CAFT’s Cooperative Research Program serves the food industry through fundamental and applied research and an active program of technology transfer. Cooperative Research supports basic generic core research and proprietary research conducted by faculty throughout Rutgers University. The oversight committee for CAFT is its Industrial Advisory Board (IAB). Each Member Company is represented on the IAB. The Board meets at least twice a year and offers advice and guidance on the nature of the core research programs carried out in the Center. Research proposals are developed by the faculty in consultation with Member companies based on their perceptions of the basic needs of the food industry. The IAB helps prioritize these proposals for the funding decision. Progress reports of the research are presented to the IAB members and their technical representatives twice a year. The Board discusses the importance and quality of the results and recommends the Center's path forward. The Board also monitors operational aspects of the Center. It plays an important role in the recruitment of new members. It sets policy with regard to membership criteria and operation of the Center.
Research Focus Areas
Cooperative Research Clusters are developed jointly by the Center’s faculty/staff and CAFT’s member companies. Core research programs currently focus on the following:
- Nanotechnology Applications to Food
- Functional Foods and Health Promotion
- Food Safety and Defense
- Food Ingredient Technology
Cooperative research programs are supported by funds from federal grants and contracts ( e.g. USDA, NIH, DoD) and fees from CAFT member companies and the State of New Jersey,. The results of the research are proprietary to CAFT and to all member companies of the Center. This information is placed in the public domain, through oral presentations and publications, poster presentations, software, and patent disclosures, only after the approval from CAFT’s Industrial Advisory Board.CAFT supports a total of approximately 15 active research projects; the total number is a function of the funds available. Details of these projects are confidential until published.