CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The American Meat Science Association (AMSA) announced Martha Cassens is the recipient of the 2012 AMSA Meat Processing Award.

Cassens has been a meat industry professional for more than 20 years, according to AMSA. She is credited with developing more than 300 products. She also has modified many other products, and has promoted cost savings of $14 million annually, the association said.

Among her many achievements, she developed the first low-fat carrageenan Vienna frankfurter. She also developed and produced the first Healthy Choice tray pack ground beef.

At Sara Lee, Cassens and her team introduced the first “better for you” Jimmy Dean D-light Sandwiches and Bowls and State Fair Whole Grain Corn Dogs. Her team also introduced Jimmy Dean Tray Pack Sausage, Fully Cooked Turkey Sausage and All Natural Pork Sausage.

“As a meat scientist, Martha's findings have consistently been used to effectively improve products for her company," said Dr. Thomas Powell, ASMA Executive Director. "She is adept at applying current scientific knowledge to the practical needs of the meat industry.”

Sponsored by Smithfield Foods, the award was established in 1977. Cassens will be honored at a special reception and awards presentation at the AMSA 65th Reciprocal Meat Conference on June 19 in Fargo, ND.