SAES-422 Multistate Research Activity Accomplishments Report

Status: Approved

Basic Information


Minutes and List of Participants are attached as a pdf document


Overall, 2012-2013 was a very productive year for the NC-1023 multistate project. During the reporting year, the members of the NC1023 committee conducted collective work that resulted in: 164 publications in peer-reviewed journals, 142 abstracts/proceedings/presentations in national and international conferences, 16 book chapters, 6 books and graduated 31 MSc/PhD students. At the core of such accomplishments are various collaborative works among stations belonging to the NC-1023 project. The utilization of innovative methods to characterize food materials was favorably impacted. The use of non-destructive techniques, such as MRI, hold tremendous potential for rapid evaluation of food quality. Understanding the fundamentals behind these new methods is a critical step in order to diversify their applications in the food industry. Ongoing research on development of improved processing technologies will potentially impact various areas. On the one hand, foods with enhanced nutritive value will be available as these technologies are scaled-up and approved for industrial processing. The usefulness of robust models to predict quality changes during processing operations cannot be overemphasized. On the one hand, and along with technology development, the design of processing protocols that achieve required lethalities to produce safe foods, but on the other, the rapid simulation of quality changes under specific processing conditions will save valuable time in defining processing protocols leading to high quality products. The development of web-based simulations for food engineering education is an area with enormous potential to shift the paradigm of traditional education and improve the learning of current generations that are highly driven by technology. Dissemination of knowledge obtained by multistate collaborations has successfully started by the organization of workshops and seminars (webinars) and will be a strong component of the NC-1023 multistate project in future years to directly impact on growers, processors and consumers alike.

Physical and mechanical properties of a sustained release system from whey protein/alginate beads in a viscous media mimicking a beverage were evaluated and results were published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Thermal processing of almonds may alter the protein structure, influencing the specific digestion of amino acids. These findings help establish a link between food processing and nutrient breakdown and absorption.

UC Davis developed experimental methods to characterize micro- and macro-distribution of water in beans during cooking. These methods provide improved data for enhancing modeling and optimization of commercial canning processes for beans.

Virtual experiments developed at UC Davis were converted into Javascript for use on the Internet with any operating system including mobile devices such as iPad and smartphones. These experiments are now available for use at

Video modules of lectures for teaching an introductory food engineering course were developed on selected topics such as heat transfer, refrigeration, and freezing. These modules are also available for instructional purposes at

Sample heating and shadowing effect have limited the application of pulsed light (PL) technology for decontamination of fresh produce. A novel setup using water-assisted PL processing was developed to overcome these limitations and reduce the risk of cross-contamination during fresh produce washing.

A numerical model using COMSOL codes was developed to validate uniform heating of particulate foods in a continuous flow microwave and ohmic heating chamber.

New produce washing strategy-cutting head lettuce prior to washing provides advantages in produce sanitization

Pathogen inactivation in fresh produce by incorporation of sanitizers into existing operations within the produce-chain. (Ohio and Iowa). Presentations at Ohio, Serbia, Romania.

Development of Food Safety Auditing Courses in the Curriculum. (Cornell, ISU, Industry, SQF, others).

Collaborative study to evaluate the influence of radiation on the ability of rennet and dried milk to make curds/cheese. (Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, NASA).

Functional properties of milk protein concentrate with 80% protein (MPC80) were modified using extrusion, toasting and enzyme processes. Modified milk protein concentrates were used in the formulation of high-protein nutrition bars (30 % protein) that resulted in softer bars over 42 days of accelerated storage period.

A book on the topic Nanotechnology and Functional Foods: Effective Delivery of Bioactive Ingredients was developed in collaboration with NC1023. The book was co-edited with Hongda Chen (USDA-NIFA) and Rickey Yada (Advanced Foods and Materials Canada) and is to be published by Wiley-Blackwell in 2014.

Markedly different mild Pulsed Electric Field settings do not have the same effect on the probiotic characteristic bile tolerance of Lactococcus lactis ssp lactis and Lactococcus lactis ssp cremoris.

Bile tolerance of Lactococcus lactis ssp lactis and Lactococcus lactis ssp cremoris. can be improved using electric field strength of 1kV/cm, pulse period of 0.5 sec, pulse width of 3 µs, mild PEF treatment temperature of 40 C and flow rate of 50 mL / min.

Successfully completed the research entitled Development of Safe and Ready to Eat Frozen Oyster Product. Food Engineering lab, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, and a Louisiana oyster company (Motivatit Seafoods, Inc., Houma, Louisiana) have developed new, safer, high quality oysters with vegetables products.

Two different rapid methods to estimate temperature-dependent thermal conductivity, specific heat, and thermal diffusivity of solid or thick foods have been developed. Temperature range will be 25-130°C. Method 1: 30 min; method 2: 2 minutes.

Dynamic models for the following food processes have been developed, and the inverse problem to estimate the parameters is being done:
a. Thermal processing of food solids at different moistures (25-95%) from 25-130°C. Parameters: temperature-dependent thermal conductivity, specific heat, and thermal diffusivity.
b. Microbial inactivation and growth models and parameters for dynamic temperature conditions.

