IFT Sci Dish

IFT Sci Dish

Episode 22

Plastic on Your Plate: Exploring the Effects of Micro & Nano Plastics on our Health and Food

Plastics have been a popular choice for food packaging for a considerable time, but the resulting accumulation of non-biodegradable plastic waste has caused growing concern about its detrimental effects on both the environment and human health.

In this enlightening discussion, our host Bruce Perkin and guest speakers Dr. Maya Al-Sid-Cheikh from the University of Surrey and Paul Takhistov from Rutgers University dive into the topic of micro and nano plastics. Join the speakers as they share their expert insights and shed light on the impact of micro and nano plastics.

Listen and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.


Maya Al-Sid-Cheikh Dr. Maya Al-Sid-Cheikh is a researcher whose work focuses on understanding the behavior and fate of contaminants of emerging concerns (CECs) in environmental interfaces, including chemistry/biology, freshwater/seawater (coastal), and wetlands. With expertise in radiolabeling, analytical and synthesis chemistry, she seeks to answer critical questions related to CECs.

Dr. Al-Sid-Cheikhi is currently a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) of Environmental Analytical Chemistry at the University of Surrey in Guildford, United Kingdom. Prior to this, she was as a postdoctoral research fellow of chemistry at the University of Plymouth in the United Kingdom, and a visiting scientist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (EAWAG, Dubendorf, Switzerland).) Dr. Maya Al-Sid-Cheikhi completed doctoral studies in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Rennes 1 in 2015 and holds two MSc degrees in Analytical Chemistry and Oceanography from University of Toulon (France) and University of Quebec at Rimouski (UQAR, Canada.)

Paul Takhistov Dr. Paul Takhistov is an Associate Professor of Food Engineering at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, where he joined the faculty in 2002 after holding a research position at the University of Notre Dame. He holds advance degrees in Chemical Engineering and Physical Chemistry.

Dr. Takhistov's research interests center around physico-chemical interactions in multiphase matrices with biotic and abiotic materials, aimed at improving material safety and quality through rational choice and manipulation. His current research projects focus on developing nanostructured functional materials for biodetection and advance drug delivery applications. He is also involved in projects related to biosensor development for biosecurity, modeling microbial population dynamics in extreme environments, studying pathogen adhesion to nano-structured surfaces during biofilm development, and investigating the effects of electromagnetic fields on bacterial inactivation.


IFT Sci Dish Host Bruce Perkin Bruce Perkin is the principal scientist and operator of Robust Food Solutions LLC, a food science-based consultancy that has operated since 2017, providing strategic advice and hands-on support to food businesses in the areas of quality systems and food safety, innovation, product development, and organizational design.

Bruce is a Certified Food Scientist, a Certified HACCP practitioner, and is a Certified Manager of Quality and Organizational Excellence through the American Society for Quality. He is also a Preventative Controls Qualified Individual under the FSMA regulations. He has completed Food Defense training through the FDA and the FSPCA. Bruce is a past Chairperson of the Dallas /Fort Worth chapter of IFT, and also a past Chair of the Food Service Division of IFT. In addition, Bruce is a part-time Adjunct Professor at Texas Womens’ University teaching NPD, Food Science and Food Safety to Culinology students.

IFT Sci Dish Podcast Episode 22 red tomatoes on a vine inside plastic packaging
IFT Sci Dish

IFT Sci Dish Podcast

IFT Sci Dish explores science, research, and perspectives from multiple disciplines related to the science of food and food innovation, each aimed at sparking new ideas to ignite innovation in your work and career. Developed by IFT’s topical Divisions, member experts and special guests discuss important topics, challenges, and solutions impacting food science and technology today.

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