CRI’s newest Food Innovation scientist brings a passion for the natural world to advance innovation in the agri-food industry

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Sahar Samimi, PhD - professor and food innovation scientist, CRI
Sahar Samimi, PhD

CRI – The Centre for Research and Innovation at Fanshawe College, is proud to introduce Sahar Samimi, PhD, who joined the CARIB food industry labs as a professor and scientist on February 1st, 2021.

Samimi brings to CRI more than 15 years of industry-renowned expertise leading scientific discovery and teaching in research and development (R&D) for the agri-food sector. She has a cross-appointment as a professor at Fanshawe’s School of Tourism, Hospitality and Culinary Arts.

After her doctoral education in chemical and biochemical engineering from Western University, she specialized in linking academic and industrial research. A particular focus has been on leading the development of innovative process sciences and linking it to bring bio-based products from concept to launch.

“Dr. Samimi’s knowledge perfectly aligns with the expanding reputation of the CARIB food industry labs as a leading centre for proof-of-concept science that helps emerging businesses launch the most innovative food and beverage products to market,” says Colin Yates, PhD, CRI’s chair of research. “In addition to her teaching experience that will help advance academics across Fanshawe, CRI will benefit from her respected connections in the cannabis industry, and expand our ability to serve the emerging beverage and edibles market.”

Prior to joining the CRI team, Samimi’s most recent role was technical director of applied science & extraction at one of the largest cannabis companies in Canada. With CRI holding one of the only cannabis research licenses among Canada’s post-secondary R&D centres, Samimi’s leadership will help Fanshawe carve out a niche as a go-to for food processors looking to develop the next food and beverage products incorporating cannabis. Samimi has broad experience that connects scientific research, food processing optimization and product development.

“This intersection of technology and science that Dr. Samimi brings is a representation of CRI’s role in helping businesses get ahead through R&D,” adds Yates.

According to Samimi, basing her work in the London area has many advantages from both research and personal perspectives. She was raised in a small town, and feels comfortable in a city such as London with natural surroundings close at-hand.

“As London’s agricultural businesses develop, it becomes a strategic location to access producers and natural raw materials,” says Samimi. “My background in bioprocess engineering is met with a real passion for looking to the natural world for the best in science. I was drawn to the London area because it has such a comfortable feel with abundant green space. What I enjoy most about my research role is the opportunity to do applied research, in developing creative real-world solutions for health and environmental shortcomings and having the chance to train the next generation.”