Organics Unlimited Selects Recipient of First Carlos Cortes Scholarship; Daniella and Mayra Velazquez de León Share
SAN DIEGO, CA - Backed by its own dedication to social responsibility, fair trade, and sustainability, Organics Unlimited GROW Fund has awarded its first Carlos Cortes Scholarship to someone who embodies the same values. The $15,000 scholarship, which honors organic banana pioneer Carlos Cortes Sr., was awarded to Carmen Leticia Hidalgo Mujica, who is championing innovation in the food industry.
“Through the GROW Fund, our aim is to give kids in rural, growing communities the same opportunity that my grandfather had, but so many children don’t have access to an education,” said Daniella Velazquez de León, General Manager of Organics Unlimited. “Thanks to his education, he was able to broaden his horizons, create what he did, and, ultimately, give back to his community.”
Mujica is a recent graduate of Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM), and she will be continuing her academic career with a master’s degree in food quality and innovation at the University of Leeds in England.
According to a release, Mujica’s passion for science led her to become a chemical laboratory technician during high school, and her journey into food science has been a natural evolution. Throughout her career, scientific curiosity aligned with her commitment to sustainability and fair-trade practices that produced quality ingredients.
“I studied a diverse array of subjects while pursuing my undergraduate degree,” said Mujica. “Food quality assurance, food product innovation, and nutrition were the subjects that caught my attention the most because I believe that they constitute the foundation of the food industry.”
During her undergraduate years, Mujica developed an edible coating derived from shrimp processing waste to extend the shelf-life of fresh fruit products. This innovation showcased her scientific prowess and demonstrated her dedication to minimizing waste and optimizing resources in the food industry. Her achievement culminated in a patent registered in Mexico.
“We are proud to support and celebrate the journey of a visionary like Carmen who can and will change the food industry,” said Mayra Velazquez de León, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Her story is a testament to the transformative power of education, innovation, and sustainable practices. As she embarks on her next 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.”
To learn more about Mujica and her path, click here.
Best wishes as she continues to innovate the food industry!