Food Systems, Health and Society for 2050 FSCN Showcase

The Department of Food Science and Nutrition (FScN) is excited to share a two-day, hybrid showcase featuring a keynote address by U of M President Joan Gabel. We presented two days of faculty, students, and community members on topics related to food systems, education, and health. Please see our two-day agenda for presentations, poster sessions, resources. 

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Departmental Lab Tours

Joseph J. Warthesen Food Processing Center (Pilot Plant)


The pilot plant provides the University of Minnesota with excellent food product research and teaching facilities. The primary goal of the center is to provide a teaching and research infrastructure for the department, and to provide our students with the ability to work and conduct research in an operating production facility.

View the Facility Visit Their Page

Schoenfuss Lab

Dr. Schoenfuss owes her love of milk and cheese to raising nubian goats and dairy replacement heifers in 4-H in San Jacinto, California. She studied Dairy Science at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and decided to study in a country famous for dairy product research for her Junior year at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand. She then headed east for her Master’s in Food Science at Virginia Tech, then south to Louisiana State University for her Ph.D. in Dairy Science. After 11 years at General Mills working as a product developer in various divisions, she decided to get back to work on cheese and joined the faculty at the U of M in 2008. In addition to her research, Dr. Schoenfuss is the faculty advisor for the Joseph J. Warthesen Food Processing Center, the Associate Director of the Midwest Dairy Food Research Center, judges local and national dairy product contests, and coaches the collegiate dairy product evaluation contest team.

Tour Her Research Lab Learn More About Dr. Schoenfuss

Bowden Lab

The lab of Dr. Steven Bowden is a food microbiology lab studying Salmonella. Our work involves identifying and characterizing Salmonella-infecting bacteriophages and understanding bacteriophage resistance, both from the perspective of food safety. We are also studying control measures for Salmonella contamination of alfalfa.

Tour his Research Lab Learn more about Dr. Bowden

Flavor Research Lab and Encapsulation Center

Gary and Vaidhy Spray Drying

Led by Dr. Gary Reineccius, FSCN has long been renowned for our excellence in flavor research. He is an expert in needs and trends of the industry, which have evolved over time, as well as the encapsulation of food ingredients, emulsions, and flavoromics (chemometrics as applied to flavor chemistry).

Tonya Schoenfuss and Prof Reineccius have also initiated an Encapsulation Research and Education Center. The need for such a center is based on industry trends. For example, the need for clean labels is driving finding natural ingredients or alternative processing techniques to replace traditional food additives. These natural materials tend to be much less stable than the artificial counterparts thereby benefitting from encapsulation. We also find new food components/isolates coming onto the market. Some of these materials offer unique properties for use as encapsulation materials. Overall, there is a need to find new materials or processes to offer better protect and controlled delivery in the food/nutrition area.

Tour the Research Lab Learn more about Dr. Reineccius

Food Engineering Research Lab

Kumar Mallikarjunan

The FSCN Food Engineering Lab is led by Dr. Kumar Mallikarjunan. He specializes in food process engineering, process modeling and optimization, non-contact non-destructive sensing, extraction of phytochemicals, electronic nose, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy.

Tour the Research Lab Learn more about Kumar

Protein Research Lab and PPIC

Pam Ismail

The FSCN Protein Research Lab and the CFANS Plant Protein Innovation Center are directed by Dr. Pam Ismail, our resident expert in protein ingredient chemistry, functionality of plant protein ingredients, food analytical chemistry, and the composition and functionality of sustainable crops.

The Plant Protein Innovation Center is an interdisciplinary research center dedicated to studying plant and alternative proteins. The PPIC is proud to have 19 members at both the Partner and Associate level, which span the supply chain. Out of these 19 members, 14 were founding members who joined the Center within just over a year of its inauguration.

Visit the PPIC Website Learn More About Dr. Ismail

Watch an Intro to Protein Research at FScN

Virtual Poster Session - Nutrition Students

Te-Yueh (Derek) Lin

Title: Unraveling Secretory Mechanisms that Control Pentraxin 3 Secretion in Adipocytes During Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Inflammation.

Degree Pursuing & Advisor: Nutrition PhD, Xiaoli Chen

Watch the Presentation View the Poster

Kendal Schmitz

Title: Effects of Low and High Dietary Phosphorus and Acute High Dietary Phosphorus on Intestinal Phosphorus Fractional Absorption in Nephrectomized Male Rats

Degree Pursuing & Advisor: Nutrition PhD, Kathleen Hill Gallant

About Me: I am a second year nutrition PhD student. I obtained my Bachelor of Science in Community-Medical Dietetics from Viterbo University, located in La Crosse, Wisconsin and am now a Registered Dietitian. In Dr. Hill Gallant's lab, we are researching Chronic Kidney Disease and mineral metabolism. The research study that I conducted focuses on CKD and phosphorus metabolism.

