Research

The Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition (FSHN) works to enhance sustainable food and nutrition systems that promote human health and well-being and improve the quality of life through education, research and outreach in food and nutrition sciences.

The research of FSHN faculty can be categorized into seven strategic areas:

  • Community Education for Health and Food Safety
  • Food Safety and Quality
  • Functional Foods and Packaging
  • Green and Sustainable Food and Biomaterials Processing Technologies
  • Nutrition, Lifestyle and Health in Early-Life
  • Outcomes-Driven Education
  • Prevention and Mitigation of Type 2 Diabetes

FSHN research spans the full spectrum, following food from the time it is harvested until it is consumed.

  • Community Education for Health and Food Safety: To enhance research, teaching, extension and outreach efforts to facilitate desirable health and food safety behaviors by developing self-efficacy (knowledge and skills) through our expertise in nutrition, wellness, health promotion, food quality, and food safety. Our target populations include youth, families, older adults, health care industry, and food industries (retail, manufacturing, wine, and local foods).
  • Food Safety and Quality: To advance research, teaching, extension and outreach programs to innovate and promote effective farm-to-fork measures for ensuring the microbial and chemical safety, nutritional content and desirable sensory attributes of foods, achieved through our expertise in microbial, chemical and sensory analysis of foods and in novel food safety intervention strategies.
  • Functional Foods and Packaging: To improve ingredients, additives, nutrition and packaging of food products across the supply chain with expertise to enhance functionality of food through innovations in nutrition, ingredients and packaging to improve health, shelf-life and the consumer experience.
  • Green and Sustainable Food and Biomaterials Processing Technologies: To develop enabling technologies to maximize the value of agricultural commodities and reduce environmental impact in food, feed, fiber, and fuel manufacturing and to form interdisciplinary teams to develop and assess novel and sustainable technologies.
  • Nutrition, Lifestyle and Health in Early-Life: To identify effective lifestyle strategies including nutrition and physical activity to facilitate positive behavior change during early life (preconception through adolescence) in the effort to prevent and/or reduce the burden of chronic disease and micronutrient deficiencies, through our expertise in teaching, research, and outreach at the individual, family, community, and global level.
  • Outcomes-Driven Education: To prepare exceptional students for careers in food and nutrition sciences by continually evaluating and improving instructional pedagogy and teaching strategies, achieved by identifying, implementing and evaluating pedagogical models and teaching strategies to optimize learning outcomes and meet industry partner needs.
  • Prevention and Mitigation of Type 2 Diabetes: To prevent and treat type 2 diabetes and its complications in humans, animals, and in vitro models with a focus on dietary and therapeutic interventions through our expertise in human nutrition, biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics and physiology.

The FSHN faculty and students use the most up-to-date facilities and labs to conduct its research, including the Center for Crops Utilization, the Nutrition and Wellness Research Center, Midwest Dairy Foods Research Center and the Midwest Grape & Wine Industry Institute.

Use the faculty directory to explore the specific expertise of each faculty.