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Researchers at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma and Ambient Temperature Extraction Partners are working together to use low temperature and low pressure to extract the oils from plants providing producers with two usable products. This process uses 100 percent of the plant.

Activities involve natural products and nutraceuticals; mechanisms involved in shelf life extension of horticultural products; processing technologies for adding value to horticultural commodities; new crops and crop improvement. Projects involving nutraceuticals have included capsaicinoids in peppers, lycopene from watermelon, thujone/camphor from sage and thymol/carvacrol from oregano. Current projects target nutraceuticals from Eastern Red Cedar and grape pomace, both underutilized Oklahoma resources.

Shelf life extension projects include defining the mechanism of opalescence in pecans and evaluating technologies to prevent it. Processing technologies under development include filtration processing for lycopene segregation from watermelon and collaboration on a project to develop x-ray as a non-destructive means for pecan grading and sorting. New crops under investigation include sage and oregano, both targeted for nutraceutical processing.

Postharvest Preservation and Processing Systems for New and Conventional Horticultural Commodities

The research develops postharvest handling and quality analysis procedures necessary for new crop/new use production/harvesting/processing systems to provide alternatives for Oklahoma producers and food processors. Capsaicinoid metabolism is being evaluated in pungent/high capsaicin pepper selections to better understand steps for improvement of the crop for extraction processing. Processing steps for lycopene production from watermelons are under development to provide a secondary marketing option.



Articles and Abstracts

Feasibility Assessment of Investing in a Pecan Oil and Flour Processing Facility Using New Extraction Technology, October 2012, Las Cruces, N.M.

Postharvest Preservation and Processing Systems for New and Conventional Horticultural Commodities, USDA. Project End Date: September 30, 2014

Value-added Processing Providing Alternatives for Producers in Ag, Farm Talk, August 3, 2010.

Partial Oil Extraction Extends the Shelf Life of Pecan Halves. Hort Science, September 1996, Vol. 31 No. 5 757.


Contact Information

We invite you to learn more about our department and the many opportunities available to you. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Niels Maness
Professor of Postharvest
358 Agricultural Hall