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Collaboration opportunities with Purdue University.

Food science graduates won't be the only product coming out of the new food science complex at Purdue University. The $28 million facility, dedicated this fall, offers opportunities for food companies that want to augment their internal research and development efforts with expanded sponsored research projects.

The building will provide university scientists with expanded research facilities, including new equipment. This will allow them to work directly with companies to develop new food technologies. Because cost-cutting has significantly reduced corporate research funding, aligning with Purdue or other universities offers companies a business advantage. Such a partnership allows businesses to undertake cooperative research at less cost than doing it alone and starting from scratch.

Industrial partners will have the advantage of working with a team of internationally-known Purdue professors. They will have access to extensive resources as well. Purdue's Department of Food Science is know for its aseptic processing, carbohydrate research and computer-integrated food manufacturing research. The department has contact with more than 100 companies annually and has interactive relationships with more than 30 core companies.

The scientists tell us that research into aseptic processing in the school's pilot lab will be a significant new thrust, thanks in part to a major equipment gift from Gerber Products Co. The equipment includes new analytical systems. Additionally, the department plans a faster response to industry needs. The new pilot laboratory will allow industry to test new methods or processes without encountering significant initial start-up delays or costs.

Operating as a small production area, the pilot laboratory allows students and manufacturers to see how a process functions before putting it into production. Specific capabilities include aseptic and thermal processing of liquid and particulate foods, equipment design and development, destructive and nondestructive package integrity testing, sensor evaluation and application, and process design and improvement. In addition, the lab can evaluate the shelf life and sensory characteristics of products.

Further information. Philip Nelson, Department of Food Science, Smith Hall, W. Lafayette, IN 47907; phone: 765-494-8256; fax: 765-494-7953; email:
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Publication:Emerging Food R&D Report
Date:Jan 1, 1999
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