Food Biology applies molecular genetics, biochemistry, microbiology, and sensory science to the understanding of biological processes that affect food quality. Intelligent multiple hurdle food preservation techniques are designed, and understanding the synergy of the actions of bacteriocins with other antimicrobial substances are investigated. Novel mechanisms by which Escherichia coli O157:H7 transfers genetic material to other enteric pathogens, determination of the spatial location of foodborne pathogens in produce, and the occurrence of cross-resistance to preservatives, sanitizers, and antibiotics are investigated. Mathematical modeling is utilized to describe the behavior foodborne microorganisms. Molecular and biochemical mechanisms controlling phospholipid metabolism in response to nutrient supplementation and oxidative stress are examined in baker’s yeast. Sensory evaluation and consumer perception of foods are examined with respect to the influence of genetics, pregnancy, and disease on taste and food ingestion. Changes in micronutrients during processing and food preparation, and means of nutrification of foods with nutraceuticals are examined. Food and nutrition policy issues are also an area of interest.
The Food Biology faculty and graduate students meet every week for Food Biology Journal Club (Wednesdays, 12 noon, Food Science Reading Room).