California League of Food Processors 25 using the plant’s equipment to make ice cream and other food products. A second function for the facility is utilizing it for academ- ic research by UC Davis professors and graduate students, some using it for the center equipment’s freeze drying capabilities. A third function, and one that Fletcher would like to see expand, is industry use of the plant to conduct their own research for current or future products or processing issues. “People can come with problems that they have.” Fletcher said. “We have 300 very capable students that can help you out.” This function also gives the students some valuable experience for their future careers in the food processing industry, as well as the processors themselves - a win/win situation. “It gives companies a chance to work with the students and vice versa,” Fletcher said. “The students are really eager to their hands dirty.” Fletcher said companies can also bring in their own personnel for their research and their own equipment or utilize the facility’s expansive array of equipment. The plant can be utilized for short term use, such as a few days, or for a long-term project. The facility has been used for projects utilizing peaches and other fruit, tomatoes, juice products, coffee products, citrus, seaweed drying for snacks, ice cream and more. Fletcher said many people think “they have to have a project fully formed,” which isn’t the case. She encourages CLFP processor members and other food processing companies to tour the facility to see and view firsthand its capabilities. “We welcome visitors and inquiries,” Fletcher said. For more information the plant, contact Amy Fletcher at ahfletcher@ucdavis.edu. Pilot Plant Manager Amy Fletcher is hoping to expand use of the facility by food processors for company and industry research. Encouraged to Utilize UC Davis Pilot Plant By LISA JAGER - CLFP Marketing & Communications Director A plaque outside the pilot plant lists food process- ing industry donors.