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MSU Today

Delicious MSU Dairy Store ice cream and cheese part of teaching, research and outreach program

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Russ White
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Lou Anna K. Simon, Zey Ustunol, Brekelle Wiedenmannott, Mark Hollis

“The Dairy Store is only part of the dairy program at MSU,” Zey Ustunol tells Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis on MSU Today. “We have two stores and a trailer. Our dairy foods complex consists of our dairy plant, where we manufacture products that we sell in the stores. That’s where the cheese and ice cream is made.

“But more importantly the dairy foods complex is a teaching, research, and outreach facility. And part of our job is to serve the industry to provide our expertise in food safety and other issues they may encounter when running their own operations.”

Ustunol is a professor in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, and she oversees research and student engagement at the Dairy Store. Brekelle Wiedenmannott is the Dairy Store Manager. She joins the conversation, too.

The renovated Dairy Food Complex in South Anthony Hall houses the Dairy Plant, Dairy Store, and the Dairy Chemistry research laboratory as well as a Quality Assurance lab and the Food Chemistry teaching laboratory.

The dairy store complex provides training of undergraduate and graduate students in Food Science and Human Nutrition in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. It serves students wishing to pursue careers in the dairy/food processing industries and prepares students with the latest knowledge, technology and equipment appropriate to the dairy/food industry.

New technologies of processing along the issues of food safety and diet/health present a formidable challenge to strengthening the research program in dairy processing. The presence of a facility housing modern analytical and pilot laboratories enhances the ability of the scientists at MSU to address these important issues.

During the last 15-20 years, the technology incorporated in dairy and food plant design, processing and the detail in regulation has become increasingly complex. A modern processing plant is maintained to aid in the training of industry and regulatory personnel for Michigan’s dairy and food industries.

MSU Today airs Sunday afternoons at 4:00 on 94.5 FM and AM 870.

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