Samuel Alcaine

Julia Labby

Jenn Smith

Samuel Alcaine, Ph.D., director of the Northeast Dairy Foods Research Center and an associate professor in the Food Science Department at Cornell University; Julia Somerdin of Labby Inc.; and Jenn Smith, director of Cornell University’s Grow-NY program, join us for Episode 22 of the “Let’s Talk Dairy” podcast. 

Dr. Samuel Alcaine’s areas of expertise are dairy microbiology, brewing, food safety, microbial fermentations, and protective cultures and enzymes. His research focuses on developing technologies that improve the quality and safety of fermented dairy products. 

Labby Inc., an MIT startup, develops milk quality testing right on the farm, helping to replace antiquated methods. Julia Somerdin and her team are building next-generation technology to help the dairy industry transform its milk testing business and provide fast, accurate, and affordable solutions for dairy farms. 

Cornell University’s Grow-NY program includes an annual $3 million food and agricultural startup competition, an agricultural tech hardware accelerator, and activities supporting the cultivation of Upstate New York’s regional agrifood ecosystem. 

Important to the dairy industry, the Grow-NY program has received funding to help build a runway for dairy product innovators utilizing milk in New York and the Northeast, preparing them to get their products into market, scale, and apply for grants and investment to grow their businesses. The program will launch in 2023. 

In this episode the following topics are discussed:

  • How dairy processors meet the needs of consumers on an innovation standpoint while also meeting net-zero sustainability.
  • Best practices for processors regarding quality and safety of dairy fermented products.
  • How Labby implements technology to measure in real-time the fat and protein content as well as somatic-cell count of each drop of milk, and why this technology is important for dairy processors.
  • The new Grow-NY initiative, launching in 2023, and how it will impact the dairy industry.

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