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Spring 2021 Food Science Alumni Newsletter


We can hardly believe that we're well into Spring semester, and that it's been nearly a year since the world changed for us all. We hope that you are doing well as we look forward to a more "normal" summer and fall. Our students are currently attending lecture classes remotely, while our lab classes are being held in-person (with all the proper safety precautions-including weekly testing). Our research students and faculty are able to continue with their work-and we look forward to more published articles like the ones you'll see coming in later in the newsletter!

As always, if you know of any fellow alumni not receiving this newsletter, please pass it along...and encourage them to contact Robyne (Food Science Program Coordinator). We hope you'll continue to share with Robyne any job openings or internships in your company- as well as any updates you may have! In addition, we'd like to thank you for referring your colleagues, family and friends to our program-and hope you'll continue to do so. We are now accepting applications for  Fall 2021, and will be holding virtual Information Sessions on March 9th, April 20th and June 9th.



This year's SCIFIC is virtual, but the program is lively! We hope you'll join in for at least of few of the presentations and activities-there is something for everyone!

10th Annual Networking Night Recap

Networking Night recap

Hope you were able to join our virtual event last week. We were so excited to see our alumni from all over the country!  The expanded access that a virtual event provides makes us keen to hold our 11th annual on Zoom again. Stay tuned for details in an upcoming newsletter!


Video Highlights of the Food Science Program

We hope you'll enjoy (and share) this video highlighting our students and faculty working in the beautiful Keck Center for Science and Technology!

From the Newsroom, Page One!

Male student in Lab Coat

MS Program Takes Food Science Student to Level of Study He ‘Didn’t Know Existed’
By Dennis Arp, Chapman Newsroom

Troy Garcia (MS ’21) arrived at Chapman University with a natural interest in chemistry and a growing appreciation for the science of food. Still, he was surprised by how much he has enjoyed performing research.

“I’m learning so much about how to devise and implement experimental designs,” Garcia says of the rewards in the MS in Food Science program at Chapman’s Schmid College of Science and Technology. “I’m developing procedures, learning burn techniques, how to do statistical analysis.”

His undergraduate studies introduced Garcia to some of what he’s applying in the lab these days, “but now this experience is taking things to a whole different level,” he says. “To be honest, it’s a level I didn’t even know existed prior to coming to Chapman.”

Along the way, Garcia has earned two fellowships, including the Custom Flavors Fellowship, established with generous support from food science alumnus Alex Wendling ’12 (MS ’14). In addition to working as a graduate research assistant, Garcia serves as president of the Chapman Food Science and Nutrition Student Association as he considers multiple career options, from regulatory compliance to food security and product development.

He’s taking on leadership roles in working with both peers and professors, whom he says act as wonderful role models for the kind of mentor he wants to be. “You can just tell that the professors care about their students and want them to succeed,” he says.

From the Newsroom, Page Two

People in lab coats

Chapman University Food Scientist Peels Back the Layers of Deceptive Labeling
By Dennis Arp, Chapman Newsroom

On a hook or in a net, red snapper isn’t difficult to distinguish from rockfish or tilapia. But once the fish are filleted, they become hard to tell apart, making it easy for the unscrupulous to slip imposters past the typical guards of consumer protection.

Just how easy? Well, a recent study by Professor Rosalee Hellberg and the Food Protection Lab at Chapman University found that 92% of retail samples labeled as red snapper were in fact a different species. Molecular testing identified them as mahi mahi, rockfish, tilapia or other snapper species. Definitely not what shoppers were paying extra to get. Red snapper is a particular target for fraud because it is highly valued and in limited supply because of overfishing, she says.

“There are a lot of issues and a lot of consequences of food fraud,” says Hellberg, Ph.D., associate professor of food science in Chapman’s Schmid College of Science and Technology. Hellberg’s research, which focuses on rapid methods for detection of food fraud and food contaminants, has greatly benefited from the university’s Faculty Opportunity Fund.

For Hellberg and the Food Protection Lab, the funding helped support research that included advances in multimode hyperspectral imaging and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology to reveal undeclared species in food products. In addition to testing seafood, the lab applies its molecular techniques to root out unlabeled ingredients in pet foods, game meats and dietary supplements.

Food Science Seminar Series-April 15th at 4:00PM (PDT)

Our April Food Science Seminar Series guest speaker will be Dr. John Hayes of the Penn State Food Science Department, whose topic will be “Sensory and Consumer Science: a highly translational discipline”.  Dr. Hayes' research group studies food choice in a biobehavioral framework, by integrated traditional sensory science methods with behavioral genetics to understand biological factors that may cause individuals to like and consume some foods but not others.

