PATENTS, INVENTIONS AND INNOVATIONS
The latest inventions or innovations developed by faculty, students, researchers,
administrators and alums.
- In A Pickle: NC State and USDA scientists develop the pasteurization process for cucumber pickles. This process now accounts for over 40 percent of commercially processed cucumbers in the United States and provides the basic principles for home pickling. Researchers later discovered the procedures to prevent brined-cucumber softening and are credited with saving North Carolina's $-- million cucumber brining industry.
- Bright News: The first flue-cured tobacco varieties resistant to black shank, black root rot and Granville wilt - Dixie Bright 101 and 102 - are developed and released by NC State plant breeders. These varieties are credited with saving the North Carolina flue-cured tobacco industry from destruction by disease. Black shank along had been destroying 20,000 to 30,000 acres of tobacco a year.
- Hamming It Up: The country ham curing process is developed for producers by School of Agriculture researchers. This research is largely credited with developing the $1 million- - year commercial country industry in North Carolina, now the nation's leading state in production of air-dried hams.
- Reap The Harvest: A team effort between NC State engineers and agriculturalists leads to a perfected mechanical tobacco harvester and puts tobacco production one step closer to mechanization like other cash crops. Over the next 10 years, the labor involved in tobacco harvesting and curing is cut from 480 man-hours/acre to 100/acre - a savings to North Carolina of 83 million man-hours per year.
- How Sweet It Is: The jewel sweet potato variety is released and becomes the major sweet potato in the country. Jewels are now planted on 90 percent of North Carolina's sweet potato acreage, and the state is number one in sweet potato production.
- Mechanical Mama: Microbiologist James G. Lecce invents the "autosow" - a mechanical sow designed to nurse newborn pigs. Although the machine was never widely adopted by swine growers, it is now a valuable research tool used by NCSU researchers in collaborative studies with the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Medical School to study rotavirus - a common virus that causes millions of human deaths in Third World countries.
- Tannenbaum: Largely an accomplishment of NC State's Extension Service, the development of the Christmas tree industry in North Carolina takes off. By 1990 Tar Heel growers harvest 4.5 million trees worth $63 million dollars and expects a 10 to 20 percent increase in harvest the following year.
- On The Beach: Soils and crop scientists evaluate and release Hatteras Beach Grass in order to stabilize beaches and cut down on erosion. The variety, which accumulates sand and forms dunes, is now the main type of beach grass used in the state.
- Sweet Sensation: Sweet acidophilus milk, which can be found on the shelves of almost any grocery store, is perfected by food scientists Marvin Speck. The milk contains beneficial bacteria helpful to those with intestinal problems
- Hot Tomato: Horticulturalist Randolph G. Gardner at the Mountain Station at Fletcher releases the Mountain Pride tomato. Currently the annual value of tomatoes in North Carolina is $10 million, and the Mountain Pride represents 75 percent of the state's commercial tomato acreage. Gardner and his colleagues are at work developing a hybrid tomato resistant to early blight disease.
- Good Things In Small Packages: NCSU leads the nation in research in asceptic packaging and processing used for milk, fruit juices and other products. This research is responsible for the ultra-high temperature milk now found on grocery shelves and for establishment of a national Center for Asceptic Processing and Packaging on campus by the National Science Foundation.
- Something To Crow About: Poultry science researchers develop a group of techniques and devices for increasing hatchability of turkey eggs. Each one percentage point increase in the hatching rate translates into a $5 million benefit for the turkey industry. North Carolina is now the top turkey producing state and poultry is the state's most valuable agricultural commodity. Patented NCSU technologies to improve egg fertilization, hatchability and disease resistance have been licensed to Embrex, Inc. of Research Triangle Park for commercial development.
- High-tech Johnny Appleseed: Forestry professor Awatif Hassan licenses a mechanical tree planter hat allows tree farmers to increase the ratio of planting to 1,000-1,500 bare-root seedlings (more than an acre) per hour while controlling the depth and quality of planting.
- Research Eggs-pertise: NCSU food scientists develop a process for pasteurizing and packaging fluid eggs that is licensed to Morning Glory Eggs and Michael Foods, Inc. The process provides cost savings and increased safety for the handling of eggs in the food service and prepared-food industries and is leading to convenient, low-cholesterol egg products for the grocery dairy case.
- Yes Surimi: NCSU food scientists discover two enzyme inhibitors that bring about new applications for the fish-based protein now used to make imitation crab legs and shrimp. Luncheon meats, hot dogs, poultry and even sirloin steaks could be made from this protein extract called surimi - a protein source naturally low in cholesterol and fat.
- Water, Water Everywhere: NCSU's Water Table Management Group develops internationally recognized water table management methods that reduce the amount of water-borne agricultural pollutants flowing into streams while increasing crop yields and profits. The methods, embraced by farmers and environmentalists alike, have resulted in a $5 million increase in North Carolina farm income over the last three years and could potentially be applied on over one-million acres of cropland and two-million acres of forest land within the state.
- Skimming The Fat: Two US Department of Agriculture researchers located at NCSU, Joe W. Burton and Richard F. Wilson, produce a type of soybean with an oil lower in saturated fatty acids than soybean varieties new grown by farmers. Soybean oil, which is used in a variety of foods, is considered to be a significant source of saturated fatty acids in the American diet. Reducing the saturated fatty acids in soybean oil should reduce the collective American consumption of saturated fatty acids without changing the American diet.
- The One (s) That Didn't Get Away: The approximately $10 million trout farming industry takes off largely due to extension efforts. North Carolina is the second largest trout producing state in the nation, behind Idaho, and extension services are credited with the industry's continued growth.