Editors: Rachna Sehrawat, Hong-Wei Xiao, Sachin Vinayak Jangam, and Arun Sadashiv Mujumdar
With the global population to reach a staggering figure of 9.8 billion by 2050 requiring about 50 percent increase in production of food. There is no new landmass available to continue production and consumption of food at current rate. Indeed, the extra landmass needed to meet this production level is estimated to be an area twice that of India. Clearly, food security is by far the most critical BIG problem of this century. Problems of climate change and water shortage are critically important as well as they directly affect issues of food security. Fortunately, both developed and developing countries now recognize the multifarious issues affecting food security. There is no multidimensional, multiand trans-disciplinary problem that matches the complexity of food security issues. A holistic solution requires political, cultural, social, scientific as well as technological approaches on a truly global scale. Food insecurity can lead to geopolitical skirmishes leading to lack of peace around the world. This freelydownloadable e-book is being brought out to provide a simple practical guide to identify the scope of the problem and potential technological solutions to alleviate it. Clearly, a concise book like this cannot cover all the important issues but we hope it makes a serious first attempt to uncover the problem and identify some of the technological problems. We believe most readers will be able to come up with their own ideas and make a positive contribution to solving this big problem in decades to come. The sooner we begin the better.
Drying is a unit operation that has been critical to food security since time immemorial. Early humans recognized the need to get rid of water to be able to store animal and plant based edible foods over longer periods which is essential to their survival. Obviously, we can safely claim “drying” has been central to the survival of the human race itself. In this book we present a general overview of the role of drying in ensuring food security as it encompasses a whole range of dehydration problems from drying of seeds, grains, fruits and vegetables, meats, marine products, biomass and fertilizers. Drying is important to allow long term shelf-life, economic transport of perishable foods and even to minimize food waste or generate energy or byproducts from food waste.
We hope that this concise e-book will be of wide interest to readers in a wide range of disciplines. We feel that it is high time everyone needs to do her/his part in ensuring food security in the next several decades. The topic of food security indeed needs an encyclopedia to do justice to all the topics and subtopics that are crucially important to food security. We believe this book is a brief introduction to the important aspects of the problem and some ideas about how the problem may be resolved in the coming decades. We welcome feedback from our readers.