Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition will begin providing FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Preventive Controls for Human Food training in summer of 2016. This three day Basic Preventive Controls training is designed for people in the food industry desiring to understand and be trained in the food safety system for manufacturing safe food. This course will meet the FDA FSMA regulations as an approved course under Food Safety Preventive Control Alliance (FSPCA). 

This is a standardized, industry-oriented training curriculum that will provide participants with the knowledge that is needed to create a food safety plan to comply with the Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Foods rule. The course content is focused on the food safety activities and documentation that support the creation and implementation of a preventive controls food safety plan. This course will be presented in a manner that will serve participants from all foods under FDA regulations. The FSPCA training materials are designed to meet the requirements for training under Title 21 Code of Federal Regulations Part 117.155 for the “qualified individual” who conducts certain Food Safety Plan activities and is recognized by the FDA.

This course will be offered June 13-15, 2016 at Iowa State University campus in Ames, Iowa.  Class size is limited to 30 people and the cost is $750.00 per person. Sign up today at


Key Contacts:

Angela Shaw, assistant professor, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition,
Megan Pulse, marketing and communications, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition,


Jean Anderson, Senior Clinician of Food Science and Human Nutrition, devotes her time to building and expanding the learning opportunities for dietetics students at Iowa State University. As director of the Dietetics Internship (DI) program for nearly 20 years, Anderson has developed the program to become the largest in the world, managing approximately 160 interns in full-time dietetics rotations every year. The average size of other dietetics internship programs is less than 20 students.

Her greatest contribution to the field of dietetics has been establishing international community nutrition rotations within the internship program, making Iowa State’s program the first to offer an international component. This results in increased knowledge of global nutritional issues and cultural understanding for future dietitians, while improving wellness in global areas lacking dietetic resources. All of the aforementioned make Anderson deserving of the College of Human Sciences – International Achievement Award.

“The collaboration we have in place with dietetics education programs in other countries provides the ISU DI interns the unique opportunity to interact with fellow dietetics students while discovering that we all share similar interests and concerns. We each strive for health and wellness in the population of our home countries,” stated Anderson.

In collaboration with McGill University in Quebec, Anderson and the DI faculty established a four-week community nutrition experience for students at the University of Ghana’s Nutrition Research and Training Center. Additionally, she leads educational seminars for Ghanaian dietitians to keep them informed of current best practices.

“While in the United States we are mostly treating overweight or obese patients, the medical nutrition therapies for undernourished patients are rather eye opening. It is a priceless experience that interns gain from the internship,” stated Anderson.

Since launching the first-­of-­its-­kind program, Anderson has secured nearly $30,000 in grants to continue its development. Anderson’s involvement in these cultural experiences has had significant impact on the Dietetics Internship program.

Key Contacts:
Megan Pulse, marketing and communications, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition,
Jean Anderson, senior clinician, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition,
Shannon Stump, graduate assistant writer, CHS Communications,

Congratulations to Jay-Lin Jane-Topel and David G. Topel on receiving the 2016 Order of the Knoll Faculty and Staff Award. While faculty members, the couple spent as much time serving the university as they did in the classroom. This award recognizes individuals or couples who are current or retired Iowa State University faculty or staff members for their substantial commitment to promoting and expanding philanthropy at Iowa State through both personal philanthropy and significant professional and volunteer service.

“Iowa State University provided me with the professional experiences and support to work with many people. This allowed me to help develop the agricultural industry in Iowa and for Iowa to become a world leader in production agriculture,” said David Topel. “I was fortunate to work in this special and stimulating environment in the 1990s. Iowa State provides the foundation for students, faculty and staff to achieve their goals.”

David had always been heavily involved with the university - his time as a faculty member was spent serving Iowa State as much as he spent within the classroom. He served on the Iowa State University Alumni Association board of directors, the Academic Council, the Committee for Agricultural Development, the Council of Deans, the President’s Council, the selection committee for both the athletic director and the vice provost for extension, the University Student Services Committee, and the Governor of Iowa Science Advisory Council, where he represented Iowa State.

No stranger to service, Jay-Lin Jane-Topel has given her time as the president of the Starch Roundtable, a member of the American Association of Cereal Chemists Nomination Committee, the Starch Update Conference Scientific Committee, and the European Polysaccharide Network of Excellence Scientific Committee, and has been on the editorial board for six leading scientific journals.

“I have received tremendous philanthropic support throughout my life and career, which enabled me to achieve all that I have,” shared Jay-Lin.

This award is one of many the Topels can add to their list of accomplishments, but that doesn’t make it any less special. “It is always good to know what individuals appreciate professional and personal contributions made to our society to better the way of life for current and future generations,” said David.


Key Contacts:
Karen Simon, AVP Communications, ISU Foundation,
Jay-Lin Jane, Distinguished Professor, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition,



Emily Wisecup, senior in dietetics, is determined to educate others about the truths of nutrition. She grew up with a mother that enjoyed cooking American favorites for her family. While Emily enjoyed the meals her mother cooked, she quickly realized after going to college that she had few cooking skills of her own. The lack of knowledge in the area of diet and health inspired Emily to pursue a degree in dietetics, leading to her to create her blog, The Synergy Kitchen in July 2015.

