Air Products has today announced a collaboration with a professor at the University of Virginia on research studying the benefits of cryogenic freezing on cannabinoids found in industrial hemp from the time of harvest through extraction and final processing.

As part of the research, Dr. Bryan Berger, Associate Professor of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Virginia, will work closely with Air Products’ cryogenic freezing technology lab to study the effects of using liquid cryogens such as liquid nitrogen on the quantification, chemical composition and profiles of cannabinoids found in hemp used in industrial and medical applications.

“We believe this research will demonstrate the many benefits cryogenic freezing can have for the industrial hemp industry,” said Michael Himes, of Air Products’ Merchant Research and Development.

“Our experience and advanced technology have provided game-changing solutions for those in the biotech and food industries, and we look forward to collaborating with those in the industrial hemp industry to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their processes.”

Berger is part of the industrial hemp research programme at the University of Virginia and works with state, academic, private and non-profit partners to develop new approaches for hemp processing into products.

To the partnership, he brings experience in design, extraction, formulation and biomanufacturing of biologics and natural products. He is also co-founder of Fiacre Enterprises, which provides high-quality industrial hemp seed to growers as well as expertise in growing, processing and product development.

“Through this work with Air Products, the team anticipates studying cryogenic processing profiles that will address knowledge gaps and provide best practices to maximize value immediately transferrable to hemp growers and processors seeking to optimize their product yield,” Berger commented.