VAN ETTEN, N.Y.â€”The doors are open on a new state-of-the-art maple research facility for the Cornell Maple Program.
The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and Cornell Universityâ€™s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) last month held a grand opening of the newly rebuilt Arnot Maple Research and Teaching Laboratory, which will house the first-of-its-kind new maple product development lab in the country.
Funded through $500,000 from the state budget, the laboratory is expected to foster further growth and innovation in New Yorkâ€™s maple industry.
The brand new 4,200-square-foot facility includes a new commercial kitchen and increased capacity for research and development of new maple products.
â€śCornellâ€™s Arnot Maple Research and Teaching facility conducts groundbreaking research that is critical to the growth of our stateâ€™s maple industry, which contributes significantly to the stateâ€™s ag economy,â€ť said state agriculture commissioner Richard Ball.
Located in the Arnot Research Forest, the Arnot Maple Research and Teaching is expected to play a pivotal role in conducting research and extension activities in support of New Yorkâ€™s maple industry, and information will be shared with sugarmakers across the nation.
The sugarhouse includes a fully equipped, 20-C commercial kitchen, which Cornell estimates will contribute to the creation of at least twenty new maple-based products annually, such as maple soda, beer, wine, kombucha, chocolate and sports drinks.Â
This will support dozens of new jobs in rural areas of New York State, like the Southern Tier, Cornell said.
The renovations also include the installation of a new vacuum system, which includes over 50 miles of tubing spread over four miles of forest; a new filtration unit; several new, 2,000-gallon stainless steel storage tanks, a reverse osmosis system, and evaporators; classroom space; and two identical production lines, so that multiple research trials can be run at the same time, bringing the facilityâ€™s research into the 21st century.
In recent years, research conducted at the laboratory has resulted in new technologies developed in reverse osmosis, taphole sanitation practices and new gravity flow check valves.