Innovation in a nutshell

The 2023 Resnick grants are funding 7 additional teams of experts who are exploring novel uses for agricultural byproducts

By Courtney Tompkins | November 29, 2023

Enhancing probiotics

Digestive and gut health products are a rapidly growing part of the food and health industries. Food scientists are teaming up with biological and agricultural engineers to see if they can use a new fruit byproduct-based matrix to boost probiotics’ effectiveness by delivering active probiotics to the gut, supporting their growth and persistence there.


Pistachios growing on a tree.
Pistachios growing on a tree.

Faculty researchers from the departments of Animal Science and Biological and Agricultural Engineering are exploring whether pistachio shell byproducts can be suitable growing materials for hydroponic food production, potentially yielding a great breakthrough in sustainability in California agriculture.

Superfood for cows

Biological and agricultural engineers are working with animal scientists to investigate whether pistachio and pomegranate byproducts can serve as a lower-cost feed supplement to reduce methane production, reduce dairy production costs and improve environmental health.

A row of dairy cows with tagged ears stick their heads out the metal bars and eat feed from a trough.
Dairy cows chew on fresh feed.

Almond shells for wastewater

The agri-food industry is responsible for up to 140 billion tons of organic waste each year. An interdisciplinary team of professors from the departments of Viticulture and Enology and Food Science and Technology are collaborating with a researcher from the Almond Board of California to test whether almond shells can be used as an affordable, environmentally friendly way to filter compounds from food processing wastewater.

High-value oils from grape and almond byproducts

Food and animal scientists are working with biological and agricultural engineers to determine whether there is at least one type of non-GMO yeast capable of converting nutrients in almond hulls and grape pomace into a sustainable oil, like the highly valued but dwindling palm oil.

Biopesticide from pistachio and almond hull extracts

Faculty members from the departments of Entomology and Nematology and Food Science and Technology are testing extracts from pistachio and almond hulls to determine their ability to suppress soil borne pests, a serious problem in California due to increased regulation on chemical pesticides.

Phenolic compounds in almond skins

A team of food science and technology researchers are testing ways to sustainably extract polyphenols from almond skins and blanch water to harness potential antioxidant-boosting properties. These compounds could have many beneficial uses in supplements, food and hygiene products.

Learn more about how the Resnick fund sparks ag innovation:

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