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GCC Food Processing Technology Lab well-equipped thanks to grant

By Billie Owens

Press release:

The Food Processing Technology Program at Genesee Community College recently put 12 new pieces of diagnostic laboratory equipment into action for the first time after a substantial purchase was made with support from a grant through the Educational Credit Management Corporation Foundation (ECMC) in collaboration with the Genesee County Economic Development Center.

GCC's currently running FPT 205 class that meets at the Batavia campus every Monday and Wednesday was the first group to use the new equipment, which includes a new milk analyzer, water activity meter, moisture analyzer, thermometers and micrometers.

"We are very excited to put our new equipment to use," Greg Sharpe, GCC's instructor of Food Processing Technology said. "We now have all the lab equipment here that was purchased through the grant and our students are actively engaged in laboratory assignments that closely relates to real-world food manufacturing. We are very thankful to the ECMC Foundation."

The ECMC Foundation strives to inspire and facilitate improvements that affect educational outcomes, especially among underserved populations, through evidence-based innovation. Its goal is to improve academic achievement among underserved students as they prepare themselves for higher education and careers. GCC was awarded approximately $40,000 for its new equipment from ECMC, which grants funding based on its values of college readiness, college retention, research and reform in teacher training and career readiness.

The exact equipment purchased through the grant includes:

• Lacticheck Milk Analyzer -- Analysis of milk for protein, fat and water content

• Bostwick Consistometer -- Analysis of foods for thickness and viscosity

• Blended Stomacher -- A blender that mimicks the action of a stomach

• Water Activity Meter – Analysis water content

• Refractometer – To analyze sugar content in foods and beverages

• Ebulliometer – Tests the percentage of alcohol in wines

• Moisture analyzer -- Tests moisture content in foods

• Brookfield viscometer -- Analysis of foods for viscosity

• Salt Auto-titrator -- Salt testing in foods

• Total Acid Auto-titrator -- Assesses the pH and acid content in foods and beverages

• Sieve screens – Tests particle size in food products

• Thermometers – Measure temperature

• Can tear-down equipment – Helps ensure seams on cans are properly sealed

The Food Processing Technology program at GCC launched in the Fall of 2014 and is the only one of its kind offered at any of SUNY's 30 community colleges. Through the College's strong partnerships with other educational institutions such as Cornell University, Rochester Institute of Technology and Cornell Cooperative Extension, the program has been designed to give students the knowledge, skills and experience necessary for career success at hundreds of food manufacturing facilities across Upstate New York.

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