STUDENTS CONDUCT RESEARCH IN AVOCADO AGROINDUSTRY
After completing their internships, students propose to increase the value of the use of avocado byproduct in this company.
Students of the School of Chemical Sciences and Engineering conducted an internship at Uyama Farms –an agroindustry dedicated to the production and export of avocado virgin oil– where they also conducted research activities.
The main axis of these internships was to develop research to value the byproduct resulting from the manufacturing of avocado oil, mainly through the following research:
- Extraction of starch from avocado seed for the preparation of thermoplastic starch: carried out between June and August 2019 by Christian Utreras and Katherine Rivadeneira, students of the Polymers major, under the direction of professors Alicia Sommer and Rose Mary Michell.
- Comprehensive analysis of the avocado oil production process: by Pilar Montenegro, Polymers major, and Maritza Echeverría, Petrochemistry major, between June and July 2019, and which was directed by professors Marvin Ricaurte and Alfredo Viloria, with the collaboration of Professor Alicia Sommer.
- Pre-feasibility study of obtaining saponins from the American agave: this students Katherin Suárez and Arely Villarroel, from the Petrochemistry major, from June to July 2019, and was directed by professors Marvin Ricaurte, Alicia Sommer and Alfredo Viloria.
The internships also included professors Manuel Caetano, Floralba López, Juan Pablo Saucedo and Ruth Oropeza. Students were tutored by Yolimar Gandica, Manager of Uyama Farms and promoter of the signing of the agreement that allowed for the internships to be conducted.
Uyama Farms representatives were very satisfied with the research conducted by the students. Mauricio Dávalos, President of the company, commented that once the research is done, the only thing left to do is implement it.
This type of actions show the capacity that Yachay Tech has to create direct links between science and business. The knowledge generated by these students will enable the good use of resources that are currently considered waste. (LMC/SB)