The LSU AgCenter Food Innovation Institute, FOODii, is a resource center where entrepreneurs can start a food business, process foods, receive technical and marketing assistance, and benefit from expert advice and research on food safety and food sustainability. Louisiana is known for food — growing, catching, cooking, eating and promoting it. The LSU AgCenter and LSU College of Agriculture are there every step of the way, from improving crop systems and developing emerging food entrepreneurs to teaching people about safe food handling and food security. Through innovation and education, we ensure a sustainable food supply, protect the environment and improve the economic well-being of our world’s growing population. FOODii is positioned to deliver solutions for today’s food needs while innovating to meet the demands of tomorrow.
From concept to commercialization, budding entrepreneurs and larger food companies have found success through the LSU AgCenter FOODii. The food and beverage products make their way out of the institute, onto store shelves and into the homes and hearts of consumers. The program has launched thriving businesses and products that benefit the state’s economy. It also helps solve some of the challenges small and large businesses face. FOODii also serves a diverse clientele with 11 women-owned businesses and seven minority-owned businesses.
FOODii works with Louisiana Farm to Table to promote and highlight Louisiana products, such as cane sugar, rice flour, pecans, strawberries, satsumas, honey, shrimp and dairy.
In the state-of-the-art AgCenter Sensory Services Lab, faculty and students test new products and provide consultation, consumer tasting and sensory preference services, and education to FOODii clients.
FOODii provides educational programs and training for budding entrepreneurs, existing food companies and students on product marketing, better business practices, point of sale practices and how to start a food business.
FOODii works with the LSU School of Nutrition and Food Sciences to reformulate products to extend shelf life and create functional packaging to reduce spoilage and waste of perishable foods.
Maintaining food security also means awareness of the possibility of food terrorism that targets processed foods. This type of contamination can happen during processing, manufacturing, storage, transport, distribution or service. FOODii provides monitoring education in the area, and the LSU AgCenter’s proposed Agroterrorism Research and Studies Hub can offer preventive food terrorism training.