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Food Scientists Honored

The Institute of Food Technologists honored a team of NC State, federal and corporate scientists with an Industrial Achievement Award for a significant advance in applying food science to food production. NC State collaborated with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Industrial Microwave Systems to develop continuous-flow microwave sterilization.

This type of food processing preserves quality and nutritional value in low-acid, shelf-stable foods. After several years of research and development with NC State and the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, Yamco, a commercial food processor in Snow Hill, N.C., has built a facility to use patented technology to produce sweet potato puree.

NC State is the first university to win the award twice and only one of four universities to receive it in the 50 years it’s been given, according to Prabhat Kumar, a doctoral student in the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences. NC State won in 1994 for developing ultra-pasteurized liquid whole eggs with an extended shelf life. The university has completed development work to enable preservation of berry purees, low-acid vegetable purees and multiphase products such as soups and sauces, the IFT Web site noted