Location: Dairy and Functional Foods ResearchTitle: Research at the Dairy and Functional Foods Research Unit
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/4/2014
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Dr. Peggy Tomasula is Research Leader of the Dairy and Functional Foods Research Unit (DFFRU), ARS, USDA, Wyndmoor, PA, a group that includes 11 Research Scientists, 4 of whom are Lead Scientists (LS), 13 support scientists, and 3 Retired Collaborators. The mission of the DFFRU is to solve critical problems in utilization of milk and of fruit and vegetable byproducts from specialty crops by developing high-quality, value-added, safe products that help improve human health and well-being, control chronic diseases, and address issues related to sustainable development and food security. She is also LS of a project on sustainability and will discuss reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the dairy supply chain through use of emerging technologies and computer simulation, use of edible films to utilize surpluses in dairy and other agricultural products and extensions of this work to create nanomaterials from milk components. Dr. Diane Van Hekken, LS, will discuss research on exploring the unique interactions between raw milk, processing, and quality traits of the final products. She has done extensive research on the manufacturing nuances and quality traits of Hispanic-style cheeses, the development of low sodium Queso Fresco, and the impact of various factors on the nutritional and health value of milk from organic and conventional dairies. Dr. Arland Hotchkiss, LS, will discuss research on functional food development through lactic acid microbial biotechnology and prebiotic/synbiotic bioactive food ingredients. He investigates novel prebiotics that also inhibit food-borne pathogen adhesion/invasion and play a role in the immunomodulation. Dr. LinShu Liu, LS, will discuss research on biodegradable and biocompatible devices for the controlled release of bioactives such as active proteins and probiotics for biomedical applications and novel delivery systems for controlled release of 1-methylcyclopropene from boron complexes for postharvest use or in open fields to inhibit ethylene production by plants. Research on functional bioplastics from agricultural byproducts such as weight-bearing thermoplastics, electrical or thermal conductive composites, and active packaging materials that can actively suppress or inhibit bacterial growth and are biodegradable will also be discussed. He will also discuss a new project thrust which will examine the effects of food ingredients and exogenous bacteria on the ecology and metabolism of the human gut microbiota. Integral to our research is technology transfer to USDA and other action agencies and to the dairy, sugar beet, citrus, cranberry, and tea food industries; and packaging and chemical companies.