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Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center

eNews - February 2018

View FAPC activity that occurred during the fourth quarter of 2017 in the February 2018 FAPC eNews.

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About FAPC: 20-Year Celebration Wrap-up
Featured Client: Chef Requested Foods
Economic Impacts
Food Industry Project: Oklahoma Department of Corrections
Research Project: Economics and Rural Development
Highlighted Video: 2018 Food Trends
Highlighted Photo: DASNR Champion
Activity at FAPC
Fast Fact

About FAPC: 20-Year Anniversary Wrap-up

FAPC, a part of OSU's Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, wrapped up its 20-year celebration in December 2017. FAPC participated in a series of events and activities to celebrate its 20-year milestone, such as publishing a historical publication, developing a documentary that aired on OETA and holding a VIP Special Preview, launching the FAPC Connect mobile app and hosting a Food & Beverage Product Development Competition. The center had a successful first 20 years, and it is looking forward to many more years of adding value to Oklahoma!


Featured Client: Chef's Requested

BaconChef's Requested Foods has a rich history. This Oklahoma business is truly an entrepreneurial start-up business and was founded in 1979 by John Williams. He owns and operates the business in the old stockyards area in southwest Oklahoma City. As are essentially all start-up businesses, Chef's Requested Foods began and still carries the character and demeanor of its founder. Williams was born in the 1940s and raised in a somewhat rural community just east of Fargo, North Dakota. He attended school in this small community and elected to attend North Dakota State University. He completed his B.S. and M.S. degrees in agricultural economics from North Dakota State University and started work for the Rath Packing Co. He left Rath and joined the Hormel business team and worked for Hormel until he launched Chef's Requested in Oklahoma City. He wanted to work in his own business and carry his work ethic and lessons learned at Rath and Hormel into this new business.

His new business was very local in only small parts of Oklahoma City and catered to the food service and hospitality trade with ready-to-cook products, primarily centered on center-of-the-plate meat items. Williams and his small team worked the business hard and grew to serve the greater Oklahoma City area, then other metropolitan areas in Oklahoma. The business grew to regional states, and he now has a national business. Chef's Requested Foods is a processor of ready-to-cook, value-added meat products.

The products are available nationally through both retail and foodservice channels. Chef's Requested Foods began its successful business with its focus on producing quality marinated meats and top-shelf products for restaurants. While foodservice customers remain a core element to its successful business, Chef's Requested Foods has developed a large national following in retail, including the distinction as the category leader nationally in pre-packaged bacon wrapped filets.*

In the summer of 2017, Chef's Requested Foods approached FAPC to consider par-cooking bacon for a wrapped scallop (saltwater bivalve mollusk) product available during the holiday season in an internationally known grocery chain. Chef's had been unable to find a USDA-inspected facility with oven cooking capabilities to handle bacon on parchment sheets.

Williams and Chef's Requested Foods Chef Ken Bradford brought a box of bacon assembled on parchment sheets to test on the Unitherm mini-spiral oven. The preliminary trial met the criteria of the project and a budget was presented to Chef's Requested Foods. The company accepted the budget and several hundred cases were scheduled to begin in mid-October 2017.

The FAPC project was a success, processing 14,500 pounds of bacon, which yielded 13,016 pounds after par cooking in 18.5 cook days between mid-October to mid-November, requiring 1,039 labor hours. FAPC retained 20 cents per pound in addition to all production costs to further enhance its abilities to meet the FAPC mission toward the value-added food industry of Oklahoma.

Chef's Requested Foods has been a significant supporter of FAPC. Williams served on the FAPC Industry Advisory Committee from 2006 to 2015, served as chair of the committee in 2009 and was the driving force behind a new food safety option for the food science degree in the Department of Animal Science approved by the Oklahoma Regents of Higher Education in April 2015. Because of his support and leadership, Williams was honored as a DASNR Champion in October 2015. He has been generous to FAPC, and over these last several years, Williams has made monetary contributions to FAPC from Chef's Requested, totaling $31,000.

*Symphony IRI 2017

Economic Impact: October - December 2017

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

Food Industry Project: Oklahoma Department of Corrections

FAPC helped the Oklahoma Department of Corrections formulate baking mixes to be made in-house more affordably than buying premixes. Reneé Albers-Nelson, FAPC milling and baking specialist, developed prototype baking mixes for DOC, specifically pancake, biscuit, and yellow and white cake mixes. DOC's Jimmy Wilson and Brad Baily visited FAPC in December to sample the formulations and discuss options, and they were pleased with the progress. They will supply cake samples and other information, so FAPC can best provide formulations scaled to their package size. Next, Albers-Nelson will work on a cornbread mix. FAPC also will help DOC convert its old corndog facility into a mixing operation, pending results of cost efficiencies of making its own pre-mixes.

Research Project: Economics and Rural Development

Research focused on the impacts of state-branding programs for agricultural products, food business legitimacy research and equilibrium displacement modeling of the demand for veterinary services in the U.S. Advised by Rodney Holcomb, FAPC agribusiness economist, the research is conducted by the following students:

  1. Meagan Osburn (M.S., agricultural economics). State-branded marketing and the impacts of state border proximity on willingness-to-pay for a state brand.
  2. Aaron Ates, (Ph.D., agricultural economics). Household food shopping patterns, store choice and food health perceptions.
  3. Guy Buser (M.S., agricultural economics). Economics and risk analyses of crop production systems for bio-products processing in Oklahoma.

Highlighted Video: 2018 Food Trends

Highlighted Photo: DASNR Champion

FAPC held a reception to honor John Lopez, chief operating officer of Lopez Foods, who was named a 2017 DASNR Champion. John is pictured with his wife, Jeannie; Tom Coon, DASNR vice president; and Roy Escoubas, FAPC director.

Activity at FAPC

The following is activity that occurred during the fourth quarter of 2017 (October to December) at FAPC:
  • FAPC served on 36 key client projects.
  • 57 visitor sessions or tours and a total of 299 guests visited the center for tours or work.
  • FAPC issued 20 Process Authority Letters and 21 nutrition label sets.
  • FAPC communications included 93 media and news releases, articles, extension reports and feature articles.
  • 15 continuing education and training events were held with 417 attendees.
  • The FAPC pilot plant harvested or processed 57 beef, 78 hogs and 20 lambs.

Fast Fact

Did you know the Oklahoma Home Bakery Act was amended in 2017? Home-baked bakery items can be sold off-premises in selected locations.

What is allowed under the Oklahoma Home Baking Act of 2017? The following fact sheet has everything you need to know.

FAPC-183 The New OK Home Baking Act of 2017