1. Food Foresight Trends Intelligence System
Since 1995 CIFAR is the collaborator with Nuffer, Smith, Tucker, Inc., a San Diego based public relations firm, to provide reports on trends intelligence in the agri-food chain. The strategic partnership with Nuffer, Smith,Tucker has been an core activity of CIFAR and of benefit to its member affiliates.
2. Food and Beverage Industry Resource Management Program
The Program is funded by the California Energy Commission (CEC) to support efforts of the US Department of Energy (DOE) in advancing industrial Best Practices (BPs) among California's Food and Beverage Manufacturers. CIFAR is working with Publicly Owned Utilities and the California League of Food Processors (CLFP) to deliver DOE BP Training Workshops and to conduct Energy System Assessments (ESAs). CIFAR is conducting applied research to establish the Water Energy Nexus (WEN) at a tomato processing facility.
Field data is being collected from a cooperating company to establish the WEN Points where energy is used to make water available and productive to the enterprise. A WEN Performance Indicator will be developed to benchmark the facility’s current performance at each WEN Point, identify targeted resource conservation opportunities and track progress to reduce WEN intensity. CIFAR is also developing a user-friendly Winery WEN calculator tool, based on data collected by a California winery. CIFAR is integrating the strengths of education, technical assistance and applied research to advance improved resource efficiencies in the food and beverage industries.
3. Biomass: Bioprocessing to Fuels, Chemicals and Materials
CIFAR has been engaged in research, forums, and expert panels in this area. Products include the development of microbial and enzyme systems for tailoring the conversion of rice straw to products, including mixed carbohydrates, lactic acid, ethyl lactate and ethanol; a document that lists the capabilities in the western region for bio-based products (October 2003), a seminar series as part of the CA&ES Bio-based Initiative: Products and Processes, and a participant in the DOE strategic team in the area of cell wall deconstruction.
CIFAR has received support from the U.S. Department of Energy and its National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, the California Energy Commission, and UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. CIFAR partners with UC Davis researchers and supports the California Biomass Collaborative and the Institute of Transportation Studies.
International projects and guidance comes from its collaborators in countries such as China (Fuzhou University, Zhejiang University, Southern Yangtze University) and India (Mr. Ammi Armanath serves as a CIFAR advisor in this area).
4. The Herman J. Phaff Culture Collection for Yeast and Yeast-Like Microorganisms
The Phaff Yeast Culture Collection consists of over 6400 yeast strains, including over 400 different species. Dr Kryia Boundy-Mills, CIFAR, manages the program.
5. Food for Health and Well-Being
CIFAR is engaged in assessing the opportunities in this area, compiling UC Davis research areas and inventions, organizing forums and conferences, and co-sponsoring student business plan competitions. Mr. Allen Bah brings his international experience and contacts to assist in this effort.