USDA Scientists Honored for Moving Research to
Market By Ben
April 10, 1997
WASHINGTON, April 10--Four teams of
Agricultural Research Service (ARS)
scientists will receive honors April 15 from the Federal Laboratory Consortium
for their work in transferring technology to the marketplace. ARS is the chief
research agency of the U.S. Department of
The consortium will honor the ARS teams for work that led to
commercial development of an oil-water-starch combination with a variety of
potential uses, prevention of millions of tons of soil being lost to erosion in
furrow-irrigated farm fields, and reduction of the growth of harmful bacteria
The ARS scientists will receive the consortium's Award for
Excellence in Technology Transfer at the FLC annual meeting April 14-17 in East
Brunswick, N.J. Overall, FLC will recognize the technology transfer
achievements of 30 teams and individuals.
The ARS winners include chemists Kenneth Eskins and George F.
Fanta, who invented the oil-water-starch combo Fantesk and helped transfer the
technology to the private sector through five Cooperative Research and
Development Agreements (CRADAs).
Based at the ARS National Center
for Agricultural Utilization Research at Peoria, Ill., Fanta and Eskins
initially developed Fantesk as a completely digestible fat replacement for use
in a broad range of foods. The mixture is also being used or has potential in
products ranging from seed coatings, non-toxic adhesives and oil drilling mud
additives to bases for cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.
Exclusive licensees for various applications of Fantesk include
Opta Food Ingredients of Bedford, Mass.; Union Camp Corp. of Savannah, Ga.; and
Seedbiotics of Caldwell, Idaho.
Soil scientists Robert E. Sojka and Rodrick D. Lentz from the
ARS Northwest Irrigation and Soils
Research Laboratory at Kimberly, Idaho, will be honored by the consortium
for their work on a method to virtually halt soil erosion caused by furrow
irrigation. Sojka and Lentz showed that by adding polyacrylamide (PAM) to
irrigation water at a rate of 10 parts per million--about 1 pound of PAM per
acre--field sediment losses to erosion could be cut by 95 percent.
Sojka and Lentz worked with CRADA partner Cytec Industries, a
business unit of American Cyanamid of Princeton, N.J., to obtain product
registration for PAM as an agricultural amendment from various state regulatory
bodies. In 1995, the first year of PAM's commercialization, farmers used the
product on 50,000 acres, saving an estimated one million tons of soil.
The consortium also will honor microbiologists Norman J. Stern,
J. Stanley Bailey, Nelson A. Cox and Leroy C. Blankenship at the
Microbiological Safety Research Unit of the ARS Richard B. Russell
Agricultural Research Center, in Athens, Ga. The researchers worked with CRADA
partner Continental Grain Co. of Chicago, Ill., to develop a USDA-patented
process for reducing microbial contamination of chicken.
The process, called mucosal competitive exclusion (MCE), involves
giving day-old chicks a mixture of intestinal microorganisms from disease-free
adult chickens. After treatment, the chicks have much fewer bacteria such as
Salmonella and Campylobacter in their intestines.
Continental Grain is conducting commercial trials on MCE, and is
seeking U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for marketing this
product to the broiler industry. Commercialization and use of the product could
help reduce the multi-million dollar impact of human illnesses caused by
The fourth team to be honored are ARS microbiologist David J.
Nisbet, veterinary medical officer Donald E. Corrier and chemist John R.
DeLoach for developing and transferring to industry another competitive
exclusion technology to improve food safety. This team of scientists focused
their work--at the Food and Feed Safety
Research Unit of ARS' Food Animal Protection Research Laboratory in College
Station, Texas--on Salmonella as well as Escherichia coli. They
developed and patented a defined culture of 29 bacterial isolates used to treat
and protect newly hatched chicks against intestinal invasion by against harmful
CRADA partner and invention licensee Milk Specialties Company of
Dundee, Ill., used scientific data from the College Station researchers to
obtain expedited review status from FDA to speed approval of the product,
called CF3, for use by the poultry industry.
Success of the CF3 culture has spawned another CRADA between the
College Station researchers and Milk Specialties. The new project is aimed at
developing technology to reduce Salmonella and E. coli 0157:H7
colonization in the gastrointestinal system of swine and cattle.
Scientific contacts: Kenneth Eskins, ARS National Center
for Agricultural Utilization Research, Peoria, Ill., phone (309) 681-6551,
Robert E. Sojka, ARS Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research Laboratory,
Kimberly, Idaho, phone (208) 423-6562, e-mail
Norman J. Stern, ARS Richard B. Russell Agricultural Research Center, Athens,
Ga., phone (706) 546-3516, e-mail email@example.com ; David J.
Nisbet, ARS Food Animal Protection Research Laboratory, College Station, Texas,
phone (409) 260-9368, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; Richard M. Parry,
ARS Office of Technology Transfer, USDA, Washington, D.C., phone (202)
720-3973, e-mail email@example.com.