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MSU’s Balan Gets ‘Starter Award’ for Mushroom Crisps Snack Idea

Venkatesh Balan (right)

Venkatesh Balan (above, right), associate professor, Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, has just received a Tier II Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization Program (MTRAC) Innovation Hub for AgBio at Michigan State University. The award will be used to perform the nutritional content analysis and taste testing of ‘mushroom crisps,’ a healthy snack alternative to conventional potato chips with a high protein content, vitamins, and minerals, as well as delicious flavor. He is currently working with a large consumer goods company who has an interest in commercializing the technology.

Jointly funded by MSU and the Michigan Strategic Fund, through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Entrepreneur and Innovation Initiative, the MTRAC program provides project funding at a critical point with a laser focus on translational research toward the commercial market.

Tier II Starter Awards are given to projects that are likely, with funding, to generate finite achievements, such as moving the project toward a Tier I Full application or accomplishing a small, but meaningful, step in the commercialization path.

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