Mukund Karwe, professor of food engineering and chair of the Department of Food Science at Rutgers, was one of two keynote speakers at the First Kuwait International Conference on Life Sciences, held April 6-8 in Kuwait. Karwe’s talk on “New and emerging food processing methods,” addressed how the traditional method of heat processing to destroy pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms in foods also destroys nutritional, nutraceutical and some sensory properties of foods. Karwe discussed new food processing techniques such as ultra-high pressure, pulsed electric field, pulsed light, UV, power ultrasound, oscillating magnetic field, cold plasma and combinations of these techniques. New and emerging technologies, which involve minimal or no heat processing, offer an alternative to traditional methods and can maintain the quality of processed foods without sacrificing safety.
In the face of growing population, rapid urbanization and changing lifestyles, creating and maintaining sustainable human society present a number of challenges. The First Kuwait International Conference on Life Sciences brought together interdisciplinary academicians, researchers and practitioners to focus on the challenges faced by the life sciences with respect to finding solutions for health, environment, and food and nutritional problems through research and innovations.
Over the past 30 years, Karwe’s research has covered food extrusion, microwave and hybrid baking, fortification of foods with omega-3 fatty acids, high pressure food processing, effect of processing on nutraceuticals in foods, cold plasma processing and the flow of food in the human GI tract.
Karwe has published over 100 research articles and book chapters, and has co-edited one book. He’s been sought after to present seminars worldwide, including the UK, France, Turkey, Italy, Australia, Brazil, China, Greece, South Korea and India. In 2009, Karwe was the recipient of William Cruess Award, the national Teaching Excellence Award in Food Science & Technology, from the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). In 2012, he was elected a fellow of the IFT.