About the Food Protein R&D Center

Established in 1939, the Food Protein Research and Development Center is one of the oldest land-grant agricultural research and service programs in the nation. It specializes in process development of diverse agricultural crops and animal products into food, feed and industrial ingredients. The Center also demonstrates the feasibility of novel ingredients in various commercial food and feed applications.

The scope of the Center has continued to evolve with the development of separation sciences in the oilseed processing industry. Basic research and testing, technology development and training projects are conducted for private industry, trade associations and state, federal and international agencies. The program is partially funded by the Texas Food and Fibers Commission and reviewed by its Industry Advisory Committee.


The program offers the following services, which are unique among North American universities: 

  • Research Oil Mill for screwpress and solvent extraction of oilseeds, industrial crops, flavor and color materials

  • Edible Oils Pilot Plant for refining, bleaching, hydrogenating and deodorizing edible fats and oils

  • Vegetable Food Proteins Pilot Plant for preparation and modification of food protein flours, concentrates and isolates 

  • GLP Program for processing test plot quantities of oilseed and cereal crops in a manner representative of commercial practices for the domestic agricultural chemicals industry

  • Extrusion Program, with eight extruders of various sizes, for development of continuous processes for preparation of food, pet foods and feeds products

  • Membrane Separations Laboratory, a leader in application of aqueous and solvent micro-, ultra- and reverse osmosis filtration in food processing

Research Capabilities

Many of the staff have multidisciplinary training and are bi- or multilingual. Interdisciplinary teams frequently are formed with other agriculture, business, engineering, medical and veterinary science personnel to address problems in processing crops, food and feeds manufacture, human and animal nutrition, and business development.

The program also presents ten to twelve practical short courses a year in a variety of topics such as cottonseed and soybeans extraction, edible processing, feeds extrusion and membrane separations, plus special training programs that attract domestic and international participation. The Food Protein R&D Center has been providing training courses since 1981.