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The Food Processing Center. Rolando A. Flores, Ph.D. Director Integration of Services to Support the Food Industry. Science, technology, teaching, outreach and research support Department of Food Science and Technology Delivery of services to the food industry

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the food processing center
The Food Processing Center

Rolando A. Flores, Ph.D. Director

integration of services to support the food industry
Integration of Services toSupport the Food Industry
  • Science, technology, teaching, outreach and research support
    • Department of Food Science and Technology
  • Delivery of services to the food industry
    • The Food Processing Center
mission statement
Mission Statement

To advance the value-added food manufacturing industry by partnering on technical and business development from idea through ongoing market support.

  • Stimulate the development of new food processing industries in Nebraska.
  • Aid existing food manufacturers in becoming more efficient, productive and diverse.
  • Assist new, as well as existing food processing industries by offering educational programs for their management, staff and employees.

The Food Processing Center services:

Assistance with Funding Opportunities

Business Start-Up – Food Entrepreneur Assistance Program

Labor Force Development & Training

Business Development

Market Research

Laboratory & Testing Services

Process Development and Scale-up

Process Engineering

Dairy Processing

Product Development & Nutritional Labeling

Retail Services – Dairy Store

Economic Outreach

laboratory and testing services
Laboratory and Testing Services
  • Pathogen Testing
  • determine if foodborne pathogens are present in ingredients or finished products
  • mandated by government agencies such as the USDA
  • for company quality assurance requirements and validation of interventions
  • General Microbiology
  • total bacterial counts, total coliform counts, and total yeast/mold counts
  • profiles the overall microbiological load of an ingredient or finished product
  • done to maintain quality assurance standards
laboratory and testing services7
Laboratory and Testing Services
  • Environmental Testing
  • determine the microbiological cleanliness of a food processing environment which can directly affect the quality and safety of the finished product
  • determine where a pathogen may be surviving in a facility.
  • Mycotoxin Analysis
  • Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by molds that can be harmful to both animals and humans. Detection of significant levels of these is critical (and required) in certain commodities destined for feed animals or human consumption.
laboratory and testing services8
Laboratory and Testing Services
  • Microarray Laboratory - This facility provides a quality core service to the research community in UNL and the surrounding area. The Lab operates spotted platforms for both DNA and protein microarrays. The facility has all of the necessary instruments for complete array experiments, from array fabrication to primary data analysis. In addition to microarray capabilities, the facility also has substantial experience with high-throughput genotyping (e.g. PFGE, RFLP, AFLP, MLST, OBGS) and microbial identification using 16 or 23S rDNA technology.

Process Development and Scale Up

  • Process Development
  • new product development
  • processing conditions and controls refinement.
  • development of product and process specifications.
  • Scale-Up
  • process larger batches of products to determine equipment needs
  • prepare samples for meetings, trade shows, investor demonstrations
  • determine process and product feasibility, problems and concerns before full scale production
process development and scale up
Process Development and Scale Up
  • Ingredient Functionality and Substitution
  • assist existing companies in determining alternative sources of ingredients
  • assist ingredient companies and distributors in ingredient application and comparison
  • Process Research
  • Design experimental research and analyze commodity and specialty foods research projects with the goal of achieving high value breakthroughs.
outreach and workshops
Outreach and Workshops
  • Organic Food Processing
  • Better Process Control School
  • Exporting Food Products*
  • Molds and Mycotoxins in Foods
  • Ingredients and Ingredient Functionality
  • Applied Extrusion
  • Cheese Making/ Dairy Products
  • Spices*
  • Food Product Development*
  • Quality Assurance / Quality
  • Control*
  • Packaging Technologies*
  • Proteins in Foods*
  • Food Safety / Microbiology*
  • Dehydration of Food*
  • Jams & Jellies
  • Manufacturing*
  • Food Plant Sanitation*
  • HACCP for Food Processors*

