Submitted to: Bulletin for the History of Chemistry
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/27/2008
Publication Date: 9/1/2008
Citation: Cote, G.L., Finkenstadt, V.L. 2008. A history of carbohydrate research at the USDA laboratory in Peoria, Illinois. Bulletin for the History of Chemistry. 33(2):103-111.
Technical Abstract: Founded in 1939 as one of four Regional Research Laboratories, the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research (NCAUR) has gone by various labels over the years, including the Northern Regional Research Laboratory (NRRL) and the Northern Regional Research Center (NRRC). Although best known for its role in the development of penicillin, for which it was named an International Chemical Historic Landmark, NCAUR also has a long and distinguished history of significant contributions to the field of applied carbohydrate chemistry. Developments by carbohydrate researchers at NCAUR include dextran, leucrose, xanthan gum, phosphomannans, superabsorbent starch copolymers, key contributions to the production of high-fructose corn syrup, Trim technologies, Fantesk, and sucromalt, to name just a few. NCAUR carbohydrate scientists have been recipients of various awards for their work, including the Garvan medal, Wolfrom award, Isbell award, several R&D 100 awards, the Illinois Order of Lincoln award, and a number of USDA departmental awards. We will present a description of past accomplishments in the field of carbohydrate chemistry, and a brief overview of current activities, focusing on how and why Peoria, Illinois, became an international center for applied carbohydrate science.