Food Science & Technology Research

Our research programs have impacts on multiple levels. Undergraduate and graduate students participate alongside faculty who are leaders in their field on research that advances understanding in the food sciences. Industry partners conduct real-world trials in the fermentations sciences, sensory evaluation and more.

FST Research in the News

Bowl of salad covered by edible film wrap

OSU Presents: Edible Food Wrap

August 9, 2017 | Corvallis Advocate | News
by Kiki Genoa

A group of researchers at Oregon State University have created an ingenious new way to protect and preserve expireable foods like meat, cheese, and cut fruit and vegetables. The team of scientists, which includes OSU Professor of Food Science Yanyun Zhao, who has also worked as a value-added food products specialist with the OSU extension service, developed a delicate film that works like plastic wrap to keep moist foods fresh. However, this wrap has many benefits that typical plastic wrap does not, such as being edible.

(Read more...)


Stink Bugs Add the Flavor of Cilantro to Red Wine

by Alex Berezow, January 17, 2017
photo credit: Yerpo/Wikipedia
Brown marmorated stink bug

There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who eat bugs knowingly and those who eat bugs unknowingly. Oh yes, you eat bugs. Even vegans eat bugs.

While farmers and food processors want our grub to be pure, it is impossible to eliminate every single contaminant in the food supply. Crops are covered with insects, and little can be done to prevent a leg here or an antenna there from making its way into the final product.

The FDA is fully aware of this and even has a handbook that describes the allowable level of food "defects." Peanut butter, for example, can have up to 30 insect fragments per 3.5 ounces.

Wine, too, is not immune to this nuisance. , which came to North America from Asia in the mid-1900s, are fond of fruit such as grapes. During winemaking, the critters become stressed (being squashed tends to do that), and the stink bugs live up to their name by producing a compound called trans-2-decenal (T2D).

It might not sound sexy but this study could make a big difference in Oregon. Onions are among the state's top 10 crops with an annual production of 1.3 billion pounds and $115 million in sales.

(Read more...)

Research Advisors/Major Professors

Alan T. Bakalinsky, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Wiegand Hall |
Yeast physiology; strain characterization and improvement for fermentation processes including winemaking, biofuels, value-added products. Retiring as of October 1, 2018 - No longer accepting graduate students

Chris Curtin, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Wiegand Hall |
Fermentation microbiology with an emphasis on brewing yeast and microbial ecology of beer production; development of new yeast strains, biology of Brettanomyces species, and the application of genomic techniques in food science.

Mark A. Daeschel, Ph.D., Professor, Wiegand Hall |
Food microbiology and safety, development of antimicrobial intervention systems.

Christina DeWitt, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Director Astoria Seafood Lab |
Focus is on efforts to improve seafood quality and safety and enhance utilization of by-products generated from seafood processing.

Lisbeth M. Goddik, Ph.D., Professor, Wiegand Hall |
Extension Dairy Processing Specialist; Extension dairy processing; dairy products safety; product and process development; optimization of product quality.

Paul Hughes, Ph.D., MBA, Assistant Professor, Wiegand Hall |
Beer and distilled spirit quality (taste, visual) and product stability, distilled spirits innovation including alternative methods of ethanol-water separation, accelerated- and photo-maturation of distilled spirits, and the application of ab initio computational chemistry and kinetic modelling to beer and distilled spirits problems.

Jovana Kovacevic, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Food Innovation Center |
Application of molecular methods and genomics in food safety; methods and tools to improve pathogen tracing of contamination events in the farm-to-fork food chain; stress response mechanisms, survival, and prevention of Listeria monocytogenes contamination in food processing environments.

Jung Kwon, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Astoria Seafood Lab |
Biological functions of natural dietary molecules derived from marine resources in health promotion and disease prevention; uncovering potential health value of seafood materials and underutilized aquatic resources to promote efficient utilization of the harvested resources.

Juyun Lim, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Wiegand Hall |
Sensory science with emphasis on sensory perception and sensory methodology. Current research focusing on understanding the role of human sensory perception in food preference. Developing sensory and consumer testing methodology.

Robert J. McGorrin, Ph.D., Department Head, Jacobs-Root Professor |
Flavor chemistry and trace volatile analysis, food analysis, chromatography and separations, spectrometry, and natural products chemistry. (Not accepting graduate students)

Michael T. Morrissey, Ph.D. Professor, Superintendant Food Innovation Center |
Value-added products, emerging technologies in food processing, seafood safety and health benefits. Helping small and mid-size food business meet new challenges through product and processing innovations.

James P. Osborne, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Wiegand Hall |
Wine microbiology with emphasis on malolactic fermentation and the microbial spoilage of wine. Influence of various wine microorganisms on wine quality.

Jae W. Park, Ph.D. Professor, Astoria Seafood Lab |
Fish proteins; surimi processing and by-products utilization; surimi-based seafood products; functional and rheological properties of food additives;  advanced food processing techniques.

Si Hong Park, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Wiegand Hall | 
Detection, identification and control of foodborne pathogens such as Salmonella, Listeria, Campylobacter and E. coli from farms to forks using various molecular techniques.

Michael H. Penner, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Wiegand Hall |
Bio-based processes for the conversion of plant-derived biomass to fermentable sugars for bioproduct and biofuel production; mechanisms dictating rates of plant-derived biomass biodegradation; analytical approaches for the characterization of plant-derived biomass.

Michael Qian, Ph.D., Professor, Wiegand Hall |
Flavor Chemistry,  Food Analysis, and Dairy chemistry. characterization of aroma compounds, chemical and biological generation in dairy, small fruits and wines. Instrumental analysis of food components.

Andrew S. Ross, Ph.D. Professor; Crop Science (split appointment) |
Fundamental and applied research of cereal grain components, wheat-based foods (focused on food barley, noodles, and artisan breads), and bio-products from cereal grain fractions. Located in the OSU Cereal Breeding & Cereal Genetics Program in the Crop and Soil Science Department.

Neil Shay, Ph.D. Professor, Wiegand Hall |
Bioactive compounds in fruits and vegetables that impact human metabolism and disease conditions including atherosclerosis, obesity, and diabetes; investigations on the health benefits of grape and wine consumption; studies include the ability of bioactive compounds to lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Tom H. Shellhammer, Ph.D. Professor, Wiegand Hall |
Brewing science and technologies related to beer production and quality, in particular hop chemistry, flavor and quality.

Elizabeth Tomasino, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Wiegand Hall |
Relationships between wine sensory and chemical data; determination and importance of chiral aroma compounds in wine; differentiation of regional wine styles.

Joy Waite-Cusic, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Wiegand Hall |
Food microbiology with food safety emphasis; specifically interested in pathogen prevalence studies and risk assessment, method development and validation for detection of pathogens, and process validation and surrogate development.

Yanyun Zhao, Ph.D. Professor, Wiegand Hall |
Development and characterization of new food processing and packaging techniques with emphasis on their applications in value-added fruit and vegetable product development.

Research Faculty

Nadine Skyllingstad, M.S., Faculty Research Assistant (OWRI), Withycombe Hall |

Brian Yorgey, M.S., Senior Faculty Research Assistant, Wiegand Hall |


Dan Smith, M.S., Senior Instructor/Head Advisor, Wiegand Hall |