Skip to main content


MILES Food Science and Technology faculty hosts meeting at Virginia Tech


The Food Science and Technology Department Macromolecular Interfaces with Life Sciences (MILES) faculty hosted the Combat Rations Network (CORANET) meeting at Virginia Tech, March 16-17, 2010. CORANET is a Department of Defense program for manufacturing technology related to the production, storage and distribution of combat rations including ready to eat meals. CORANET members and affiliates, which include academic scientists, food manufacturers, and Department of Defense, work toward scientific and technical solutions for improving efficiency of manufacturing combat rations and the supply chain. The meeting at Virginia Tech, a two-day conference, provided updates on funded projects and discussion of new projects.

VT is a partner for one CORANET funded project on preservation of fruits to prevent browning using novel technologies including using natural antimicrobial agents for preventing fruit discoloration (MILES faculty Dr. Sean O’Keefe and Dr. Joe Marcy). MILES Co-director, Dr. Susan Duncan (Department of Food Science and Technology) and graduate student Lisa Hightower (Department of Agricultural Extension and Education) provided a demonstration to the group about the use of facial recognition software for sensory evaluation applications of food. Dr. Annie Aigster (Recent MILES trainee graduate and MILES program manager) and Dr. Sabrina Hannah (Recent MILES trainee graduate) discussed interdisciplinary research and novel technologies for analyzing the effects of light on food components and the use of packaging innovations for reducing these effects. This two day workshop provided an opportunity for exchange of research interests from academia scientists, food manufacturing and packaging industries, and government agencies.

Address Goals

The CORANET meeting prompted the active exchange of ideas among researchers from academia and industry with the goal of providing our military forces with improved combat rations while being deployed overseas. The two day workshop resulted in potential collaborations among various universities, industry and government. This meeting also created the atmosphere for bringing new research collaborations into evidence and for initiating new discussions and partnerships in industry and academia.