$11M funds food safety center, tech transfer to markets

Sylvia Kantor and Alyssa Patrick
Washington State University

PULLMAN, Wash. – Consumer demand for safe, high quality, additive-free packaged foods is on the rise. Washington State University is advancing toward meeting this demand thanks to two recent investments in innovative food processing technology based on microwave energy.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) awarded WSU a $4 million grant to establish a Center of Excellence that will accelerate the technology transfer to mainstream commercial markets. This is the first Center of Excellence on Food Safety Processing Technologies funded by USDA NIFA’s flagship program, the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative.

Meanwhile, a $7.2 million investment was announced in March by the Australian government to adopt microwave assisted thermal sterilization (MATS) technology. WSU and industry partner 915 Labs will provide the system to Australia’s Ministry of Defence.

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