The goal of ARS National Program 306 (NP 306), Quality and Utilization of Agricultural Products, is to enhance the economic viability and competitiveness of U.S. agriculture by maintaining the quality of harvested agricultural commodities or otherwise enhancing their marketability, meeting consumer needs, developing environmentally friendly and efficient processing concepts, and expanding domestic and global market opportunities through the development of value-added food and nonfood products and processes. A more detailed description of the Program can be found in the Program Summary on the NP 306 website. The purpose of this document is to outline the problems to be addressed under this Program and the research proposed to address these problems.
This action plan reflects input from ARS customers, stakeholders, and cooperators obtained through ARS-sponsored workshops held in May, November, and December of 1999, and from other communications. Workshop participants included representatives from commodity and trade organizations, food and chemical manufacturers, universities, and public interest groups, as well as ARS scientists and administrators. There was general agreement among participants that the scope of research under NP 306 reflects the appropriate use of federal resources to address problems concerning the quality, functionality, and utilization of agricultural products on a domestic and international scale not adequately addressed elsewhere. ARS scientists will partner with industry cooperators to scale up and test promising technologies for potential commercialization.
NP 306 is comprised of two components: (1) Quality Characterization, Preservation, and Enhancement and (2) New Processes, New Uses, and Value-Added Foods and Biobased Products. These components separately address research issues related to the quality and utilization of agricultural products. They are not mutually exclusive, and research efforts under one component often complement and contribute to the other. Many research problems under NP 306 require a multi-disciplinary approach involving collaboration and coordination of efforts from several ARS locations. The 'virtual laboratory' concept where several locations can work on aspects of a research problem will facilitate the process when critical resources are not co-located. Because this National Program encompasses research on a multitude of commodities and products, and in order to afford readers of this document a quick index for finding areas of interest, the descriptions of research are grouped by commodity categories under problems areas within the components. These categories are: (1) fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and sugar crops; (2) animal products; (3) cereals, oilseeds, and novel crops; and (4) agricultural fibers.
Many ARS projects are associated with more than one National Program due to objectives that are sufficiently broad as to encompass more than one area and because the National Programs overlap to some extent to cover broad problems and concerns relating to U.S. agriculture. Some of these linkages are described in the Program Summary.
Individual research projects associated with this National Program are listed at the end of the action plan. These projects may address more than one component and more than one problem area but are categorized under the component reflecting the primary thrust of the project.
Provide knowledge and innovative technologies that lead to new and expanded market opportunities for United States agriculture
To enhance the economic viability and competitiveness of U.S. agriculture by maintaining the quality of harvested agricultural commodities or otherwise enhancing their marketability, meeting consumer needs, developing environmentally friendly and efficient processing concepts, and expanding domestic and global market opportunities through the development of value-added food and nonfood products and processes.
- Quality Characterization, Preservation, and Enhancement
- New Processes, New Uses, and Value-Added Foods and Biobased Products