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Institute for Food Science and Engineering

Investigators
Meullenet, Jean-Francois
Institutions
University of Arkansas
Start date
2010
End date
2012
Objective
The Institute for Food Science and Engineering seeks to strengthen existing partnerships and develop new partnerships and alliances with the State/regional/national food industry, government, and academic institutions, while providing an appropriate balance of fundamental and applied research in program areas that are critical to the food processing industries in Arkansas, the region and the nation.

New production, processing, and packaging technologies are developed and/or promoted to enhance product quality and ensure safety throughout the food chain from production to consumption. Technology transfer efforts assist the food industry in developing value-added, high-quality products that are safe, appealing, and healthy. Appropriate technology transfer methods are used to communicate research findings, developing a nationally and internationally recognized industry outreach program.

Outcomes from research supported by this project will include: more reliable brewing quality indicators; a renewable, compostable food packaging material; Greenhouse gas (GHG) estimates; reduced energy use in rice milling; improved nutritional contributions to diet from rice products; improved rice drying efficiency; identification of microorganisms metabolizing anthocyanins; better nutrition; more food safety-savvy employees; demonstrated efficacy of electrostatic sprayer to enhance beef safety; and better, more affordable, access to phytochemicals in one's diet.

More information
The Institute of Food Science and Engineering (IFSE) provides a mechanism for the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture to utilize its multidisciplinary research expertise to offer an integrated approach to developing and disseminating scientific information associated with production, value-added processing, safety, nutritional value, packaging, storage and distribution of food products. Current research efforts are aimed at enhancing production and processing techniques, assuring food safety, utilizing by-products of food processing, improving the sensory and nutritional quality of food and meeting the nutritional requirements and food preferences of a changing society. Outreach activities of the Institute include Extension programming and courses and workshops that provide technology transfer to U of A students, entrepreneurs, and food industry personnel. The IFSE provides excellence in fundamental and applied research, having successfully partnered with regional, national and international companies, and that will continue to provide multi-disciplinary value-added research to benefit its stakeholder groups. Affiliated scientists have successfully partnered with 165 different food industry companies in 34 states and 8 foreign countries. The Rice Processing Program has partnered with 36 national and international companies, including the largest names in rice production, processing, and utilization, in multidisciplinary research work designed to enhance the growth and profitability of this vital industry. The University-patented complete systems approach to mechanized grape production have been commercialized and operate in several states. Complete sensory programs in descriptive, discriminative and affective analysis are available for the benefit of our scientists and the food industry. Other programs involve pickled vegetables, food microbiology, lipids and oils, carbohydrate chemistry; functional foods, human nutrition. and thermal processing. Outcomes from research supported by this project will include: more reliable brewing quality indicators; a renewable, compostable food packaging material; Greenhouse gas (GHG) estimates; reduced energy use in rice milling; improved nutritional contributions to diet from rice products; improved rice drying efficiency; identification of microorganisms metabolizing anthocyanins; better nutrition; more food safety-savvy employees; demonstrated efficacy of electrostatic sprayer to enhance beef safety; and better, more affordable, access to phytochemicals in one's diet.

Approach: The Institute's three interrelated Centers, the Center for Food Processing and Engineering, the Center for Food Safety, and the Center for Human Nutrition and Functional Foods, soften disciplinary lines in order to facilitate cooperation and team building among research and extension faculty. An integrated, well-equipped infrastructure enhances the ability of affiliated scientists to provide research assistance to industry. Interdisciplinary teams of scientists conduct research working in partnership with industry. Forming research partnerships with local, regional, national, and international food companies insures that IFSE-affiliated scientists are addressing research problems responsive to industry needs. Pilot plant facilities support laboratory scale processing runs and new product development. The professionally-trained Descriptive Sensory Panel provides its services for researchers and external companies. Technical assistance is provided for all stakeholder groups. Technology transfer efforts support processing and value-added products, food safety and functional foods. Efforts supported by this project include the following. Pairs of barley and malt samples of different barley varieties from different growing locations will be collected and analyzed for their chemical compositions. The feasibility of using selected fruit and vegetable byproducts to produce lactic acid will be demonstrated. A high level comparative life cycle assessment (LCA) of the Organic and Conventional Poultry production supply chain will be conducted, focused on defining both embodied energy and greenhouse gas emissions. The energy required, and resultant nutritional and sensory effects, of milling parboiled and non-parboiled long-grain rice to different milling levels will be characterized. A new approach to drying rice, using elevated temperatures and relative humidities will be utilized to dry rice from a harvest moisture content (MC) to desired storage MCs in a single pass. The effects of processing and storage treatments on the retention of blackberry polyphenolics in processed products will be determined. A novel electrostatic spray technology will be used to decontaminate beef at the primal level and consequently enhance beef product safety. An LCA to establish a current or "baseline" carbon footprint for processing rice in the Arkansas Delta will be defined using existing processing procedures. Videos and other training media to provide food safety training to members of the food processing industry will be disseminated.

Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
View this project
Project number
ARK02274
Accession number
221542
Categories
Education and Training
Packaging Residues
Parasites
Natural Toxins
Viruses and Prions
Bacterial Pathogens
Chemical Contaminants
Food Defense and Integrity
Commodities
Produce