Please join us on Zoom (passcode:1y294o) 

Recent Publications

Congratulations to our faculty and student researchers on their peer reviewed journal publications:

• Hellberg, RS & Isaacs, RB: Food Control: Authentication of red snapper (Lutjanus campechanus) fillets using a combination of real-time PCR and DNA barcoding

• Silva, AJ, Dahm. OJ & Hellberg. RS: Journal of Dietary Supplements: Bovine Liver Supplement Labeling Practices and Compliance With U.S. Regulations

• Bickmore, D & Miklavcic, J: Frontiers in Nutrition Characterization of Extracellular Vesicles Isolated from Human Milk Using a Precipitation-Based Method

•  Qina,J, Vasefib, F., Hellberg, RS. Akhbardehb, A., Isaacs, RB  Gamze Yilmazc, A., et.al.: Food Control: Detection of fish fillet substitution and mislabeling using multimode hyperspectral imaging techniques

• Rosen, D, Gallardo, M, Vail, M & Hellberg, RS: Journal of Microbiological Methods: Microplate immunocapture coupled with the 3M molecular detection system and selective plating for the rapid detection of Salmonella infantis in dry dog food and treats

•  Scales, ZM, Narbay E, Hellberg RS. Foods: Use of DNA barcoding combined with PCR-SFLP to authenticate species in bison meat products

•  Dahm OJ, Sampson GL, Silva AJ, Hellberg RS. Journal of Dietary Supplements: Use of molecular methods to authenticate animal species and tissue in bovine liver dietary supplements


Faculty and Student Textbook and Textbook Chapters

Congratulations to Dr. Rosalee Hellberg for her recently published textbook: Food Fraud: A Global Threat With Public Health and Economic Consequences. It was published by Academic Press (Elsevier)(co-editors are Karen Everstine and Steven Sklare).Dr. Hellberg will be using this as the text for her very popular Food Fraud course. Chapman Food Science students contributed to the text :

1. Pamela Gonzales and Jiahleen Roungchun, co-authors for Chapter 8 “Coffee and tea fraud”
2. Samantha Lin and Shauna Salcido-Keamo, co-authors for Chapter 12 “Fraud in wine and other alcoholic beverages”
3. AJ Silva,  a co-author on Chapter 7 “Seafood fraud”

Congratulations to Dr. Lilian Were and Food Science student Leandra Filiaci for their chapter on "Sulfur dioxide and sulfites" in the textbook  Antimicrobials in Food. Fourth Ed.  Davidson, M.P., Taylor, M.T., and David, J. R. D (editors)

Congratulations to Dr. Rosalee Hellberg and student Anthony Silva for the chapter contribution to the textbook Advances in Food and Nutrition Research, "DNA-based techniques for seafood species authentication" 

Faculty Research Grants

• Dr. Lilian Were received a USDA  Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Competitive Grant award for her research, "Eliminating Undesired Greening In Sunflower Seed Derived Ingredients By Hydrolysis Of Chlorogenic Acid Using An Engineered Esterase," with Dr. Cedric Owens from the A1364 Novel Foods and Innovative Manufacturing Technology Program totaling $196,405.

• Dr. Anuradha Prakash received a USDA-FAS Grant award for her research, “Using irradiation to reduce post-harvest defects on California apples and pears exported to Mexico: a technical and economic study,” with Dr. Karina Gallardo, Washington State University, totaling $731,612.

• Dr. Anuradha Prakash is co-PI on a USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Competitive Grant award led by biologists Dr. Gregory Goldsmith and Dr. Z. Carter Berry for their research, "Developing a mechanistic framework for how diffuse light alters tomato photosynthesis and water-use efficiency," totaling $199,365.

•  Dr. Anuradha Prakash received a SCiftS grant of $32,000 to purchase a homogenizer to evaluate the effect of processing on extracellular vesicles in bovine milk.

• Dr. Rosalee Hellberg  recieved an NOAA award for her research “Rapid Detection of Fish Species and Quality in the Marketplace” (Co-Investigator, in collaboration with SafetySpect, Inc). Award amount: $149,264.

•  Dr. Rosalee Hellberg received a SCiftS grant of $8139 to purchase an Eppendorf Mastercycler Nexus Gradient for her research on food safety and food fraud.

• Dr. Anuradha Prakash and Dr. John Miklavcic received a USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Competitive Grant award for their research, "The effect of processing on bovine and human milk EVs". Award amount $199,884

Ranney Food Processing Lab is open for Contract Research

We have been busy running product trials in our Ranney Food Processing Lab. Equipment for use includes a coffee roaster, blast freezer, cabinet dehydrator, spray dryer, Microthermics UHT/HTST Pasteurizer with inline GEA homogenizer, and so much more (a full listing of equipment can be found on our website). Contact Dr. Anuradha Prakash to discuss how we can help you.
Now that we are fully equipped with a coffee roaster and an espresso machine, we look forward to hosting weekly Coffee Happy Hours soon. All in the name of science!

2021 Better Process Control School

Food Processing equipment

Watch for Summer Dates!

Working with the university’s guidance from the state and county health authorities, we’ve postponed our next workshop until Summer 2021. While we are optimistic about our ability to welcome participants to campus, because of the uncertainty associated with this pandemic the date of the workshops have not yet been determined and may be subject to change.

Under the Good Manufacturing Practice regulations for thermally-processed low-acid foods, can closure and processing departments of food industries must be operated  under the supervision of a person  who has successfully completed a course in the principles of thermal processing and  container evaluation,taught  by an FDA approved institution. To assist food industries in complying with the FDA/USDA regulations, a 2 1/2 day acidified and a 4 day Low Acid  Better Process Control School is offered by the Food Science Program at  Chapman University in conjunction with the FDA and the Grocery Manufacturers Association. For details and registration, visit www.chapman.edu/bpcs or contact Robyne Kelly at rokelly@chapman.edu or (714) 289-2040. Tuition: $600 (2 day Acidified) and $850 (4 day Low- Acid).

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