story to find out more.
In a modern pilot
plant at the ARS research center in Wyndmoor, Pa., food technologist Charles
Onwulata works on development of processed foods and creation of unique
biopolymers with production-scale extruders and an injection molding machine.
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Creating New Foods and More from Agricultural
Products By Jim
Core March 10, 2005
Developing much-needed products from underutilized agricultural
materials such as cheese whey is the goal of a new center opened recently by
the Agricultural Research Service (ARS).
The Center of Excellence
in Extrusion and Polymer Rheology (CEEPR) has begun operations at the ARS
Regional Research Center in Wyndmoor, Pa. Scientists at the center will
focus on creating new foods, food ingredients and biodegradable products that
have nonfood, industrial or pharmaceutical applications.
Current research projects cover a wide range of products, including
snack foods, cheeses, pet foods and meat substitutes.
CEEPR researchers work in a modern pilot plant where new products can
be developed from concept to prototype and eventually to full market production
through technology transfer collaborations. For example, they develop processed
foods and create unique biopolymers with production-scale extruders, and have
purchased an injection molding machine to explore new applications for
underutilized agricultural materials.
Extrusion is the process of converting raw materials into new forms,
and forcing the reformed materials through a restricted opening to create new
The food industry uses special instrumentation to determine what's
called a product's rheology--mainly how it is formed, and how it flows once it
is melted. This is important in producing products ranging from gels to aged
cheddar cheese, according to
Onwulata, a food technologist and the CEEPR coordinator. Food processors
must know a product's rheological properties to maintain uniform textures in
extruded and molded products.
CEEPR is forming partnerships with industry, other research agencies
and universities, and is collaborating with other research units throughout ARS
to create new products from materials such as casein milk protein and citrus
and apple pectins.
about this research in the March 2005 issue of Agricultural Research magazine.
ARS is the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.