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Food Development, Safety, Commercialization and Marketing (local foods with known health benefits)

Jurgen Schwarz, University of Maryland - Eastern Shore

Dr. Jurgen G. Schwarz is Professor and Director of the Food Science and Technology Ph.D. program at the University of Maryland Eastern shore. This program focuses its teaching, research, and outreach efforts on food safety, as it related to seafood, poultry, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Prior to this appointment, in 2002 he was a faculty member of the Department of Cereal and Food Sciences at North Dakota Stated University for nine years (Ph.D. 1993, Cornell University; M.S. 1987, University of Hohenheim, Germany).

After completing his M.S. studies, Dr. Schwarz taught several courses including Introduction to Food Science, Food Chemistry, Food Safety, Food Processing, and Enzymes and Bio-processing. His research is in the area of bio-conversion of agricultural raw materials and by-products to value added chemicals and ingredients, as well as the upscale of promising technologies for value added processing.

Dr. Schwarz was PI or co-PI on 24 funded grant applications and author or co-author on 25 publication in referred journals. He is a member of the Technical Advisory Committee for the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development, a Professional member in the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) and recently earned the Certified Food Scientist (CFS) credential through IFT.

Abstract - The Delmarva Peninsula was once home to many fruit and vegetable processing plants. The climate and soils are favorable to growing tomatoes, watermelon, strawberries, and many other products. Today, very little production and processing of that kind is going on in this region. The trend towards locally produced food brings great opportunities to this area with large population centers as potential markets only a few hours away, including Washington D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City. This also hold true for seafood products, since we are located between the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.

The Food Science and Technology Program at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore is uniquely positioned to support entrepreneurs and extension research to establish local processing of fruits and vegetables, as well as seafood products. Three examples of current projects will be discussed including an extension research driven project involving aronia berries, an expansion of an existing seafood business, and an entrepreneurial new business involving heirloom tomato juice.