The Food Science Club at Texas A&M University is open to all undergraduate or graduate students who are interested in a career in any aspect of the food industry. The club offers activities that will encourage networking, leadership, and educate members on the principles of food science.
The Texas 4-H roundup was held this year June 5th-8th. Texas 4-H is the youth outreach and development component of AgriLife Extension, and the agency administers 4-H clubs throughout the state. The Texas 4-H Roundup has been held annually since 1946.
The FSTC team arranged a booth at the event, distributing informational pamphlets and promotional items. They engaged with young attendees, thereby raising awareness about the Food Science Department at Texas A&M University and the exciting career prospects it offers for their future.
IFT First Annual Event and Expo was held July 16-19, 2023 in Chicago, IL. TAMU Food Science and Technology department was featured prominently in multiple areas.
The IFT Achievement Awards recognize an individual or team for remarkable contributions in research, applications, and service in the science of food profession.
We are very proud of two of our faculty members that received the IFT Achievement Awards this year!
Mian Nadeem Riaz, PhD, received the International Food Security Award in honor of Bor S. Luh.
Rebecca A. Creasy, PhD, received the Excellence in Education Award in honor of William V. Cruess.
Please click Here to view the AgriLife Today article on Dr. Riaz and Dr. Creasy!
Food Chemistry Division- Graduate Student Oral Competition winner!
Cyprian Syeunda, a Food Science and Technology PhD Candidate under Dr. Joseph Awika, received 1st place in the annual IFT First 2023 Food Chemistry Division Graduate Student Oral competition for his research work “Effect of cereal-derived flavonoids on Maillard reaction product formation”
Smart Snack for Kids- Third place Winners!
The IFTSA Smart Snacks for Kids Competition challenges students to develop a fun and nutritious food or beverage product targeted at kids and/or teens. Products must abide by the USDA “Guide to Smart Snacks in Schools” recommendations.
The TAMU team won 3rd place in the competition with their Critter Crackers product!
FSTC Undergraduate students: Jahlia Davis, Maddie Shults, Corey Le, Osasere Igbinoba and Jacob Mitchell participated in the competition!
Research Poster Competition
Three FSTC graduate students presented their research during the poster competition at IFT FIRST.
The team from Texas A&M Food Science department who won First prize in the South Central Regional College Bowl competed in the Nationals at IFT First.
Team- Maddie Shults, Allison Brenner, Shreya Veeravelli, Gabrielle Scott, Seyra McCullough, Colton Cheever, Andrew Maust, Haeley Tercek, Grace Spencer, Katie Mullen, Moni Fadamiro and JP Arevalo.
Dr. Rebecca Creasy – Advisor.
Dr. Suresh Pillai was part of a panel discussing non-thermal food processing technologies such as eBeam technology during the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) FIRST Annual Event
The event was well attended with about 50 attendees, with several distinguished alumni, esteemed faculty members, and honored guests including our external Advisory Board members and non Aggies as well.
Dr. Joseph Awika (Department Head), Dr. Suresh Pillai (Associate Department Head and E-beam Director)) and Dr. Mian Riaz ( Associate Department Head) talked about the successes of the department and the plans to do even more in the years to come with greater student engagement and industry collaborations. They reached out to attendees and all alumni to stay connected, share experiences, and contribute to the growth and success of the department in whatever capacity.
The event provided an opportunity not just to commemorate the department’s accomplishments, but also to envisage the promising future ahead, all the while deepening our connections with our esteemed alumni.
We extend a warm welcome to our FSTC team’s two new faculty members: Dr. Seockmo Ku and Dr. Reza Ovissipour!
Dr. Seockmo Ku, has an MS in Food and Nutrition from Seoul National University (2009) and a Ph.D. and Postdoc in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from Purdue University (2015 and 2015-2017, respectively). He was an Assistant Professor in the Fermentation Science Program at Middle Tennessee State University (2017-2023), achieved tenure and promotion in 2023. Dr. Ku’s research focuses on synthesizing and verifying value-added bioactive metabolites, including probiotics and fungal derivatives. He also explores alcoholic beverage production, rapid microbial detection using nano/microtechnology, phytochemical biocatalysis with probiotics, and analyzing microbiome interactions in the gut, and oral cavity. Dr. Ku has secured research grants totaling approximately $2 million and holds 3 patents, and has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles. Additionally, he possesses industry experience, contributing to the development and renewal of 30+ commercial food products at CJ CheilJedang Food R&D Center, earning recognition from CJ Group’s chairman and vice CEO.
Reza Ovissipour has a Ph.D. in Bioprocess Engineering and a Ph.D. in Biological Systems Engineering from Washington State University. Ovissipour works to improve the food supply chain’s sustainability, safety, and resiliency through technological innovation and training the next generation of professionals. His research focuses on innovative Cellular Agriculture, food and bioprocess engineering, waste valorization, alternative proteins (algae, plants, insects, and fungi), and Artificial Intelligence-Assisted processing. Before joining the TAMU team in 2023, Ovissipour was an Assistant Professor in Food Safety and Cellular Agriculture at Virginia Tech. He also worked as a postdoctoral research associate at UC Davis and Washington State University and a food company as a processing director. He founded several startup companies and commercialized several technologies and products.
The Hot-Fill/High-Acid Processing Line is a Food Science departmental facility whose key research and teaching mission include high impact learning for scaled food processing, system modeling, outreach and entrepreneurship. It provides an excellent opportunity for students to engage in hands-on activity and manage food safety and operations on production size equipment. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic and needed costly adjustment within the programming, the equipment has been out of use for a while.
We express our deep gratitude for the generous support extended by Best Maid Products of Fort Worth, Texas. Led by Noah Bass, the Vice President for Operations and Sales, a team of highly proficient engineers – Stephen Goetz, Taylor Pickering, and Lance Heinen – generously volunteered their time and expertise to operationalize the equipment.
This type of collaboration between industry experts and academia is ensuring that the next generation of food industry professionals are well-equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to enter their careers within the Texas Food Industry and beyond. Several faculty, including Drs. Stephen Talcott, Susanne Talcott, Elena Castel, Alex Castillo, and Al Wagner, will be supporting a team of students over the summer in high-impact courses to develop recipes, manage food safety plans, and processing SOPs.
We are excited to engage in processing of various beverages and condiments to support student learning and entrepreneurship. Our heartfelt thanks again to Best Maid Products for all their help and ongoing support!