Purdue University Graduate Program in Food Science

Program Director: Professor Arun Bhunia

Contact: Graduate Admissions Coordinator, Department of Food Science, Purdue University, 745 Agriculture Mall Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2009, Phone: (765) 494-8258, Email: gradadmissions@foodsci.purdue.edu

Degrees Offered: M.S., Direct Ph.D. and Ph.D.

Associated Fields and Departments: Program is interdisciplinary with participating faculty from Agricultural & Biological Engineering, Animal Science, Food Science, and Nutrition Science.

Program Description

Entrance Requirements: B.S. degree from an accredited institution, GPA 3.0/4.0; minimum scores:  GRE (Verbal 146, Quantitative 144, Analytical 4.0), TOEFL, 77 internet-based, and transcripts from all institutions attended (native language as well as English translation); 3 letters of recommendations, and an online application.

Program of Study: Both M.S., Direct Ph.D. and Ph.D. degree programs are offered. Specializations are offered in the areas of Food Chemistry, Structure and Function, Food Safety and Microbiology, Food Processing and Technology Development and Foods for Health.

Graduate Requirements: M.S., Direct Ph.D. and Ph.D. require Basic Food Science course series (6 credits), Case Study course, Statistics, and Seminar. Additional coursework is dependent on student's educational background, research topic, and professional objective. Ph.D. students develop and defend a grant proposal for the preliminary examination. M.S., Direct Ph.D. and Ph.D. students defend their research.

Application Fee:$60.00 (domestic students); $75.00 (international students)

Availability of Financial Aid: Teaching and research assistantships are available on a competitive basis.

Centers within the Department: Center for Enhancing Foods to Protect Health, Food Safety Engineering Center, and Whistler Center for Carbohydrate Research.

Other Unique Capabilities: Aseptic processing, biopolymer structure/functionality (NMR, X-ray crystallography, X-ray fiber diffraction), cereal lab, applied enology research, computer-aided process design, food and biological materials laboratory, laboratory for renewable resources.

Faculty and Research Interests

Food Chemistry, Structure and Function

BeMiller, J.N., Food Science Professor Emeritus, Ph.D., Purdue University (1959)
Starch granule structure, reactivity, and behavior.  Chemical and genetic modification of starch.  Structure-functional property relationships of polysaccharides.  Modifications of polysaccharides.  Mono- and disaccharide chemistry and modification.  Light, confocal, and electron microscopy.  Uses of carbohydrates in food and other industries.

Chandrasekaran, R., Food Science Professor Emeritus, Ph.D., University of Madras, India (1966)
Molecular architecture of biopolymers; structure-function relationships in proteins, carbohydrates and nucleic acids; implementation of modern techniques to X-ray diffraction.

Hamaker, B.R., Food Science Professor, Ph.D., Purdue University (1986)
Carbohydrates and health - manipulation of starch and other glycemic carbohydrates for slowly digestible/low glycemic response or resistant character, and collaborative studies to understand human enzyme digestion and physiological response; dietary fiber and colon health - modifications in fiber functionality and fermentability, and collaborative studies on colon health; cereal starch and protein structure-function relationships; cereal chemistry and processing.

Jones, O.G., Food Science Assistant Professor, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts (2009)
Investigation of food protein and polysaccharide interactions for the production of utile delivery or textural systems. Our goal is to intuitively design structure and functionality of the end systems based on chemical and physical properties of the raw constituents. Facility is tested through the use of techniques such as photonic scattering, electrophoretic mobility, and sub-micron imaging.

Liceaga, A., Food Science Assistant Professor, Ph.D., University of British Columbia, Canada (2006)
Protein chemistry.  Major interest is structure-function relationships and interactions of food proteins and peptides, cryopreservation and shelf-life extension of fresh and frozen fish and fish products. Fish processing and formulation of value-added products from under-utilized fish.  Protein hydrolysates and bioactive peptides. Protein interactions using vibrational (Raman) spectroscopy. Sensory Evaluation of food.

