Sliced, scooped, swirled or slurped: OSU helps Oregon’s dairy industry develop new products

Goddik in cheese lab
Lisbeth Goddik shows off some of OSU's student-made cheeses

Oregon’s continued growth in dairy production has created a burst of new dairy products—artisan cheeses, ice creams, yogurts and creamers—that are being developed with the help of OSU food scientists. People may be drinking less milk these days, says Lisbeth Goddik, OSU Extension specialist in dairy processing, but they are consuming more cheese and other fermented dairy products.

Goddik leads OSU’s program to help dairy manufacturers and entrepreneurs develop new products to reach diverse markets. Creations range from different styles of cheese to innovative flavors of ice cream to products such as coffee creamers and protein shakes. Some of these are created by entrepreneurs who rent space at OSU’s Arbuthnot Dairy Center—home of the award-winning Beaver ClassicTM cheese—while others are developed at OSU’s Food Innovation Center.

OSU’s Food Science & Technology faculty also work with dairy manufacturers on food safety and conduct audits so smaller producers can become certified to sell their products to stores.

OSU’s dairy faculty actively participate in the Oregon Cheese Guild, helping to sustain the state’s artisan cheesemakers—who have won numerous awards from the American Cheese Society—and keep them abreast of the latest research and technology.

One of OSU’s clients is Rogue Creamery, famous for its Rogue River Blue cheese. The company is now working with OSU to develop a new product line: ice cream.

“Milk is magical,” says Parker Cooper, quality manager at Rogue Creamery and an OSU alumnus, “but it’s chemically complex. If you look at all the products it can create, there can be a lot to comprehend. It’s great to have Oregon State there to help.”

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