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Agribusiness Economics

We strive to ensure a profitable future for Oklahoma food and fiber processors by necessitating a constant and intensive review of changes in both industry characteristics and markets. We assist processors and entrepreneurs by providing information in the form of research reports, extension publications and workshops in the following areas:
  • Legalities and liabilities of business development in Oklahoma.
  • Industry status and trends.
  • Market demographics and growth patterns.
  • Preliminary feasibility assessments.
  • Product-specific research.
  • Business management assistance.

Business Marketing and Communications

We help producers, processors and entrepreneurs add value to Oklahoma's food and agricultural processing industries. Agricultural processors are not merely manufacturers, but business professionals with a unique set of needs and objectives. We can assist any Oklahoma community by providing information, tailoring workshops to meet specific needs and assisting in a variety of business marketing and communications areas such as:
  • Business plan development.
  • Market identification and evaluation.
  • Product pricing and promotion.
  • Finance option evaluation.
  • Co-processor identification.
  • State and federal regulation compliance.
  • Graphic design for logo and labels.
  • Web development.
  • Video production.
  • Social media assistance.

Cereal Chemistry

We focus on improving the nutrient utilization of food produced with cereal grains and fermented products and understanding the physicochemical basis that contributes to the end-user quality of cereal grains. Through events, workshops, in-service trainings and collaboration with the Oklahoma Wheat Commission, we are able to provide education and instruction to the Oklahoma wheat industry and Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service educators. In addition, we contribute to OSU's hard winter wheat breeding program by evaluating advance breeding lines and providing other specialized analysis of hard winter wheat.

Food Engineering

We assist Oklahoma's food and agricultural processors solve problems and achieve competitive advantage, leading to sustained economic growth, new jobs and improved food safety and quality through better engineering. We strive to be the highest quality leading supplier of research, development and technology transfer services to the food and agricultural products industries; to stimulate and sustain growth in the food and agricultural processing industry of Oklahoma; to increase food safety for consumers; to provide more and better-prepared graduates for careers in the industry; and to provide clients a competitive edge.

Food Microbiology

Our main focus is microbial food safety from farm to table. We are actively involved in projects for all phases of the value-added food industry from detection and identification of foodborne pathogens to shelf-life evaluation of foods to other problems related to microbiology of foods. Food microbiology is the study of microorganisms that inhibit, create or contaminate food, including the study of microorganisms causing food spoilage, pathogens that may cause disease especially if food is improperly cooked or stored, those used to produce fermented foods and those with other useful roles such as producing probiotics. Our food safety research includes studies on improved detection, identification and control of Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella ssp., Escherichia coli 0157:H7 and Campylobacter jejuni. Research on probiotics focuses on their use to control intestinal pathogens, which can be foodborne pathogens, in livestock as well as providing other health/nutritional benefits for both humans and animals.

Food Processing

Our food processing facility was designed with the needs of the Oklahoma food and agricultural products processing industry in mind; therefore, it fits all levels of the industry. We have pilot processing facilities for meat, cereals, dairy, and fruit and vegetables, as well as specific unit operations for thermal processing, drying, freezing, packaging, milling and fermentation.
We provide training and demonstration, process system development and evaluation, new product development, equipment assessment, evaluation of functional product ingredients, technology transfer, thermal process evaluation and consumer market testing.

Food Safety and Quality Assurance

Each year roughly one out of six Americans get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die from foodborne diseases. We strive to meet the food safety and security needs of Oklahoma's food industry and stand ready to assist the state's food industry with their food safety needs. In addition, there has been growing pressure for companies to meet requirements of legislation and the quality assurance practices of customers.  Our diverse team provides assistance, guidance, interpretation of regulations, and workshops to give Oklahoma’s producers and processors the tools to incorporate sound quality management practices into their operations.

Horticultural Processing

We are committed to helping Oklahoma's producers and processors of horticultural products provide nutritious, delicious and convenient food products to consumers everywhere. Whether you need assistance with formulation, process evaluation, trial production runs or other services, we have the know-how and equipment to help you move your project forward. In addition to technical assistance, our on-going research helps to answer fundamental questions about the healthful properties of our fruit and vegetable products, as well as how to extend shelf-life while maintaining both quality and safety.

Meat Processing

We work toward the development of an outstanding research program emphasizing chemical or biochemical aspects of further processing of livestock, poultry and aquatic muscle, as well as other food-producing species for value-added products. We also help solve short- and long-term problems relating to further processing and value-added products, including food safety. Additional efforts center on the development of products from muscle foods to assist the growth of Oklahoma value-added businesses.

Milling and Baking

We provide technical assistance to Oklahoma's grain producers and processors with the goal of providing nutritious, delicious and convenient food products to consumers. Whether you need assistance with formulation, product improvement, trial production runs or other services, we have the expertise and equipment to help you move your project forward. In addition to technical assistance, on-going research helps to answer fundamental questions about the healthful properties of milling and baking products and maintaining both quality and safety.

Oilseed Processing

We work closely with researchers and industrial entrepreneurs in Oklahoma and other states to develop value-added oilseed-related processing and products. Our oilseed processing interest areas include:
  • Products gleaned from wheat in a wheat bio-refinery.

  • Biofuels sourced from food and agricultural waste products.

  • Bio-products from microalgae.

  • Studies on the stability of oils for food production.

  • Process development and optimization for biofuel, functional foods and nutraceutical production.

Product Development

We assist Oklahoma's small processors and entrepreneurs with the scale up and reformulation of products. When it is not economically feasible to use the same ingredients, packaging or processing when manufacturing a commercially-produced product, product development techniques are used to ensure the product retains its consistency and value. Our test kitchen and pilot processing facility are adequately equipped for the research and development of products and are utilized by small, medium and large companies from Oklahoma and around the United States.

Wood Products

We are concerned with the physical and mechanical properties of value-added wood composites. Our research areas include particleboard manufacture from eastern redcedar, overlaying quality of particleboard panels and composite panel manufacture from underutilized species in Oklahoma.

 

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