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Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center

FAPC to feature research and kick off 20-year anniversary celebration

Oklahoma State University's Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center will hold its annual Research Symposium to highlight food and agricultural products research and kick off its 20-year anniversary celebration.

By Mandy Gross, FAPC Communications Services Manager

(Stillwater, Okla. – Feb. 7, 2017) Oklahoma State University's Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center will hold its annual Research Symposium to highlight food and agricultural products research and kick off its 20-year anniversary celebration.

Sponsored by the Institute of Food Technologists-Oklahoma section and Oklahoma Association for Food Protection, the symposium will take place Feb. 21 in room 201 of FAPC from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will feature oral and poster presentations, a keynote presentation, and 20-year celebration and reception.

“The event will provide an opportunity for students from OSU, Langston and the University of Central Oklahoma to make presentations of their work and for researchers to network with others in the food and agricultural field and possibly foster future collaborations among colleagues,” said Peter Muriana, FAPC food microbiologist and chair of the symposium.

The keynote speaker, Randall Phebus, food science professor at Kansas State University, will discuss validation and prevention of multi-syllable germs in meat, produce, baking and pet food industries.

This year, FAPC is fortunate to have Phebus, who specializes in food microbiology, food safety, food biosecurity and defense, and public health, give the keynote presentation, Muriana said.

“Dr. Phebus is a great colleague, an excellent food microbiologist involved in both teaching and research, and along with myself and a dozen other colleagues, is a member of the Consortium of Process Validation Experts,” Muriana said. “One of his student dissertations identified a potential health concern with mechanically tenderized beef, which initiated my own involvement in this area. I hope our student body takes advantage of Dr. Phebus’ visitation, especially on the heels of our new undergraduate food safety option curriculum in the department of animal science.”

Phebus holds graduate faculty status in Food Science, Animal Sciences and Pathobiology. He works closely with food processors, regulators and technology providers across the country to improve food quality and safety through laboratory-based and processing-based research and troubleshooting activities.

“Dr. Phebus is no stranger to centers such as ours, as he is a member of the K-State Food Science Institute and the National Agricultural Biosecurity Center,” Muriana said. “He also was recently appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to the National Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection.”

Following the keynote presentation, attendees are invited to a free lunch and a question-and-answer session with Phebus.

“We are very excited to have Dr. Phebus discuss important industry-related topics,” said Chuck Willoughby, FAPC manager of business and marketing relations. “We encourage food and agricultural industry leaders to attend the symposium to network with Dr. Phebus, as well as others in attendance.”

Student awards, sponsored by IFT-OK, will be presented in both the oral and poster presentation categories. First-, second- and third-place winners in both sections will receive $250, $150 and $75, respectively.

Following the awards, attendees also are invited to attend a reception with cake and punch to help FAPC celebrate its 20-year anniversary.

“Since its inception in 1997, FAPC's research laboratories, pilot-processing facilities, educational programs and seminars have kept food and agricultural processors and entrepreneurs on the forefront of cutting-edge value-added processing and technology,” Willoughby said. “We are excited for what the next 20 years will bring.”

There is no charge for the day's events; however, registration is required by Feb. 15. Please visit http://fapc.biz/workshops/2017-research-symposium/researchsymposium to register or call Karen Smith at 405-744-6277.

This year's FAPC Research Symposium is being held in conjunction with OSU Research Week, which runs Feb. 20-24.

FAPC, a part of OSU's Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, helps to discover, develop, and deliver technical and business information that will stimulate and support the growth of value-added food and agricultural products and processing in Oklahoma.

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Oklahoma State University is a modern land-grant university that prepares students for success. OSU has more than 36,000 students across its five-campus system and more than 25,000 on its combined Stillwater and Tulsa campuses, with students from all 50 states and around 120 nations. Established in 1890, Oklahoma State has graduated more than 260,000 students who have been serving Oklahoma and the world for 125 years.