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MSU Researchers Awarded USDA Grants

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Two MSU food scientists have been awarded more than $1.1 million in grants for projects designed to ensure a safe and nutritious food supply while helping maintain American agricultural competitiveness. The grants are from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

“Increasing food safety continues to be a major focus for the USDA, as it directly impacts the health and well-being of all Americans,” said Sonny Ramaswamy, NIFA director. “Funding provided to universities supports discoveries of new ways that we can prevent food-borne illnesses and increase the safety of our food production industry.”

Bradley Marks, MSU professor of biosystems and agricultural engineering, has received $700,000 to enhance the development, improvement and commercial adoption of pasteurization technologies for low-moisture foods. The project will take into account efficacy, product quality, regulatory requirements, energy use and suitability for the target end users.

Iksoon Kang, MSU professor of animal science, has received $489,528 to develop low-sodium and/or low-fat meat products by using a cold-temperature mixing technology on meat freshly removed from the bone, and to investigate how this process alters protein structure and protein-to-protein interactions that could improve quality, as well as sensory/textural attributes.

A complete list of this year’s project descriptions is available on the NIFA website.

The grants total $19 million, including more than $6.7 million for antimicrobial resistance strategies, to 36 grantees. NIFA made the awards through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, which was signed at MSU.

The AFRI Food Safety program aims to protect consumers from microbial and chemical contaminants that may occur in the food chain, from production to consumption.

The work of both Marks and Kang is funded in part by MSU AgBioResearch.

— Holly Whetstone via MSU Today


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