Cooperation between CFAES and the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (UVG) Will Enhance Food Security

March 30, 2021
Mycotoxin on maize

The Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (UVG) in Guatemala City, Guatemala and OSU’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences have signed a five-year, renewable Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) 

CFAES’s Department of Food Science and Technology (FST) is already active in Guatemala via the PESAR program, funded by its partner Laboratorio Diagnóstico Molecular (LDM), the OSU Connect and Collaborate Grant, Rotary International and The World Bank.  OSU’s team is led by Assistant Professor Barbara Kowalcyk with Ph.D. Student Ariel Garsow.  The development of the MOU was a result of one of the meetings with stakeholders that was conducted during a site visit from the OSU team (including Dr. Kowalcyk and five graduate students) for the PESAR project.

As the Center for Foodborne Illness Research and Prevention (CFI) webpage states:  “The overarching goal of PESAR is to estimate mycotoxin exposure in Guatemala to inform the development and implementation of supply chain management practices that mitigate mycotoxin production, reduce food waste and economic loss, and promote food security”

PESAR seeks to determine risk factors for mycotoxin exposure by conducting surveys of maize-handling practices as well as estimating levels of mycotoxins are in maize, tortillas, and biological samples in Guatemala.    

The OSU-UVG MOU promotes a variety of activities in the areas of:

(1) Exchange of thesis, teaching materials and other scientific and technological literature

(2) Research collaboration

(3) Exchange of faculty and scholars for lecturing, advanced studies and research

(4) Development of joint workshops, symposia, etc. on topics of mutual interest, and

(5) Exploration of potential student exchanges.