WHAT WE DO

The Department of Food Science Extension and Outreach faculty and staff assist producers, food entrepreneurs, food and beverage industry companies small to large by providing science-based training, services, and resources. Our mission is to help stakeholders in the state of Indiana and beyond to produce safe food and beverages while also tackling some of our world's biggest challenges of food accessibility, affordability, and sustainability.

Contact Us

Department of Food Science
foodsci@purdue.edu
745 Agriculture Mall Drive
West Lafayette, IN 47907
(765) 494-8256
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Extension and Outreach Programs

The Food Science Enology Extension program is led by the Purdue Wine Professor, Dr. Christian Butzke. The Enology Extension program offers the Purdue Winemaking Certificate, online wine appreciation course, winery technical support, and other enology resources. To learn more, visit the Enology Extension webpage.

Our mission is to fuel economic growth in the region and beyond by enabling food and beverage companies to ideate, develop, and commercialize novel improved and sustainable products; to provide learning experiences in innovation and entrepreneurship for students in the College of Agriculture; and to contribute to the land-grand research and Extension missions of Purdue University. Visit the Food Entrepreneurship and Manufacturing Institute webpage to learn more.

The Biggest Im​pact to Food Safety Policy in Over 70 years

Richard H​. Linton, Professor of Food Safety at Purdue University

On January 4, 2011, President Barack Obama signed into law a new federal statute called the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (H.R. 2751).  The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act is divided into four areas: prevention of food safety hazards, detection of and response to food safety problems, improving the safety of imported foods, and miscellaneous provisions. The new law provides greater authorization for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to increase inspections of many domestic food facilities, enhance detection of foodborne illness outbreaks, and order recalls of contaminated food products.  The new law requires most food companies to write and implement new safety protocols to control or eliminate potential foodborne hazards.   More oversight of imported food products is also included in the law and more provisions are in place to deny entry of food products into the U. S. under certain circumstances.   The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act is the most significant update of U.S. food safety laws since adoption of the U.S. Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act in 1938.   

HHS will also require registration and payment of a fee by any person (excluding farms and restaurants) who manufactures, processes, packs, distributes, receives, holds, or imports an article of food.  Individuals who partake in food handling without official registration are subject to a maximum 10 year prison sentence. Registration requires each facility which produces or handles food to maintain records relating to food safety.  The law contains an exception for food grown and consumed at private residences. Likewise, smaller farms that sell directly to consumers are exempt. For example, food sold at local farmers' markets would not be subject to the certification requirements.

The FDA Food Modernization Act provides FDA with additional authority to: 

  • Order a recall of food. 
  • Administratively detain food based only on a “reason to believe” the food is adulterated or misbranded. 
  • Suspend the registration, and thereby suspend the operations, of any food facility if FDA determines that food manufactured, processed, packed, or held by the facility has a reasonable probability of causing serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals. 
  • Require that an article of food offered for import be accompanied by a safety certification from an accredited third-party auditor as an additional condition of granting admission. 
  • Review relevant health data every two years and to issue guidance documents or regulations setting contaminant-specific performance standards for the most significant foodborne contaminants.
  • Establish a product tracing system to improve the agency’s capacity to effectively and rapidly track and trace food.

Under the FDA Food Modernization Act, there are several new regulatory requirements that follow:

  • Food facilities are required to register with FDA biennially.   Food from an unregistered facility may not be imported into the United States or introduced into interstate or intrastate commerce.
  • Registered food facilities are required to conduct hazard analyses and to develop and implement written preventive control plans.
  • Registered food facilities must maintain additional records, including copies of their hazard analyses and preventive control plans, related records, and additional records to assist FDA in tracking and tracing high-risk foods.
  • Food importers are required to implement foreign supplier verification programs and to take steps to verify that the food they import is safe.
  • Food facilities and food importers are subject to new fees, including a fee to be paid by each domestic food facility or importer that undergoes a re-inspection because of a material non-compliance identified during an initial inspection.
  • Laboratory tests to be used for regulatory purposes must be performed by either a Federal laboratory or an accredited non-Federal laboratory, and lab test results must be sent directly to FDA.
  • Food facilities will be inspected with greater frequency and not less often than once every 5 years.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s new estimates of foodborne illness in the U.S. each year total 47.8 million cases foodborne illnesses, 127,839 hospitalizations, and 3,037 deaths.  This data suggest that about 1 in 6 people each year are afflicted by foodborne illness.    This historic legislation that the President has signed directs FDA to work with a wide range of public and private partners to build a new system of food safety oversight – one focused on applying, more comprehensively than ever, the best available science and good common sense to prevent the problems that can make people sick.   All food safety stakeholder groups will be eager to learn of the impact of the new food safety law.  Because of the legislative process, overall implementation of the law is likely to take several years.

For more information about the FDA Food Modernization Act and new CDC foodborne illness statistics, go to the following websites listed below:

Perhaps you're new to home food preservation. Perhaps you need a refresher. Purdue Extension Educators are here to help. If you would like additional information about home food preservation, or if you are interested in attending a food preservation training course, visit the Home Food Preservation webpage. 