Mauer, L.J., Food Science Professor, Ph.D., University of Minnesota (1999)
Water-solid interactions. Shelf-life.  FT-IR spectroscopy.  Dairy protein chemistry. NASA space foods. Effects of processing on: functional, physical, and structural properties and safety of foods, food ingredients, and edible films.

Nielsen, S.S., Food Science Professor, Ph.D., University of Minnesota (1982)
Food proteins; digestibility of legume proteins; enzyme inhibitors in legumes; plasmin enzymes system in milk, and its effects on dairy product quality.

Reuhs, B.L., Food Science Associate Professor, Ph.D., University of Georgia (1994)
Research areas include food systems analyses (Pectin and Fiber) via the extraction and purification of acidic polysaccharides from the cell walls and middle lamella of plants.  Bacterial capsule, gum, and lipopolysaccharide purification and  analysis for plant-microbe interaction and food safety studies.  The application of HPLC, GC-MS, and NMR in structural studies of carbohydrates and polysaccharides in food processing/food chemistry and the role of polysaccharides in bacteria-legume symbiosis and vegetable-human pathogen interactions.

Running, C.A., Nutrition Science and Food Science Assistant Professor, Ph.D. Purdue University (2015)
Research aims to use sensations such as taste, smell, and chemethesis (chemical touch/temperature) to improve the efficacy of foods for health.  Specifically, she is focused on: using spiciness and taste to study oral behavior as a potential tool to modulate salivary secretion and swallowing function; uncovering the potential role of oleogutus (fatty acid taste) in food flavor and healthy lipid levels; using favor as a tool to understand bioactive properties of flavor active phytochemicals; and investigating the oral physiology of salivary hormone and enzyme secretion.

Santerre, C.R., F & N Professor, Ph.D., Michigan State University (1989)
Analytical measurement (incl. analytical and immunological methods) of organic and inorganic contaminants to support risk assessment/communication efforts: influence of food processing upon food contaminants; pesticide toxicology; and food safety education.

Yao, Y., Food Science Associate Professor,  Ph.D., Southern Yangtze University (2000)
Goal: To create cutting-edge methodologies & technologies through the rational design of carbohydrates and other biomaterials, targeting both fundamental advancement and the practical feasibility at industrial levels. Research Directions: (1) Food Nanotechnology: carbohydrate nanoparticle-based platform for the protection and controlled delivery of bioactive compounds, such as antimicrobial compounds, omega-3 fatty acids, and polyphenols; (2) Food Safety and Quality: practical and economical methodologies to protect staple foods, such as meat and fruit & vegetables from microbial contamination and quality deterioration; (3) Carbohydrate Analysis; (4) Novel Delivery Systems beyond Food: for the personal care, pharmaceutical, and agricultural areas.

Foods for Health

Kim, K.-H., Food Science Assistant Professor, Ph.D., Rutgers University (1999)
Bioactive food components that affect the fat cell biology such as cell differentiation, inflammatory response and metabolism; Understanding the role of a selenium binding protein in endoplasmic reticulum stress signaling pathway and its associated protein degradation in adipose tissue.

Lindemann, S.R., Food Science Assistant Professor, Ph.D., University of Iowa Carver School of Medicine (2010)
Dietary influences the composition, function and stability of the gut microbiome; Gut microbiome metabolism of dietary components and cross-talk with human physiology; Metabolic interactions between colonic microbes; Mechanisms by which interactions between beneficial microbes exclude pathogenic organisms and modulate inflammation in the colon.

Mattes, R.D., F & N Professor, Ph.D., Cornell University (1981); Registered Dietitian
Sensory evaluation; regulation of food intake in humans; dietary compliance; energy and macronutrient balance; human cephalic phase responses, hunger, satiety, cravings.

Weaver, C.M., F & N Professor, Ph.D., Florida State University (1978)
Chemical form and bioavailability of minerals; calcium metabolism.

