Food science researcher, future icon spotlighted in National Provisioner
The National Provisioner, a national magazine that focuses on the meat processing professionals, has selected a professor in Texas Tech's Department of Animal and Food Sciences as one of its "25 Future Icons." Mindy Brashears, who also serves as director of Tech's International Center for Food Industry Excellence, is featured in the publication's November issue.
Over the past two decades Brashears, one of the nation's top food safety experts, has been the recipient of millions of dollars in federal, commodity and research grants. She has made breakthrough discoveries with her research and helped develop innovative new technologies in food safety. Last month Tech's International Center for Food Industry Excellence was selected to be a National Surveillance Lab for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System, Retail Meat Surveillance Program through a competitive federal grant process.
Andy Hanacek, the editor-in-chief of The National Provisioner, said the Deerfield, Illinois-based magazine serves meat processing professionals who want to stay updated on the latest processing and packaging information, including updates on food safety, new products and industry trends.
One of the highlights of Brashears' research was the development of a treatment shown to reduce food-borne pathogens such as Salmonella and E. coli in processed beef and poultry. The treatment consists of a combination of lactic acid bacteria cultures, a "good" bacteria already found in foods like yogurt, cheeses and sausages. Researchers found that when the mixture was added to hamburger meat, Salmonella was non-detectable and the meat was unharmed after five days.
Brashears' endeavors also involved industry collaboration supported by the State of Texas Emerging Technology Fund to develop MicroZAP, a company that supports a microwave pasteurization technology. MicroZAP was spun off from patented technology developed through the cutting-edge food sterilization research at Texas Tech research center.
After earning a bachelor's degree in food technology from Texas Tech (1992), Brashears received master's (1994) and doctorate (1997) degrees in food science from Oklahoma State University. She was an assistant professor at the University of Nebraska Department of Food Science and Technology before returning to her first alma mater. Recent awards for Brashears include the Maurice Weber Laboratorian Award from the International Association for Food Protection (2014); and the ARCS Foundation-Lubbock chapter 'Scientist of the Year' Award (2011).
For more than a century, Hanacek noted that The National Provisioner has offered meat and poultry processing professionals with innovations in protein processing, food safety, new products, meat plant operations, company profiles and industry trends via its website, eNewsletter and monthly magazine.
Written by Norman Martin
CONTACT: Michael Orth, chairman, Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Texas Tech University at (806) 834-5653 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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