- August 31, 2023
The Scholarship Program
At Organics Unlimited, we are dedicated to not only delivering the finest bananas but also fostering a community committed to social responsibility, fair trade, and sustainability. The Carlos Cortes Scholarship honors the work and memory of Organic Banana Pioneer, Carlos Cortes Sr, and is awarded to an individual whose journey embodies the values of commitment to social responsibility, fair trade, and sustainability while pursuing higher education in the food sector. Today, we are thrilled to introduce you to Carmen Leticia Hidalgo Mujica, the first Carlos Cortes Scholarship Recipient, an exceptional individual whose journey embodies these values while championing innovation in the food industry.
A Journey Rooted in Science and Sustainability
From her early fascination with science to becoming a patent-holder and groundbreaking food industry innovator, Carmen’s journey is a testament to the power of passion, education, and transformative ideas. Her career is anchored in sustainability and driven by her curiosity to make a positive impact.
Pioneering in Food Chemistry and Quality with Fair Trade Ingredients
With a deep-seated passion for science, she embarked on the path of becoming a chemical laboratory technician during her high school years. Her journey into food science was a natural evolution, aligning her scientific curiosity with her commitment to fair trade and sustainability.
“Though I studied a diverse array of subjects while pursing my degree, Food Quality Assurance, Food Product Innovation, and Nutrition were the subjects that most caught my attention because I came to believe that they constitute the central axis of the food industry.”
Transforming Ideas into Sustainable Solutions
Her commitment to sustainability and fair trade flourished during her undergraduate years when she developed an edible coating derived from shrimp processing waste to extend the shelf-life of fresh fruit products. This innovation not only showcased Carmen’s scientific prowess but also demonstrated her dedication to minimizing waste and optimizing resources in the food industry. Her achievement culminated in a patent registered in Mexico, a testament to her ability to turn groundbreaking ideas into sustainable solutions.
Pursuing Excellence: A Postgraduate Journey in Sustainability
Carmen’s journey now leads her to the postgraduate program in Food Quality and Innovation at the University of Leeds. With courses focused on Food Product Development and Nutrient & Food Biochemical Structure and Function, she is poised to refine her expertise in sustainable practices further. The university’s commitment to sustainability aligns seamlessly with her values, ensuring that her education goes beyond theory, manifesting as impactful, eco-conscious actions.
Championing Positive Change for Sustainable Practices
What sets Carmen apart is her unwavering commitment to societal well-being and sustainable practices. Her vision extends beyond innovative products to addressing pressing public health issues and promoting sustainable consumption. She notes the juxtaposition of a country plagued by food related health problems while having a wealth of endemic superfoods hidden in plain sight.
“In 2019, Unilever published a list of the ‘Future 50 Foods’ chosen for their high nutritional value, relative environmental impact, and flavour among other factors. I was astonished to see many staples of Mexican cuisine on the list which were largely missing their great potential. I would like to focus my attention on the problem of obesity by providing healthier food options.”
Her mission to combat obesity and elevate Mexican superfoods aligns harmoniously with our ethos of fostering sustainable, fair trade practices that benefit both consumers and communities.
A Revolution for a Greener Tomorrow
Through her scientific acumen, industry experience, and academic pursuits, Carmen aspires to revolutionize the food industry’s sustainable landscape.
“The synergy between my previous professional experience and the knowledge acquired during this prestigious postgraduate program will provide me with everything I need to create nutritious products using Mexican superfood ingredients to combat a range of public health problems while introducing new and exciting consumer experiences to revolutionize the food industry for a new generation.”
A Promise for Sustainable Transformation
At Organics Unlimited, we take immense pride in supporting and celebrating the journey of this visionary individual. Her story is a testament to the transformative power of education, innovation, and sustainable practices. As she embarks on this new chapter at the University of Leeds, we eagerly anticipate the far-reaching impact of her efforts and her steadfast dedication to a greener, more sustainable world.
Together, we forge a path toward a future where innovation, education, sustainability, and social responsibility coalesce to shape a more sustainable and equitable world through the realm of food.