Bringing new foods and beverages to market

Taking a food or beverage from idea to commercialization involves many steps. The new Food Entrepreneurship and Manufacturing Institute (FEMI), housed in the Department of Food Science, aims to provide support along the way as entrepreneurs and companies venture to bring a product to market.

FEMI offers services at any point in the production process to manufacturing, managing director Allison Kingery says. Services available to food manufacturers or emerging entrepreneurs include product and process development, business plan development, validation for novel manufacturing techniques, product testing, meeting regulatory requirements, food safety and quality in manufacturing, and market feasibility. Clients also have easy access to a pilot plant, commercial kitchen and sensory lab.

FEMI helps connect researchers, industry partners, small businesses and entrepreneurs, Senay Simsek, professor and Dean’s Chair in Food Science, explained during the April launch. The institute will fuel economic growth while contributing to Purdue’s research and extension missions.

Director Dharmendra Mishra, associate professor of food science and Purdue Extension food technologist, and assistant director Ken Foster, professor of agricultural economics, lead FEMI’s operations.

Undergraduates also take part in the research. “FEMI is creating a mutually beneficial opportunity for our students to work with business owners and entrepreneurs to get real-world, hands-on experience,” Kingery says. “Students are critical to the ability of FEMI to accomplish our overall mission.”

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