The role of government/academic/industrial consortia in fostering innovations in food processing
Sunday, Jul 18, 2010, 10:55 AM -11:15 AM
C. Patrick Dunne
, U.S. Army Natick Soldier RD&E Ctr, Natick, MA
The Combat Feeding Directorate of the U.S. Army Natick Soldier RD&E Center in Natick, Massachusetts is the key R&D Center for developing next-generation processing technologies for the production of high quality, nutrient-dense shelf stable combat rations. For more than 10 years we have been involved in collaborative research consortia exploring high hydrostatic pressure (HPP), high-voltage pulsed-electric field (PEF) and microwave technologies as promising innovations in food processing. Under the U.S. Army Dual Use Science and Technology (DUST) program three different consortia were established under academic or industrial prime contractors to evaluate the commercial potential of three different emerging food processing technologies. The first developed a commercial-scale PEF unit with solid state pulser and integrated fluid handling system at Ohio State University. The second Dual Use project with Avure Technologies set up a facility at the National Center for Food Safety & Technology to demonstrate application of HPP at elevated temperatures to sterilize low-acid foods, and the first filing of a pressure assisted thermal sterilization process was accepted by FDA in Feb. 2009. The third center was set up at Washington State University for a semi-continuous in-package microwave sterilization process; that novel sterilization process was accepted by FDA in Oct. 2009. The essential roles of industrial partners in of demonstrating the viability of novel processing technologies serves as a base for some general comments on the need for mutual benefits for a research consortium to be successful. The multiuniversity Center for Advanced Packaging and Processing Studies (CAPPS) offers Natick and industrial members the ability to compare a variety of new processing and packaging technologies. One distinguishing feature in each consortium was the production of food prototypes for shelf life and quality testing as a necessary step in process optimization. Suggested metrics for measuring performance of such consortia will be presented.
C. Patrick Dunne, Ph.D., has a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Brandeis University and a B.A. in Chemistry from the University of California at Riverside. Before coming to the U.S. Army Research Center in Natick, MA in 1979, Dr. Dunne was on the faculty at the University of Detroit and California State University at Long Beach; he also was a postdoctoral associate in biochemistry at Michigan State UniversityDr. Dunne is the Senior Advisor in Advanced Processing and Nutritional Biochemistry for the DoD Combat Feeding Directorate of the U.S. Army Natick Soldier RD & E Center of the Army RD&E Command. Since 1991 he has led the Advanced Preservation Project at Natick and has taken a lead role in Dual Use Science and Technology projects in advanced food processing technologies. Dr. Dunne is co-author of several research papers on nonthermal food processing technologies. His research efforts in food biochemistry and nutritional biochemistry support the development of improved rations for the military. Dr. Dunne was a founding member of the new Nonthermal Processing Division of IFT; he was elected the first Chair of that Division in 1999. Dr. Dunne received a Federal Laboratory Consortium Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer in 2005 and was the IFT Myron Solberg Award winner for 2005. Named as an IFT Fellow in 2009
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