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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Units (full names)
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MPM - Mycotoxin Prevention and Applied Microbiology Research

Scientists in the Mycotoxin Prevention and Applied Microbiology Research (MPM) perform research needed to enhance food safety and crop production in the U.S. and around the world. They conduct fundamental and applied research in genetics, microbiology, chemistry and plant biology to develop new microbial identification methods, mycotoxin control strategies, and toxin detection and analyses technologies. 

The impact of this research is recognizable through the development of novel approaches to limit mycotoxin contamination, control foodborne diseases, and improve crop production.

BER - Bioenergy Research

Scientists in the Bioenergy Research Unit (BER) develop bioproducts and bioprocesses to convert  agricultural commodities, bioenergy crops, commercial byproducts, and crop residues into biofuels and chemicals, enzymes, and polymers and to improve animal production systems. Researchers in this unit adapt tools from a variety of research fields, including microbial, biochemical, genetic, and engineering research to address the need for increased use of agricultural crops as feedstocks for biofuels. 

The impact of NCAUR Bioenergy research is recognizable in expanded biofuel feedstocks, development of model biocatalysts for the production of new products from agricultural commodities, added value to agricultural wastes, and improved animal production systems.

BOR - Bio-oils Research

Scientists in the Bio-oils Research Unit (BOR) develop new commodity plant oils and commercially viable industrial bio-based products from new and existing vegetable oils that are technically and economically competitive with or superior to comparable existing commercial petroleum-derived materials.  Researchers in this unit use various chemical, chemical engineering, and environmentally friendly extraction processes to modify the chemical properties of vegetable oils and fatty acids obtained from traditional and new crops. 

The impact of NCAUR Bio-oils research is recognizable in modified materials that are useful as additives, lubricants, major components of fuels and other industrial materials, and as new products.

CBP - Crop Bioprotection Research

Scientists in the Crop Bioprotection Research Unit (CBP) identify, develop, and evaluate biological materials, methods and processes to protect crops and other resources from insects, diseases and weeds. Researchers in this unit adapt tools from a variety of research fields, including entomology, plant pathology, microbiology, molecular biology, organic and physical chemistry to discover and develop environmentally friendly approaches for enhancing plant health.

The impact of NCAUR Crop Bioprotection research is recognizable in the identification of fundamental bioactivities naturally conducted by microbes, insects, and plants and in the design of new biological methods, processes, and products.

FFR - Functional Food Research

Scientists in the Functional Foods Research Unit (FFR) develop bioactive food ingredients and new processing technologies that provide health benefits beyond basic nutrition. Researchers in this unit use chemical, physical, and enzymatic modifications of food plants and unique processing methods to enhance the performance of agricultural materials.

The impact of this program is recognizable in development of new food applications of dietary fibers and nutraceuticals from cereal grains, new lipid-based foods from new oilseed varieties, and new technologies to solve problems in the use of edible vegetable oils.

PPL - Plant Polymer Research

Scientists in the Plant Polymer Research Unit (PPL) develop new, cost, and performance competitive bio-based products from agricultural commodities.   Researchers in this unit use chemical, physical, biological, and molecular modeling techniques to provide a fundamental understanding of how processing variables affect properties of renewable (such as starch and proteins) materials.   

The impact of NCAUR Plant Polymer research is recognizable in specific applications for bioproducts, including water-resistant starch-based foams, starch and protein based biodegradable films, solvent protein durable fibers, biodegradable composites for plastics applications, adhesives, emulsifiers and absorbent materials.

RPT - Renewable Product Technologies

Scientists in the Renewable Products Technology Research Unit (RPT) develop new technologies for converting renewable agricultural materials into high value chemicals, enzymes, and polymers. Researchers in this unit use a variety of chemical, microbial, biochemical, and genetic approaches to address the need for new sustainable and environmentally acceptable value-added products.  RPT research benefits customers by providing a pipeline of new materials for evaluation in a wide-variety of consumer, food, and industrial applications. 

The impact of NCAUR Renewable Products Technology research is recognizable in the discovery of new technologies for producing a variety of bio-products including new carbohydrates, polysaccharides, enzymes, fuels, and chemicals.


Last Modified: 12/20/2016
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