New at Illinois Tech, Institute for Food Safety and Health (IFSH) is the Food Innovation Research Exchange, located adjacent to the GMP pilot plant and kitchen suite on the Illinois Tech Moffett Campus in Bedford Park, IL. It features workshop space for subscribed members and sponsors to leverage the food safety training tools and the experience of the IFSH research collaborative mission. The primary focus is to serve the needs of small and medium scale food artisans and food processors by offering a wide menu of special events including workshops, webinars, and hands-on food product application demonstrations. Members of the Exchange will be able to register for dedicated use of the GMP kitchen and pilot plant. Microbiological, analytical and food properties services will also be available to support the members. A network of local mentors, consultants and suppliers will further expand the benefits of the exchange to support the growing need for food safety and technology education in the Midwest.
This new space is made possible by a grant from the State of Illinois, DCEO that provides the food industry a haven for innovation and technology that is aimed for growth, collaboration and job creation.
There are several drivers for the Food Innovation Research Exchange:
Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) with roll-out of numerous rules from FDA
- Increasing marketplace demand for early FSMA compliance
- Area access to food safety training and support services
- Local food trends
- Growing opportunities for start-ups and food entrepreneurship
- Area access to pilot plants with kitchens is limited
The primary focus is to serve the needs of small and medium scale food artisans and food processors through access to Institute for Food Safety and Health’s food safety and processing leadership and the produce design tools and entrepreneurship services of Illinois Tech.