Watch the Presentation View the Poster

Kathryn Lovy

Kathryn Lovy

Title: Farm to School

Degree Pursuing: Nutrition MS

About Me: My "poster" explores factors that influence participation in the Farm to School program based off of responses from school food service personnel indicated in the School Health Policy and Program Study (2016). 

Watch the Presentation

Katia Fadeyev

Title: Serum Vitamin D Concentrations in Preschool Children Ages 2-5 years in NHANES 2011-2014

Degree Pursuing: Nutrition MS 

About Me: I am a second-year nutrition Master's student in the Integrated BS/MS Nutrition Program (4+1). Using NHANES data, my research focused on the micronutrient intakes of preschool children and the factors that affect intake, such as family income, parental education, and food group intake. This presentation focuses on one section of my research by looking into the effects of these factors on serum vitamin D concentrations. 

Watch the Presentation

Ambria Crusan

Title: Assessing the association between serum β-carotene, body mass index, and markers of inflammation in United States adults     

Degree Pursuing: Nutrition PhD

About Me: I am a Nutrition PhD candidate interested in the relationship between dietary intakes of fruits and vegetables (and markers of intake, thus β-carotene) and obesity (and low-grade, systemic inflammation related to obesity). 

Watch the Presentation View the Poster


vegetables at market

Food Resource Guide

Title: UMN Food Resource Website: Addressing Student Food Insecurity

The UMN Food Resource Website was created by a group of nutrition students to address student food insecurity. It connects UMN-Twin Cities students to the food and nutrition resources necessary to be healthy and successful in college. 

View the website here 

Feedback or questions? Take this survey

Creators: Meredith Bonde is a first-year MS in Nutrition student, Jessica Bruggen is a nutrition student working on Didactic Program in Dietetics coursework while finishing a MS in Chemistry, and Brianna Cochlin is a senior in the Nutrition BS Didactic Program in Dietetics.

Watch the Presentation

Kylene Guse

Kylene Guse

Title: From Farm to Fermentation: Impacts of Lacto-Fermented Vegetables on the Human Gut Microbiome 

This is a short introduction to our research in the Gomez Lab on the benefits of lactic-acid fermentation.

About Me: I am a second year PhD student in Nutrition. I have a Bachelor's degree in Sociology and Spanish and an MA degree in Sexuality Studies from San Francisco State University. I was a Fulbright Scholar in 2009 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where I studied the impacts of gender inequality on health and nutrition. This work led me to open a bar/café called GYST Fermentation Bar in Minneapolis. My current research focuses on investigating the impacts of lacto-fermented vegetables and kombucha on the human gut microbiome and metabolome.

Degree Pursuing & Advisor: Nutrition PhD, Andres Gomez

Watch the Presentation

Aysegul Baltaci

Title: Associations between Latino Fathers’ Food Involvement with Adolescents and Food Parenting Practices

Degree Pursuing & Advisor: Nutrition PhD, Marla Reicks

About Me: My name is Aysha. I am a third year PhD student in Nutrition. I am working with Marla Reicks in a community-based research project titled "Padres Preparados Jovenes Saludables" which means Prepared Parents, Healthy Youth. Padres project is a Latino father focused, randomized control trial which has 8-weeks intervention teaching about nutrition, physical activity, and parenting practices to improve Latino adolescent dietary behaviors. For my poster, I examined the association between father meal/food involvement (meals with father, family meals, and father involvement in planning/buying, and preparing foods) and food parenting practices (setting expectations, role modeling, and food availability at home) by using Padres baseline data (adolescent reported). 

Watch the Presentation View the Poster

sacks of grains and seeds

Title: Ancient African Whole Grains

Creators: Shauna Golper, Doug Grade, Azzairia Jackson, Brooke Kerscher, Erik Lindstrom

View the Poster

Virtual Poster Session - Food Science Students

Sonali Raghunath, M.S.

