Davis has a history of excellence in the wine and food sciences, and for the 21st century has brand new facilities. Robert Mondavi gave $25 million to establish the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science (RMI) within the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

This allowed the campus to move two departments — Viticulture and Enology, and Food Science and Technology — under one roof in a new, state-of-the-art facility in 2009. These departments, recognized as the best in the world in their respective areas, are closely linked with other disciplines investigating the role of healthful and safe foods. The Almond Board enjoys an excellent relationship with these groups. Dr. Clare Hasler, executive director of RMI, is a member of the ABC Nutrition Research Committee, and Dr. Karen Lapsley, chief scientific officer at ABC, has just been appointed to the UCD Food Science Leadership Board.

These valuable partnerships offer opportunities for continued research efforts benefiting the almond industry. In fact, several professors from the Department of Food Science and Technology are currently conducting ABC-funded research projects on almond quality. These findings will help the California Almond industry better understand how processing and adverse storage conditions could affect almond quality in terms of oil stability and textural properties. ABC hopes to actively pursue research proposals from UCD in 2010-11 to further characterize different varieties (both established and those in development) and to establish reliable methods for monitoring rancidity development.