Established in 1939, the Process Engineering Research & Development Center is one of the oldest land-grant agricultural research and service programs in the nation. We develop new processes of diverse agricultural crops and animal products into food, feed and industrial ingredients. We also demonstrate the possibility of new ingredients in various commercial food and feed applications.
We’ve broadened our scope as we continue to evolve with the development of separation sciences in the oilseed processing industry. We conduct basic research and testing, technology development and training projects for private industry, trade associations and state, federal and international agencies. Our program is partially funded by the Texas Food and Fibers Commission and reviewed by its Industry Advisory Committee.
We offer the following services, which are unique among North American universities:
- Research Oil Mill for screwpress and solvent extraction of oilseeds, industrial crops, flavor and color materials
- Edible Oils Pilot Plant for refining, bleaching, hydrogenating and deodorizing edible fats and oils
- Vegetable Food Proteins Pilot Plant for preparation and modification of food protein flours, concentrates and isolates
- Extrusion Program, with eight extruders of various sizes, for development of continuous processes for preparation of food, pet foods and feeds products
- Membrane Separations Laboratory, a leader in application of aqueous and solvent micro-, ultra- and reverse osmosis filtration in food processing
Many of our staff have multidisciplinary training and are bi- or multilingual. We often form interdisciplinary teams with other agriculture, business, engineering, medical and veterinary science researchers to address problems in processing crops, food and feeds manufacture, human and animal nutrition, and business development.
We also present 12 to 15 practical short courses a year in a variety of topics such as cottonseed and soybeans extraction, edible processing, feeds extrusion and membrane separations, plus special training programs that attract people from all over the world to attend. We have been providing these training courses since 1981.