Folgers Commits $500K to UC Davis Coffee Center

Folgers has announced a commitment of USD $500,000 to support the UC Davis Coffee Center. As part of this commitment, which was finalised earlier this month, the brand will support the launch of the Folgers Analytical Chemistry Lab, which will provide the first university infrastructure in the nation to address the unresolved questions around how certain molecules naturally present in coffee affect its final flavour profile.

“We are passionately committed to advancing coffee science, offering a catalyst for research supporting meaningful innovation and spurring the interest of leading students in this growing industry,” Jim Trout, vice president for coffee R&D at The JM Smucker Co, which owns the Folgers brand, said in a company blog. “We are excited to support these efforts and to share in the great progress we know will be realised.”

Housed in the University of California at Davis College of Engineering, the Coffee Center is the first multidisciplinary university research center in the world devoted to addressing the broad needs of the coffee industry through a holistic approach to coffee science and education. With support from its many partners, the Coffee Center is raising global standards for coffee by applying a rigorous academic framework to coffee research.

The Coffee Center builds upon the university’s existing Coffee Lab, a 1,200 square-foot laboratory in which students explore engineering principles through roasting and brewing coffee. The vision for the center was born out of the popular undergraduate elective course, The Design of Coffee, developed by chemical engineering faculty Tonya Kuhl and Bill Ristenpart in 2013. Near the same time, UC Davis launched a “Coffee Initiative” that brought together students, researchers and industry leaders from around the world.

“I’m ecstatic for the Coffee Center to partner with Folgers. They operate some of the largest coffee roasteries in the world and as UC Davis continues to build up an academic talent pipeline for the coffee industry, I’m really excited to leverage Folgers’ expertise to create a world-class education for our students,” said Coffee Center director and chemicals engineering professor Bill Ristenpart.

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