Taking a quick peek ahead, here is what you might see in 2012!
Food – Opportunities for Minnesota’s food entrepreneurs continue to grow. In 2012, look for AURI to continue working hard in the food lab doing nutritional analyses, food labels, and product development support for these entrepreneurs. Changing regulations and increased focus on food safety may present some interesting challenges for businesses. Everything from changes in the school lunch programs to sodium reductions give Minnesota food businesses opportunities to innovate in the coming year.
Consumer interest continues in the areas of gluten-free products and local foods. In the next year, you will probably be hearing more about clean food labels, designer enzymes, fortified foods, designer infant formula and milk alternatives.
Renewable Energy – As in the past year, 2012 will find AURI working hard on anaerobic digestion, biodiesel technical assistance and alternative crops for biofuels. AURI also anticipants continuing to work on projects related to turning biomass to heat in an effort to reduce ag producers’ and processors’ reliance on propane and fuel oil. Work with ethanol facilities to improve the bottom line will also continue.
It is likely that 2012 will be all the buzz with interest in butanol and iso-butanol, bio-oil from pyrolysis and microwave technologies, bio-refineries, and engineered enzymes. Stay tuned!
Coproduct Utilization – As always, the AURI coproducts lab is full of client projects. From densification to product improvement and reformulations, the clients are ready to continue on in 2012. The work of 2011 with expanded uses and coproduct feeding trials, has set the stage for some exciting work in 2012.
In 2012, expect to see the AURI labs and staff busy identifying new technologies along with new protein and energy sources for animal feeds. Also look for more information coming forward about engineered enzymes and synergies among processing facilities.
Biobased Products – The biobased products area is the the next big thing! In August of 2011, AURI completed a Biobased Materials market study. Since that time, AURI has been working with several industry partners to further explore how we can continue to advance this emerging industry (see story below).
In 2012, expect to see more information on the biobased industry’s role with coatings and lubricants, construction materials, specialty chemicals, and more durable plastics. We are excited to work with our partners and see the industry find new formulations and fiber blends.
With so much exciting work ahead, AURI can’t wait for 2012 to begin!