A MathWorks curriculum-development grant was completed at Mich. St. U. for one year jointly with Dr. Yinjie Tang at Washington University in St. Louis, Department of Energy, Environmental and Chemical Engineering.


  1. Techniques, such as magnetic resonance imaging, provide a means to understand and characterize food systems that are designed for better delivery of bioactive compounds.
  2. For the collaborative research between California-Davis and University of Illinois, mathematical modeling will provide a predictive tool to reduce oil uptake and improve quality of fried foods Results obtained from computational modeling of gastric digestion illustrate the complex dynamics of gastric contents and the potential use of these models to provide a unique insight of how foods disintegrate in a human stomach.
  3. A new water-assisted pulsed light (PL) treatment could be a potential non-chemical alternative (residue free) to chlorine washing since it is both more effective and environmentally friendly than chlorine washing.
  4. Mathematical model based on the finite element method can be used for the design of new pilot-scale combination heating chambers and the precise control of operating parameters in consideration of particulate food samples with various mixing ratios and particle conditions, i.e. shapes and sizes.
  5. A new produce washing strategy that has shown significant enhancement in microbial reduction will contribute to significant enhance microbial safety of Iceberg lettuce. Since the new TDS and malic acid combined wash of produce does not introduce unacceptable quality changes in produce samples, it may be used as a new sanitizing agent to reduce the food safety risk.
  6. Frying work yielded information on parameters causing less fat uptake to make the fried foods healthier. Using these parameters food industry can improve the quality of fried foods.
  7. Extruded cornstarch work has provided information for improving the extrusion processing for developing a diverse range of food, feed and biomedical products.
  8. Success for the food products of the future will depend on their capacity to deliver valuable nutritional/bioactives cargo. Thus, new technologies are needed to develop safe and effective carriers to deliver such compounds to human, animal, and plant cells. In this context, nanostructuring holds promise. A book chapter describing the structure and preparation of bicontinuous systems and highlighting their application as delivery vehicles was written.
  9. Modification of milk protein concentrates (MPC) using extrusion creates functional ingredient with reduced water absorption capacity; the use of which in high-protein (20-40% protein) nutrition bars will reduce bar hardening during storage. Use of domestically produced milk ingredient in place of imported casein/caseinates in such nutrition bars is expected to impact dairy processing industry favorably.
  10. A study to evaluate the impact of pH and nitrite from celery juice concentrate (CJ) on the growth of Listeria monocytogenes in broth and on ham slices, and on quality attributes of the ham was conducted. Celery juice concentrate may increase meat product pH which could have implications for the antimicrobial impact of nitrite in some products.
  11. The measurement of several important characteristics during Aronia berry maturation has permitted the estimation of the optimal harvest date. To determine this date, favored parameters were °Brix, °Brix/acid ratio and total polyphenol and anthoacynin contents because the consumers have preferred sweet fruits and polyphenols especially anthocyanins for their many health benefits.
  12. The analysis of four-five years of storage for irradiated and non-irradiated rennet and Low Heat Treated Dried Milk is continuing. The stored unopened container of rennet always had more activity (curdled milk quicker) than the rennet that was opened, and resealed two year ago. Likewise, 5-Gry treated rennet had less activity than the control rennet. This is a joint project between (Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, NASA). The results can applied to producing cheese on Lunar and Mars missions.
  13. Nanodelivery systems are currently developed for and by the food industry to improve stability of the bioactive, to release it in a controlled manner for enhanced bioavailability and functionality of the bioactive. Since there are very few technical reference books on food nanotechnology, a book was edited with specific topics related to effective delivery of micronutrients and bioactives in functional foods.
  14. Probiotic (health beneficial bacterial) market has rapidly grown in recent years and is estimated to be currently worth $18 billion. Lactococcus lactis ssp lactis and Lactococcus lactis ssp cremoris. are commonly used bacterial cultures in cheese manufacture. Mild PEF processing conditions identified in this work can be used for pretreating bacterial cultures Lactococcus lactis ssp lactis and Lactococcus lactis ssp enhance their bile tolerance.
  15. New instrument to measure thermal properties of foods rapidly will be useful to industry and researchers.
  16. The NMR/MRI hardware and software we developed and/or improved will enable researchers to produce higher signal to noise ratio of the low field imaging system when it is used to acquire images of low moisture foods. These improvements will further broaden the application of such low cost non-destructive and non-invasive imaging techniques in food science and engineering research.
  17. Processes developed to enhance the bioavailability of phytochemicals in whole grains may be applied to other foods where phytochemicals are not readily available due to physical and chemical constrains.
  18. The CHIEF process was found very effective in inactivate microbes in high protein beverages. Through this research, the process was significantly improved to enhance the bacterial kill and energy efficiency. This process may be used in pasteurization of other liquid foods.
  19. Research findings from almond storage studies provide needed information for establishment of storage and transportation protocols for Asian market.
  20. Neither the microwave-assisted thermal stabilization processing nor the freeze dry optimization resulted in compelling quality differences from current space food provisions such that a five-year shelf life is likely with these processing changes alone. However, the evaluation of the food is still in progress. The knowledge of how these alternative processing methods and/or procedures impact food quality is important to evaluate feasibility of achieving a five-year life.
