Dairy NutriSols Consortium receives $5 million to advance dairy processing and feed the world

Boise State University has been selected to lead one of seven multidisciplinary teams across the United States to address food and nutrition insecurity, thanks to a three-year, $5 million grant from the United States National Science Foundation (NSF) as part of the Convergence Accelerator’s Track J: Food & Nutrition Security. program.

This Phase 2 award will sponsor the development of the Dairy NutriSols Consortium, which will serve as a national resource with the vision of modernizing dairy processing to feed a hungry world.

Led by Owen McDougal, professor of chemistry and director of the Center for Food and Dairy Innovation, Dairy NutriSols combines the unique expertise and capabilities of Boise State University with those of the University of Idaho, Utah State University, from the University of Minnesota, from Glanbia Nutritionals (a global leader in nutrition). ), Chobani (the world’s leading supplier of Greek yogurt), Daisy Brand (the leading supplier of sour cream and cottage cheese in the United States), Food Physics (a Boise pulsed electric field supplier), Agropur USA (the leading producer of alpha-lactalbumin, the main component of infant formula), Dairy West (an organization representing dairy farming families in Idaho and Utah), and Ceres Dairy Risk Management.

“Our partners play a key role in convincingly making the case for this national investment,” McDougal said. “We will completely transform liquid milk into functional ingredients that will serve as affordable building blocks for the next generation of infant formula, protein bars, ready-to-mix powdered drinks and nutritional products for seniors. »

Milk is a nutrient-rich powerhouse that contains 13 essential macro- and micronutrients that contribute to the development of muscles, bones, brain and much more. Dairy NutriSols will use the power of artificial intelligence software and advanced pulsed electric field and extruder technology to transform liquid milk into ingredients for nutrient-rich products to feed a hungry world.

The Dairy NutriSols consortium will seek to further increase the efficiency of traditional dairy processing methods by catalyzing the adoption of pioneering software and advanced manufacturing technologies to increase production capacity for high-quality nutritional ingredients and dairy products .

As part of this process, Dairy NutriSols:

  • Catalyze the adoption of technology and artificial intelligence by industry partners who are pioneering change at a scale that will impact global food and nutrition security.
  • Advancing dairy processing in areas such as: online monitoring of dairy proteins; implement pulsed electric fields to efficiently produce dairy protein powders; develop extruder technology to provide the mechanisms to combine protein powder with recovered and recycled minerals
  • Inspire the next generation of employees to pursue promising careers in the dairy industry in their rural home communities.
  • Address the shortage of skilled workers in the dairy industry by creating an employee pool for more than 1,000 participants per year.
  • Reaching K-12 children in rural communities through implementation of microbiology and nutrition programs
  • Engage minority and first-generation college and university students in industry-priority research projects
  • Provide employee skills certification to enable upward mobility for current food and dairy processing workers

“Advancing food and nutrition security is a complex challenge that directly affects our nation’s economic competitiveness,” said Erwin Gianchandani, NSF deputy director for technology, innovation and partnerships. “Through the NSF Convergence Accelerator program and in partnership with USDA, NSF is committed to investing in research teams who will pursue new technologies, tools and approaches to strengthen our nation’s food supply chain, while reducing inequalities in historically underserved communities. We hope this investment will reduce food waste while helping the 12.8% of U.S. households that were food insecure in 2022.”

By awarding this cooperative agreement, NSF is investing in new technologies that address the complex challenges of addressing food and nutrition insecurity due to climate, war, displacement, poverty, weather and disasters natural. This investment will particularly address the needs of vulnerable and disadvantaged communities and will involve a new partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Through the Convergence Accelerator program, NSF aims to transform food systems across the country to ensure access to healthy, safe, and affordable food, as well as create sustainable agriculture, forestry, and food practices. The program’s goal aligns with USDA’s priority to ensure that all people nationwide have consistent and equitable access to safe, wholesome, and affordable foods essential to health and well-being.

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