Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: December 16, 2002
Publication Date: December 16, 2002
Citation: SAHA, B.C. PRESENT AND FUTURE OF FERMENTATION BIOTECHNOLOGY RESEARCH AT USDA-ARS. SECOND INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON FRONTIERS OF MICROBIAL TECHNOLOGY: ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY FOR THE EARTH AND HUMAN. 2002. PAPER NO. 4. Technical Abstract: The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has undertaken a wide variety of research projects dealing with the development of bio-based food and non-food products from waste and underutilized agricultural residues and processes for their utilization. The National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research (NCAUR), originally known as the Northern Regional Laboratory, is the largest of four USDA-ARS agricultural utilization centers and a world-class bioscience research and development facility. Its mission is to invent new uses for agricultural commodities in industrial and food products, develop new technologies to improve environmental quality, and provide technical support to federal regulatory and action agencies. Eight research units consisting of multi-disciplinary teams of scientists perform research in three broad themes: Metabolic Engineering and Fermentation, Food Safety and Environmental Quality, and Biomaterials and Processing Technology. The Fermentation Biotechnology Research Unit (FBT) conducts research to develop bioprocesses for conversion of renewable agricultural resources into biofuels, chemicals, enzymes, biodegradable plastic components, low calorie sweeteners and polysaccharides, and to improve animal production systems. It has cooperative research and development agreements (CRADA) with a number of U.S. companies that allow the scientists to work together with industry to further take the laboratory research to commercialization stage using in-house pilot plant facility via technology transfer. The FBT scientists are also involved with the Biotechnology Research and Development Corporation (BRDC), a research and development consortium dedicated to identifying promising technologies and providing funding and corporate partners necessary to take them to the market place by fostering private sector/federal laboratory/academic cooperative research. In addition, FBT has specific cooperative agreements (SCA) with a number of institutions to expand its research and development activities. The presentation will focus on each FBT project, research priorities, future directions, and research findings with their impact on U.S. agriculture.