An anatomy class discussing exotic grains, the dangers of certain foods, and the connection between diet and health during Emily’s freshman year, was a turning point in her decision to become a dietetics major. She became encouraged to spread truism in hopes to help those that have been misinformed about nutrition. She began by sharing healthy recipes on Facebook where she soon received messages from followers stating that they had tried her recipes and that she was making a difference in their lives.

“It is frightening to hear the things shared by people regarding how and what to eat, and how many people fall for these unhealthy methods. I want to be the light in the darkness of this confusion,” said Emily.

Americans spend billions on health and diet products every year. From purchasing books and meal plans to prepackaged foods and DVDs, consumers continuously strive for a quick fix. It’s natural to be attracted to any path that promises big results for little effort, but this often results in consumers being misled by marketing and half-truth statements made in the name of science. Without the knowledge and skills to critically evaluate the sources that information is obtained from, blogs often end up containing misinformation about nutrition that can lead their audience to dangerous dietary patterns.

“The best service a blogger can provide to their readers is truthful, unbiased information. There are plenty of blogs out there discussing nutrition trends, but many of them are written by people who do not actually have an education in nutrition,” shared Emily.

Emily plans to have her own nutrition consulting business in the future. The services would include one on one wellness coaching, meal planning, cooking classes, educational presentations, and coordination of wellness programs for businesses, among others.

Key Contacts:
Megan Pulse, marketing and communications,
Emily Wisecup, senior in dietetics,

Photo By Blake Lanser

Byron Brehm-Stecher, Associate Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition, focuses on developing methods to improve food safety and quality, such as a cutting-edge effort to develop applications for functional food ingredients that will provide food scientists with new tools in the fight against harmful bacteria. (more…)

By Megan Pulse, FSHN Marketing and Communications
Melha Mellata_CHS_Blake Lanser
Melha Mellata, an assistant professor in food science and human nutrition, now has a patent that covers new methodology for safer and effective cancer treatments.

Melha Mellata, Assistant Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition, researches the development of effective intervention strategies against diseases. Mellata focuses primarily on understanding the molecular pathogenesis of bacteria, host response to infections, and developing vaccines to control infections in humans and food-producing animals, such as chickens. Her research has significantly advanced the field, resulting in high-impact publications, federal funding, and patents such as the recently awarded U.S. patent 9198950, Recombinant bacterium comprising a toxin/antitoxin system, for the invention of new methods for inhibiting tumors and improving safety of live vaccines.

 “I am honored to have this patent awarded as only approximately 20% of all inventors are female. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the US, and I hope my invention will lead to a cure that will play an important role in lowering that statistic, as well as lowering the impact of infectious diseases,” said Mellata.  

Mellata’s invention consists of genetically modifying a bacterial toxin-antitoxin system and utilizing it in a live vaccine, such as Salmonella, to selectively deliver the toxins into the tumor cells and destroy them. This system can also be used to make live vaccines safer. Current cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation, can be harmful to normal cells, while Mellata’s system will be successful in terminating cancerous tumor cells, leaving normal cells healthy. The recombinant bacterium comprising a toxin/antitoxin system works by activating the promoter of the toxins that naturally target tumor cells.

“By studying living cells, such as bacteria at the molecular level, researchers have elucidated many systems used by these cells to survive and cause diseases. These bacterial systems can be modified to be used for purposes that will benefit us. Lastly, bacteria can teach us new ways to improve human, and animal health,” shared Mellata.

Live attenuated vaccines are considered among the most influential tools for disease control and potential disease elimination. Weakened bacteria that are unable to cause clinical diseases, but trigger a self-limiting infection leading to the stimulation of protective immunity, represent an attractive method to prevent and/or treat infections. Overall, Mellata’s research will benefit both human health and agricultural animal production.


Key Contacts:
Megan Pulse,, Marketing and Communications
Melha Mellata,, Assistant Professor

By Megan Pulse, FSHN Marketing and Communications

Angela Shaw, Assistant Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition, and Extension and Outreach Food Safety Specialist, is determined to educate farmers, retailers, industries, and food manufacturers across Iowa to use good agricultural practices. (more…)

By Megan Pulse, FSHN Marketing and Communications

Ruth Litchfield, Associate Professor and Associate Department Chair of Food Science and Human Nutrition, and Human Sciences Extension and Outreach Nutrition Specialist focuses on youth, school and community nutrition programs using the socio-ecological model of behavior change. Litchfield dedicates her time to connecting the needs of Iowans with Iowa State University research and resources, which makes her deserving of the 2016 Iowa State University Extension - Excellence in Research-Based Programming award.

“Extending the resources of Iowa State University through Extension and Outreach to improve the quality of life for all Iowans is very rewarding,” shared Litchfield.

As an Extension educator, Litchfield provides training on school meal program regulations, school nutrition education, competitive foods, school gardens and overall improvement of the school food environment in her work with the Team Nutrition Training Grants. She has also been engaged in providing food safety messaging for families with young children, and training programs for child care providers, which reaches approximately 1,700 childcare providers annually.