Safe Produce Indiana serves fruit and vegetable growers and consumers in the state by educating them about the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule. In order to achieve this goal, we have gathered together resources that address the FDA, the FSMA, the Produce Safety Rule, the Produce Safety Alliance, water safety and compliance training.​

For more information, visit the Safe Produce Indiana website.

A key strength of the Purdue Food Science Department is the Sensory Evaluation Laboratory, which provides sensory analysis using discriminative and hedonic (consumer) testing. Using scientific and industry standard methods, the Sensory Evaluation Lab staff work closely with our industry and academia partners to design studies, collect data, and produce statistical analysis to support R&D, Sales, Marketing and Manufacturing. For more information, visit the Sensory Evaluation Laboratory site.

What is ServSafe?

ServSafe is an educational program developed by the National Restaurant Association to aid restaurants and other retail food handlers comply with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) code (law) to ensure public safety. In the state of Indiana, the state Department of Health and Food Protection Program serves as the enforcement and oversight agency of the FDA code through the Indiana Retail Food Establishment Sanitation Requirements (PDF).

What is ServSafe Certification?

ServSafe certification means that you have obtained sufficient knowledge about food and beverage safety and handling to earn one of the certificates.

Who needs ServSafe Certification?

Establishments and people who are serving and/or handling food and/or beverages outside of their home to people who are not their family or friends, need to be ServSafe certified, such as restaurants, food trucks, school cafeterias, hospitals and university club events. Purdue University Office of Student Activities and Organizations (SAO) requires that when organizations plan to have self-prepared food served at an event, certain foods require that a ServSafe food handler be on site for food preparation and distribution.

Why Purdue’s ServSafe Program?

Purdue University is recognized as a global leader in delivering education. We make science-based decisions based on data. Our historical data indicates that people have a much higher exam pass rate in our face to face ServSafe Certification trainings than those who take an online program. Most Indiana counties have Extension Educators who are trained to offer ServSafe training and certification exams. Check the calendar for upcoming trainings and locations.

Get your ServSafe Food Manager Food Certification by a trusted educational institution, Purdue University!
PURDUE SERVSAFE SITE

The Purdue Wine Grape Team is collaboration between the Purdue University Departments of Food Science and Horticulture & Landscape Architecture. The team serves Indiana’s winemakers and growers by providing expertise on viticulture (grape growing), enology (wine making), and marketing. Their goal is to propel the Indiana winegrape industry into world-class competitiveness. For more information, visit the Wine Grape Team site.

Workshops

May 9-12, 2022 (in-person)
 
The Aseptic Workshop at Purdue University incorporates a lecture and "hands on" laboratory format to review the essential scientific and engineering principles relevant to applying the aseptic technology. The "hands-on" activities include simulated process demonstrations, packaging integrity tests, testing methods in chemistry and microbiology, and displays of equipment components used in aseptic processing. The topics presented are an overview of aseptic processing and packaging, microbial principles applied to aseptic processing, chemical considerations, principles of thermal processing and thermo bacteriology, equipment features, packaging considerations and assessment the package's sealing integrity, and determination of a quality assurance program for a review of compliance issues relative to commissioning an aseptic system.
The Department has been a recognized leader in aseptic processing, starting with Dr. Phil Nelson's bulk aseptic storage in the late 1960s. In 2018, we will hold our 38th annual Aseptic Workshop open to the general public. Upon demand, Purdue Food Science can customize the workshop to fit your individual company's needs. Contact Dr. Dharmendra Mishra for details.

June 27-30, 2022 (in-person and virtual)
The Better Process Control School certifies supervisors of thermal processing systems, acidification, and container closure evaluation programs for low-acid and acidified foods in closed containers. Each processor of low-acid or acidified foods must operate with a certified supervisor on hand at all times during processing. This school satisfies the training requirements specified in both the FDA and USDA regulations. Questions? Contact Dr. Dharmendra Mishra.

To learn more, see the

June 20-23, 2022 (in-person)

Validation workshop is designed for food processors that are already producing aseptic shelf-stable products or installing new commercial lines for future production needs. The workshop will provide insights into key aspects of validation and hands-on exercises with validation methods. Validation workshop will be helpful and suitable for process authorities, food and packaging engineers, microbiologists and those involved with the validation process at your facility. Contact Dharmendra Mishra for questions related to content ​

Webinars

Food safety is one of the most important issues currently faced by food service and retail food establishments. To ensure that retail food establishments have access to the information they need to safeguard their customers, the Cooperative Extension Service of Purdue University is offering new food safety training and manager certification programs.
Three nationally recognized Retail Food Manager's Certification courses, including 1) Essentials of Food Safety and Sanitation, 2) SuperSafeMark, and 3) ServSafe, are offered monthly throughout the state. A-2-hour program for sub-management level workers, called "Food Safety Day" is also now available.  

Find out if these newly established regulations effect your farm operation by going go to SafeproduceIN.com to learn more about the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).  The rule establishes, for the first time, science-based minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of fruits and vegetables grown for human consumption.  

Contact Amanda Deering adeering@purdue.edu for questions regarding content.​

Upcoming Food Science Events