WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A new project at Purdue University aims to simplify the process of taking a food or beverage from an idea to a commercial-ready product.
Purdue’s Department of Food Science recently unveiled the Food Entrepreneurship and Manufacturing Institute.
By unitizing Purdue’s facilities, Skidmore Product Development Laboratory and the Food Science Pilot Plant, as well as the expertise of Purdue’s Agricultural Economics department, FEMI’s goal is to be an aid to entrepreneurs and companies no matter where they are on their journey to developing their newest product.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a beginner entrepreneur working on a new idea asking for help or a large corporation interested in using Purdue’s food science-related facilities or wants to poke at the mind leading the department.
“We can also work with entrepreneurs who have a wonderful idea but may not be up to date on food safety knowledge or may need to operate in a commercial kitchen or manufacturing environment so they can show their proof of concept, develop a prototype and get to market,” said Allison Kingery, FEMI managing director in a story published on Purdue College of Agriculture website.
FEMI is located inside the Nelson Hall of Food Science and is led by food technologist Dharmendra Mishra, assistant professor of Food Science and Purdue Extension, who serves as the director of FEMI, and Ken Foster, professor of agricultural economics, who serves as the assistant director.
Beyond supporting local entrepreneurs, FEMI also aims to give students a hands-on experience in developing and eventually creating commercial-ready products. There are currently 16 undergraduate students serving as members of the team.
“FEMI is creating a mutually beneficial opportunity for our students who will get the opportunity to work with business owners and entrepreneurs to get real-world, hands-on experience,” Kingery said.
“Clients are generally very enthusiastic to have student support, so it’s a win-win situation for all involved. Students are critical to the ability of FEMI to accomplish our overall mission.”
Noe Padilla is a reporter for the Journal & Courier. Email him at Npadilla@jconline.com and follow him on Twitter at 1NoePadilla.
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