Auburn Speaks
Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development

Egg Safety:

Written by Jacque Kochak

Partnerships Leverage Research and Resources

Eggs are associated with an organism called Salmonella, one of the most common causes of foodborne illness–in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control, Salmonella infection causes more hospitalizations and deaths than any other pathogen found in food, resulting in $365 million in direct medical costs annually in the U.S.

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Create and Innovate: Center Helps Entrepreneurs Put Produce to Good Use

Written by Karen Hunley

When you visit the grocery store produce section, you are probably looking for the “perfect” fruits and vegetables to take home to your family.Firm tomatoes and smooth, rosy peaches, for example, are popular choices.

But just because produce doesn’t look perfect doesn’t mean it isn’t good. That is the main idea behind the Chilton Food Innovation Center, a fully equipped industrial kitchen in Clanton that opened in late 2011. Farmers and other aspiring food entrepreneurs can use the center to turn surplus produce into value-added products such as jams, jellies, and salsa.

The state-inspected community kitchen is a cooperative effort among local growers, the Alabama Cooperative Extension Center (ACES), the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, the City of Clanton, the Clanton Board of Education, a local bank, the Alabama Farmers Federation, and others. A professional food scientist manages the facility.

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The Food Business

Written by Jaqueline Kochak

Auburn Helps Producers Succeed and Thrive

Patricia Barnes–now known as Sister Schubert–wasn’t always the head of a multimillion-dollar company selling Parker Housestyle rolls in the freezer section of grocery stores all over the country. And she wasn’t always part of the management team for Ohio-based Lancaster Colony Corporation, whose Sister Schubert’s rolls and other specialty foods bring in $1 billion a year.

No, back in 1989 Sister Schubert was a struggling single mother with a small catering business in Troy, Alabama. People especially liked her yeasty dinner rolls, made from her grandmother’s recipe, and a friend asked her to donate a batch to the frozen foods fair benefiting St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Troy. That first year she filled 80 orders. The second year she filled 200 orders, and the next year 300.

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Leading the Charge:

Written by Amy Weaver

June Henton Brings Universities into Fight Against Hunger

June Henton is more than a visionary; she’s a pioneer.

As the longtime dean of the College of Human Sciences at Auburn University, Henton has created a culture where a global perspective and social engagement are standard practice. By establishing the university’s only permanent year-round overseas campus in Italy and conceiving of the International Quality of Life Awards, Henton enhanced the university’s international reputation and broadened its educational opportunities. More recently, she has tackled the problem of world hunger.

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Profile: Soil Lab

by Karen Hunley

Soil Lab Has Rich History of Aiding American Farmers

Farmers saw many changes in their livelihood in the 1920s with the advent of tractor-driven equipment. While much more efficient than mules, the new technology ushered in some new problems as well. That’s when a group of scientists at Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University) began their mission to help “solve problems for the typical American farmer,” says Allen Torbert, director and soil scientist at what is now the National Soil Dynamics Laboratory (NSDL). Torbert is also an affiliate professor of waste management at Auburn.

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