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Fall 2009
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Short Reports

Rich Products Seeds CALS Research in Whole Grains

By Ted Boscia

For health-minded consumers, basic white bread is out. Whole grains are in.

Rich Products Seeds CALS Research in Whole Grains

Rich Products Corporation, recognizing this growing trend, recently gave $10,000 to support research by Rui Hai Liu, PhD ’93, associate professor of food science, in the nutritional benefits of whole grains. Rich’s, based in Buffalo, N.Y., produces a wide variety of frozen foods, as well as products sold directly to supermarket bakeries and other retail locations.

“Dr. Liu’s research intrigues us, since we strive to introduce new products that promote health and wellness,” says Steve Franz, Rich’s vice president for research and development. “People are more health-conscious than ever, so they are careful about what they eat.”

The gift adds to other recent collaborations between the company and CALS. Franz recently joined the advisory council for the Cornell Institute of Food Science, which trains students and conducts research of benefit to the food industry. Kevin Malchoff ’74, MBA ’75, president of Rich’s international business group, serves on the CALS Dean’s Advisory Council. In May, two CALS graduate students, along with others from the Department of Food Science, toured Rich’s corporate headquarters.

“Research-based partnerships with companies like Rich Products are essential to the mission of the Cornell Institute of Food Science,” says Kathryn Boor ’80, chair of the Department of Food Science. “The company’s gift will serve as a nucleus for enhanced and focused interactions between our faculty, students, and scientists at Rich Products in working toward a better understanding of health-promoting constituents of whole grains.”

For both CALS and Rich’s, the partnership continues to pay off. Seven current Rich’s researchers are graduates of the Food Science program. Boor points out that interactions with the food giant help prepare CALS students for a possible career in the food industry.

“We’ve been very impressed by the quality of education we’ve seen in Cornell graduates,” says Franz. “It’s been a true win-win situation.”