UAPB alumna Kacy Wright takes third place in 1890 graduate research competition

Will Hehemann School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences

Kacy1PINE BLUFF, Ark. – University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) alumna Kacy Wright took third place in a graduate student poster presentation at the 1890 Food Safety and Water Quality Symposium hosted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service in Beltsville, Maryland. Wright’s presentation was part of her thesis research project for a Master of Science degree in agricultural regulations at UAPB. Her research concerned the application of antimicrobial wash to control bacteria such as Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella typhimurium and Escherichia coli O157:H7 on cantaloupes.

“The Department of Agriculture at UAPB congratulates Ms. Wright on her achievement,” said Dr. Jaheon Koo, associate professor of regulatory science and one of Wright’s advisers. “In 2011, multistate outbreaks of Listeria monocytogenes (listeriosis) infections linked to whole cantaloupes caused 147 outbreak-associated illnesses and 33 deaths in 28 states. Her project to improve food safety of fresh cantaloupes using commercial antimicrobial wash is timely and crucial.”

Wright’s project included three experimental trials; one sensory evaluation using a panel of ten trained judges and two trials that compared the use of different antimicrobial washes on cantaloupes to unwashed sample.

Wright is currently a research associate for the UAPB Department of Agriculture and operates UAPB’s value-added product laboratory. She conducts research projects to develop value-added products from commodities such as sweet potatoes, strawberries and apples.

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