Epps receives cheese technology patent award

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

ORANGEBURG – Dr. Jackie Epps recently received a patent for developing a shelf-stable cheese that will enable cheese products to be marketed in developing countries where refrigeration is unavailable to consumers. This invention represents the third patent that he has received for his creative development efforts during a 33-year career at Kraft Foods Holdings Inc.

Epps, a 1969 SC State alumnus, returned to his alma mater after retiring from Kraft Foods in 2005 to become director of career planning and placement. He was recently appointed interim vice president of the Division of Institutional Advancement.

The Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand issued patent number 532415 to Kraft Foods and four inventors, including Epps, for a shelf-stable shredded cheese. This unique cheese technology utilizes a combination of natural or process cheese, a cheese powder, glycerin and a filler to effectively manage and control water activity. The cheeses of this invention are shelf-stable at ambient temperatures, having good organoleptic properties and exhibit good melt restriction and essentially no browning upon heating. The cheeses of this invention are especially adapted for incorporation into, or used on or with, snack foods for retail sale which can be stored at ambient temperatures.

While at Kraft Foods, Epps developed hundreds of new products and line extensions to include Maxwell House coffees, Cool Whip toppings, Capri Sun, Country Time, Kool Aid Burst and Crystal Light Ready-to-Drink Beverages.

Epps earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from SC State and master’s and doctoral degrees in food science from Rutgers State University.