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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Raleigh, North Carolina » Food Science and Market Quality and Handling Research Unit » Docs » Our Salient Accomplishments

Our Salient Accomplishments
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  1. Determined the scientific basis for the safe production of acidified or fermented vegetable products.
  2. Developed buffer capacity models for predicting pH in acid and acidified foods.
  3. Developed a tool to prevent bloater defect in cucumber fermentation that reduces economic losses, production of carbon dioxide and food waste.
  4. Conducted the first study of small molecular components of peanut composition using a metabolomics approach.
  5. Identified peanut maturity as a factor in the expression of the high-oleic trait.
  6. Identified resveratrol and resveratrol dimers in peanut.
  7. Characterized peanut flavor and composition as affected by microwave drying systems.
  8. Validated the effective elimination of Salmonella by industrial peanut roasting operations.
  9. Validated the use of unblanched high-oleic peanuts as a valuable feed ingredient for laying hens, a means to enrich the eggs produced with unsaturated fatty acids and β-carotene that can promote consumer health.
  10. Validated the use of unblanched high-oleic peanuts as a valuable feed ingredient for broiler chickens as a means to enrich the meat produced with health-promoting unsaturated fatty acids.
  11. Determined that allergenic proteins found in peanuts and soy feedstock rations in the diets of poultry are not transferred to the meat or eggs produced for human consumption.
  12. Redefined the basic understanding of the chemical stimulus that elicits sour taste in foods.
  13. Phenotypically and genotypically characterized strain level biodiversity of a spoilage-inducing lactic acid bacterium, Lactobacillus buchneri, and determined their metabolic role in fermented cucumber spoilage.
  14. Developed advanced mass-spectrometry techniques to analyze health-promoting molecules such as bioactive peptides in fermented vegetables.
  15. Evaluated sweet potato genotypes for consumer products with improved sensory properties.
  16. Developed a rapid detection method and chemical knowledge to facilitate the development of cultivars and processing methods for reduced acrylamide levels in fried potato and sweet potato products.
  17. Demonstrated that reduced salt sauerkraut fermentation is viable through appropriate application of a robust microbial starter culture.
  18. Developed pasteurization technology for acidified vegetables.
  19. Characterized surface and sub-surface spoilage yeasts and molds in cucumber fermentations.
  20. Developed nitrogen purging technology to prevent bloater damage in fermented cucumbers.
  21. Characterized the microbiota of commercial cucumber and cabbage fermentations through DNA sequencing. Contributed a number of lactic acid bacteria genome sequences to existing databases.  
  22. Discovered bacteriophages indigenous to vegetable fermentations to enable the development of tools that enhance the safety and quality of finished vegetable products.
  23. Characterized the phenotypic and genotypic diversity of the lactic acid bacteria that prevail in cucumber fermentations, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus pentosus and Lactobacillus brevis, and determined their suitability as candidates for starter cultures for low-salt fermentations.
  24. Designed, constructed and tested fermentation tank cover prototypes to enhance the winterization of outdoor vessels.
  25. Developed a proprietary DNA-based tool to monitor food processing parameters, such as heating, roasting and pasteurization, for low- and high-acid foods.
  26. Identified Lactobacillus casei, among other lactobacilli, as the culprit in the development of red-colored pickle spoilage and strategies for its control.
  27. Identified bacteria and yeasts involved in the development of rising pH spoilage during fermentation and long-term storage in bulk and ways to prevent their growth in commercial fermentation tanks.  
  28. Developed acidification methods for vegetables with low salt and acid using fumaric acid, allyl-isothiocyanate or cinnamaldehyde to control bacteria and yeasts to reduce environmental pollution.
  29. Developed and transferred the technology to conduct sodium chloride free cucumber fermentations to the picking industry in the US and abroad to reduce salt waste and reduce environmental impact.