Sweet Travels attended a workshop at Rutgers Food Innovation Center (FIC) hosted by Dr. William Franke and organized by Esther Psarakis of Foodpreneur. Dr. Franke provided an overview of the history of the center and how it has evolved throughout the years. Back in the day, The Department of Defense contracted FIC to manufacture ready to eat meals for combat. The goal was to develop quality combat rations with a shelf life of three years that could withstand extreme heat conditions.
Nowadays, the FIC offers commercial space for food start-ups and services ranging from product development, food safety training, business mentoring, and full-scale production. Companies can partner with Rutgers to develop go-to-market strategies or tap into Rutgers’ academic resources for product development, testing, and analysis. Current projects include working with juice & beverage clients, a granola bar company, medical foods, and a gourmet condiment and salad dressing line.