Richard (Rody) Rodeheaver Hawkins, Ph.D.

Ph.D.    Meat Science and Muscle Physiology

               Minor – Biochemistry and Nutrition

                        Texas Tech University

M.S.     Meat Science

                        University of Kentucky

B.S.      Animal Science

                        University of Tennessee

During his 28 years in the of food industry, Dr. Hawkins' experience has been with developing and implementing new food products and solving complex technical problems for many large medium and small food companies. In his early days Dr. Hawkins worked for the 2 largest food companies in the USA: Oscar Mayer Foods, previously a division of Philip Morris and currently a division of Kraft, Inc., and GoodMark Foods, currently ConAgra Snack Foods and a group of ConAgra Foods, Inc. For Oscar Mayer he created the concept and product known as "Lunchables"; this product has been describe by Kraft Research as the most innovative new product developed by Kraft over the past 20 years. He also developed fully-cooked BBQ Ribs, OM Pre-Cooked Bacon (using microwave technology), Low-Salt Bacon and Beef & Cheddar Bun Length Franks.

Dr. Hawkins worked 15 years with GoodMark Foods Research & Development (R&D) becoming one of the world's leading authorities on shelf-stable meats and foods.  Working with the researchers at the US Army Soldier System Command, Performance Enhancement & Food Safety Team, he has developed sandwiches that are shelf stable for up to 3 years.  He has also setup meat processing lines in the USA and Europe.  He is recognized for his product knowledge, project management, leadership, team-building, extensive technical network and problem-solving abilities.  He has received an Excellence-In-Research Award from the US Army and has 15 patents with 1 patent-pending, among other accomplishments.  His leadership as Director of R&D for ConAgra Specialty Snacks created innovative and efficient product, process and packaging systems that contributed to sales growth increase from $50 million to $300 million in 15 years and percent net profits in the double digits for the last 6 years.  His food processing knowledge for extended shelf life includes extensive knowledge in ingredient, fermentation, product formulation, cooking, drying, smoking, water activity, ionic concentration, water binding, Modified Atmosphere Packaging, oxygen control, delayed oxidation, oxygen absorption, natural anti-oxidants, light diffusement and combinations of the preceding techniques known as "hurdle technology".


  Mobile:       (919) 434-6524