@ Food Science and Technology

OSU doctoral student Keisha Harrison holding a kombucha SCOBY

OSU Researchers Begin to Unravel the Mysteries of Kombucha Fermentation

July 15, 2021 | KTVZ news sources

Oregon State University scientists are beginning to unravel the key microorganisms that contribute to the fermentation of kombucha, research that is already aiding large-scale kombucha producers in the fast-growing industry.

Kombucha is a fermented tea drink that has been homebrewed around the world for centuries, but in recent years has become widely popular with a global market size expected to grow from $1.3 billion in 2019 to $8.1 billion by 2027, according to an industry report. Several large producers, including Humm and Brew Dr., are based in Oregon.

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Food for People Who Can't Swallow Is the Ultimate Culinary Challenge

Bloomberg Businessweek | July 12, 2021
Maureen O'Hagan

What do you get when a dentist, a chef, and people with dysphagia walk into a lab? Savorease, a self-dissolving cracker that may help millions of people enjoy solid food again.

Excerpts from story...

For the more than 10 million American adults who have trouble swallowing, the average 28,000-product supermarket might as well be a barren wasteland. The typical store stocks just three product lines geared specifically for people with dysphagia, as their condition is known, and they’re all ultrasweet liquid meal replacements: Ensure, Boost, and a generic equivalent.

Menu options remain extremely limited. Other specialty products marketed online to people with dysphagia typically share the same goopy sweetness (ice cream, pudding) or are purées sold in the form of frozen puck-size disks—a puck of turkey, a puck of green beans.

In 2015, Barewal began experimenting in her kitchen with possible alternatives to sugary shakes and puréed pucks. Toward the end of 2016, Barewal approached the Food Innovation Center, a kitchen, lab, and consumer testing site funded by Oregon State University that companies large and small hire to help them develop products.

Chef Jason Ball, the center’s product developer, had worked in fine dining in New York, Chicago, and London. At the Oregon lab, he’s developed fish jerky and kelp pickles; keto pasta and vegan “meats”; niche ice cream flavors and spoonable smoothies.

Barewal’s idea posed a tougher challenge than your typical kelp pickle. She wanted a snack with some crunch to give a person with dysphagia the chance to take a gentle bite. It had to melt in the mouth to prevent choking. It had to be nutritious, incorporating protein, fiber, and vegetables instead of synthetic vitamins and gobs of sweetener.

Meeting these goals, Ball says, was as much about recipe development as it was about food science. He began with a curious ingredient called aquafaba. For most of us, aquafaba is just a fancy name for the liquid you drain from a can of beans. But not that long ago, chefs began valuing the mucilaginous bath for a certain property that’s unusual in plant-based ingredients: You can whip it up to create a foam.

Of course, you need more than whipped bean water to make a cracker. Ball had to figure out how to turn the foam into a crispy snack that could be manufactured at scale. Plus, Barewal wanted to add protein and flavor. Added ingredients can weigh down the foam, turning it into more of a puddle. Ball would have to solve that problem, too.

With other products, Ball and his colleagues hit on the right formulation after a few dozen tries. To create Dr. Reva’s Savorease, he says, “we must have gone through hundreds.” They landed on the basic recipe in 2018 and settled on the present formula a year later.

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Barewal says the science behind Savorease could be used to make tortilla chips, popcorn, or cinnamon toast. Photographer: Holly Andres for Bloomberg Businessweek

 

Nondairy aquafaba is a key Savorease ingredient. Photographer: Holly Andres for Bloomberg Businessweek

 

Making Savorease en masse. Photographer: Holly Andres for Bloomberg Businessweek

 

So far, Savorease comes in carrot, chicken vegetable, and snap pea flavors, with accompanying easy-to-swallow dips. Photographer: Holly Andres for Bloomberg Businessweek

Dairy processors that focus on sustainability are in a position to reduce activity at wastewater treatment facilities.

Photo courtesy of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy

Sustainability Enters the Dairy Supply Chain Spotlight

Dairy Foods | July 8, 2021 | Richard Mitchell

Taking steps to manage sustainability along the supply chain makes good business sense for dairy processors. Indeed, 2018 research by The Nielsen Co. LLC, New York, reveals that 81% of global consumers and 69% of those in the United States say that it’s very important or extremely important that companies implement programs to help the environment.

“Consumers are exerting pressure on dairy companies to embrace sustainability in their values, product offerings, and practices,” says Sheri Cole, assistant professor of practice — dairy extension and sustainable food manufacturing at Oregon State University in Corvallis. “Those who do this authentically and well gain revenue growth and consumer loyalty.” She notes that there is a “clear linkage between an improved environmental footprint and financial performance. Waste in energy, water management, in-process materials or end-of-lifecycle product management costs money.”

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OSU to Build New $20 Million Dairy Processing Facility

Sierra Dawn McClain | Capital Press | June 8, 2021

Oregon State University announced Tuesday it will build a new $20 million dairy processing facility using private investments, state bonds and university funding.

