Center for Food Safety
The Institute of Food Science and Engineering serves as the primary entity in Arkansas for research, extension and outreach, and graduate education to help ensure that:
- the food supply is safe, nutritious and of the highest quality;
- value is added to raw agricultural products to enhance economic development of the state, region and nation;
- and the nutritional needs of society are defined, understood, communicated and met.
The Institute of Food Science and Engineering (IFSE) was established to better focus the research and extension expertise of the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture on the issues and challenges faced by society and the food industry. IFSE is a unit within the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. The Institute is sponsored by the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, and the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences.
In 2013, the Arkansas Food Innovation Center (AFIC) was established as part of IFSE to assist local growers and entrepreneurs with product and process development of food products for the retail market. As the only public, licensed and inspected facility of its type in the state, AFIC provides clients with the facilities and equipment needed to learn the skills necessary to process product for the retail market. In addition, AFIC provides services such as aid in product development, safety analysis, label development, and assistance in meeting federal and state requirements for food processing businesses. In 2016, AFIC assisted 25 companies with the production of products with a retail value of more than $850,000.
The program has components within several departments of the Division of Agriculture, the UA Medical Sciences program and Arkansas Children's Hospital. Extensive investigations into food safety with all areas of poultry, beef and pork meat production, from the farm to the consumer's table is conducted through the Food Safety Consortium, a cooperative effort of the University of Arkansas, Iowa State University and Kansas State University