Creamery Provides Rich Source of Research Information

6/2/2005 6:53:00 PM

Jennifer Acosta, senior, left, and Trent Roddy, senior, buy ice cream at the LSU AgCenter’s Dairy Store from Charles Surbeck, junior. All three are from New Orleans. The store is open year-round and offers such original flavors as Oak Fudge Alley and Bourbon Street Vanilla Bean. (Photo by Mark Claesgens)

Long a campus fixture, the LSU AgCenter’s Dairy Store and its accompanying creamery have offered teaching and research opportunities for the Department of Dairy Science as well as ice cream treats.

The creamery, a small-scale production facility, is used to teach students to make ice cream and cheese and produces about 6,000 gallons of ice cream and 5,000 pounds of cheese each year.

Operated almost exclusively by student labor, the store in its current location has been open since 1972, said Chuck Boeneke, an instructor and manager of the creamery. Although a creamery has been operated at various locations since 1906, the first dairy store on campus opened in 1929 and closed in 1956 when the creamery moved to its current location.

Jack Losso, a researcher in the Department of Food Science, uses the creamery to remove fats from milk to prepare proteins on a large scale for study. In one project, he is investigating how milk proteins can replace gums as stabilizers in foods such as salad dressings and sauces.

Ron Gough in the Department of Dairy Science uses the creamery to find better ways to treat dairy plant wastewater before the water is released into municipal water treatment systems.

“We want to be able to manage and predict how the polluting components of this waste stream can be removed and release a cleaner liquid into the municipal wastewater stream,” he said.

In another project, Gough and Boeneke are evaluating manufacturing processes for creole cream cheese.

“It’s a limited commercial product that requires hand labor but results in a high-quality product,” said Gough, who is working with a Louisiana dairy producer who wants to get into the manufacturing business to supply creole cream cheese to restaurants and specialty stores.

Rick Bogren

(This article appeared in the spring 2001 issue of Louisiana Agriculture.)

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