  21. Developed a calibration protocol to measure dielectric properties of foods for a wide range of temperatures from frozen to cooked states.
  22. Important aspects of the science of pressure-enhanced infusion have been elucidated. In addition, this works demonstrates the potential of HPP to develop nutraceutical-enriched food products. This understanding can be used to develop design guidelines that will be useful to the food industry and can be implemented for a broad class of fruits and infusing molecules to develop value-added nutrient rich foods.
  23. Basic understanding on high pressure processing of foods increased and challenged previous unverified assumptions. As the technology develops and is applied to more food systems, it will aid food processors and regulators in designing processes that can assure the safety and shelf life of the products.
  24. Moisture transport in processes such as drying is affected tremendously by the structure of the food material, i.e., the internal tissue structure. A new approach relates a transport property such as vapor diffusivity to the specific structure of the food from newer measurement techniques.
  25. Work on ozone interaction with tissue and on gas sanitization shows clearly that current safety strategies of washing used by the produce industry are flawed. In particular, if a bubble happens to reside beneath a piece of contaminated produce, the washing process may have been entirely ineffective. New strategies are under development to overcome this problem.
  26. The verification of mathematical models for ohmic heating has resulted in our working with industry to work towards a process commercialization.
  27. Understanding of heat resistance is necessary for developing chocolate for tropical climates.
  28. The barotolerance and thermotolerance of L. monocytogenes in long-term survival phase needs to be considered as part of the overall food safety assessment of processed RTE food products.
  29. In order to produce safe foods, novel technologies are being investigated for various applications. Electrolyzed oxidizing (EO) water was shown to be effective for Clean-In-Place (CIP) cleaning of on-farm milking systems, which can be applied for CIP of other food processing equipment. Pulsed UV treatment can be utilized to decontaminate packaged and unpackaged hard cheeses.
  30. Modeling of factors that govern the kinetics of nisin release from the biopolymer films will be useful in designing a coating within a package or an edible coating for a food product for controlled release applications.
  31. Novel delivery systems are being studied for incorporation of lipophilic compounds in food matrices to improve quality, chemical stability, and bioactivity. These compounds are significant to improve healthfulness, quality, and microbiological food safety. Food biopolymers are major components of food products and ingredients. Improving physical properties of food biopolymers is critical for food quality.
  32. An increased interest in the use of inexpensive biopolymers as natural carriers has motivated research on the use of octenyl succinate-modified carbohydrates and whey proteins. The chemically-modified biopolymers can entrap lipophilic bioactive compounds thus improving food quality, bioavailability, and safety. The quantification of hydrophobic interactions between biopolymers provides a better understanding of their properties and structure type for practical applications as natural carriers.
  33. Extending the shelf life of mushrooms is very important for their marketing and distribution and reliable preservation methods are still needed. Treating sliced mushrooms with vacuum impregnation and electron beam irradiation is useful to introduce physiologically active components such as beneficial microorganisms, antioxidants, vitamins, and cations, while assuring safety and maintaining quality.
  34. Several intervention methods using chemical sanitizers or based on physical phenomena have the potential to eliminate microorganisms; but may not be as effective in surface decontamination of food products if the pathogens are internalized. The application of nanoencapsulated natural antimicrobials can be efficiently delivered into inaccessible sites at a controlled rate where pathogens are protected against conventional intervention methods.
  35. Hummus, a Middle Eastern and Arabic food dip or spread, is gaining in popularity in the United States with sales reaching nearly $300 million by 2010. Chickpea seeds, a major ingredient in hummus, were processed using boiling, pressure cooking and microwave cooking techniques, and effects of processing techniques on chemical, physical and functional properties have been evaluated. Pressure cooking was found to be the best method for preserving properties of chickpea.
  36. Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) is being investigated for extending the shelf life of hummus, which is currently 70 days. Although exactly how much longer MAP can extend shelf life even further is still being determined, preliminary research indicates this method improves quality (color and texture). It is expected that research data generated will help food industry choose the best chickpea varieties and optimal processing conditions for hummus production.
  37. Research at Washington State University on microwave sterilization technologies starts to make real impact to the food industry. Two co-packers and military ration producers (The Wornick Company, Cincinnati, OH, and Ameriqual, Evansville, IN) installed pilot-scale 915 MHz single-mode microwave assisted sterilization systems (MATS). A WSU team is assisting the two companies develop and validate microwave sterilization processes.
  38. Gelatin/AuNPs-based nTHIs can be designed as visible systems for real-time, continual monitoring of thermal history of foods to help track temperature abuse and ensure food safety during post-harvest handling, transportation, and storage.


Log Out ?

Are you sure you want to log out?

Press No if you want to continue work. Press Yes to logout current user.

Report a Bug
Report a Bug

Describe your bug clearly, including the steps you used to create it.