The overall goal of research in the Department of Food Science is to contribute to the scientific knowledge base for foods and beverages.

Our research is focused primarily on applying fundamental principles from chemistry, biology, microbiology, engineering and the social sciences to the conversion of raw agricultural products into foods and beverages for human consumption. We also study the safety, quality, nutritional and environmental consequences of these conversions with the aim of providing the world with an affordable, safe and sustainable food supply of high nutritional quality. 

Research in the department is closely integrated with our teaching and extension programs. Students, both graduate and undergraduate, conduct research projects under the supervision of faculty members. This research experience helps students develop their critical thinking and problem solving skills and fosters a strong aspiration for lifelong learning. 

Faculty with extension responsibilities translate and transfer research-based knowledge to our stakeholders in New York State and beyond. In addition, stakeholder input informs and inspires many of our research projects. 

a scientist with a purple gloves holds up a slide to the light

The rational design and synthesis of emulsions to fabricate multi-compartment emulsion-based vehicles for regulating lipid digestion and bioavailability in gastrointestinal tract; to understand the molecular and physical factors that impact bioavailability and stability of lipid and lipophilic food ingredients and develop effective emulsion-based systems and encapsulation technologies to enhance ingredient stability within food matrix.

man in lab coat with flasks of colored liquid

The Alcaine Research Group focuses on driving dairy sustainability through microbiology. Our research investigates the application of bioprotection methods to control foodborne pathogens and extend dairy product shelf life, thus reducing dairy waste. We also explore novel fermentations to upcycle underutilized dairy co-products into valued-added beverages and ingredients that can improve both environmental and economic sustainability of the dairy industry.

Person holding up polymer.

David Barbano is a professor in the Department of Food Science. Dave received his BS in Biology/Food Science in 1970 at Cornell University and his MS/Ph.D. in Food Science also at Cornell University (MS in 1973 and Ph.D. in 1976). He joined the Department of Food Science as an Assistant Professor in 1980. Dave in on numerous International Dairy Federation Committees for milk analysis.

beakers and glasses sit on a shelf

The Batt Lab's research focuses on protein engineering and expression of recombinant immunotherapeutics; micro-/nanofabrication of integrated sensor devices; synthesis of biologically inspired nanostructures for fdvanced materials processing.

a close up of a glowing mouth and teeth

The Dando lab studies the neurotransmitter interactions and signaling events which occur within the mammalian taste system, utilizing techniques from physiology, molecular biology and behavioral science.

a close up of a petri dish

The lab is interested in a variety of research topics that span from understanding fundamental aspects of eukaryotic cell biology to collaborating with the fermented beverage industry on applied projects.

a microscopic view of biomaterials

The Goddard lab leverages technologies at the intersection of food science and materials science to modify food contact materials to improve the safety, quality and sustainability of our food supply. Current research foci include non-migratory active packaging, antimicrobial/nonfouling coatings and biocatalytic materials.

an apple in a glass beaker

Dr. Liu’s research program focuses on diet and cancer, the effects of functional foods/nutraceuticals on chronic disease risks, and bioactive compounds in natural products and herbal remedies for anticancer and antiviral activity.

the viticulture and enology lab

Viticulture and enology research program promotes sustainable, environmentally sound practices tailored to local growing conditions and network with an international community.

Carmen and Yifan in Lab

Moraru’s group research program is dedicated to developing technical solutions for improving food safety and quality and to advancing the knowledge in the area of microbial, physical and engineering properties of foods, particularly dairy foods. Our efforts are channeled in two distinct research areas: food safety engineering and food quality.

a plate setting with food on the plate and a wine glass

The lab studies how toxic chemical compounds in food have an effect on our health.

Synthetic biology for food and water safety solutions

Our research focuses on the design and fabrication of biosensors for the detection of pathogenic organisms, allergens, adulterants and other analytes of interest. The nature of our research is highly interdisciplinary, merging technologies from the fields of nanobiotechnology, microfabrication, molecular genetics, biochemistry and material science.

Two students working in Stocking Hall test kitchen on their capstone project

Research is focused on applied research in support of the Food Science extension program to add value and safety to agricultural commodities. Emphasis on developing new products and processes to improve or retain quality in processed and plant-based foods, including thermal and non-thermal technologies for food preservation and up-cycling byproducts to increase economic viability of farm-based ventures, and identify key factors that affect the safety of specialty foods manufactured by small-scale processors.

a professor stands in front of a food processing machine

Research focus: Food process engineering, international food science, unit operations, supercritical fluids, extrusion, engineering properties of biomaterials, fortification, food waste, cryogenics, micro/nanoencapsulation, dairy food processing, membrane separation.

bottles marked and in rows

The Sacks lab studies how pre- and post-harvest factors affect the organoleptic properties of agricultural products, and particularly wines and juices.

snyder lab microbial food safety and spoilage

Our lab develops scientifically valid intervention strategies that improve food safety and microbial quality. Through research and education we work to develop interventions that: 1) mitigate cross-contamination and 2) enable targeted recognition of microbial spoilage potential and environmental persistence.

a diagram showing and words saying trace minerals and nutrition lab

The Tako lab conducts multidisciplinary research that links the research fields of food science and nutrition in order to better understand how diet and physiological status affect intestinal functionality, morphology and the microbiome and overall health. Beyond research, our lab is interested in training future generations of scientists and educating the public about the value of scientific research and knowledge (both basic and applied research).

blue gloved hands hold a petri dish

Through innovative research, education and outreach, improve the microbial safety and quality of the global food supply.

Plated petri dish

Our research program focuses on the enhancement of the microbiological safety and quality of fresh and processed fruits and vegetables for the consumers of New York State and the United States. Non-thermal processing methods are being investigated for their potential application to various foods at different stages of food production. These non-thermal food processing treatments enhance the quality and are being evaluated for their effectiveness in achieving a safe food product.

a map of the united states with several states with centers of excellence highlighted

The New York State Department of Health and Cornell University have been selected to lead the nation's newest Integrated Food Safety Center of Excellence as part of a joint venture to strengthen foodborne illness surveillance and investigations.

the seal for the northeast dairy food research center

The Northeast Dairy Foods Research Center (NEDFRC) is a cooperative research and extension effort between Cornell University and the University of Vermont.