Food Safety and Microbiology

Applegate, B.M., Food Science Associate Professor, Ph.D., University of Tennessee (1997)
Detection of viable foodborne pathogens using bacteriophage; automated extraction of nucleic acids from various matrices; enumeration of microorganisms (i.e. pathogens and other organisms) using quantitative PCR; the use of bioreporters in bioelectronics; metabolic engineering; detection of problematic microorganisms in industrial environments; construction of recombinant bacterial strains to rapidly evaluate antimicrobial products; microbial ecology.

Bhunia, A.K., Food Science Professor, Ph.D., University of Wyoming (1989)
Detection and identification of foodborne bacterial pathogens by biosensor, immunological, cell culture (cytotoxicity assay) and molecular biology-based techniques; monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies against bacterial proteins and toxins; molecular mechanism of interaction of enteric pathogens with gastrointestinal cells and prevention strategies.

Deering, A.J., Food Science Research Assistant Professor, Ph.D., Purdue University (2010)
Internalization of human pathogenic bacteria in plants; routes of contamination that result in plants/fruits with pathogenic bacteria; interactions between human pathogenic bacteria and plants; development of novel sanitizers for the reduction of bacteria on fresh produce.

Feng, Y., Food Science Assistant Professor, Ph.D., University of California, Davis (2015)
Research and extension of pre- and post-harvest interventions to enhance microbial safety of foods using interdisciplinary tools to investigate gaps in food safety practice compliance and develop novel food safety strategies to empower food handlers and consumers to behavioral change. Interest areas also include mitigating microbial contamination in food production by using innovative processing technologies and designing culturally tailored educational interventions.

Irudayaraj, J., ABE Professor, Ph.D., Purdue University (1991)
Bionanotechnology and tracking single molecule interactions in live cells.  Nanomaterials probe development for detecting food pathogens and cancer.  Has extensive expertise in surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy and single molecule fluorescence spectroscopy for live cell analysis.  Specifically we are interested in quantifying cell surface and monitoring DNA-protein interactions.  Primary emphasis is on detecting pathogenic bacteria and cancer. 

Oliver, H. F., Food Science Assistant Professor, Ph.D. Cornell University (2009)
Development of RNA-sequencing technologies to investigate stress survival and virulence mechanisms in foodborne pathogens; prevalence, persistence, and transmission dynamics of foodborne pathogen in retail food environments. 

Pruitt, R. E., Botany and Plant Pathology Professor, Ph.D. California Institute of Technology (1986)
Understanding foodborne illness associated with fresh produce. Interactions between human pathogenic bacteria and plants. Metagenomics of microbial communities associated with plants. Use of next generation sequencing technologies to enumerate microbes in foods. Use of DNA sequencing to improve accuracy of microbial diagnostics.

Food Processing and Technology Development

Butzke, C.E., Food Science Associate Professor, Ph.D., Technische Universität
Berlin, Germany (1992)
Biological and chemical parameters affecting wine and brandy production and quality: fermentation techniques and yeast nutrition, off-odor prevention, aging reactions, cork taint and bottle closures, distillation.

Campanella, O.H., ABE Professor, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts (1987)
Food rheology, role of rheology in food processing. Food extrusion.  Transport phenomena in food processing.

Corvalan, C.M., Food Science Associate Professor, Ph.D., Unive. of Litoral, Argentina (1993)
Food and Biological Engineering.  Coordinate experimental, theoretical and computational analysis of biomaterials, equipments and processes in the food industry.  Physicochemistry and thermodynamics of biomaterials and kinetics of bioprocess.  Rheology of biopolymers, micro-rheology, and rheology of interfaces.

