sealPurdue Business Tips

April 1995

Disposable table service makes economic sense for schools

Using permanent, reusable serviceware in school food service operations may reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills, but it is not as cost effective as using disposable plates, utensils and glassware, says a Purdue service industry expert. Richard F. Ghiselli, assistant professor in the Department of Restaurant, Hotel, Institutional and Tourism Management, and two colleagues studied 237 public school corporations in Indiana to find out how much money they were spending on permanent serviceware vs. disposable. He found that purchase/replacement and cleaning costs for permanent serviceware exceeded those for disposable serviceware. At this time, landfill and waste-hauling costs aren't prohibitively high, Ghiselli says. For example, he found that in $1 worth of landfill space, a school could store 3,455 paper plates, 5,537 paper cups, or 4,906 plastic forks. CONTACT: Ghiselli, (765) 496-2374; Internet,

New cooling technology bubbles with possibilities

Tiny bubbles are proving they can "take the heat" at Purdue. Issam Mudawar, professor of mechanical engineering, is doing research on a cooling technology that uses bubbles to dissipate enormous amounts of heat. The technology could be used in the design of future fusion reactors, to make more efficient medical equipment and to make smaller, lighter electronics. Mudawar's technique forces boiling liquid at high pressure through tiny channels the size of hypodermic needles, a process called microchannel flow boiling. "When you boil liquid, you create little bubbles, like heating water in a pot," he says. "In the case of microchannels ... bubbles form on the channel wall and are quickly flushed out with the liquid, taking the heat away with it in the process. The instant one bubble leaves, another one forms to replace it." Mudawar says other applications that could benefit from the system are lasers, medical X-ray equipment and avionics systems in military aircraft. CONTACT: Mudawar, (765) 494-5705; Internet, News release and photo of Mudawar available from Purdue News Service, (765) 494-2096.

Consumers think 'percent more free' ads offer more than they do

They may indeed be getting something for nothing, but consumers think that amount is more than it actually is, says a Purdue retail expert. A popular advertising strategy offers a "percent more free" when consumers buy "bonus size" items. "When asked how many ounces of product are free in a 24-ounce bottle labeled '50% more free,' most consumers would say they were getting 12 free ounces," says Larry J. Seibert, assistant professor of general business at Purdue's North Central campus. "The actual free amount would be 8 ounces, based on a 16-ounce regular size." CONTACT: Seibert, (219) 785-5233.

Pawpaws provide potential, Purdue experts predict

The pawpaw -- the largest fruit native to the United States -- has the potential to become a popular flavor in American foods, says a Purdue flavor chemist. Carol Karahadian says that because of its unique taste, the pawpaw could become the next trendy fruit, like the kiwi. Bruce Bordelon, assistant professor of horticulture, says: "Pawpaws are shaking out as having good market potential already. They should start showing up soon in expensive restaurants as a novelty item." Bordelon is coordinator of Purdue's pawpaw variety trial, which is part of a 14-university effort to determine the best varieties of this unusual fruit. The yellow-brown fruits are about the size of a potato with a texture like a very ripe banana on the outside. CONTACTS: Karahadian, (765) 494-8232; Internet, Bordelon, (765) 494-8212; Internet, News release and black-and-white photo and b-roll of pawpaws are available from Purdue News Service, (765) 494-2096.

Dual-major health sciences students enjoy job security

Companies that must comply with a growing number of regulations on pollution and job hazards are hotly pursuing students who major in both health physics and industrial hygiene, says David Tate, director of student services in Purdue's School of Health Sciences. "Companies have to comply with these laws but often can't afford both a health physicist and an industrial hygienist," he says. "So they're eager to hire one person knowledgeable in both areas. Industrial hygienists deal with such issues as hazardous waste, indoor air quality, and air and noise pollution. Health physicists design and direct programs to protect people from the harmful effects of X-rays, lasers and radiation. Bachelor's graduates of this dual-degree program can command a starting salary around $37,000. CONTACT: Tate, (765) 494-1392.

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