Litchfield engaged with the Healthiest State Initiative to develop and/or coordinate the State Fair Food Finder app (over 2 million app/website views), Master Gardener trainings for HyVee staff, Preserve the Taste of Summer (PTTS) training for HyVee Registered Dietitians, and 8 nutrition education lessons for consumers featuring Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recommendations. Each lesson included 8 videos and 7 recipes, which engaged 1,302 consumers.

Litchfield engages citizens by using research and evidence-based educational programs, leading the world in advancing the land-grant ideals of putting science, technology, and human creativity to work. A collaboration with the Department of Education to provide training and technical assistance to schools relative to federally mandated school wellness policy development/implementation and school meal regulations, resulted in 100% of school districts in the state being in compliant, 98% receiving additional federal reimbursement, and the number of schools receiving the Healthier US School Challenge award has increased from 15 to 70 over six years.

In all of her work in Extension and Outreach, Ruth Litchfield incorporates research and student training, resulting in an impressive research output. She has generated over $3 million in grant funding and produced 100 Extension publications.


Key Contacts:

Megan Pulse,, Marketing and Communications
Clark Ford,, Associate Professor, Chair - FSHN Awards Committee
Ruth Litchfield,, Associate Professor and Associate Department Chair

Justin Banach, Graduate Assistant-Research, Food Science Club, Food Product Development Team

Justin Banach - Photograph

Why did you choose to attend Iowa State?
I came to ISU to work on an interesting research project involving the modification of an underutilized dairy protein ingredient. At that time, I had just learned about the proposed modification techniques in one of my classes and I felt confident to carry them out.

What factors influenced your choice of major?
It was an easy switch from studying Biological Systems Engineering as an undergrad to Food Science as a graduate student.

What do you enjoy most about your student club or organization experience?
I enjoy being involved with our Food Science Club. I co-planned a multi-state club trip during Spring 2014 that was attended by 17 students. I have also enjoyed helping students get involved with our Food Product Development Team and providing them with an opportunity to highlight their skills on a national stage.

Please describe your most rewarding experience for you being a part of and working with the department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at ISU?
The people in our department are awesome. My lab group is diverse, both in our backgrounds and our research, and we continually learn from each other.

What do you see yourself doing in three to five years?
I won’t be a student anymore, but will hopefully be working in an industry job helping a company produce goods that consumers want to buy. I certainly plan to have more hobbies in the future, as well.

What is something that faculty/staff members wouldn’t know about you?
I try to make things happen. No excuses!

Would you like to recognize a faculty member for their hard work and/or inspiration?
My adviser, Buddhi Lamsal, has always given me full ownership of my work such that successes and opportunities for improvement are on me. This approach has allowed me to learn exponentially.

Angela Shaw

February 29, 2016
By: Fred Love, ISU News Service

AMES, Iowa – Iowa State University will become a regional center for food safety in an effort to help businesses that grow and process food comply with new federal regulations in the coming years.

The federal Food and Drug Administration awarded Iowa State a three-year, $950,000 grant to establish the new North Central Regional Center for Food Safety Training, which will provide guidance to food processors and growers in 12 Midwestern states.

Angela Shaw, an assistant professor of food science and human nutrition, will lead the effort to get the regional center off the ground. Shaw said food safety has grown as a topic of concern for the American public, and the food safety regulations needed to be modernized.

“We’re able to document more foodborne outbreaks now as detection and health care technology have improved,” Shaw said. “And social media and news media have helped food safety grow in stature as an important issue to people. Food safety rules should reflect those changes.”

The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), signed into law in 2011, aims to strengthen the U.S. food safety system by preventing foodborne outbreaks before they occur. The produce safety rule, one of seven major rules under FSMA, requires fruit and vegetable growers to meet science-based minimum standards for safe growing, harvesting, packing and holding of fruits and vegetables grown for human consumption. FSMA also establishes a national center and four regional centers – which includes the new center at Iowa State – to help guide companies that will have to comply with the law.

Shaw said the size of a firm determines the date on which it will need to comply with one of the law’s major rules. The largest companies will have to make a deadline in September, while the smallest firms have about four years. She said large companies will be able to devote the necessary resources to make the transition, but small companies likely will need the most help in updating under the new rule.

“This is going to be a feat for large companies to comply with the new rule, but they’ll have the money and the personnel to help them get there,” she said. “The smaller firms will have a harder time getting fully compliant because they don’t have access to the same kind of resources.”

Companies will have to update their recordkeeping and training policies regarding food safety, Shaw said.

But in order to help companies make those changes, Shaw said the first step for the regional center will be to reach out to the firms that will have to comply with the new rules for a needs assessment. Catherine Strohbehn, an adjunct professor of apparel, events and hospitality management, and Linda Naeve, an extension program specialist in value added agriculture, also will contribute to the effort.

Shaw said the new center fits well with Iowa State’s land-grant mission.

“This undertaking will be very research based,” she said. “We’ll have a very robust outreach effort to work with the companies, and we’ll also be working with the other regional centers to see what sort of overlap exists.”


- See more at:



Angela Shaw, Food Science and Human Nutrition, 515-294-0868,
Fred Love, News Service, 515-294-0704,