Title: "I let the protein dance again"- Effect of cold plasma treatment on Milk protein concentrates  

About the poster: Milk protein concentrate (MPC) is a high-quality protein found in milk and a complete protein consisting of both casein and whey. MPC is known to have poor solubility and flowability due to physicochemical interactions. The cold plasma (CP) treatment is known to modify protein and thereby alter its functionality. The scope of this study is to improve functional characteristics of MPC after cold plasma treatment and understand mechanisms involved. The flowability, wettability, foaming capacity and stability, water binding capacity improved following the CP treatment due to the change in protein structure. Results proved that the samples showed better functionality in comparison to untreated samples. RF cold plasma could provide an alternative non-thermal processing approach to modify functional properties of MPC 85 and can be tailored for specific applications." 

Degree Pursuing & Advisor: Food Science PhD, Tonya Schoenfuss

About me: Sonali Raghunath is a 2nd year PhD student at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, USA, working on the application of pulsed electric field and cold plasma as a treatment for milk proteins. She has a Master's degree in Food Science from the University of Minnesota (2019) and a Bachelor's degree in Food Technology (2017) from Anna University, India. Sonali has been working in non-thermal processing techniques and have explored the use of ultrasound for cold brewing of tea for her Master's and is continuing to explore the opportunities in non-thermal processing for her PhD in Schoenfuss dairy lab and Food Engineering Lab.

View the Presentation  View the Poster

Akua Okyere

Title: Modification of cereal and tuber starches using cold plasma technology

Degree Pursuing & Advisor: Food Science PhD, George Annor

About Me: I am from Ghana in West Africa and I attained by Bachelor of Science in the University of Ghana, Legon in Nutrition and Food science. I am currently pursuing my PhD in Food Science in the Grain Biopolymer research lab under Dr. George Annor in the University of Minnesota. 

Watch the Presentation View the Poster

Eleanore Hansen

Title: Pursuing Phage

Degree Pursuing & Advisor: Food Science MS, Steven Bowden

About Me: Hi everyone! My name is Eleanore Hansen, and I am a second-year food science MS student. Currently, I am working to identify novel bacteriophage, or viruses that infect bacteria, that can be used to combat Salmonella in ready-to-eat products, fresh produce, raw meats, and other susceptible foods. I am looking for bacteriophage that infect a wide range of Salmonella serotypes and strains, as well as looking to identify optimal conditions for bacteriophage to kill Salmonella in foods.

Watch the Presentation View the Poster

Jacob Vitt

Title: Salad without the Salmonella    

Degree Pursuing and Advisor: Food Science MS, Steven Bowden

This poster is outlining the work that I will be doing in the Bowden research group during the next two years of my MS program. It is largely focused on studying the relationship between alfalfa and Salmonella as a food safety problem, and finding a solution to controlling Salmonella in fresh sprouts.

Watch the Presentation

Ghazal Monsefi

Title: Development of a Purification Method for Polylactose

Degree Pursuing and Advisor: Food Science MS, Tonya Schoenfuss

Polylactose is a novel dietary fiber produced by lactose polymerization using twin-screw extrusion. This poster represents research done in Schoenfuss dairy lab to develop an optimized purification method for polylactose using food grade resins and activated carbon.

View the Poster

Myungwoo Kang   

Title: Intense pulsed light pasteurization maintained sensory properties of wheat flour better than ultraviolet pasteurization

Degree Pursuing: Food Science PhD

Watch the Presentation

John McFarlane

Title: The Path of Most (Phage) Resistance: Understanding bacteriophage resistance in foodborne Salmonella   

Degree Pursuing & Advisor: Microbial Engineering MS, Steven Bowden

About Me: I am a Microbial Engineering MS student in Dr. Steven Bowden's lab. My presentation focuses on my work to identify bacteriophage resistance systems in outbreak strains of Salmonella, as well as characterization of these systems against phages used in the food industry.

Watch the Presentation View the Poster

Lisa Chou

Title: Using FT-NIR Spectroscopy to Predict Process Cheese Functionality    

Process cheese production involves using natural cheese, other dairy and non- dairy ingredients, heating, mixing, and cooling to form a final product. The properties of natural cheese – the largest ingredient – can be difficult to measure or control, leading to process cheese products with undesirable functional properties that may not be apparent until after cooling. While Fourier-Transform Near Infrared Reflectance (FT-NIR) spectroscopy methods exist for measuring fat and moisture in process cheese, we hypothesize it is can be applied to rapidly-cooled PC samples to predict final properties.

