M.S. student Ivan Wongso wins first place in IFT research competition

ivan wongso uc davis biological agricultural engineering ms student ift award
Photo courtesy of Ivan Wongso.

M.S. student Ivan Wongso wins first place in IFT research competition

Biological systems engineering M.S. student Ivan Wongso has earned first place for his research presentation at the 2021 Food Improved by Research, Science, and Technology (FIRST) event, held by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) during its annual meeting. He won over three other finalists under the Quality Management Division.

Wongso, who works in adjunct professor Zhongli Pan’s Food Processing Research Group in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, presented his research on the drying and quality characteristics of in-shell, cracked-shell and kernel walnuts under hot air drying.

“Winning this competition is an acknowledgement of the hard work and contributions of many hands from Professor Pan's Food Lab,” he said. “I could not be more thankful for the opportunity to represent them all.”

Wongso’s study introduced a pre-treatment step of cracking walnut shells and extracting the kernels to reduce the overall drying time. The new drying method significantly improved the drying efficiency without compromising the product quality. This research is attributed to the walnut industries in California to improve the processing efficiency.

“I believe in using less energy to deliver high quality products,” he said. “This research proved that efficiency can be achieved through simple solutions.”

After he graduates, Wongso wants to found and build a profitable and sustainable company that focuses on both people and the planet.

Learn more about the Food Processing Research Group.