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Suresh Pillai

Professor - Molecular Microbiologist - Author - TEDx Speaker
Electron Beam Technology Expert- Microbiology - Microorganisms in built and natural environments

Suresh Pillai is the Professor of Molecular Microbiology and Texas A&M AgriLife Research Faculty Fellow at Texas A&M University. He is also the Director of Texas A&M University’s National Center for Electron Beam Research. He is a member of the Graduate Faculties of Food Science & Technology, Toxicology, Veterinary Pathobiology, Poultry Science and the Water Program.

His B.S. degree Botany and his M.S. degree was in Industrial Microbiology. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Arizona in Microbiology & Immunology. In 2018, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Peru’s Universidad Nacional del Altiplano (UNAP). He served as the Chair of the Texas A&M University Professional Program in Biotechnology from 2004-2010 and from 2000-2005, he served as the Associate Director of the Institute of Food Science & Engineering at Texas A&M University. He is a Fellow of the International Forum on Industrial Processes and has served on the FDA’s Science Advisory Board for the National Center for Toxicological Research and the Foundation for Food & Agricultural Research.

His current research is focused on harnessing eBeam technology for a wide variety of applications including the development of vaccines, food pasteurization and the remediation of environmental pollutants. His research is currently funded by a variety of federal agencies including the EPA, the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy and is a subject matter expert for the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the US National Nuclear Security Administration.

Abstracts

The Growing Market for Ionizing Technologies in  the Americas

Abstract: There are strict global standards that govern the use of different technologies such as methyl bromide, hot water treatment, and ionizing technologies for treating agricultural commodities in transboundary shipments. Over the past decade there is definitely a shift in switching to ionizing technologies such as gamma and electron beam technologies. There is no better region of the world to see this change taking place than in the Americas  This has resulted in significant increases in volumes of agricultural products that are  being treated by ionizing technologies. In large countries in the region such as Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico, the market for ionizing technologies in the spice, pet food and processed foods is very large. The biggest challenge to faster adoption is the lack of private investment in these technologies. The talk will illustrate the value proposition of these technologies in the phytosanitary applications, in the spice industry, the role of the retailers as well as suggest a path forward for accelerated adoption of eBeam and X-ray technologies.  

The Future Outlook and Practical Considerations in the Adoption of High Energy Electron Beam Technology 

High energy electron beam (HEEB) technology has become a mainstay in the medical device and pet food industries. The adoption of the HEEB in the human food processing industry especially in regions outside of China is still nowhere close to its potential.  Besides the usual regulatory bottlenecks, there a number of logistical challenges associated with the incorporation of this technology into the established supply chains of the food industry.  This talk will  focus on the emerging research areas related to HEEB in food processing as well as highlight the critical need for a diverse array of eBeam and X-ray technology platforms.