The Starke County Economic Development Foundation (SCEDF) has nominated the Kemin Food Technologies facility in North Judson, Indiana and Lambert Farms, a Starke County family owned farming corporation for a Team Innovator’s Award from The Society of innovators of Northwest Indiana.
The Society of Innovators is an initiative to celebrate and promote innovation and innovators in Northwest Indiana sponsored by Ivy Tech Community College and various partners. Each year, nominations are accepted for individuals and teams doing innovative things across Northwest Indiana, including the seven counties of Jasper, Lake, LaPorte, Newton, Porter, Pulaski, and Starke Counties.
Kemin and the Lambert family have joined forces to take advantage of the properties found in a naturally grown plant, a special variety of spearmint, which extends the useful life and appearance of foods.This process results in an extension of the shelf life of prepared and packaged foods, so there is less food waste.Worldwide, food is more available in third world countries where there is often a great gap between the date a food is processed and it is made available to all citizens.
Kemin located a plant to process this spearmint adjacent to land owned by the Lambert family, and the Lambert family began to grow an experimental crop last season.Different cultivation techniques from those used to cultivate oil producing mint plants were discovered and developed.A new drying process was then developed that allows the crop to be cut and the extraction to begin no more than 15 minutes after cutting the crop, which captures the properties sought.
All nominations for this award will be reviewed by a committee, with awards to be announced this coming fall.Honorees will then be feted in an event that continues to grow both in size and stature, and this year is scheduled for October 17, 2013 at the Horseshoe Casino.Previously, innovation awards have been given individually to Charles W. Weaver, Executive Director of SCEDF, as well as a Team Award for development of the Lead Track through the Starke County Rail Park-Knox.
The Starke County Economic Development Foundation is a not-for-profit local economic development organization (LEDO) providing economic development opportunities on behalf of Starke County, Indiana, the City of Knox, and the Towns of North Judson and Hamlet through the development of industrial parks, rail spurs, greenfield sites, shovel-ready sites, infrastructure, and workforce development.For more information regarding Starke County Economic Development Foundation, visit www.scedf.biz.