Raquel Lozano’s work that aims to contribute to the solution of the environmental challenges of packaging has been recognised by the Institute of Chemical Engineers – naming her Postgraduate Student of the Year.
As part of the annual competition, Ms Lozano presented her research work on modelling the interaction between fruit and plastic packaging. The results from this model can be used to assess the influence of the choice of packaging on the ability of that packaging to reduce food waste, and the impact of that packaging choice on the environment.
Ms Lozano’s work uses kiwifruit as a case study and is generously supported by a Zespri PhD scholarship. The project supports Zespri’s sustainability goals in which packaging materials are to be 100 per cent recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025.
Held in Taranaki prior to the Institution of Chemical Engineers annual general meeting, this is the fifth year of the competition, in which chemical engineering students from four New Zealand universities compete for a chance to win $500.
Ms Lozano previously completed a Bachelor of Food Technology at Massey University’s Manawatū campus. She is currently being supervised by Dr Eli Gray-Stuart, Professor John Bronlund and Professor Andrew East from Massey University, in collaboration with Lewis Patterson and Wynand Kruger of Zespri International.