#BehindtheNumbers: HQP scholar uncovering big potential in tiny vegetables

Posted on Wednesday, March 3rd, 2021

Student wearing gloves and working with a laboratory machine. The accompanying text reads Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance 2019-20 Annual Report. "50  HQP scholars  The HQP scholarship program engages the next generation of agri-food researchers, policy-makers and innovators." Read the stories #BehindtheNumbers at uoguelph.ca/alliance.

Department of Food Science PhD candidate and HQP scholarship recipient Oday Alrifai is studying how microgreens—just-sprouted plants such as radish, mustard and mizuna—have the potential to be grown in limited space using inexpensive LED lights. 


Early results indicate that with more amber light from the LED lights, the antioxidant phytochemical content in the microgreens also grows. Alrifai hopes to inspire the next generation to grow their own vegetables, even if space and resources are limited, ultimately contributing to the global effort of improving nutrition and reducing resource use.

The Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance helps build the future skilled workforce that will advance Ontario’s agri-food and rural sectors. The Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) scholarship program, Veterinary Capacity Program and Undergraduate Student Experiential Learning program are focused specifically on the development of skilled, forward-thinking agri-food leaders for Ontario.

#BehindtheNumbers is a series of stories from the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance 2019-20 Annual Report, Growing Ontario Solutions, that showcases how the Alliance drives impact in Ontario.

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