The food processing and packaging research area includes both developmental and application research. The FST program has traditionally conducted processing-related research in the commodities area.  Recently the focus of processing research has been centered on alternative processes, with more emphasis on food safety. Unlike many packaging schools, the FST packaging research activities focus on the interaction of materials and the food or environment within (macromolecule-biomolecule interface).  The department has been very successful at creating an interdisciplinary network of scientists and engineers on campus. This network expands our research opportunities and access to analytical equipment for materials science and engineering as well as methods for evaluation of food products.

Emphasis Areas

Processing Activities

  • Pressure-frying methods and novel coating materials
  • Microwave cooking of fish and shellfish for quality and safety
  • Multiple hurdle processing technologies to treat raw oysters
  • Alternative processing technologies and chemical preservative for improving safety and quality of fruit juices and milk
  • Microoxygenation of red wines
  • Reheating and sterilization technology for food, waste and water
  • Processes and additives for improved quality and reduced browning of wet-packed fruit
  • High pressure processing of fish, packaging materials, spices for quality and safety applications
  • Irradiation and radio frequency heating for spoilage microorganism and pathogen destruction
  • Spray-dried fish oil microcapsules prepared with polysaccharides for oxidative stability and dispersion
  • Microwave assisted extraction of phenolic antioxidant compounds from peanut skins

Packaging Activities

  • Controlled release of natural antioxidants from polymer food packaging by molecular encapsulation with cyclodextrins
  • Materials applications for photo-protection of food quality including milk, functional foods and bioactive ingredients
  • Release of antioxidants from biodegradable films into dry milk products and food simulating liquids
  • Collagen films with antioxidants for flavor protection in pet foods