“We have a motto in food science,” says Dr. Dallas Hoover, UD food microbiologist and professor in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “People always have to eat.”
Helping to improve the production and quality of food is one of the main goals of UD’s Department of Animal and Food Sciences, where students and faculty aim to deliver tastier, healthier products to hungry consumers using smart science and cutting-edge technology.
That mission has received a significant boost thanks to generous donors, including the Unidel Foundation, Inc., who have gifted a total of $1.15 million to help renovate and expand food science research space. The enhancements not only will upgrade lab equipment, but also help advance the University’s efforts in food education, including creating spaces for teaching cheese-making, nanobrewing, and possibly even yogurt-making. The expansions also will benefit the UDairy Creamery, adding an on-campus processing facility that will triple production capacity.
Student success is one of the main drivers of the added space. The changes are not only crucial to student recruitment and retention, Hoover says, but equally beneficial for UD food science: innovative, experiential learning experiences ultimately lead to higher-quality research and, in turn, better food products.
“We’re grateful for funding,” Hoover says, “because it enables us to move away from the lecture hall teaching model and towards a more hands-on learning experience.”