Alternative approaches to enhance the safety and quality of food is the primary objective of my research. Long- term research projects include the chemical and genetic characterization of antimicrobial peptides (bacteriocins) produced by bacteria. These peptides have a broad range of hosts that include pathogenic Gram positive and negative bacteria as well as heat resistant molds and bacteria. It is believed that these peptides are self-defense mechanisms to protect limited food supplies in the environment. The ultimate application of these peptides to foods will enhance the safety and quality through the inhibition of pathogens and spoilage microorganisms that may be present in the food. Short term research includes the investigation of new technologies and combinations with existing food processing technologies to enhance the safety and quality. Presently, ultraviolet light, dimethyl dicarbonate and chlorine dioxide 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. My primary outreach is focused on the fruit, vegetable and beverage industries in New York State. I provide my expertise in sanitation, processing recommendations for products that have problematic heat resistant molds and bacteria spoilage as well as answering basic food safety questions. I am actively involved in Juice HACCP training for the juice industry in New York State as well as the rest of the US. My outreach program is accomplished through workshops, conferences and direct contact with food processors.
With the help of Bruno Xavier, senior extension associate at the Cornell Food Venture Center, students in Food Science 4000 were able to translate virtual education challenges into an opportunity to think outside of the box. Thanks to student ingenuity, members of the food industry were able to find solutions for a variety of production challenges.
Coherent safety information for food processing plants in New York and other states can be difficult to find, said Sam Alcaine, assistant professor of food science, who led the writing of the descriptive text for the new website. Food processors...
Center of Excellence in Food and Agriculture
Food Safety Laboratory and Milk Quality Improvement Program