KATHMANDU, Dec. 3: Nepali Professor Bhesh Bhandari of the University of Queensland (UQ) in Australia has been honoured with an international award in recognition of his research excellence in drying science and technology.
The technology developed by Prof. Bhandari and his PhD student Mr Binh Ho from UQ´s School of Agriculture and Food Sciences is believed to revolutionize the fresh fruit industry with a new technology that converts gases into a powder form. The duo has developed a technology that will dramatically improve the safety, efficiency and effort involved in controlled ripening of fruit.
Professor Bhandari said the compressed ethylene gas, used extensively to control ripen fruit such as bananas, mangoes, avocadoes, citrus and tomatoes, are stored in cylinders and thereby highly volatile and explosive accidents have occurred in the past, according to the University.
Prof. Bhandari and his research team has developed a food grade, environmentally friendly biological powder that can release the ethylene gas very quickly in humid and high temperature conditions. This is expected to make handling the ethylene much easier and safer and allow for very small amounts to be used to ripen small batches of fruit.
Professor Bhandari presented his findings at the International Drying Symposium in China last week, where he was honoured with the "Excellence in Drying Award" presented by the International Drying Symposium Committee to the world´s top researcher in recognition of their achievements in the transfer of fundamentals into practice.
Professor Bhandari and Mr Ho are now working with UniQuest, UQ´s main research commercialisation company, to prepare the technology for industry investment and licensing opportunities.