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Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center

eNews - November 2016

View FAPC activity that occurred during the third quarter of 2016 in the November 2016 FAPC eNews.

eNews Header

About FAPC
Featured Client: MIO Emerging Companies
Economic Impacts
Food Industry Project: Icing on the Top
Applied Technology: Food Dehydrator
Research Project: Evaluation of Oklahoma Native Microalgae Strains
Highlighted Video: Nutrition Facts Update
Highlighted Photo: Pork 101
Activity at FAPC
Fast Fact

About FAPC

Oklahoma State University's Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center, a part of the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, helps to discover, develop, and deliver technical and business information that stimulates and supports the growth of value-added food and agricultural products and processing in Oklahoma.

Featured Client

A Made-in-Oklahoma Culinary Expo was held in January 2016 at the Southwind Hills Event Venue in Goldsby, Oklahoma. The Expo was sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food & Forestry (ODAFF). There were 58 MIO companies at the event displaying and sampling products for the attendees. A significant number of those companies attending the Expo and displaying their products have attended FAPC's Basic Training for entrepreneurs or have been provided technical assistance in product development. In either case, FAPC has contributed significantly to the growth and development of these companies.

Attendees included executives from Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG) corporate offices in Kansas City and the Oklahoma City division, including category buyers from both distribution centers. AWG Oklahoma City division services 217 stores in Oklahoma, southern Kansas, north Texas and western Arkansas. Retail grocery stores represented at the Expo included Reasor's from the Tulsa and eastern Oklahoma area, Homeland stores, Buy for Less grocers, Crest Foods and numerous independent store owners who are serviced by the AWG Oklahoma City division. Additionally, foodservice distributors attended, including U.S. Foods, Sysco Foods and Ben E. Keith. There were also caterers, healthcare feeding programs representatives, and representatives from schools and universities.

The MIO Emerging Companies include businesses that have shown consistent growth in sales and distribution each year and expect to evolve into the MIO Coalition, which consists of the larger food companies in Oklahoma. The Emerging Companies included Ace in the Bowl Salsa, Billy Goat Ice Cream, Blackjack Beef Jerky, deVine Water, Diane's Signature Dressings, Greer's Ranch House Sausage, KiZE Concepts, Mitchell's Sausage Rolls, My Bigmama's Kitchen, Ralph's Packing Co, Suan's Inc. and Total Beverage Co.

The AWG executives were extremely impressed with the quality, packaging, and presentation of these Made-In-Oklahoma Emerging Companies' products. The AWG executives expressed a desire to create a program to promote the Emerging Companies in the AWG system. AWG proposed to offer reduced slotting fees to each Emerging Company, allowing a lower hurdle to entry into the AWG warehouse. These companies would have their products in the warehouse where the AWG co-op members could order the products with regularly scheduled deliveries. The normal slotting fees for the AWG warehouse are $8,500 per SKU, but the AWG offered the Emerging Companies a slotting fee of only $750 per SKU, and the AWG designed a Plan-O-Gram to display the MIO products in the co-op member's individual stores. Each Emerging Company had to complete the required documents through the AWG Corporate Offices in Kansas City and be approved as a new vendor.

Several planning and preparatory meetings were held at the AWG Oklahoma City division facility to determine the number of products to be slotted for each company. The Emerging Companies were advised to have 80 - 100 cases of each of their products to cover the initial orders, likely leaving about 20 - 30 cases for inventory. The first purchase orders were issued and the initial deliveries were completed on July 12, 2016. The program is in process. At some point, there will be an assessment of initial success with recommendations of adjustments in the program.

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 third quarter of 2016. These estimates represent the sales revenue of products that were the object of work at FAPC.

Food Industry Project

For the last several years, specialty cake decorator Jennifer Jones has been using leftover cake trimmings to create a layered cake in a cup-to-go product called Scrappy Cakes. They have become very popular in her bakery. Jones contacted FAPC for help to expand this cake-to-go product concept as a longer-term project for the retail market. Mandy Gross, FAPC communications services manager, designed professional labels and a window cling. FAPC connected and worked with Dough Boyz Pizza to bring three flavors (Butter Pecan, Triple Chocolate and Carrot) to do a test market in 40 Dough Boyz convenience store locations. A marketing plan was drafted for the test market store managers and their customers including point-of-sale materials. Assistance was given to help with packaging materials, so the product can be shipped and distributed safely by Dough Boyz. Cases of product will be shipped frozen and picked up in regular intervals at the bakery. In September, a meeting was arranged with the client and OSU Dining Services to determine interest for the Scrappy Cakes. Dining Services responded immediately that they loved the concept and the product and is working with Jones to sell the cakes in all locations on campus.

Applied Technology

Tim Bowser continued the development and evaluation of a new dehydrator for food and agricultural products. The main design objectives were: (1) reduce cost and (2) intensify the process (compared to the previous dehydrator). Design objectives were achieved by eliminating rolling racks and shelves for the product. The dehydrator was constructed in the BAE shop and delivered to FAPC in early quarter 4 for testing on food and agricultural products and for improvements. Modifications were made on the electrical system to achieve proper heating. An on/off repeat cycle control was researched to improve control of the process and will be ordered and installed.

Research Project

MicroalgaeThis is an integrated research project targeting both environmental remediation and feedstock production for bio-product manufacturing. The goal is to grow Oklahoma native algae strains on animal and industrial wastewater. It is expected these strains will be more productive in their native climate than the non-native strains, and they will produce biomass and oil, while minimizing the impact of production on local ecosystems. The ultimate goal is to optimize algal biomass and oil production and oil/biomass to biofuel conversion processes that can be adapted by Oklahoma-based companies for commercial production.
Nurhan Dunford's lab is studying the conversion of algal mass to renewable fuels. Giovanni Lutzu, a visiting scientist, is studying Oklahoma native microalgae strains for value-added product development. Sourabh Chakraborty, a biosystems and agricultural engineering Ph.D. student, is analyzing the viability of microalgae cultivation for phyco-remediation and bioenergy production.

Highlighted Video


Highlighted Photo

FAPC hosted Pork 101 in September. This three-day, hands-on class focused on teaching participants more about pork quality and industry issues.

Activity at FAPC

The following is activity that occurred during the third quarter of 2016 (July to September) at FAPC:
  • FAPC served on 57 key client projects.
  • 38 visitor sessions or tours and a total of 263 guests visited the center for tours or work.
  • FAPC issued 10 Process Authority Letters and 25 nutrition label sets.
  • FAPC communications included 35 media and news releases, articles, extension reports and feature articles.
  • 13 continuing education and training events were held with 313attendees.
  • The FAPC pilot plant harvested or processed 48 beef, 73 hogs and 0 lambs.

Fast Fact

P.B. SlicesDid you know one of the first projects bringing attention to FAPC was P.B. Slices? A crazy lunchtime idea led to peanut butter slice technology and P.B. Slices were sold in stores.