Degree Pursuing & Advisor: Food Science MS, Tonya Schoenfuss

Watch the Presentation View the Poster

Vaidehi Narkar

Title: Optimization of Camelina Protein Extraction and Screening of diverse lines for differences in protein profile and functionality    

Degree Pursuing and Advisor: Food Science MS, Pam Ismail

About Me: Vaidehi Narkar is a master's student in Food Science at the University of Minnesota and also a student researcher with the Plant Protein Innovation Center. Her presentation describes her investigation into the isolation and screening of camelina protein from diverse lines, aimed at providing a functional plant-based protein ingredient for food applications.

Watch the Presentation View the Poster

Laura Eckhardt

Title: Optimization of Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) Protein Extraction for Structure, Function, and Nutritional Quality 

Degree Pursuing & Advisor: Food Science MS, Pam Ismail

About Me: Laura completed her B.S. in Dietetics and B.A. in Music at the University of Georgia and her dietetic internship program at Vanderbilt University. She worked for three years as a dietitian in Chicago before moving to Minnesota to start graduate school. The Optimization of Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) Protein Extraction for Structure, Function, and Nutritional Quality is part of an interdisciplinary strategy to improve hemp protein as a food ingredient through plant breeding and processing. It is funded by the Plant Protein Innovation Center at the University of Minnesota. 

Watch the Presentation View the Poster

Rachel Mitacek Poster

Rachel Mitacek

Title: From Extraction to Texturization: A Structure-Function Approach to The Isolation and Utilization of Novel Pennycress (Thlaspi arvense) Protein

Degree Pursuing and Advisor: Food Science PhD, Pam Ismail 

Watch the Presentation View the Poster

Fan Bu

Title: Improving the Structure and Functionality of Pea Protein (Pisum Sativum) Isolate Using Atmospheric Cold Plasma   

Degree Pursuing and Advisor: Food Science MS, Pam Ismail

About Me: Fan is a master's student in Food Science at the University of Minnesota in Dr. Pam Ismail's lab. Her research focuses on the utilization of cold plasma to modify pea protein structure and functionality.

Watch the Presentation View the Poster

Thursday, Oct 1st Agenda

9:30 AM | Zoom | Student Initiatives in the Department: Join a session featuring facilitated student discussions with food science and nutrition student club leaders, discussing initiatives and involvement with the department.
Panelists: Student Advisory Committee (SAC) representatives: Loren Avalos, Derrick Lin, Preston Goertel, Anna Bougie, Jessica Bruggen
Student Clubs Representatives: Abbie Masciangelo, Laura Eckhardt, Gabriella Walker
Facilitator: Maha Tahiri and Robin Perez

Link to Session Recording

11:45 AM | Invite-Only, Hybrid* | Advisory Council lunch and meeting (Invitation Only)

Afternoon Session Recording

2:30 PM | Hybrid* | Introduction to the Showcase with FScN faculty members Craig Hassel and George Annor, with recent PhD graduate Keagan Ringling

3:00 PM | Hybrid* | Keynote presentation: University of Minnesota President Gabel addresses the U of M and department's role in Minnesota food systems and nutrition

3:30 PM | Hybrid* | Panel with CFANS Dean Brian Buhr, Community Wellness Center's Elder Atum Azzahir, FScN Advisory Council member Dave Pascoe, and FScN Department Head Job Ubbink. Facilitated by Al Levine, Professor Emeritus

4:00 PM | Hybrid* | Spotlight: Community Driven Engagement: Neighborhood Nutrition in South Minneapolis, with Elder Atum Azzahir and Craig Hassel

4:30 p.m. End of day's sessions

*Hybrid sessions include both a Zoom viewing option, as well as a limited number of in-person seats, at the Continuing Education and Conference Center on the St. Paul campus. Register in advance to receive further details.

Student worker cutting cheese curds


Students sorting harvested vegetables

Friday, Oct 2nd Agenda

9:00 AM | Zoom | Introduction to food science and nutrition signature areas, with graduate students Melissa Jansma and Alissa Perteet-Jackson, and Keagan Ringling, '20 PhD

9:10 AM | Zoom | Departmental research initiatives in food systems, with FScN faculty members Mindy Kurzer, Pam Ismail, and Moon-Suhn Ryu. Facilitated by Job Ubbink

9:40 AM | Zoom | Creating business opportunities and ensuring food security via food science and nutrition, with Department of Applied Economics faculty members Jolleen Hadrich, Mike Boland and Hikaru Peterson. Facilitated by Professor Tonya Schoenfuss

