Agriculture News

September 23, 2020

Big Data, Safe Food conference goes forward virtually

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University will host the Big Data, Safe Food Conference online on Oc. 12-15. The conference will explore the intersection of big data and food safety through conversations with experts from industry, government and academia.

Ariana Torres, assistant professor of horticulture and landscape architecture and agricultural economics, who is one of the conference organizers, said the event will explore how stakeholders can collaborate to make food safer.

“The main question the conference will focus on is how can as academia, industry and government entities collaborate to address and prevent foodborne diseases using data collected from farm to fork. Food has a long and complex supply chain, and we need to discuss how big data can influence food safety, along with who manages and shares these data points,” Torres said.

Sessions will focus on foodborne pathogen contamination, data science applications specific to the food industry, traceability of food products and translation of big data to consumer impacts. Andrew Kennedy, Office of Food Policy and Response at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, will deliver the conference’s keynote speech.

Dennis Buckmaster, professor of agricultural and biological engineering and Dean’s Fellow for Digital Agriculture, said he looks forward to a meeting of the minds from many different sectors.

“Improved data flow, coupled with data analytics and artificial intelligence, has tremendous potential to improve food safety,” Buckmaster added. “We hope this conference helps attendees identify technologies and approaches in sensing and control that could nicely complement blockchain and traceability for both marketing and safety.”

Attendees at the Big Data, Safe Food conference will contribute to drafting a plan of action that combines scholarship, research and possible industry opportunities. A session at the end of each day will facilitate this.

More information regarding the conference as well as the link for free registration can be found at

Writer: Emma Ea Ambrose, 765-494-2406,

Sources: Ariana Torres, 765-494-8781,

Dennis Buckmaster,

Agricultural Communications: 765-494-8415;

Maureen Manier, Department Head,  

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