Farkas, B.E., Department Head, Food Science Professor, Ph.D., University of California, Davis (1994)
Research in the areas of heat, mass, and momentum transfer as applied to food processing and preservation. Mathematical modeling and process simulation are used to develop a better understanding of transport processes and process optimization. Research activities focus on two areas: 1) Thermal processing of foods and 2) Mathematical modeling of moving boundary/phase change problems. Over the past three years the focus has been on high temperature interfacial science with attention to frying, spray drying and atomization.

Huang, J.-Y., Food Science Assistant Professor, Ph.D., University of Cambridge, U.K. (2013)
Sustainability of food processing, primarily focuses on: i) Fundamental studies in understanding mechanisms of deposit formation and removal, with particular emphasis on deposit characterization, measurements and modeling, aiming to find potential mitigation methods toward reduced fouling in food processing, and ii) Techno-economic-environmental analysis of the impacts of fouling and cleaning on energy use and greenhouse gas emissions of food production, aiming to develop optimal management of clean-in-place process to minimize water consumption and reduce environmental impact.

Kokini, J.L., Food Science Professor, Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University (1977)
Rheological properties of foods; food nanotechnology; structure, texture, flavor relationships; developing bioactive nutraceuticals.

Ladisch, M.R., ABE & BME Professor, Ph.D., Purdue University (1977)
Bioseparations (process-scale liquid chromatography, absorption, and fundamentals of multicomponent separations).  Bio-nanotechnology (protein biochips, proteins at surfaces, biomimetics).  Bioprocessing of renewable resources and biological materials to value-added products.

Mishra, D.K., Food Science Assistant Professor, Ph.D., Michigan State University, (2013)
Biological and mathematical validation techniques for novel thermal processing. Degradation kinetics of nutrients and microorganisms during thermal processing. Thermal properties of food materials at elevated temperatures. Smart sensors for food processing applications. Process modeling and parameter estimation.

Narsimhan, G., ABE Professor, Ph.D., Indian Institute of Technology, India (1979)
Physical properties, functional properties of proteins; formation, stability, and rheology of food emulsions and foams, absorption of proteins at air-water and oil-water interfaces, separation of proteins in downstream bioprocessing - precipitation of proteins, foam fractionation of proteins, transport processes in particulate systems.

Nelson, D.C., RHIT Associate Professor, Ph.D., Purdue University (1997)
Design and operating characteristics of food service equipment and their effects on food quality; optimization of utility and facility utilization in food service; productivity and ergonomic issues associated with food service operations.

Nelson, P.E., Food Science Professor Emeritus, Ph.D., Purdue University (1967)
Unit operations and packaging of aseptically processed products; effect of processing and packaging on product components; essence recovery studies; tomato products composition.

Okos, M.R., ABE Professor, Ph.D., Ohio State University (1975)
Fundamental and design aspects of biochemical and food process engineering.  Fundamental mechanism for moisture migration as related to quality changes during the processing of food and biological materials, simulation and design of food processes, methodology to improve design and operation of food processes to minimize energy use and waste production of ethanol and flavor compounds from immobilized microbial and plant cell reactors.

San Martin-Gonzalez, F., Assistant Professor, Ph.D., Washington State University (2002)
Continuous microwave processing of fruit and vegetables purees. Nano and microencapsulation of bioactive compounds and natural antimicrobials based on high pressure homogenization.

Tao, B.Y., ABE Professor, Ph.D., Iowa State University (1988)
Structural/functional relationships of carbohydrate enzymes: substrate binding, kinetics, recombinant genetic expression/mutation of amylases/cyclodextrin glycosyltransferases.  Modification of biomaterials for industrial applications: synthesis and characterization of surface-active agents, molecular filters, molecular chelating agents; physical/chemical properties of lipids/carbohydrates.

Xu, Qin, Food Science Research Assistant Professor, Ph.D., Purdue University (1996)
Biomass conversion and utilization of agriculture materials.  Development of novel methods to produce bio-fuel from grains and feedstock (such as corn and cornstalk).  Study biopoloymner (such as cellulose) structural/functional relationships, their process to create value-added products).