Areas of Thesis Research

RESEARCH DISCIPLINES

Flavor Chemistry

Research areas include identification and measurement of aroma compounds and their chemical/biochemical formation in foods, and flavor retention and changes during food processing and storage. Additional studies include measurements of flavor interactions with food components and packaging materials, and flavor release in food systems.

Professors: Paul Hughes, Robert McGorrin, Michael Qian, Tom Shellhammer, Elizabeth Tomasino

Food Chemistry/Biochemistry

Areas of emphasis include processing and chemical reactivity, plant cell wall biochemistry, and enzyme technologies.

Professors: Christina DeWitt, Paul Hughes, Juyun Lim, Michael Qian

Food and Health

Research areas include impacts of whole foods, food components or supplements on human health, gut microbiome, gustatory detection of nutrients, and sensory mechanisms underlying cephalic phase insulin release.

Professors: David Dallas, Jung Kwon, Juyun Lim, Si Hong Park

Food Microbiology/Biotechnology

Areas of focus include; ecology of food and beverage production, impact of foods and beverages upon human gut microbiota, evolution of antimicrobial resistance, development of strategies to reduce contamination of foods and beverages with pathogenic or spoilage microbes, development of starter cultures for food and beverage fermentation. Research in these areas leverages expertise in microbial physiology, molecular genetics, whole genome sequencing, metagenomics (metabarcoding and shotgun sequencing), transcriptomics (RNAseq) and bioinformatics.

Professors: Chris Curtin, Jovana Kovacevic, James Osborne, Si Hong Park, Joy Waite-Cusic

Sensory Science

Research areas include sensory psychophysics, methodology development, and sensory evaluation of foods.

Professors: Juyun Lim, Tom Shellhammer, Elizabeth Tomasino

Sustainable Food Manufacturing

Research is aimed to increase the sustainability of food processing and packaging through technology innovations by focusing on 1) creating edible, recyclable, and compostable packaging to eliminate single use plastics; 2) developing innovative food coatings to reduce food loss across food chain; 3) upcycling food processing byproducts for novel food and packaging applications; and 4) studying energy efficiency and eco-friendly food processing techniques.

Professors: Christina DeWitt, Paul Hughes, Jung Kwon, Tom Shellhammer, Yanyun Zhao

SPECIAL RESEARCH TOPICS

Dairy

Research topics in this area include 1) the composition of raw ingredients and microbial ecology of production environments, 2) sustainable dairy processing systems, 3) the quality, safety, nutritional value of finished products, and 4) consumer behavior towards dairy products.

Professors: Chris Curtin, David Dallas, Juyun Lim, Si Hong Park, Michael Qian, Joy Waite-Cusic

Enology/Brewing/Distilling

Studies focus on processing technologies, biochemistry, microbiology and chemistry of beer, wine, and distilling production. Experimental brewery, winery, and distilled spirits laboratory facilities are used for experimental production and research. The pilot research brewery also focuses on raw materials quality. 

Professors: Chris Curtin, Paul Hughes, James Osborne, Tom Shellhammer, Elizabeth Tomasino

Seafood

Research topics includes seafood quality, safety, value-added products, and seafood nutrition and human health. Research is conducted at the Seafood Research & Education Center in Astoria and Linus Pauling Science Center.

Professors: Christina DeWitt, Jung Kwon