International Center for Food Industry Excellence
To conduct systematic development and evaluation of production, processing, and preparation methods of food products (from farm to table) to achieve a safer and more nutritious food supply. These efforts are aimed at:
- Pre-harvest, harvest and post-harvest strategies and technologies to maintain a safe, high-quality, and affordable food supply.
- Development of new food products and adding value to existing products.
- Consumer perceptions and attitudes toward food products and innovations.
- Technology transfer to all segments of the agricultural and food industry.
The Initiative is pivotal to continued viability and sustainability of the U.S. livestock agriculture industry that is valued at more than $100 billion in livestock and livestock products sold each year. Primary losses to this industry come from recalls and outbreaks of food-borne illnesses and from consumer mistrust issues such as BSE (mad cow disease). Revenue increases in the industry come from finding new and novel markets for products through value added product development and processing. Texas is the nation’s leader in the production of cattle, sheep, and goats. The Center for Food Industry Excellence provides strategies and technologies to Texas as well as to the entire U.S. livestock industry for preventing food-borne illnesses and outbreaks, educating consumers in making wise decisions and by developing new products to protect the industry.
- Food Safety. A lactobacillus-based cattle feed additive was developed that reduces E. coli O157 in cattle by more than 50 percent. Currently, more than half of the fed cattle in the U.S. are on this product. Reducing the E. coli in cattle by 50 percent will prevent an estimated 10,000 illnesses and save the industry more than $5 billion dollars from losses.
- Nutritional Enhancement. A nutritious breakfast sausage was developed for the school lunch program which incorporated fruit into the formulation. This product has increased the daily fruit intake for students and could have long term health benefits such as reduction of coronary heart disease and certain cancers.
- Public Education. Informational brochures were developed and tested to teach individuals how to properly wash their hands at petting zoos. The CDC reports that virtually all illnesses at petting zoos can be eliminated with proper hand washing. Implementation of the educational materials will result in preventing more than 500 illnesses annually and save more than $500 million in losses due to illness and litigation.
- Industry Awareness. Research determined that trans fatty acids were low in French fries prepared in cottonseed oil. Reducing trans fatty acids in the diet can reduce cancer risks by 20 percent in the population. Additionally, replacement of various frying oils with cottonseed oil can result in a new market for cottonseed oil and can have more than a $250 million impact on the industry.
College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Texas Tech University
The research done at the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources benefits Texas in numerous ways. Here’s how CASNR is impacting your life in other areas.