University of Minnesota Food Science Graduate Program

Program Director:Dr. David Smith

Contact: Nancy Toedt, Graduate Program Coordinator, Dept. of Food Science & Nutrition, Univ. of MN, 1334 Eckles Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108-6099 PH-612-624-6753 fax-612-625-5272. Web site:

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


Program Description

Entrance Requirements: We require a minimum of 3.0 GPA on undergraduate and/or graduate work, GRE general test results and three reference reports. See application materials for further details of application requirements.

Program of Study: Food Science

Graduate Requirements:The Master's degree is offered under two options: Plan A, involving a thesis, and Plan B, which substitutes for the thesis a special project. All requirements for the Master's degree must be completed within 7 years after the study is started. The Graduate School does not specify a minimum number of credits in the major field for the doctoral degree. Depending on previous preparation and the nature of the research undertaken, the number of credits required for individual students may vary considerably.  A student is expected to complete all requirements for the Ph.D. degree within 5 calendar years from
the date of passing the preliminary oral exam.

Current Costs: (Graduate) Resident: $934.33/credit; Non-Resident: $1,525.83 /credit.

Financial Aid: Research Assistantships are available on a competitive basis. Our assistantships include tuition, medical benefits as well as a bi-weekly stipend. We also offer scholarships and travel funding for students attending related professional meetings.

Faculty and Research Interests

MRINAL BHATTACHARYA, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Food Engineering. Modeling of thermal and extrusion processing with emphasis on textural  and rheological properties. Extrusion processing, rheological and textural properties and numerical modeling.

LINDA J. BRADY, Ph.D., Professor. Microbiology of the gut; probiotics and food hormone effects on gut bacteria.

MIRKO BUNZEL, Ph.D., Associate Professor and General Mills Endowed Land Grant Chair in Cereal Chemistry and Technology. Plant cell wall components, which are part of the dietary fiber complex; e.g. non-starch polysaccharides and lignins, and related phytochemicals such as hydroxycinnamates.

A. SAARI CSALLANY, D.Sc., Professor, Food Chemistry. Free radical induced oxidation of lipids in animal and human tissues, edible oils and
food; antioxidant properties of tocopherols. Formation of malondialdehyde and oxidized cholesterol in food and in biological systems.

FRANCISCO DIEZ-GONZALEZ, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Food Safety
Microbiology. Food-borne pathogens: gastrointestinal colonization of livestock, control in foods and the environment, and bacterial physiology of survival mechanisms.

JOELLEN M. FEIRTAG, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Extension
Food Safety Specialist. Evaluation of environmental parameters affecting the ATP bioluminescence signal in commercial devices to simplify conventional testing for the on-site detection of hazards in the
food processing environment. Physiological characterization of bifidobacteria from commercial products.

CRAIG A. HASSEL, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Extension
Nutritionist. Effects of saturated fatty acids on lipoprotein and cholesterol metabolism; effects of dietary oxysterols on hepatic sterol metabolism.

BARAEM M. (PAM) ISMAIL, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Food Science. Phytochemicals, protein and enzyme chemistry, extractability, stability and bioavailability of soy isoflavones, as affected by their chemical structure and protein association, following novel analytical techniques.

THEODORE P. LABUZA, Ph.D., Professor, Food Science. Physical chemistry of foods as related to water activity and stability. Kinetics of food deterioration and shelf life prediction models. Plant tissue culture of food components. Evaluation of synthetic and edible barrier material.

LEONARD F. MARQUART, Ph.D., Associate Professor. Provide scientific evidence that will help create an infrastructure that increases the availability and consumption of grain-based foods with enhanced nutritional qualities.

LLOYD E. METZGER, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Dairy Food Chemistry.
Structural and functional roles of the various components in cheese and fermented dairy products, modification of manufacturing parameters to control cheese functional properties, and methods of enhancing the nutritional benefits of dairy products.

DANIEL J. O'SULLIVAN, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Food Microbiology. Molecular fingerprinting and genetic characterization of lactic acid bacteria; expression and regulation of bacteriophage resistance and bacteriocin production in lactic acid bacteria; development of molecular tools for rapid detection of microbes.

DEVIN G. PETERSON, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Food science. Food flavor and related chemistry, flavor generation, characterization of flavor compounds, and flavor delivery in foodstuffs, mechanisms of flavor development of whole grain foods, both taste and aroma-actives.

GARY A. REINECCIUS, Ph.D., Professor, Food Chemistry. Food flavors, including analytical instrumentation and processing variables.

ROGER R. RUAN, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Food Engineering. Machine vision, nuclear magnetic resonance, and other imaging, spectroscopy and microscopy technology development and application in the studies of moisture and fat management and the structure-function relationships of biological and food materials. Advanced artificial intelligence and control systems development for biological and food process control.

MARY K. SCHMIDL, Ph.D.,  Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of
Food Science and Nutrition. Medical foods, functional foods, dietary supplements and their role and relationship for health, disease, weight control and trauma states.

TONYA C. SCHOENFUSS, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Food Science. Formula and manufacturing process affects on natural and process cheeses, fermented milks, and other dairy ingredients, using analytical tools to measure chemical and physical properties, and sensory methods to evaluate quality differences.

JOANNE L. SLAVIN, Ph.D., Professor, Nutrition. Dietary fiber; nutrition and exercise; diet and cancer.

DAVID E. SMITH, Ph.D., Professor, Dairy and Food Technology. Effects of carbohydrates on physical chemical properties and quality of dairy foods. Application of new technologies to the production of dairy products.

ZATA M. VICKERS, Ph.D., Professor, Food Acceptability. Sensory
evaluation. Food pleasantness and acceptability. Factors influencing judgments of food acceptability. Sensory specific satiety.


Paul Addis
Elaine Asp
William M. Breene
Frank Busta
Elwood Caldwell
Mary Darling
R. Gary Fulcher
Larry McKay
Louise Mullan
Irving Pflug
H. William Schafer
Sita R. Tatini
Edmund A. Zottola