Alumni Story: Steven Gomez (Cook ’01, GSNB ’10): Thinking Outside the Bun

Steve in his test kitchen.

Steve Gomez in his test kitchen.

The next time you go into a Taco Bell, look for the poster promoting the Doritos Locos Taco and thank alumnus Steve Gomez for his role in making this wildly popular taste treat a reality.

An article in Business Insider describes it this way: “The Doritos Locos Taco is one of the most successful food innovations of all time. Taco Bell released the product in 2012 and sold more than a billion units the first year. The fast food company had to hire an estimated 15,000 workers to keep up with the demand.”

The distinctive orange shell – mimicking the Nacho Cheese Doritos corn chip – is filled with the traditional seasoned ground beef, lettuce and cheddar cheese in the “regular” version, and topped with chopped tomatoes and sour cream in the “supreme” edition. It looks like a very simple dish. But don’t tell that to Steve, who worked in test kitchens in Taco Bell’s Irvine, California, headquarters and manufacturing plants around the country for years to perfect it. [Read more...]

Prof. Mukund Karwe Gives Keynote at Kuwait International Conference on Life Sciences

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Prof. Mukund Karwe, 6th from left, standing in the first row, pose with organizers at the closing ceremony of the First Kuwait International Conference on Life Sciences.

Mukund Karwe, professor of food engineering and chair of the Department of Food Science at Rutgers, was one of two keynote speakers at the First Kuwait International Conference on Life Sciences, held April 6-8 in Kuwait. Karwe’s talk on “New and emerging food processing methods,” addressed how the traditional method of heat processing to destroy pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms in foods also destroys nutritional, nutraceutical and some sensory properties of foods. Karwe discussed new food processing techniques such as ultra-high pressure, pulsed electric field, pulsed light, UV, power ultrasound, oscillating magnetic field, cold plasma and combinations of these techniques. New and emerging technologies, which involve minimal or no heat processing, offer an alternative to traditional methods and can maintain the quality of processed foods without sacrificing safety. [Read more...]

Ph.D. Candidate Lisa Beirn Receives Fellowship from Golf Course Association

Lisa Beirn

Lisa Beirn

Ph.D. candidate Lisa Beirn is one of three recipients of a $5,000 postgraduate grant by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, as part of the Watson Fellowship Program. Beirn, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Plant Biology and Pathology, also recently won a 2013 Gerald O. Mott Scholarship for Meritorious Graduate Students in Crop Science, awarded by the Crop Science Society of America and the Agronomic Science Foundation. Read more about Beirn’s Watson Fellowship.

Rutgers LA Students Help Design New Property for HomeFront Center Serving Central Jersey Homeless

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L-R: NJASLA Rutgers student chapter members Jack Peters, Mark Lacey, Gwen Heerschap, Teddy Aretakis and Chris Perez work diligently on their group concept drawing for the HomeFront property. Students based their concept design on the “wants” articulated by the organization.

In March, the Rutgers Student Chapter of the New Jersey American Society of Landscape Architects (NJASLA) held a Design Charette—an intense period of design or planning activity—to come up with conceptual drawings for a new location of family support center run by HomeFront, a non-profit organization located in Mercer County, whose mission is to “end homelessness in Central New Jersey by harnessing the caring, resources and expertise of the community.”

To facilitate its growing services for Central Jersey residents, HomeFront plans to move its “Family Preservation Center” to a new location in Ewing Township, an 8.24-acre property with several buildings that it purchased from the U.S. Navy.

The Rutgers student chapter of the NJASLA became involved in the design project after HomeFront approached the Executive Committee of the NJASLA, a national organization of landscape architects, for its help in designing the newly acquired property. The NJASLA deployed its Community Assistance Team, which met with representatives of HomeFront to learn of its priorities and plans for the property. [Read more...]

Arctic warming tied to extreme weather

The dramatic loss of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean due to rapid Arctic warming has altered the polar-region jet stream and helped to bring on extreme weather events of recent years, including the Midwest drought of 2012, record flooding rains of 2013, and the harsh, cold 2013-2014 winter, according to a climate-change expert at Rutgers University. Jennifer Francis, an atmospheric research professor at Rutgers University’s Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, said, in the past 30 years, climate change has dramatically altered the Arctic Ocean, with sea ice volume now just one-fourth of what it was in the 1980s.

Read the entire article at KXLO Country Radio »