The American Chemical Society designated the research on food dehydration processes at the Eastern Regional Research Center as a National Historic Chemical Landmark in a ceremony in Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania, on April 18, 2007. The plaque commemorating the event reads:
Chemists, chemical engineers, and food technologists at the Eastern Regional Research Center developed innovative dehydration technologies, most notably the potato flake process and explosion puffing. These technologies created opportunities for the development of novel, high-quality convenience foods and food ingredients for domestic and global markets. Instant mashed potatoes and formulated potato crisps, both made from potato flakes, are among the most popular and recognizable food products ever created. These food dehydration technologies increased U.S. potato production and utilization, provided key products for food aid programs, and made a lasting and significant impact on the ways in which foods are processed worldwide.
Written by Judah Ginsberg
Photos supplied by the Eastern Regional Research Center; Photo Illustration: Paul Pierlott.
The author wishes to thank the following former researchers at the Eastern Regional Research Center who provided valuable insights into the work done at the facility on food dehydration technologies: John Sullivan, Michael Kozempel, Rich Konstance, Gerald Sapers, and Mary Jo Egoville. The author is indebted to Dr. Brendan Niemira of the ERRC for his assistance in providing many of the research materials and photos used in preparing this brochure. In addition, Dr. Niemira read a version of this brochure, as did D.H. Michael Bowen and Janan Hayes of the National Historic Chemical Landmarks Program Committee. Needless to say, any remaining errors are the author's alone.
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