Guest Seminar: Sustainable Nanomaterials for Food and Agriculture Applications

Applied Photon Science, Guest Seminar: Saji George M.Sc., PhD. Dept. of Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry, McGill University, QC, Canada


Generally, Agri-food industry is operating under constrains of low margin of profit, regulatory oversight and strong societal perceptions. Consequently, long term sustainability of any new technological intervention is determined by how it responds to obligations of economic, environmental and societal pressures pertinent to Agri-food industry. While, nanotechnology is widely accepted as a transformative technology capable of addressing global challenges in food safety and security, the rapid market penetration of nanotechnology incorporated Agri-food products (with considerable uncertainties regarding their short and long term impact to human and environmental health), has sparked outcry from general public and experts. Evidently, developing and implementing sustainable nanotechnology solutions demands the advancement of knowledge frontiers in technology, hazard profiling of nanomaterials as well as addressing social and regulatory issues. Greener methods of nanomaterials synthesize and/or identifying low cost nanomaterials (preferably of natural chemistry) with scale up capabilities along with understanding and responding to societal concerns on nanomaterials applications in food are warranted for addressing the stake-holder values on environmental, economic and societal pillars of sustainability. By taking examples from our own research, I will elaborate a general frame work for developing sustainable nanomaterials for food and agriculture applications.


Dr Saji George is an Associate Professor in the Department of Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry at McGill University and Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Nanotechnology for Food and Agriculture. Previously, Dr George was spearheading Centre for Sustainable Nanotechnology at Nanyang Polytechnic, Singapore from where he completed several research projects addressing the health risks of nanomaterials and environmental contaminants. His research is aimed at understanding the relationship between nanomaterial properties and their hazardous and beneficial biological outcomes with the ultimate goal of developing sustainable nanotechnology applications for current and future challenges in food safety and security. He has authored 55 peer reviewed articles, five patents and >25 invited talks. He has been serving as reviewer and editorial board member for many leading journals in the field of nanotechnology (nano-bio interactions). His excellences in teaching and research have been recognized by Ministry of Education, Singapore through the best mentor award and PS21 ExCEL Gold/Silver Awards in 2015 and 2016 and Canada Research Chair (Tier 2).