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Patent certificate
Patent, issued 50 years ago this month, for a method of dehydrating potatoes—one of the ERRC-developed technologies recognized by the American Chemical Society.

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ERRC Research Honored as ACS National Historic Chemical Landmark

By Laura McGinnis
April 18, 2007

WYNDMOOR, Pa., April 18—Technology developed over more than half a century of research by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Eastern Regional Research Center (ERRC) here was recognized today as a National Historic Chemical Landmark for development of key technologies over more than half a century of research.

The landmark status was conferred by the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world's largest scientific society. In 1992, ACS founded the Landmarks Program to recognize important milestones in the field of chemistry research. ERRC is part of the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), USDA's chief intramural scientific research agency.

A ceremony at the ERRC today commemorated the landmark designation and celebrated the center's scientific contributions leading to the development of novel dehydration techniques, such as the potato flake and explosion puffing processes.

"This is a gratifying and well-deserved honor for the ERRC scientists who have contributed to many significant research findings here since ERRC was established in the early 1940s," said Gale Buchanan, USDA Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics.

These discoveries and the technologies arising from them have made possible convenience foods such as instant mashed potatoes and crispy potato snacks, products that are familiar to consumers worldwide. These ERRC achievements in food chemistry have improved the overall value of the U.S. potato crop and expanded the utilization of numerous other agricultural commodities.

The ceremony included a dedication of the modernized chemical/microbiological food safety wing and a tribute to the center's ongoing scientific achievements. Guided tours were also conducted.

"We appreciate this wonderful opportunity to showcase how our scientists' research has benefited the public," said Center Director John Cherry. "We've been fortunate to have many talented researchers working here since the center opened, and their impact—both technologically and economically—has been tremendous."