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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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McHugh, Tara
Research Leader
(510) 559-5864
Albany CA 94710

The mission of the Healthy Processed Foods Research Unit is to enhance the healthfulness and marketability of foods, with emphasis on specialty crops such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes, by developing new sustainable technologies to add value to these crops and their co-products. Applications of new technologies to improve the safety of specialty crops are also under investigation. Environmentally friendly technologies that reduce energy consumption and water use are emphasized. Extensive knowledge of the chemicals naturally present in foods and effects that processing has on them, enables the unit to tap into the potential of nature and develop novel, healthy foods. The unit also studies allergens and sorting technologies to improve food quality. Both fundamental and applied multidisciplinary approaches are used to solve problems and develop new products that benefit the consumer, producer, economy and environment. The unit consists of four CRIS projects all coded to NP306. CRIS 2030-41000-064-00 New Sustainable Processing Technologies to Produce Healthy, Value-Added Foods from Specialty Crops, CRIS 2030-41440-007-00 Adding Value to Plant-Based Waste Materials Through Development of Novel, Healthy Ingredients and Functional Foods, CRIS 2030-41430-001-00 Defining, Measuring, and Mitigating Attributes That Adversely Impact the Quality and Marketability of Foods and CRIS 2030-41430-012-00 Improved Utilization of Ag. Products Through Identification of Nitrogen-Containing Bioactive Components Important to Quality & Human Health.

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