Postharvest Processing of Hemp for Improved Processing Efficiency, Safety & Preservation of Bioactive Compounds


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  • Zhongli Pan, Adjunct Professor, Biological and Agricultural Engineering, UC Davis(bio)
  • Chang Chen, Postdoc Research Fellow, Biological & Agricultural Engineering, UC Davis (bio)

Hemp (Cannabis Sativa L.) is a broadly grown plant worldwide. In recent years, the cannabidiol (CBD) and terpene species in hemp have drawn increasing research interests due to their health-promotion values for human body. These bioactive compounds show great potentials to be used as future functional food ingredients. However, research and application of hemp CBD and terpenes in food systems are scarcely reported, because of various legal regulations, consumer basis and technological challenges. In addition, postharvest processing technologies of hemp such as drying, microbial deactivation, extraction and purification for productions of high-quality CBD and terpene for food purposes have not been extensively studied. Therefore, the first half of this seminar will focus on discussing the current status and technological challenges in the postharvest processing technologies in the hemp industry. Then in the second half of the seminar, research progress and findings from our lab on the efficient drying and microbial deactivation for the preservation of quality and safety of hemp biomass are discussed. Some future research needs are also highlighted in the end. We hope that our research findings may excite more food-related research on hemp processing and CBD/terpenes applications in foods. It can also help the hemp industry to improve the processing efficiency of hemp as a valuable bioresource, and food manufacturers to shape their paths to use hemp CBD and terpenes as future functional food ingredients.

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