AMSA has announced that Dr. Wesley Osburn, Associate Professor of Animal Science at Texas A&M University, is the recipient of the 2016 Meat Processing Award. The award is sponsored by Smithfield Foods, Inc. Dr. Osburn was honored at a special awards banquet at the AMSA 69th Reciprocal Meat Conference on Tuesday, June 21, 2016 in San Angelo, Texas.
Dr. Wesley N. Osburn, Associate Professor in the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M University, has a passion for all things related to meat processing—whether it is in the classroom helping students learn about this fascinating aspect of the meat industry, in the research and development laboratory making new products, or in the field helping manufacturers improve their processes or to solve some problem—making him one of the top educators in this area.
Dr. Osburn is a master teacher who brings to the classroom a tremendous knowledge of processed meats based on both scientific principles and extensive practical applications. He has taught a wide variety of courses at Michigan State University and Texas A&M University, and he provides a great background to his students so that they not only understand fundamental aspects of processed meats, but also understand how to implement these in commercial settings.
Dr. Osburn’s research program focuses on identifying, developing, and evaluating innovative ingredients and processing systems that enhance the functionality, nutritional value, safety, and/or quality of processed meat. Specific projects have included (1) investigating the influence of chlorine dioxide on pathogen survival and recovery on chilled pork and poultry subprimals, (2) using electronic sensors to detect the presence of pathogens, reduce the presence of “off odors and flavors” in pre-rigor sow pork loins, (3) evaluating varying levels and types of hydrocolloid gums in chicken patties and high-added-water restructured ham products, (4) assessing the functionality of preheated, spray dried whey protein isolates in low-fat frankfurters, (5) utilizing cryoprotectants to maintain the quality of frozen meat products, (6) investigating the functionality of dark, firm, and dry beef in processed meats, (7) determining the quality and functional attributes of processed meats manufactured with fruit powders, (8) developing injectable “modified marbling” solution made from various nonmeat ingredients and/or blends of lipids to mimic the organoleptic properties of intramuscular fat in whole muscle and further processed meat products, and (9) surveying the amount of residual nitrite in conventionally and alternatively cured meat products.
Dr. Osburn has been a key leader and presenter in many meat processing workshops around the country. He was instrumental in helping design and implement the original Pork 101 program, and he has been heavily involved in many different workshops related to processed meats throughout the years. One of Dr. Osburn’s greatest academic contributions has been the book chapters he has written. These chapters have been and continue to be used by students and meat processing industry personnel to help them understand the scientific and technical issues related to processed meats. These are great examples of the wonderful ways that Dr. Osburn helps people understand the complexities of this very specialized area of meat science. Dr. Osburn is not only a leader in meat science, but he also served our nation during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn from 2009 to 2011. He also worked with diplomats and representatives from the U.S. and British embassies to enhance civilian-military training and support for the Iraqi Armed Forces and retired in 2012 with the rank of U.S. Army Colonel.
“He is the epitome of a true agriculture scientist as he utilizes his personal and professional passions to direct and guide his research, teaching and outreach interests. At the core of these interests remains the focus of processed meats in which his interest lies and is easily communicated through his teaching, research, and outreach track record throughout his career,” stated Jeff Sindelar, University of Wisconsin.
For more information regarding news from the Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Texas A&M University, please contact Maggie Tucker at firstname.lastname@example.org or (979) 845-1542.