DST-NRF SARChI Chair in Phytochemical food network to improve nutritional quality for consumers, Tier 1
Primary discipline: Agriculture and Food Science (2020 - January 2025)
Prof Sivakumar has started her career at the Tshwane University of Technology as an Associate professor in 2010. She developed the research area in postharvest technology and the curriculum at the Department of Crop Sciences.
She has been actively involved in investigating the influence of pre-harvest agronomy factors on the postharvest quality of fresh produce from 2010 to 2015. Within this specific research area, her research was more focused on the improvement and maintenance of dietary phytochemicals by manipulating agronomy and postharvest practices/ processing methods respectively.
In 2015 she was awarded the SARChI research chair funding for the Phytochemical Food Network to improve nutritional quality for the consumer. In 2016 she was appointed as an Honorary A/Professor at the Centre for Nutrition and Food Sciences, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI), University of Queensland, Australia.
She closely works with the South African Avocado Fruit industry and has established research collaboration with the QAAFI, University of Queensland in Australia, Marche Polytechnic University in Italy, Texas A & M in the USA, University of Reunion in Reunion, Leibniz-Institut für Agrartechnik und Bioökonomie in Germany and University of Greenwich in the UK.
Nationally she has a close research collaboration with the ARC (Vegetable and ornamental plant Institute, Subtropical fruits Institute), DST-CSIR Nano Center, and Plant and soil Sciences, University of Pretoria. She is currently supervising eight Doctoral and 14 Masters students. She has also authored book chapters, research articles, and industry research notes and farmers communications.
Prof Sivakumar’s field of expertise and research specialisation focus on:
The significance of this research is to benefit the growers in producing fresh produce in terms of cost and, in turn, benefit the consumers by improving their health and well-being. A healthy society can save significant health-care costs that are currently being expended by individuals and by the national treasury.