Food Science Research

Signature Areas


Food Chemistry, Structure, and Function

Identifies and creates new aspects of composition, structure, and other functional properties of whole foods and food constituents using chemistry, biochemistry, and material sciences to improve the quality, nutrition, affordability, stability, and sustainability of food and food-related products.

Dr. Bruce Hamaker
Dr. Owen Jones
Dr. Andrea Liceaga
Dr. Lisa Mauer
Dr. Suzanne Nielsen
Dr. Lavanya Reddivari
Dr. Brad Reuhs
Dr. Yuan Yao

s for Health

Applies food and biological science principles to the study of whole foods, macro- and micro-nutrients, and bioactive components as a means to improve consumer health and identifies mechanisms by which these effects arise (such as the molecular interactions of food components in biological systems and the role of the gut microbiome).

Dr. Bruce Hamaker
Dr. Kee-Hong Kim
Dr. Andrea Liceaga
Dr. Stephen Lindemann
Dr. Lisa Mauer
Dr. Eun Joong Oh
Dr. Lavanya Reddivari 
Dr. Fernanda San Martin

Food Safety and Microbiology

Studies pathogenic, beneficial (probiotic and fermentative), and spoilage microbes and their interaction with food and the host, and develops novel inactivation and detection methods for pathogens.

Dr. Bruce Applegate
Dr. Arun Bhunia
Dr. Amanda Deering
Dr. Yaohua "Betty" Feng​
Dr. Haley Oliver  USAID Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Safety 
Dr. Yuan Yao


Food Processing and Technology Development 

Integrates engineering, chemistry, nanotechnology, environmental sciences, and microbiology through food processing operations to produce safe, nutritious, sustainable, and value-added products.

Dr. Christian Butzke - Lab Website
Dr. Carlos Corvalan
Dr. Jen-Yi Huang​
Dr. Jozef Kokini
Dr. Lisa Mauer
Dr. Dharmendra Mishra​ - Lab Website
Dr. Fernanda San Martin
Dr. Qin Xu
Dr. Yuan Yao

List of faculty with their area of expertise and contact information (PDF)

Research Overview Ha​ndout​ (PDF)

Research and Outreach Centers

Center for Food Safety Engineering

The mission is to develop new knowledge, technologies, and systems for detection and prevention of chemical and microbial contamination of food.

Whistler Center for Carbohydrate Research

In partnership with member companies, the center's r​esearch focuses on fundamental investigations of structure-function relationships of carbohydrates and other biopolymers as related to practical uses.

Government Research Cooperative Agreements

USAID Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Safety

The sustainable production of safe, nutritious food — and ensuring reliable access for consumers — is essential to advancing developing nations. Powered by collaborations between Purdue University and Cornell University researchers, the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Safety aims to enhance global agricultural sustainability and resilience, as well as food security. Our applied research leverages collective expertise in food safety, food production, nutrition and international development.

USAID Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Processing and Post-Harvest Handling

Enhancing food and nutrition security and market values in Africa.


Department of Food Science, 745 Agriculture Mall Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-8256

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