The new, 3,000-square-foot dairy plant — three times the size of OSU’s existing facilities — will be used as a research laboratory and hands-on classroom for students and faculty, an educational space for the community, an incubator for dairy startups, a space where creameries statewide can test new products and a retail shop selling products such as ice cream made on site.

“I’m thrilled. It’s truly a dream come true,” said Lisbeth Goddik, head of OSU’s Department of Food Science and Technology. “We’ve wanted to provide the very best educational opportunities for our students, and this will allow us to do that. I think it’ll also have a really broad impact on our industry, because it’ll make it faster and cheaper to develop new products.”

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Beaver Classic Brand Expands

We introduce the next chapter in the Beaver Classic story with a new online store featuring cheese, meat and honey developed by students as part of their experiential learning.

The future of Beaver Classic is exciting and will include other products such as produce, nursery plants and beer. We will also have the opportunity to integrate agribusiness students to run the operations and marketing.

It is a truly powerful student-led program with immense opportunity and potential! Learn more...

Online Store

FST Dairy Processing Plant and Food Innovation Center part of $1.58M grant to support diversity and sustainability in agriculture


Oregon agriculture is a $50 billion industry and nearly 14% of Oregonians rely on agriculture for their livelihoods. As a leading economic engine for the state, with communities in every county dependent on agricultural products, the donation of $1.58 million from Northwest Farm Credit Services aims to enhance existing programs in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Oregon State University that can have immediate impact on the diversity, innovation and sustainability of the industry.

(Read more...)

Dairy Processing Plant

The College of Agricultural Sciences is home to a major research hub for dairy in the nation, helping to drive innovation that has led to Oregon’s global reputation for high quality dairy products.

A portion of this investment will support the development of a new pilot plant that will be utilized for teaching OSU dairy processing courses, teaching extension courses to dairy industry professionals, serving as a business incubator for dairy entrepreneurs, providing an exceptional facility for research, and as a home for the commercial production of Beaver Classic cheeses by OSU students.

Food Innovation Center

The Food Innovation Center (FIC) in Portland was the nation’s first urban agricultural experiment station. The FIC is a resource for entrepreneurs and business development through client-based product and process development, packaging engineering and shelf-life studies, food safety and consumer sensory testing.

A portion of this investment will support continued advancement of innovation in food, markets and access.

A quick and fun guide to beer by FST Professor Tom Shellhammer, aka "The Hop Guy"

Stay at Home Heroes - The OWRI Smoke Exposure Team:

Michael Qian, James Osborne, Elizabeth Tomasino, Patty Skinkis, and Alec Levin

OWRI Smoke Exposure Team: Clockwise upper left to bottow left: Michael Qian, James Osborne, Elizabeth Tomasino, Patty Skinkis, and Alec Levin

OWRI Smoke Exposure Team (clockwise, upper left to bottom left): Michael Qian, James Osborne, Elizabeth Tomasino, Patty Skinkis, and Alec Levin

The College of Agricultural Sciences represents a talented, multidisciplinary group of professionals across the entire state of Oregon. During these unpredictable and challenging times, our people continually demonstrate their tenacity, innovation and commitment to our students, our research, and our communities. In recognition of those efforts, we’ve launched the “Stay at Home Hero” award that will honor an individual every week who continually goes above and beyond in serving that commitment.

This week’s Stay at Home Hero consists of another team of dedicated faculty: The OWRI Smoke Exposure Team, including: Michael Qian, James Osborne, Elizabeth Tomasino, Patty Skinkis, and Alec Levin.

Their enormous efforts to help Oregon’s grape and wine industry following the recent wildfires has been truly heroic. While any actual impact of the smoke exposure is still unknown, the smoke exposure team members have provided critical guidance to growers and wine makers alike.

The two flavor chemists, Michael Qian and Elizabeth Tomasino, immediately halted their research projects and converted their labs to provide industry support by analyzing samples of smoke exposure. They installed new columns, calibrated GCMS units, optimized methods to cut sample analysis time, and developed logistics to receive, measure, analyze, and report results for hundreds of samples.

In addition to industry service work, the entire Smoke Exposure Team collaborated on research that within days went from concept to reality to determine state-wide exposure to smoke. The OWRI Smoke Exposure Team has worked very long hours, 7 days a week, since the fires started. They demonstrate an unmatched dedication to supporting Oregon’s grape and wine industry.

Thank you, OWRI Smoke Exposure Team!

Visit the OWRI website for more updates on the team’s efforts.

OSU researchers studying impact wildfire smoke had on this year's grape harvest

Amber Wilmarth | KPTV | October 20, 2020
 

Food Science and Technology Newsletters

Alumni, Stakeholders, and Friends

Welcome to the online FST newsletter directory.

We invite you to check out our newsletters and discover what's happening in the Department of Food Science and Technology.

Beginning in June 2021, the FST newsletter will be published quarterly.

For more information about the department please contact Dr. Lisbeth Goddik, Department Head.

If you would like to be added to our newsletter email distribution list please contact Debby Yacas.