10:10 AM | Zoom | How to connect disciplinary learning with the development of transferable skills, with John Finley, Ph.D., National Program Leader for Human Nutrition Agricultural Research Service, USDA; Janice Rueda, PhD, Director of Research and Business Development for ADM Company; and Aimee Tritt, MS, Clinical Dietitian Nutritionist at Hennepin County Medical Center and FScN lecturer. Facilitated by CFANS Associate Dean Mike White

Early Morning Session Recording

-10:30 a.m. Break-

Late Morning Session Recording

10:40 AM | Zoom | Identifying Opportunities: How FScN can contribute to more healthful, sustainable, and equitable food systems, with Melissa Jansma, Alissa Perteet-Jackson, Keagan Ringling, '20 PhD, and Dave Pascoe '08 PhD, Nutrition

11:10 AM | Zoom | Next Steps: Summary of outcomes and plan for action. How FScN can contribute to research, outreach, and training for food, health, and environment | Job Ubbink and Therese Liffrig

Closing remarks by Job Ubbink, FScN Department Head

FScN Showcase 2020 Planning Committee

A very special Thank You to the Planning Committee!
George Annor FScN Faculty, Food Science
Drew Carter FScN Graduate Student, Food Science, FScN Communications
Meredith Dwyer, CFANS Events
Craig Hassel FScN Faculty, Extension
Melissa Jansam FScN Graduate Student, Nutrition
Therese Liffrig, Director, U of M Dietetic Internship, Advisory Council Liaison
Len Marquart FScN Faculty, Nutrition
Dave Pasco Nutrition and business consultant
Robin Schow FScN Lecturer, Healthy Foods Healthy Lives
Maha Tahiri CEO & Founder, Nutrition Sustainability Strategies
Job Ubbink FScN Faculty and Department Head

Resources and Projects

Examples of projects by alumni and current students who have worked across disciplines to improve food security and community nutrition


vegetables at market


Nutritious U Banner Logo


African Grains from Alley News


Department Courses around this theme:

students cooking and doing lab activities

FSCN 1906 - Farm to Someone Else's Table: Making food accessible for all students<

This course explores a potential theory of gradually changing the food system to better include meaningful and relevant practical, healthy, affordable, desirable (PHAD) foods that will enhance the nutrition of the general population and ultimately enhance public health. We will foster essential leadership qualities, skills, and knowledge to work toward collective solutions around adaptive challenges. We will create a valid, reliable, and sustainable process for the development of practical, healthier, affordable, and desirable foods. This is a Freshman Seminar. 3 credits

Intro to Food Science Students at Measuring Table

FSCN 2001 - A Food Systems Approach to Cooking for Health and the Environment

This is a fun, hands-on cooking class. It is also an Experiential Learning (EL) course which meets the EL requirement for all CFANS students. This lecture /lab format course will give students the confidence to cook healthful whole foods as they learn about the food system. Subject matter will be taught from an interdisciplinary perspective. Concepts covered include fundamental concepts of nutrition, food sources, food safety, the food system; skills/resources for food choices based on nutritional, environmental, local and global societal implications. We will examine the ethical and civic themes that guide food choices. We will discuss and write about how environmental, cultural, social, and health issues impact personal food choices. prereq: [soph, jr, sr] or instructor consent. 3 credits.

Departmental Initiatives Impacting Food Systems

PPIC front page banner.png

Plant Protein Innovation Center

The Plant Protein Innovation Center is an interdisciplinary research center dedicated to studying plant and alternative proteins.

Encapsulation Center

Tonya Schoenfuss and Gary Reineccius have initiated an Encapsulation Research and Education Center. The need for such a center is based on industry trends. For example, the need for clean labels is driving finding natural ingredients or alternative processing techniques to replace traditional food additives. These natural materials tend to be much less stable than the artificial counterparts thereby benefitting from encapsulation. We also find new food components/isolates coming onto the market. Some of these materials offer unique properties for use as encapsulation materials. Overall, there is a need to find new materials or processes to offer better protect and controlled delivery in the food/nutrition area.

UMN Food System Initiatives Led by FSCN


HFHL Institute

The mission of the HFHL Institute is to increase and sustain the University’s impact in the interdisciplinary arena of food, agriculture and health by building the University’s capacity in research, learning and community engagement. The priority areas for focus are food safety, prevention of obesity and chronic disease, food policy and food security. Within these priority areas, of special importance is the integration of agriculture and medicine.

Forever Green Logo

Forever Green

The Forever Green Initiative is a University of Minnesota and USDA Agriculture Research Service (ARS) program to develop new crops and high-efficiency cropping systems.

College Resources for Finding Internships and Stay Connected with Alumni Resources