University of Idaho College of Agricultural and Life Sciences - Food Science Program

Program Director: Dr. Denise M. Smith

Contact: Gayle Gleason, Administrative Assistant, School of Food Science, University of Idaho, Box 442312, 6th Street and Rayburn Street, Agricultural Sciences Bldg., Room 111, Moscow, ID 83844-2312, Phone: 208-885-0707, E-mail:

Degrees Offered: B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in Food Science

Program Description

Associated Fields and Departments:  The School of Food Science (SFS) is jointly administered by the University of Idaho and Washington State University.  Students in the combined program have access to courses, faculty expertise, research laboratories and pilot plants of both universities.

Programs of Study:  Specializations include food chemistry, food safety, food microbiology, sensory science, food processing (including non-thermal preservation technologies), food quality, food fermentations, functional foods for health, and food and environmental toxicology.  The SFS has commodity expertise in cereals, potatoes, dairy and wine. 

Entrance Requirements:  Please see

Costs: Tuition information is available at

Availability of Financial Aid: Assistance is available through graduate assistantships or scholarships on a competitive basis. Graduate assistantships are supported through state or grant funds.

Unique Capabilities:
Faculty are housed at the University of Idaho (Moscow), Washington State University (Pullman), UI Food Technology Center (Caldwell, ID), Tech-Help (Boise, ID), WSU Irrigated Agricultural Research and Extension Center (Prosser, WA) and at the WSU Tri-Cities campus (Richland, WA).  The SFS oversees Ferdinand's Ice Cream Shoppe and the WSU Creamery.  SFS faculty collaborate with cereal scientists at the USDA Western Wheat Quality Laboratory (Pullman).  Facilities include pilot plants, a food preparation laboratory, sensory evaluation laboratories and numerous research laboratories.  A dairy processing plant, research pilot plant, traditional food processing pilot plant and an experimental/teaching winery are available for student projects.

Student Success:  Demand for food scientists with graduate degrees is high. Graduates are employed in various sectors of the food industry in research/development, food processing, food safety, quality assurance, analytical sciences and managerial positions.  Graduates find employment with companies such as H.J. Heinz Co., J.R. Simplot Co., Conagra Foods/Lamb Weston, Kraft Foods, Darigold, Litehouse Foods, Cargill and E&J Gallo Winery. Many graduates obtain a Ph.D. in preparation for a career in academia. Students also find employment with federal agencies.

Faculty and Research Interests

Byung-Kee Baik, Affiliate Associate Professor – End-use quality evaluation of wheat breeding lines; physiochemical characteristics of wheat; chemistry, processing and product development of barley and legumes; starch, protein, and bioactive components of cereal grains and legumes.

Carolyn Hovde Bohach, Professor and Director NIH INBRE – Bacterial pathogenesis, food safety, E. coli O157:H7, cattle vaccine development, Yersinia pestis, enhancing biomedical research competitiveness.

Jeffri Bohlscheid, Assistant Professor – Food science education, culinology, molecular gastronomy, flavor chemistry, food fermentation.

Boon Chew, Professor –Food chemistry, functional foods in the enhancement of immune response and prevention of age-related chronic diseases associated with free radical damage.

Jeff Culbertson, Professor and Director of Food Science Certificate Program - Food science distance education.

Richard Dougherty, Professor and Extension Food Science Specialist - Assistance to food processors of all types and sizes, specializing in food safety, food quality, and development of small to midsized food businesses.

Charles Edwards, Professor – Microbiology and chemistry of wines during vinification including nutrient requirements of wine microorganisms, spoilage yeast and bacteria, and malolactic fermentation.

James F. Harbertson, Associate Professor and Extension Enologist – Phenolic compounds found in grapes and wines, biochemical and chemical changes during grape ripening, winemaking, and aging.

Thomas Henick-Kling, Professor and Director of the WSU Viticulture and Enology Program – Wine research and extension: physiology of lactic acid bacteria, wine yeast ecology, molecular characterization of wine yeast and bacteria, modification of wine flavor by yeast and bacteria, winemaking.

Kerry Huber, Professor - Starch structure, chemistry, structure-function relationships and modification; resistant and slowly digestible starch; cereal science; role of starch in processed foods; potato chemistry and processing.

Karen Killinger, Assistant Professor and Extension Food Safety Specialist-Food microbiology and food safety education; food thermometer accuracy and education.

Jeff Kronenberg, Food Processing Extension Specialist –Technical assistance to food processors, including regulatory compliance, food safety, health and safety, product development, lean manufacturing and productivity improvement, pest control, HACCP implementation, quality control.

Scott Minnich, Associate Professor – Bacterial pathogenesis of Yersinia enterocolitica and Y. pestis, etiologic agents of yersiniosis and bubonic plague.

Greg Moller, Professor – Environmental toxicology and chemistry, biogeochemistry of As, Se, and P, water quality, food safety.

Caleb Nindo, Assistant Professor – Food engineering, novel extraction and dehydration methods; effects on antioxidants in berry juices or dehydrated products; thermal and rheological properties; biopolymer films from food processing co-products.  

Andrzej Paszczynski, Professor – Biochemistry of iron transport, reactive oxygen species; new functions of peroxidases and catalases; chromatography and mass spectrometry analysis, proteomics; supercritical fluids applications.

Joe Powers, Professor – Protein and enzyme chemistry, primarily fruits and vegetables.

Barbara Rasco, Professor – Food law, food analyses, seafood quality; development of analytical methods to predict the safety and quality of food products.

Carolyn Ross, Associate Professor – Wine and food sensory chemistry; sensory analysis with analytical chemistry techniques to identify and describe changes in flavor and odor profiles. 

Denise Smith, Professor and School of Food Science Director – Food chemistry, chemistry and functionality of meat and dairy proteins, meat and poultry quality and safety.

Gulhan Unlu, Associate Professor – Food microbiology, biotechnology, microbial food safety/food biopreservation, genomics of food borne bacteria, conversion of food and agricultural waste to value-added products.