FST in the Community

Community members tour the research winery during Food Science and Technology's Centennial Celebration

OSU Smoke Exposure Team Provides Critical Assistance to Oregon Wine Industry

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.

Members of the OWRI Smoke Exposure Team, (pictured left) were recognized as "Stay at Home Heroes" by the College of Agricultural Sciences.

The team's 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.

New Food Science and Technology Newsletter - Fall 2020 Edition

Alumni, Stakeholders, and Friends

Welcome to our September 2020 newsletter, the first in our new series of bi-annual online publications. We invite you to discover what we are up to in the Department of Food Science and Technology.

Our next newsletter will be available in December 2020, and thereafter twice a year in June and December.


FST Responds to Covid-19 Crisis

Unsung Hero Robin Frojen, OSU Creamery Manager, Department of Food Science and Technology


FST Research Faculty Answer the Call for Help

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) donated by research faculty at OSU, Department of Food Science and Technology, to area medical facilities facing critical PPE shortages in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Story courtesy of Life at OSU, Unsung Heroes

As the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Robin Frojen, whose day job involves working with delicious cheeses at the OSU Creamery, was well positioned to assist some of Corvallis’ most vulnerable residents.

In early July 2019, a group of 23 homeless campers moved onto property owned by the First Congregational United Church of Christ, which Frojen attends. The campers had been expelled from another camp site and needed a place to stay. The church community came together and decided to support rather than expel them, but that put them at odds with neighbors living near the church.

Frojen found herself drawn to help the campers, and used her leadership skills to assist the camp manager, conduct weekly resident meetings, and help mediate conflict both within the camp and with outside groups.

“We are creating a transitional housing place of safety and support,” Frojen said. “I have done some help for the homeless like passing out holiday meals or clothes, but until this group showed up on our church property, I had no idea this is where I’m supposed to be.”

Frojen is inspired in her work by church pastor Jen Butler, who in response to neighborhood opposition placed a banner on the side of the church reading “How can we worship a homeless man on Sunday and ignore him on Monday?”

“That was pretty much it for me, I was in it to win it,” Frojen said.

But then things changed when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. It quickly moved beyond providing basic support for the campers at the church. Frojen became involved more broadly with homeless protection and support across the city. Because the men’s shelter was closed due to fear of the virus spreading in close quarters, more camps have sprung up at various locations. That led construction companies to donate labor to build microshelters. Frojen and others are identifying the most medically fragile homeless campers and are placing them in isolated shelters to help protect them from the virus as much as possible.

Read the rest of Robin's story...

Hello from the world of remote teaching at Food Science and Technology

A look at a creative approach to the remote instruction of FST 599 - Food Preservation

With remote teaching the new normal for the time being, Associate Professor Dr. Joy Waite-Cusic shares fun photos and insights from the first two weeks of her FST 599 Food Preservation course.