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First Quarter 2019

View FAPC activity that occurred during the first quarter of 2019 in the FAPC eNews.

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About FAPC: Adding Value to Oklahoma
Featured Project: Ralph's Packing Co.
Economic Impacts: First Quarter 2019
Food Industry Project: Homeland Baking
Research Area: Grain Products and Processing - Patricia Rayas-Duarte
Featured Video: FAPC Prepares Students
Featured Photo: ProFood Tech 2019
Featured Article: FAPC Assists with Validation of Biltong
Activity at FAPC: First Quarter 2019
Fast Fact: Podcast - The Food Files

FAPC Building PhotoABOUT FAPC: Adding Value to Oklahoma

FAPC, a part of OSU's Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, discovers, develops, and delivers technical and business information that stimulates and supports the growth of value-added food and agricultural products and processing in Oklahoma.

FEATURED PROJECT: Ralph's Packing Co.

Ralph’s Packing Co. has a rich history as a start-up business in Perkins, Oklahoma, founded in 1959 by Ralph and Sue Crane. Ralph’s main goal was to create a business that produced the highest quality meat products at an affordable price. In 1971, their son, Gary, along with his wife, Tess, joined the family business. Gary assumed the leadership of the business in 1982 following the death of his father and led and managed the business through current times with great success.

Today, Gary and Tess' daughter, Erica, and her husband, Jason Hering, have stepped into the daily management of the business as president and vice president, respectively. Erica and Jason have twin sons, Joshua and Logan, and both are growing up as fourth generation family members in this successful meat products business.

The family has worked hard to earn their success. While doing so, they perfected their own curing and smoking process that resulted in great ham, bacon and sausage products, winning awards too numerous to count. The highest recognition award was the American Association of Meat Processors (AAMP) Cured Meats Hall of Fame Award. In addition, Ralph’s received the Perkins Business of the Year award in 2004.

In 2009, Ralph’s opened a new retail shop with a comfortable blend of modern and traditional country store appeal for displaying the company's traditional fresh, cured and smoked meats. The company has added products to its manufacturing base as the market has changed. Ralph’s Beef Jerky has become a premium brand icon for independent grocers and Walmart stores across Oklahoma.

The family has been active in civic affairs and active with their national trade association, and in 2015, Erica was elected president of AAMP. Ralph’s has provided meat cuts as well as facility use to local 4-H, FFA and college groups for instruction and meat judging practice exercises. In addition, Ralph’s has produced beef and pork meat snack sticks for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma for more than two years, which are utilized in the Kid’s Backpack Program.

Ralph’s also has been a good friend to FAPC. Gary Crane served on the FAPC Industry Advisory Committee as a charter member from before its opening in 1997 until 2015. Through those years, Ralph’s has supported FAPC’s programs, including sponsorships of gift cards and cooked meats for various fundraising efforts, new equipment in the pilot plant and Gary serving as a guest speaker at food safety trainings. This support has continued with Erica joining the Industry Advisory Committee in 2015 and sponsoring various FAPC events. The company’s foundation contributions have totaled nearly $30,000; however, the contributions in an advisory and mentorship role and in working relationships with FAPC are invaluable.

Recently, FAPC has assisted Ralph’s with routine harvest of hogs, food safety information and the company's transition to becoming a USDA Federal Establishment. FAPC helped Ralph's personnel more deeply understand the federal regulations during and after the transition and looks forward to continuing the synergistic relationship.

ECONOMIC IMPACT: First Quarter 2019

FAPC strives to add value to Oklahoma by providing economic impact to the state. Following is an estimate of economic impact during the first quarter of 2019. These estimates represent the sales revenue of products that were the object of work at FAPC.




FAPC is assisting Homeland Baking in Claremore, Oklahoma, with technical and business support to develop cookie and muffin formulas that deliver long shelf-life, a particular flavor and texture profile, and are made available for a large food vending machine retailer. Additional help includes packaging assistance, equipment recommendations, food safety assistance and co-packing services.

RESEARCH AREA: Grain Products and Processing - Patricia Rayas-Duarte

Patricia Rayas-Duarte is a cereal chemist at FAPC. Her general interest areas include:

  1. Wheat gluten cisco-elasticity evaluation using new methods of analysis.
  2. Relationships between wheat dough extensibility and strength and gluten polymeric structure.
  3. Studies on dough properties, dough chemistry and end-use acceptability.
  4. Contribution to the understanding at the molecular level of the effect of ingredients on the functionality of gluten and dough, specifically on their mechanical properties.

FEATURED VIDEO: FAPC Prepares Students

The food industry typically spends around $15,000 on training and certifications for a new hire. When Oklahoma State University Animal & Food Sciences students graduate in food science, they already have the required trainings. Learn how FAPC provides hands-on opportunities for all students.

FEATURED PHOTO: ProFood Tech 2019

FAPC participated in ProFood Tech 2019 Food and Beverage Trade Show March 26-28 in Chicago, Illinois. Several faculty, staff and students had the opportunity to attend the event and network with others in the food and beverage industry.

FEATURED ARTICLE: FAPC Assists with Validation of Biltong

Beef jerky is a staple in the salty snack realm across the country, and the United States Department of Agriculture requires specifics during production to ensure the dried beef is safe to consume. However, those standards are not upheld around the globe.

FAPC researchers assisted Stormberg Foods, a family-owned South African company, with the validity process of producing biltong, a novel version of beef jerky.


ACTIVITY AT FAPC: First Quarter 2019

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47 Key Client Projects.
18 Process Authority Letters.
17 Nutrition Label Sets.
76 Visitor Sessions and Tours with 1080 Guests.
74 Media/News releases, Extension Reports and Feature Articles.
28 Continuing Education and Training Events  with 355 attendees.
21 beef, 36 hogs and 21 Lambs Harvested or Processed.


FAST FACT: Podcast - The Food Files

Did you know FAPC recently launched a blog? The Value-Added Voice blog features articles written by experts in the food industry. Some of the topics include food safety with subscription meals, developing a food safety culture, local buying process and more.