Our Team



PRIMARY INVESTIGATOR (PI) | Associate Professor of Food Science

Dr. Dharmendra Mishra is Processing Authority for acid / acidified and low-acid foods in both still and continuous flow systems. His expertise includes manufacturing multi-phase particulate modeling and validation, commercializing technologies, retort, aseptic, and novel thermal processing; mathematical modeling; inverse problems and statistical analysis. Prior to joining the faculty at Purdue, Dr. Mishra worked in the food industry for Campbell's Soup, Nestle Nutrition, and Mead Johnson Nutrition.

Dr. Mishra conducts the following extension workshops to train industry professionals:

  • Aseptic Workshop
  • Better Process Control School
  • Validation Workshop

Manoj Sawale

Ph. D. Student

Manoj earned his Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology from Pune University and Master’s degree in Biotechnology from Bangalore University (BU). He served as a petroleum microbiologist for ONGC- TERI Biotech ltd India. He served as a lab manager who was responsible for overall operation for tertiary oil recovery in Gujarat region.

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Halak Mehta

Ph. D. Student

Halak is a Ph.D. student in Food Science. Prior to the doctoral program, Halak earned a M.S. degree in Food Science from Purdue University under Dr. Mishra's guidance. She has a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from BMS College of Engineering, India. Her master’s thesis focused on development of a novel device for rapid measurement of food thermal properties at high temperatures. Her doctoral research focuses on the development of digital tools for improving the structure and texture of plant-based meat extrudates.

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Amandeep Singh

Ph.D. Student

Amandeep completed his Bachelor’s in Agricultural Science with a major in Food Science and Technology in 2018. Amandeep earned his Master’s in Agriculture from University of Texas in 2021. His research focused on food safety of fresh produce. Amandeep joined the Mishra lab in Fall 2022. Currently, his research focus is on developing microbial validation techniques for thermal processing.

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Audrey Searing-Hettel

Ph.D. Student

Audrey joined the Mishra lab in August of 2022. A proud Western Michigan University Bronco, Audrey graduated with a bachelors of biochemistry in 2021, and then worked in protein innovation at Kalsec prior to being offered a Ross Fellowship to study for a PhD of Food Science at Purdue. Her current research focuses on high moisture meat analogs.

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Xiang "Chase" Chen

Master's Student

Chase started working as an undergraduate researcher in Mishra lab since June 2018 and graduated from Purdue University in May 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in Food Science. After graduation, he continued his journey in Mishra lab for his master’s degree, with the research focus of developing a novel method for fouling detection in aseptic processing system.


muniandy headshotPh. D. Student

Connie earned her B.S. in Food Science from Purdue in 2013 and her M.S. in Food Science from the University of Idaho in 2015. She joined Dr. Mishra’s group in August 2017 to pursue her second master’s in food processing, after working in the food industry for 2 years in R&D. She continued her Ph.D with Dr. Mishra and graduated in 2022. Her dissertation focused on the development of an innovative technology for shelf life prediction of food and beverages. Currently, she is working with Niagara Bottling as a Staff Engineer.

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Ajay graduated with a Bachelor’s of Engineering in Biotechnology from Mumbai University in India. He has couple of internship experiences one at R.C.F. Limited as a R&D Trainee and second at Nutrahelix Biotech Pvt. Ltd., wherein he was working on nutrition and quality analysis of gluten-free pasta.  He joined the Mishra Lab in Fall 2019. His project was focused on inactivation and modeling of food-borne pathogens in low-moisture foods using thermal treatment and non-thermal cold plasma. He graduated in Fall 2022 with a Master's in Food Science. He is currently working as a Quality Engineer at Niagara Bottling.

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Javier received his agronomy technician degree from ENCA, Guatemala in 2014 and then received his Bachelor's degree in Food Science from Zamorano University, Honduras in December 2018. He worked as an intern in Mishra Lab during the spring semester 2018 on an image analysis project. He came back to pursue his MS degree with Dr. Mishra, working on green innovative CIP system. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Georgia.

cantarero headshotMaster's Student

Fernando received his Bachelor’s degree in Food Science from Zamorano University, Honduras in 2017. He worked as an intern in Mishra Lab during the spring semester 2017, where he helped set up the lab. His Master's research focuses on designing an in-line method to measure food thermal properties during aseptic processing. Fernando graduated with a M.S. in Food Science in 2020. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.