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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Flores Hired as Extension Food Technology Specialist

LAS CRUCES - Nancy Flores began work Nov. 13 at Alcalde, near Espanola, as a food technology specialist with New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service.

Flores, an El Paso native, will work with individual fruit and vegetable producers through the Kellogg Project, an agricultural education program that encompasses 11 counties in northern New Mexico and the Jicarilla Reservation.

Flores will assist producers in preparing their fresh produce for further processing such as canning or use in other products. She will help individuals develop new markets for their merchandise, including salsa production and new fruit products.

"We are dealing with economically depressed areas near Alcalde," Flores said. "My first focus will be teaching basic sanitation principles of food processing."

One of Flores' first projects will be to make producers aware of the commercial kitchen facilities at the Taos Community Center. By New Mexico law, processed foods that will be sold to the public must be prepared in facilities that have been inspected and approved by the New Mexico Environmental Department. The commercial kitchen at Taos has this approval and can be used for developing new food products. A similar kitchen will be built at Alcalde in the future.

Flores comes to NMSU from the Louis Rich Turkey Division of Kraft Foods in Iowa, where she was a quality assurance supervisor for five years. She is a member of the Institute of Food Technologists and the American Business Women's Association.

She received her bachelor's degree in animal science from NMSU and her master's degree in food science and nutrition from the University of Missouri in Columbia. During college, Flores received the National Hispanic Scholarship and is now the chairperson for the scholarship selection committee.