University of Minnesota Honors QualiTru Founder Darrell Bigalke with Food Safety and Food Quality Science Award in His Name

– QualiTru Establishes The Darrell Bigalke Food Safety and Food Quality Award, Creating A New Annual Dairy Science Scholarship –

OAKDALE, Minn., March 23, 2023 /PRNewswire/— Darrell Bigalke, the founder of QualiTru Sampling Systems and a dairy microbiologist and entrepreneur who has dedicated four decades to ensuring food safety through the revolutionary development of inline aseptic sampling systems for the dairy and liquid food industries, has been honored with the Darrell Bigalke Food Safety and Food Quality Award. This annual dairy science scholarship, intended to help the next generation of students from University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine or College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences further pursue key issues in dairy science and food quality and safety, was announced today.

“The College of Veterinary Medicine is very grateful to QualiTru Sampling Systems for sponsoring this award, which will contribute greatly to the training of a veterinary student with a strong interest in dairy population medicine,” said Sandra Godden, DVM, DVSc, Professor and Interim Associate Dean of Graduate Programs at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota, referencing the first recipient who will be chosen for the scholarship in 2023.

“This award extends Darrell Bigalke’s legacy in pioneering sampling tools that have helped dairy producers better manage their herds and allowed for enhanced efficiency for monitoring milk quality and composition. As a result, dairy farmers have experienced not only enhanced animal health, well-being and performance, but greater profitability and sustainability in their milking operations,” Dr. Godden added.

Sandra Godden, DVM, DVSc, Professor and Interim Associate Dean of Graduate Programs at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota

University Alum Bigalke’s Innovations Impact Food Safety

Bigalke, an alumnus of the University of Minnesota (class of 1974), holds a master’s degree in Food Science with an emphasis in Dairy Microbiology. His master’s thesis, entitled Relationship Between Conditions of Production and Handling of Raw Milk on the Farm and Bacteriological Quality, reveals how closely his study of dairy science and food safety issues have aligned with his career.

After working as a dairy microbiologist at Ecolab for a decade, Bigalke was inspired in 1983 to establish his own company, QualiTru Sampling Systems (originally named QMI). Shortly thereafter, serious outbreaks of dairy-related Salmonella and Listeria caused thousands of people to become sickened, and in some cases, perish. Drawing from his extensive knowledge of the dynamics of microbial contamination, Bigalke focused his new company on the singular mission of promoting inline aseptic sampling for the dairy industry, extending the capability for testing raw and processed dairy products far beyond what had been the industry’s regulatory requirements up until that point.

With the introduction of his inline aseptic representative sampling system, Bigalke played a pivotal role in helping shape the establishment and adoption of new, more rigorous industry Quality standards. Today, QualiTru’s products are used to verify product quality, perform inline aseptic sampling for testing and quality checks in bulk tanks and silos, and for microbiological testing. The use of Bigalke’s patented technology is directly referenced in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (Section 6) as approved for the required collection of representative samples directly from farm bulk milk tanks or silos prior to the milk being transported for processing. QualiTru Sampling Systems are now used to help the dairy and liquid food industries produce safe, high-quality products in over 30 countries worldwide.

“Through his pioneering work, Darrell has personally helped millions of people avoid serious food poisoning risks by equipping hundreds of commercial dairies and dairy processors with the ability to perform inline aseptic sampling. The data provided by these systems enables organizations to detect contamination issues so they can effectively stop potentially affected products from entering the food distribution system,” said Ian Davis, QualiTru’s CEO. 

“Darrell’s passion for food safety and quality, captured in his mantra, ‘Your test result is only as accurate as your sample,’ has guided the philosophy of our company for the past four decades. As QualiTru celebrates its milestone 40th anniversary as a company, we are proud to honor Darrell’s extraordinary impact on the dairy and liquid food industries with this award in conjunction with the University of Minnesota,” Davis said. “We look forward to the contributions of future award recipients, as they continue to progress in their academic explorations while continuing to advance the body of knowledge related to innovations in food quality and safety.”

Ian Davis, CEO

About the College of Veterinary Medicine

The University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine affects the lives of animals and people every day through educational, research, service, and outreach programs. Established in 1947, the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine is Minnesota’s only veterinary college. Fully accredited, the college has graduated over 4,200 veterinarians and hundreds of scientists. The college is also home to the Veterinary Medical Center, the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, the Leatherdale Equine Center and The Raptor Center.

About the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences  The University of Minnesota’s College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) strives to inspire minds, nourish people, and sustainably enhance the natural environment. CFANS has a legacy of innovation, bringing discoveries to life through science and educating the next generation of leaders. Every day, students, faculty, and researchers use science to address the grand challenges of the world today and in the future. CFANS offers an unparalleled expanse of experiential learning opportunities for students and the community, with 12 academic departments, 10 research and outreach centers across the state, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, the Bell Museum of Natural History, and dozens of interdisciplinary centers. 

About QualiTru Sampling Systems

Since 1983, QualiTru has been the pioneering leader in the science of aseptic and representative sampling. Known for its expertise and commitment to building awareness of aseptic sampling as a critical means of ensuring consumer health and food safety, QualiTru’s innovative sampling technologies are used to help the dairy and liquid food industries produce safe, high-quality products in over 30 countries worldwide. www.qualitru.com

Food Safety and Food Quality Science Award
Dr. Johan B. Ubbink, Professor and Head of Department of Food Science and Nutrition at University of Minnesota, Darrell Bigalke, founder of QualiTru Sampling Systems (formerly QMI), and Dr. Sandra Godden, DVM, DVs, Professor and Interim Associate Dean of Graduate Programs at University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine