Research Foundation News

May 4, 2017

JUA Technologies named in top 10 for All Africa Postharvest Technologies and Innovations Challenge

Illeji Jua Husband and wife team Klein and Reiko Ileleji, pose near a solar-powered crop drying device that could reduce post-harvest losses and add value to smallholders in developing countries. The device utilizes high temperatures, high air-flow rate and low humidity features to better dry crops. Klein and Reiko founded JUA Technologies International LLC to further develop and commercialize the technology. (Purdue Research Foundation image) Download image

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – JUA Technologies LLC, a Purdue Startup Class of 2016 member developing a solar-powered crop-drying device, was recently ranked sixth among the top 10 innovations for the All Africa Postharvest Technologies and Innovation Challenge.

The challenge winners were announced at the first All Africa Postharvest Congress and Exhibition, which took place March 27-31 in Nairobi, Kenya. The challenge identified the top 10 innovations from across Africa aimed at reducing postharvest food losses. Judges drawn from diverse sectors selected the top 10 innovations out of 112 entries.

JUA Technologies was co-founded by husband and wife team Klein Ileleji, an associate professor in Purdue University’s Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, and Reiko Habuto Ileleji, a Purdue alumna who earned her Ph.D. from the College of Education.

The company is developing an affordable, solar-powered crop-drying device that could provide smallholders, small to medium agro-processors in developing countries, and small organic farms in the United States, a way to reduce post-harvest losses and add value to their crops using renewable energy. A video about the company can be viewed here.

 “In many developing countries, like sub-Saharan Africa, farmers can’t afford or don’t have access to drying machines to permit long-term storage and preserve crop quality; thus, their crops spoil and become unusable,” Ileleji said. “More so, maize or grains and oilseeds in general can have severe health implications if not dried properly due to aflatoxin, a toxin produced by mold. Aflatoxin consumed can cause cancer and even deaths in infants and the elderly.”

Ileleji said not having access to adequate drying devices could also limit market opportunities.

“Aside from the health risks and harvest losses, farmers also don’t reap the opportunity to capture value from dried commodities, like dried fruits you find in cereals or sun-dried fruits and vegetables. Farmers have to sell their fresh crops in a highly glutted market,” he said. “Our technology aims to address the challenges these farmers face and provide them with an affordable and energy-efficient way to dry their crops.”

JUA Technologies also was recently highlighted in the May issue of Fast Company magazine, in an article titled “Announcing the United States of Innovation.” JUA’s technology represented Indiana in the list of the most promising projects, initiatives and companies in each state. Fast Company is a monthly American business magazine with an editorial focus on innovation in technology, leadership and design.

Technology used by JUA Technologies International LLC has been licensed through the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization. The innovation was developed with funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development as part of a $5M USAID Feed-the-Future Lab for Post Harvest Handling and Food Processing led by Purdue.

About JUA Technologies International LLC

JUA Technologies International LLC is a Purdue-affiliated startup developing solutions to prevent post-harvest losses for smallholders and small to medium agro-processors in developing countries, and small organic farms in the United States.

About Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization

The Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization operates one of the most comprehensive technology transfer programs among leading research universities in the U.S. Services provided by this office support the economic development initiatives of Purdue University and benefit the university's academic activities. The office is managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, which received the 2016 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Award for Innovation from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. For more information about funding and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at For more information on licensing a Purdue innovation, contact the Office of Technology Commercialization at

Media Contact: Hillary Henry, 765-588-3586, 

Klein Ileleji,

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