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Massachusetts Agricultural Experiment Station

MDAR Acidified Canned Food Products

Producing shelf-stable acidified canned foods can help to add value to produce and introduce new markets, extend the agricultural season, and reduce waste. However, to successfully sell and distribute shelf-stable products, such as salsas, sauces, and/or acidified pickled products, processors must comply with the Code of Federal Regulations (21CFR114).

Improving Access and Motivation for Small and Medium Processors in the Northeast to be in Compliance with FSMA’s Preventive Controls Rule

Many small and medium producers and processors are affected by the recent implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) regulation as the existing training does not address how to determine compliance and assumes that small and medium food processors (SMPs) begin training with a base level of food safety knowledge that many SMPs do not have. This project develops accessible, scale-appropriate, motivational mixed-media content to provide SMPs with the information they need to better understand how to implement Preventive Controls (PC) in their food businesses.

Understanding and Mitigating Risk Factors Associated with Food Production

The safety of the food supply is a continuing issue for agriculture, with an estimated 81 million instances of foodborne illnesses in the USA annually, with an estimated cost of $152 billion dollars per year to the US economy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 46% of these illnesses were due to produce - thus food safety is very much an agricultural issue.

Harnessing Chemical Ecology to Address Agricultural Pest and Pollinator Priorities

In recent years, there has been interest in low-cost, reduced-risk materials that could be used for attract-and-kill of the invasive pest, spotted-wing Drosophila Drosophila suzukii. This pest causes heavy economic damage to soft fruits in many countries. In a series of behavioral and physiological studies, we will quantify the effects of using Concord grape juice either, alone or incombination with borax, boric acid, and salt on (1) male and female D.

Increasing Forest Resiliency

Forest resiliency is not just an ecological challenge. To increase forest resiliency, we must inform the decisions of those that own and control the forests. Family forest owners (FFOs) control 263 million acres (or 35%) of U.S. forests. In the eastern U.S, FFOs own 43% of the forest and in Massachusetts they control more than 70% of the forests (Butler, 2008).

Advancing Understanding and Process-based Prediction of Northeastern Forest Regeneration

The project combines intensive field sampling with an advanced statistical model to compile an extensive, statewide regeneration data set and improve understanding of the factors leading to successful regeneration of desired species and communities following management intervention. Our approach allows for novel understanding of the complete range of factors impacting forest regeneration in Massachusetts and tests alternative management approaches to sustain valuable forest resources under global change.

Food Systems, Health, and Well-being: Understanding Complex Relationships and Dynamics of Change

Adequate nutrition is critical to human health and well-being. Consumption of fruit and vegetables is a major contributor to adequate nutrition for all age groups. Older adults are at increased risk for inadequate nutrition in part due to unique barriers to obtaining fruits and vegetables. For example, access to fruits and vegetables and inability to travel to grocery stores or other traditional food outlets can be particularly challenging for older adults who may have limited physical mobility and / or few transportation options, especially if they no longer drive.

Water Management and Quality for Specialty Crop Production and Health

The goal of the project is to improve irrigation and fertilization practices in ornamental plant production in order to improve production efficiency and to reduce the environmental impact of ornamental plant production by limiting nutrient laden runoff from nurseries and greenhouses. Improving production practices relies on a better understanding of plant water and fertilizer needs as well as assessment of improved application methods.

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