was held online August 26. She spoke about her research into whole grains, their health-promoting qualities and use in innovative food products.

Reine-Marie Guillermic, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, presented a talk and a poster at the Ultrasonics 2020 conference which took place online on July 20-23 but was initially planned to be in Caparica (Portugal). The oral presentation was titled “X-Ray tomography and ultrasound for investigating bubbles in foods”, Reine-Marie Guillermic, Anatoliy Strybulevych, Serdar Aritan, John H. Page, M. G. Scanlon, Filiz Koksel. The poster was titled “Online ultrasonic characterization of plant protein extrudates”, Reine-Marie Guillermic, Nasibeh Younessinaki, Sébastien Kerhervé,Anatoliy Strybulevych, John H. Page, Filiz Koksel. She was awarded the Excellent Poster Presentation Prize. 

Mahmudual Hassan and Vipasha Sood, Ph.D. students in Food and Human Nutritional Sciences under Argenis Rodas-González’s supervision, presented their research “Non-destructive segregation of colour-labile and colour-stable bison muscles using near-infrared spectroscopy” and “Influence of production factors on beef primal tissue composition” respectively, at the 73rd Reciprocal Meat Conference (RMC) and 66th International Congress of Meat Science and Technology (ICoMST) held (virtual conference) by the American Meat Science Association on August 2-7.

Soil Science student Mayowa Francis Adelekun (with Wole Akinremi as supervisor) successfully defended his PhD thesis on August 4. His thesis was titled “Measurement and Simulation of Nitrous Oxide Fluxes from Perennial Forage Grasses and Annual Crops Amended with Pig Manure and Inorganic Fertilizer”.

The Department of Animal Science is happy to announce the return of Anan Anwar as Administrative Assistant. Please direct all inquiries to her at anan [dot] anwar [at] umanitoba [dot] ca or 204-474-9470.



Mario Tenuta, Soil Science, was interviewed in the article “4Rs reduce greenhouse gas emissions” in the Manitoba Co-operator (August 25).

Doug Cattani, Plant Science, was featured in the article “Prairies intermediate wheatgrass three to four years away from release” in the Western Producer (August 20).

A second article in the series “The Growing Season” titled “Roots run deep” ran in the Free Press (August 14).  It featured a number of alumni as well as Faculty members Annemieke Farenhorst, Colin Penner, Mario Tenuta and Martin Entz – (article behind the Free Press paywall)

Mario Tenuta, Don Flaten, Xiaopeng Gao, Lanny Gardiner and Matt Gervais, Soil Science, were featured in the article “Self-guided 4R tour brings new research in era of COVID-19” in the Manitoba Cooperator (August 10).

Dilantha Fernando, Plant Science, was interviewed in the article “Keeping resistance genes in the field” in Top Crop Manager (August 7).

Mario Tenuta, Soil Science, was quoted in the article “Ammonium nitrate behind Beirut blast once a popular Canadian farming fertilizer but now regulated or replaced” on CBC News (August 6).

Colin Penner, School of Agriculture, was featured in the article “How personal branding can build public trust” in the FCC Knowledge Newsletter.

Kyle Bobiwash, Entomology, was featured in the article “Lack of bees, pollination limiting crop yields across U.S., B.C., study finds” on CBC News (July 29).



 Filiz Koksel, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, was guest editor of the July/August 2020 issue of the journal Cereal Foods World (Volume 65, Number 4). The issue is about Food Processing, with a focus on recent developments, opportunities and challenges for processing of plant proteins as animal meat substitutes. She was also interviewed as a spotlight member at the same issue.

Olagunju AI, Omoba OS, Enujiugha VN, Alashi AM, Aluko RE. 2020. Technological properties of acetylated pigeon pea starch and its stabilized set-type yoghurt. Foods, 9, 957.

Sultana R, Alashi AM, Islam K, Saifullah M, Haque CE, Aluko RE. 2020. Inhibitory activities of aqueous vegetable extracts against a-amylase, a-glucosidase, pancreatic lipase, renin, and angiotensin converting enzyme. Foods, 9, 844.

Famuwagun AA, Alashi AM, Gbadamosi SO, Taiwo KA, Oyedele D, Adebooye OC, Aluko RE. 2020. Comparative study of the structural and functional properties of protein isolates prepared from edible vegetable leaves. Int. J. Food Prop. 23, 955-970.

Chen W, Ju X, Aluko RE, Zou Y, Wang Z, Liu M, He R. 2020. Rice bran protein-based nanoemulsion carrier for improved stability and bioavailability of quercetin. Food Hydrocolloids, 108, 106042.

Malomo SA, Nwachukwu ID, Girgih AT, Idowu AO, Aluko RE, Fagbemi TN. 2020. Antioxidant and renin-angiotensin system inhibitory properties of cashew nut and fluted-pumpkin protein hydrolysates. Polish J. Food Nutr. Sci. 70, 275–289.

Djibril Moussa MI, Alashi AM, Sossa-Vihotogbé CNA, Akponikpè PBI, Baco MN, Djènontin AJ, Aluko RE, Akissoé NH. 2020. Proximate composition, mineral profile and trypsin-inhibitory activity of West African leafy vegetables: influence of urea micro-dosing and harvest time. Polish J. Food Nutr. Sci. 70, 179–188.

Singh A, Idowu AT, Benjakul S, Kishimura H, Aluko RE, Kumagai Y. 2020. Debittering salmon (Salmo salar) frame protein hydrolysate using 2-butanol in combination with ß-cyclodextrin: Impact on some physicochemical characteristics and antioxidant activities. Food Chem. 321, 126686.

Alabi O, Ali N, Nwachukwu ID, Aluko RE, Amonsou EO. 2020. Composition and some functional properties of Bambara (Vigna subterranea) vicilin fraction. LWT – Food Sci. Technol. 125, 109256.

Zou Y, Ju X, Chen W, Yuan J, Wang Z, Aluko RE, He R. 2020. Rice bran attenuated obesity via alleviating dyslipidemia, browning of white adipocytes and modulating gut microbiota in high-fat diet-induced obese mice. Food Funct. 11, 2406-2417.

Velliquette RA, Fast DJ, Maly ER, Alashi AM, Aluko RE. 2020. Enzymatically derived sunflower protein hydrolysate and peptides inhibit NF?B and promote monocyte differentiation to a dendritic cell phenotype. Food Chem. 319, 126563.

Samsamikor M, Mackay D, Mollard R, Aluko RE. 2020. A double blind, randomized, cross over trial protocol of whole hemp seed protein and hemp seed protein hydrolysate consumption for hypertension. Trials 21, 354.

Samtiya M, Aluko RE, Dhewa T. 2020. Plant food anti-nutritional factors and their reduction strategies: an overview. Food Product. Process. Nutr. 2, 6.

Aderinola TA, Alashi AM, Nwachukwu ID, Fagbemi TN, Enujiugha VN, Aluko RE. 2020. In vitro digestibility, structural and functional properties of Moringa oleifera seed proteins. Food Hydrocolloids 100, 105574.


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