Nestled within the North Dakota State University campus is a hub of food innovation for the wheat industry. In 1979, Northern Crops Institute (NCI) was started with the mission of promoting the high-quality wheats grown in North Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, and South Dakota.

It has since grown to promote a wider variety of crops. While you may not have heard of NCI, you may be enjoying its efforts. Take for instance Sunbutter a popular peanut butter alternative made from sunflower seeds. NCI provided invaluable assistance helped speed along the development of Sunbutter, a peanut butter alternative made from sunflower seeds. Sunbutter is rapidly growing in popularity with peanut allergy sufferers and parents who are required to pack peanut-free lunches for their school-age children.

NCI’s close proximity to NDSU’s food science department creates excellent opportunities for both institutions. The university’s food scientists collaborate and share their knowledge on NCI projects while the university’s food science students can take advantage of internship opportunities with NCI.

NCI also offers technical support internationally. NCI is working to help troubleshoot pasta production in other parts of the world. Many pastas are made from durum wheat. In some areas of the world durum wheat can be prohibitively expensive. NCI recently hosted a class that taught participants from Nigeria, Peru, and other countries how a pasta’s quality can be enhanced by experimenting with the ratio of durum wheat in the mix to additionational products like flax and lentils.

NCI and NDSU are long-time users of our instruments. We’re pleased that our TA.XTPlus is part of the excellent work that both institutions do.

Read more about NCI’s international work here:

Northern Corps Institution teaches international companies to use regionally grown products

Find out more about Northern Crops Institute here.