Keynote Speakers

Eva Almenar


Dr. Eva Almenar received her Ph.D. in 2005 from the Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology-Spanish Council for Scientific Research (IATA-CSIC) for her work in active packaging. Since then, she has mainly worked in the field of fresh produce packaging, which has led to over 15 years of experience in prolonging the shelf life of fresh produce using packaging. Dr. Almenar is currently an associate professor at the School of Packaging at Michigan State University, and is mainly working on developing packaging materials and technologies with a focus on active packaging for the delivery of high-quality and safe fresh produce. This novel packaging is generally made from renewable feedstock, including by-products from processed food. Utilizing her background and experience in food, material science, and packaging, she creates these new packaging materials and packaging technologies to match the specific needs of each perishable for their successful commercial application.
A central part of Dr. Almenar’s recent work has been focused on extending the shelf life of minimally processed produce including fresh-cut romaine lettuce, celery sticks, diced tomatoes, diced onions, fresh-cut cantaloupe, and broccoli using novel packaging materials like bio-based materials made from egg white proteins or starch, and packaging technologies like moisture-absorbing packaging, antimicrobial packaging, and ethylene-removing packaging. These novel packages have been validated through the work of Dr. Almenar’s group by assessing the physico-chemical, microbiological, and sensory changes occurring in the minimally processed produce along with the characterization of the materials and packages. Published work can be found at
https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=DUNVWvQAAAAJ&hl=en. Ongoing projects carried out by her team can be found at https://www.canr.msu.edu/almenar/research-team/.

 

Title: New packaging materials for fresh-cut produce