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Food Science Specializations

  • Agribusiness Economics

    Dr. Rodney Holcomb

    The program mission is to help ensure a profitable future for Oklahoma food and fiber processors through constant and intensive review of changes in both industry characteristics and markets.

     

    Research Areas:

    • Legalities and liabilities of business development in Oklahoma
    • Industry status and trends
    • Market demographics and growth patterns
    • Preliminary feasibility assessments
    • Product-specific research
    • Business management assistance
    • Value-added agribusiness development
    • Agribusiness marketing and management
    • Consumer demand analysis
  • Cereal Science
  • Food Engineering

    Dr. Timothy Bowser
    Dr. Danielle Bellmer

    The program mission is to help Oklahoma's food and agricultural processors solve problems and achieve competitive advantage, leading to sustained economic growth, new jobs and improved food safety and quality through better engineering. We envision to become the highest quality leading supplier of research, development and technology transfer services to the food and agricultural products industries; to stimulate and sustain growth in the food and agricultural processing industry of Oklahoma; to increase food safety for consumers; to provide more and better-prepared graduates for careers in the industry; and to provide clients a competitive edge. Following are the program goals:

     

    Research Areas:

    Physical Properties

    • Process Optimization
    • Novel Food Process Equipment
    • Biomass conversion to ethanol

    Technology Transfer

    • Process documentation and standardization
    • Process optimization
    • Facility design
    • Biomass conversion to ethanol

    Implementation Strategies

    • Form directed, multidisciplinary research to address practical projects that are timely and achievable
    • Provide responsive, direct technical support to individual clients
    • Facilitate technology transfer via fact sheets, newsletters, conferences, workshops and short-courses
    • Provide training and practical experience for graduate and undergraduate students

  • Food Microbiology
  • Food Safety

    Dr. Ravi Jadeja

    The program mission is to prepare graduate students with the knowledge and training necessary to competently enter the global food industry and regulatory agencies.

     

    Research areas:

    • Food microbiology
    • Impact of food safety regulations
    • Foodborne toxins and allergens
    • Food safety and quality audit schemes
    • Food safety policies
  • Fruit and Vegetable Postharvest Physiology and Processing

    Dr. Niels Maness
    Dr. William McGlynn
    The program mission is to help Oklahoma's producers and processors of horticultural products provide nutritious, delicious and convenient food products to consumers everywhere.

     

    Research areas:

    • Investigating nutraceutical content of new varieties of crops including peppers, sage, and oregano and focusing on developing integrated production, harvesting, postharvest handling and processing systems
    • Recovery of capsaicinoids in peppers
    • Recovery and uses for thujone/camphor from sage and thymol/carvacrol from oregano
    • Defining the mechanism of opalescence in pecans and evaluating technologies to prevent it
    • Developing x-ray technology as a non-destructive means for pecan grading and sorting
    • Mechanized harvesting of watermelon for lycopene production
    • Recovery and uses of lycopene from watermelon tissue
    • Relation of watermelon tissue ultrastructure to antioxidant recovery
    • Improved analytical methods for measuring antioxidant activity of oil-soluble antioxidant compounds
    • Enhancing retention of natural antioxidants in value-added food products
    • Assessing food safety risks in ready-to-eat fresh-cut vegetable products
  • Human Nutrition and Metabolism
  • Muscle Food Science

    Dr. Gretchen Mafi
    Dr. Ranjith Ramanathan

    The program mission is to work toward the development of an outstanding research program emphasizing chemical or biochemical aspects of further processing of livestock, poultry and aquatic muscle, as well as other food-producing species for value-added products. Additional efforts center on the development of products from muscle foods to assist the growth of Oklahoma value-added businesses.

     

    Research areas:

    • Application of metabolomics to better understand meat quality changes
    • Understanding the mechanism of failure to bloom in dark-cutting beef
    • Myoglobin chemistry to understand metmyoglobin reducing activity and bloom
    • Cooked color defect
    • Role of mitochondria in beef color
    • Myoglobin and lipid oxidation
    • Antioxidants on mitochondrial function
    • Meat packaging
  • Oil/Oilseed Chemistry
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