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UF/IFAS Aquatic Food Products Building To Be Dedicated

GAINESVILLE — A new $1.6 million Aquatic Food Products Building at the University of Florida will be officially dedicated by UF President John Lombardi during ceremonies beginning at 10:00 am on Friday, April 4, 1997.

“The Aquatic Food Products Building expands the capabilities of the UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) as a leader in seafood product research, training, safety and quality assurance,” said Douglas Archer, chairman of the UF/IFAS food science and human nutrition department.

In addition to research, the 10,000 square foot facility will be used for teaching students enrolled in classes on seafood processing, safety and quality. The building will also be used for industry and regulatory workshops covering all facets of the seafood industry. Funds for the building were provided by the state of Florida and the seafood industry.

“This facility provides us with the capability to address virtually every seafood concern, whether the product is harvested, cultured or imported,” Archer explained. “As a result, UF/IFAS will continue to make major contributions toward meeting the consumer expectations for seafood quality and safety.”

Steve Otwell, UF/IFAS seafood extension specialist, said Florida’s seafood processors and consumers will play a key role in setting the agenda for work conducted at the facility. “With the cooperation and support of the industry, seafood safety and quality concerns from production to plate will be addressed.”

Otwell said more than 70 percent of U.S. seafood is imported. As a result, much of the work to be conducted at the new building will address safety and quality issues involving foreign products.

“While the UF’s location is ideal for addressing seafood operations in the Atlantic, Gulf and Caribbean regions, major emphasis will also be placed on solving state and local seafood issues,” Otwell said. “For example, the new facility will help insure that all Florida-based seafood processors will be well prepared to comply with the nation’s new seafood inspection program.”

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