Preparatory School and Winter College on Applications of Optics and Photonics in Food Science, ICTP, Trieste, Italy

Ms. Indira G,a Junior Research Fellow in the Department of Biophysics, School of Life Sciences, Manipal Academy of Higher Education was selected for Preparatory School on Applications of Optics and Photonics in Food Science and Winter College on Applications of Optics and Photonics in Food Science that was held during 4 – 22 February, 2019.


Improving food, from production to processing is one of the most important and successful contributions of modern optics and photonic innovations. Every year, ICTP organizes a Preparatory School and The Winter College for the Ph.D. and Post Doc Scholars of developing countries. In February 2019, ICTP organized a Preparatory School and Winter College on application of Optics and Photonics in Food Sciences in order to offer Ph.D. students and other emerging researches of developing countries a broad training in the innovative applications of Optics and Photonics in Food and Agricultural Sciences.

Optical sensing and spectroscopy discoveries have provided huge advances in all areas from identifying nutritional components, to uncovering contamination by adulterants and pathogens. Tailored light and light-based technologies also are used to better grow plants, purify water, kill pathogens, etc., The keen interest in photonics for food science and agriculture is global and rapidly growing – A future with smart optics and photonics will succeed in feeding the world’s people sustainably. In addition to lectures, tutorials, there were hands on activities too which allowed the rapid detection of food quality, some of them are as follows,

  • Low cost spectroscopy for consumer use and limited resources settings
  • Photonic advances driving the future of sustainable farming
  • Advanced vibrational spectroscopy including Raman Scattering and IR absorption, Low frequency Raman and Imaging.
  • Optical Session with HPLC with thermal lens detection for caroteniods in food samples and Raman Spectrometer.
  • PCA Analysis of food particularly the adulteration in olive oils.
  • Food analysis examples by means of Spectroscopy
  • Optical imaging application on sericulture and shrimp farming
  • Using optics and photonics ideas into inventions through crowd funding
  • Safety packaging
  • Vibrational spectroscopy includes – NIR, IR, Time resolved NIR, Raman (Low frequency) spectroscopy for food analysis.

Apart from lectures, tutorials and experiments, ICTP conducted a LAMP Poster session in order to share our research and also to get more suggestions from the experts in respective fields which would help the research scholars to get more new ideas and adopt them in their future work. The Best posters were chosen among all the posters and the awards have been given for 3 best posters in order to encourage the young scientists.

Ms. Indira G was awarded the ‘Third Place’ in  the 2019 LAMP Poster Session held during the Winter College at ICTP for the citation “Structural and Chemical Characterization of Starch Granules using Microscopy and Spectroscopy Techniques”. The travel grant for the winter college and poster awards was sponsored by SPIE International, Optical Society of America (OSA), and ICTP. Selected PhD and Post Doc Scholars of more than 35 countries across the globe were participated in the event.