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.
Value Added Products (VAP) has been a client of FAPC since the planning stages of this cooperative in 1999. VAP is an Oklahoma food-processing cooperative located in Alva, Oklahoma, specializing primarily in frozen dough, including pizza crusts, croissants, baguettes, cinnamon rolls and Danish rolls. The primary customers of VAP are schools, restaurants, large food service distributors and the military commissary system.
Recently, an opportunity opened for VAP to submit a new dinner roll sample to a large current customer in the Regional K-12 Contract Management Group. The customer wanted to improve its dinner roll offerings. The customer was pleased with the initial samples and wanted to take next steps to make this product process-capable in the VAP facility.
VAP had never produced a dinner roll dough before and immediately sought assistance from FAPC for help. Work was completed to help VAP with ingredient suppliers, product formulation and scale-up, and the process of defining the best manufacturing process to make these products and what equipment would be needed to make this new product in large volume quantities.
During the research and planning phases, FAPC scheduled access to FAPC equipment. VAP made best use of FAPC equipment to execute bench samples and test product to secure the business prior to making a $375,000 capital investment for VAP food processing facility. According to VAP, this was an essential component of assuring their customer they could execute this new business.
At the end of the second quarter of 2016, the result of this collaboration is expected to yield VAP an additional 65,000 cases of new business. This is well more than $1 million in new business, of which, VAP confirmed in a letter to FAPC that more than half could be attributed to the collaboration with FAPC, and the use of FAPC know-how and FAPC facilities and equipment.
Additionally, this new piece of equipment will enable VAP to begin making other new products including cobblers and biscuits. Plans also are underway to begin co-packing cobblers and other baked goods for several other Made in Oklahoma companies. In the past, it has been very challenging to find alternative co-packers in Oklahoma to make these kinds of products.
Lastly, VAP is working with FAPC to develop its own brand of specialty value-added products to be sold in the retail market. They will be sold under the name Red Canyon Gourmet. FAPC designed the logo and also will design the packaging material, with this new series of products to be completed in spring 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 second quarter of 2016. These estimates represent the sales revenue of products that were the object of work at FAPC.
Food Industry Project
The Made in Oklahoma Emerging Companies include small business that have not reached a sales or distribution plateau to advance to the MIO Coalition level. All these companies have been through FAPC's Basic Training or received assistance in various food safety trainings at FAPC. Associated Wholesale Grocers hosted 12 of the MIO Emerging Companies to present their products to the retail store buyers and owners at their quarterly meeting held in April at the AWG Distribution Center in Oklahoma City. FAPC's Jim Brooks also discussed Basic Training and the programs and services provided to the food industry in Oklahoma. AWG offered a reduced slotting fee to the 12 companies, so the retail grocery stores (217) that use AWG as their primary distributor can purchase the emerging companies' products. Each company was asked to expect an order of 100 cases of each product they produce and have verbal commitments from 80 members to start the program.
The well-known PB Slice project has been revitalized, and FAPC's Dani Bellmer and William McGlynn have shifted the product focus to involve peanut butter protein bites rather than peanut butter slices. The new target is a high protein, bite-sized peanut butter snack. Through a grant from OSU's Technology Business Development Program, researchers are working on packaging options and shelf life testing. Researchers also worked on products from other nuts including hazelnut, almond and cashew, and are currently discussing a potential license agreement on the PB products with a company based in South Africa.
FAPC held a sanitation course for food industry professionals on May 12, 2016. The day-long lecture and hands-on workshop provided the essentials of sanitation in food manufacturing plants.
Activity at FAPC
The following is activity that occurred during the second quarter of 2016 (April to June) at FAPC:
FAPC served on 53 key client projects.
46 visitor sessions or tours and a total of 258 guests visited the center for tours or work.
FAPC issued 34 Process Authority Letters and 18 nutrition label sets.
FAPC communications included 67 media and news releases, articles, extension reports and feature articles.
21 continuing education and training events were held with 340 attendees.
The FAPC pilot plant harvested or processed 37 beef, 63 hogs and 4 lambs.
Did you know FAPC has donated more than 5,000 pounds of surplus food to the Regional Food Bank ofOklahoma? The OSU/A&M Board of Regents approved the donation of perishable food products to the Food Bank in 2010. This action allowed FAPC to forgo disposing the meat and other perishable food items through sealed bid or public auction and simply donate the surplus directly to the Food Bank.