* Workshop currently being developed

product development nutritional labeling
Product Development & Nutritional Labeling
  • Formulation, Concept and Prototype Development
  • assist entrepreneurial, new, and existing companies in developing new products or refining prototype formulations
  • develop product and process specifications
  • Line Extensions and Quality Improvements
  • help new and existing companies develop additional product lines, develop “new improved” versions of their products, often with increased health considerations and improved nutritional claims.
product development nutritional labeling13
Product Development & Nutritional Labeling
  • Labeling Assistance
  • assist new and existing companies by using Genesis® database program or providing analysis of products, then compiling data into nutritional facts panels and ingredient statements
  • provide additional information on general labeling requirements
  • Ingredient Functionality and Substitution
  • assist existing companies in determining alternative sources of ingredients
  • assist ingredient companies and distributors in ingredient application and comparison
economic outreach
Economic Outreach
  • New Food Business Recruitment
  • help communities and economic developers in Nebraska with recruiting new food businesses by conducting building evaluations for food processing plants and providing access to technical assistance.
  • Food Business Retention
  • helping communities and economic developers in Nebraska by providing technical assistance to existing food manufacturers and providing workshops and seminars for community events.
labor force development
Labor Force Development
  • Helping new and existing companies train their work force to meet their current and future operational and management labor needs
assistance in funding opportunities
Assistance in Funding Opportunities
  • Identifying Viable Grant Opportunities – Helping companies and individuals identify the appropriate federal and state grants to meet their needs and ascertain their eligibility
  • Grant Writing Assistance – Helping companies and individuals compile and write “winning” grant applications by interpreting RFPs (Request For Proposals), developing budgets and verifying matching requirements, and reviewing finalized application for completeness
market research
Market Research
  • Problem Definition – Help new and existing companies identify and define the research issues critical to their business goals and objectives
  • Survey Research – Design, administer and analyze survey research projects
  • Competitive Analyses – Help new and existing companies identify market opportunities and position their products most effectively by increasing their understanding of the competitive landscape
  • Trend Analyses – Help new and existing companies identify market opportunities by collecting, analyzing and disseminating social, regulatory, and food industry trends
business start up food entrepreneur assistance program
Business Start-UpFood Entrepreneur Assistance Program
  • From Recipe to Reality Seminar – One-day seminar designed to provide seminar attendees the opportunity to determine if starting a food processing business is what they want to do with their resources.
  • From Product to Profit – Confidential, individualized assistance through all the steps of starting a business and introducing a product(s). Helps food entrepreneurs commercialize their business concept into an operating enterprise.
  • Technical Services – product development, labeling assistance, contract manufacturer search, business issues, price structure, promotional tools
business development local foods initiatives
Business DevelopmentLocal Foods Initiatives
  • Market research
    • Initiative for Future Agricultural and Food Systems
      • Consumer awareness and interest in locally produced foods
      • Chefs’ interest and challenges in purchasing local foods
    • Federal State marketing Improvement grants
      • Local food system marketing and distribution models
  • Launching local food initiatives
    • Nebraska Food Cooperative (NFC)
    • Good, Fresh, Local: The Nebraska Sustainable Food Project (GFL)
business development local foods initiatives20
Business DevelopmentLocal Foods Initiatives
  • Creating new food producing enterprises
    • Food Entrepreneur Assistance Program
    • Value-added Producer grants (federal)
    • Value-added Agriculture grants (state)
      • Initiated joint application between GFL & Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society (NSAS)
      • Initiated joint application between NFC and BFBL
  • Promoting local food production and consumption
    • Advisory board of Buy Fresh, Buy Local campaign
unl dining services local foods initiatives
UNL Dining ServicesLocal Foods Initiatives
  • Good, Fresh, Local: The Nebraska Sustainable Food Project
    • Facilitated the development of the project by identifying growers, collaborating on promotional materials, and providing input on project goals
    • Led a USDA-funded trip for a group of dining services employees to Yale University to see an existing local foods program in action
    • Participated in farm tours for UNL Dining Services Staff
    • Facilitates relationship with the Nebraska Food Cooperative (NFC)
      • GFL is a member of NFC and purchases through NFC
      • UNL Dining Services and NFC have collaborated on catering events
    • Collaborates on project expansion
      • Additional Dining Halls
      • On-campus garden supplying hard-to-source products
      • Signature GFL product (granola)
thank you
Thank you