ARS develops healthy oat based afternoon snack Pop Oats

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The brand is created with ARS scientists to offer nutritious snack option

The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientist Tara McHugh, director of the Western Regional Research Center in Albany, CA revealed that they have helped numerous small businesses, such as Pop Oats, turn their ideas into products for the consumer.

McHugh and her team in the Healthy Processed Foods Research Unit are experts at solving food-manufacturing problems by using cutting-edge processing technologies. Gone are the days when oats were viewed only as a breakfast staple. At least, that’s what Pop Oats co-founders Rodger Morris and Marc Pfeiffer are hoping. The new company is using a patent-pending method, developed in collaboration with the ARS, to perfect a snack made of whole oat groats—the hulled kernels of the grain that are primarily used for oatmeal. Not only is the snack healthful, but it also delivers a savory taste of flavors such as barbecue, white cheddar, sea salt, caramel, and chili lime.

“We could not have done this amount of work in our kitchen,” Morris said. “Effectively, they [McHugh and her team] gave us kind of a petri dish to figure out whether we could make this work or not, and we were fortunate enough to be able to do it.”


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