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Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center

eNews - August 2017

View FAPC activity that occurred during the second quarter of 2017 in the August 2017 FAPC eNews.

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About FAPC: 20-Year Celebration
Featured Client: Icing on the Top
Economic Impacts
Food Industry Project: Good Medicine Farms
Applied Technology: Chaser Strips
Research Project: Cereal Chemistry
Highlighted Video: Faces of FAPC
Highlighted Photo: VIP Documentary Premiere
Activity at FAPC
Fast Fact

About FAPC: 20-Year Anniversary

FAPC, a part of OSU's Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, is celebrating its first 20 years of adding value to Oklahoma. Since 1997, FAPC has kept food and agricultural processors and entrepreneurs on the forefront of cutting-edge, value-added processing and technology. FAPC has celebrated this milestone with several activities, events and programs.

One of those activities included developing a documentary in partnership with The Oklahoman, DASNR's SUNUP TV show and OETA. The documentary, 20 Years of Made in Oklahoma Food Innovation, highlighted how FAPC started, the impact the center has on Oklahoma and the food industry, and Made in Oklahoma companies FAPC has assisted.

To celebrate the achievement, FAPC held a VIP Special Preview of the documentary on May 10, 2017, before airing on OETA May 11, May 18 and May 28. During this celebration, FAPC was presented with a Proclamation, signed by Gov. Mary Fallin, proclaiming Wednesday, May 10, 2017, as "Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center's 20th Anniversary Day." In addition, the Oklahoma Legislature provided a Citation of Commendation in honor of FAPC's 20th anniversary celebration.

Featured Client

Icing on the TopJennifer Jones opened her bakery, Icing on the Top, 14 years ago in Tulsa, Oklahoma, as a commercial business. She also wanted to showcase her talents as an award-winning cake decorator, specializing in upscale wedding and special occasion cakes. This bakery now has two full-time employees including herself.

Jennifer discovered quickly the trimmings of many of her cakes were being wasted and thrown away. Instead of turning these cake scraps into labor-intensive cake balls like many of her competitors, she began using the layering trimmings as a "cake parfait" in a clear plastic cup, covering them with her signature frosting and calling them "Scrappy Cakes." This cake-in-a-cup-to-go product has evolved into a very popular side item for which she also custom labeled and sold for baby showers and other special occasions.

In the last several years, Jennifer tracked this part of her business and noted how popular Scrappy Cakes had become. As an example, local Harley Davidson business ordered more than 1,000 for a birthday celebration, hospitals ordered hundreds of them as rewards for staff, and more and more customers were asking for them on a regular basis. Jennifer contacted FAPC for help in commercializing the Scrappy Cakes in 2016. She wanted to shift the majority of her business from the formal cake business where she relied on her talents as a cake decorator into the much simpler production of Scrappy Cakes.

FAPC began by assisting Jennifer with a cost and feasibility analysis and a marketing plan for the cakes. While she offered many different flavors of cakes and frostings at her bakery, it was determined she should start this new business area by focusing on two of her most popular flavors: Triple Chocolate and Butter Pecan.

FAPC provided Jennifer with packaging assistance, including the development of professional FDA compliant product labels and a window cling marketing piece.

Once Scrappy Cakes were ready for commercial retail sale, FAPC connected Icing on the Top with Dough Boyz Pizza of Depew, Oklahoma, as a distributor and manufacturer that offered a turnkey food service pizza operation option to sell directly to convenience stores. As a result, Dough Boyz currently sells Scrappy Cakes in 17 different convenience stores located across Oklahoma and Kansas.

FAPC has continued to work with Jennifer by leading and arranging various meetings with Reasor's retail grocery stores, OU Foodservice, St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa, the University of Tulsa and OSU Dining Services in Stillwater. OSU's Stillwater campus began selling Scrappy Cakes in the spring of 2017 at the Twenty Something campus convenience store with great success and plans to make them available at other locations on campus. OU also began carrying the cakes, and Reasors agreed to soon add the products in their deli.

As a result of the increase in sales of Scrappy Cakes, Jennifer recently hired one additional full-time employee for a total of three employees. FAPC assisted Jennifer into connections and negotiations with Fresh Point located in Oklahoma City to be her distributor. Jennifer also recently added one more flavor to her retail product line: Carrot with cream cheese icing.

In the second quarter, work began at FAPC to assist Jennifer in scaling-up cake and frosting formulations to make Scrappy Cakes product more cost effective and easier to produce. A plan is being drafted through FAPC to guide Jennifer in developing a full food-safety program and renovations needed in her bakery as production and demand increases over the next six months. Marketing assistance will continue for Jennifer. Her products were featured in FAPC's booth at the Oklahoma Grocer's Association Super Trade Show on June 28. Other plans include joining the Made in Oklahoma Coalition and participating in local food shows.

Economic Impact

FAPC's strives to add value to Oklahoma by providing economic impact to the state. Following is an estimate of economic impact during the second quarter of 2017. These estimates represent the sales revenue of products that were the object of work at FAPC.

Food Industry Project

Steve Hargis of Good Medicine Farms in Checotah, Oklahoma, attended FAPC's Basic Training with an idea to start a new business venture producing sprouts, greens and cooking herbs as well as fodder for animal consumption under the brand name Green Gold. Based on the business plan, the company will use a hydroponics growing system and construct two grow vaults, one in Checotah, Oklahoma, and one in Lane, Oklahoma. FAPC will continue to work with this company to help grow the business.

Applied Technology

Chaser StripsFAPC is working on a product development project with Jonathan Cole-McKay, representing Chaser Strips, a start-up company from Oklahoma City. The company is developing an edible film strip with the capability of masking bitter flavors. FAPC provided prototype samples of the product, and the client was happy with the results.

Research Project

Bread SlicesFAPC researchers studiedthe effect of NaCl reduction in gluten viscoelastic properties, baking quality, shelf life and sensory properties of white bread. The objective of this project was to evaluate the effect of potassium-based salts on the gluten development and bread properties. The goal was to understand the physical and chemical changes of gluten occurred when the levels of NaCl are reduced. Statistical analysis and preparation of a report and manuscript are in progress.

Highlighted Video

Highlighted Photo

FAPC held a VIP Special Preview of the documentary, 20 Years of Made in Oklahoma Food Innovation, on May 10, 2017. Made in Oklahoma companies Diane's Signature Products, Ace in the Bowl Salsa and Suan's Foods were featured in the documentary and sampled their products during the premiere event.

Activity at FAPC

The following is activity that occurred during the second quarter of 2017 (April to June) at FAPC:
  • FAPC served on 39 key client projects.
  • 29 visitor sessions or tours and a total of 274 guests visited the center for tours or work.
  • FAPC issued 23 Process Authority Letters and 11 nutrition label sets.
  • FAPC communications included 91 media and news releases, articles, extension reports and feature articles.
  • 21 continuing education and training events were held with 542 attendees.
  • The FAPC pilot plant harvested or processed 49 beef, 105 hogs and 0 lambs.

Fast Fact

Are you interested in food safety? FAPC has an app for that!

The FAPC Connect app is available for download from the App Store and Google Play. Individuals can select topics of interest and get notified when new content is added; access articles, videos and trainings by FAPC topics or experts; and ask an expert about FAPC topics.

Text FAPC to 80802 to download the free app or visit fapcconnect.com.