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Dr. Bob Hutkins
Dr. Amanda Ramer-Tait
Two members of the Department of Food Science and Technology and the Nebraska Food for Health Center (NFHC) participated in the Gut Health, Microbiota, and Probiotics conference held last week at Harvard Medical School. This widely attended conference featured Dr. Jeff Gordon (Washington University) as the keynote speaker along with other leading international researchers in the gut microbiota field.

Representing the NFHC, Dr. Bob Hutkins (left) presented an invited lecture on “Influences of Functional and Fermented Foods on Intestinal Health”. He also participated in a round-table wrap-up discussion following the end of the conference.

Also from the NFHC, Dr. Amanda Ramer-Tait presented “Interactions Among Specific Bacterial Species and the Resident Microbiota Determine the Metabolic Effects of a Prebiotic” during the poster session. Her graduate student, Rafael Segura Munoz, was the lead author on this research.

Another highlight of this conference was the formal announcement (at the Harvard Club!) of the 2017 Young Investigator for Probiotics Research award to Professor Amanda Ramer-Tait. This prestigious award reflects the outstanding accomplishments in gut health biology by Professor Ramer-Tait and her terrific research group.
On November 1st, Jon Wilson began his job as the Marketing Specialist for The Food Processing Center (FPC).  This is a shared position with the Nebraska Manufacturing Extension Partnership.  The primary function of the position is to develop and execute a promotional plan for the FPC.  Jon brings over 30 years of related and impressive experience to this position and we are pleased and excited to welcome him to the Food Innovation Center.
The Alliance for Advanced Sanitation announced that The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Office of Food Safety at the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) is now represented in its activities. 

“This new relationship is a step forward for the food industry to work with the Office of Food Safety in aligning practical and effective hygiene applications in the industry with the regulatory requirements,” said Dr. Angela Anandappa, director of the Alliance for Advanced Sanitation.
Dr. Ozan Ciftci has won the 2018 Junior Faculty Excellence in Research award. This award is presented by the Agricultural Research Division (ARD) and the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR) for outstanding trajectories of junior faculty and to aid in building strong portfolios for promotion and tenure. Similarly, early-career awards serve as important building blocks for regional and national awards later in a career. Dr. Ciftci will receive $3,000 for use in his research and will be formally presented with the award at a future date.
Carmen Cano a PhD student in Dr. Byron Chaves' Applied Food Safety Lab, received a $3,000 scholarship grant from the FMI Foundation for the 2018 – 2019 academic year. The FMI Foundation scholarships are awarded to students currently enrolled in food and agricultural science majors who have a true interest in the field of accredited food safety auditing. Furthermore, Carmen attended the 2018 Safe Quality Food International Conference, October 23rd-25th, in Atlanta, Georgia. These scholarships are extremely competitive and are based primarily on academic ability, leadership potential, motivation and initiative, along with a passion for the food industry and the auditing profession.

How Green Are You? 

Reducing a laboratory’s energy footprint by applying sustainable strategies is a concept gaining in popularity.  The American Chemical Society (ACS) has provides some methods other  scientists have adopted.
Freezers - Those using an ultra-low temperature freezer (-80oC) can decrease daily energy consumption and prolong the life of the unit by reducing the operating temperature.  Consider raising the temperature to -70oC which studies show results in usage of up to 40% less energy. 
Water -  To Emory University graduate students Jacob Burman and Caitlin Farr, it seemed a waste of water to use aspirators hooked up to water faucets to pull vacuum for filtrations. The vacuum arises from the aspirator’s narrow tube as water gushes into the drain. Water—lots of it—gets wasted.  The Emory University Sustainability office helped them come up with the idea of a shared pump that travels between labs by cart and features a solvent trap for harmful chemicals so those chemicals can be disposed of in the proper waste streams. Vacuum pumps use electricity, but a challenging filtration can take up to 20 minutes of flushing water while the same process under a minute with the vacuum pump.
Reagents - A chemical inventory system can track every reagent from the day it’s ordered to the day it runs out, reducing duplicate orders which reduces waste and saves money.
Fume hoods - Fume hoods can be among the worst offenders in terms of energy consumption because they constantly remove cooled or heated air. This wastes energy. Laboratory ventilation, including fume hoods as well as room controls at UNL was covered in a recent UNL Laboratory Safety Colloquium that is available online for review.
Electronic equipment - Putting laboratory equipment such as ice makers, drying ovens, and water baths on timers can save energy by shutting them off at night and turning equipment back on early enough to be ready when the first scientists arrive in the morning.
Upcoming Events

Nov 21
Student Holiday
Nov 22-25
Thanksgiving Vacation
(UNL Offices Closed)
Upcoming FDST 951 Seminars
FIC 277 @ 4PM
Nov 12
Josh Gudeman, Xinjuan Hu
Nov 19
Wanying Cao, Mohamed Abdelmoteleb
Nov 26
Rachana Poudel, Ece Bulut

Recent Publications

Gudeman, J., Yang, J., and Ciftci, O. N. (2019). Formation of low density and free-flowing hollow microparticles from butter and fractionated palm oil. Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society. In press.

Hatami, T., Meireles, M.A.A, and Ciftci, O.N. (2019). Supercritical carbon dioxide extraction of lycopene from tomato processing by-products: Mathematical modeling and optimization. Journal of Food Engineering, 241, 18-25.

Koppelman, S. J., M. Smits, M. Tomassen, G. A. H. de Jong, J. Baumert, S. L. Taylor, R. Witkamp, R. J. Veldman, R. J. Pieters, and H. Wichers.  2018.  Release of major peanut allergens from their matrix under various pH and simulated saliva conditions; Ara h 2 and Ara h 6 are readily bio-accessible.  Nutrients 10 (9)(No. 1281): 13 pp.

Li, Shaobin; Rami, Ziara; Dvorak, Bruce; Jeyamkondan, Subbiah. “Assessment of Water and Energy Use at Process Level in the U.S. Beef Packing Industry: Case Study in a Typical U.S. Large-Size Plant.” Journal of Food Process Engineering, Aug. 2018, doi:10.1111/jfpe.12919.

Sheehan, W. J., S. L. Taylor, W. Phitatanakul, and H. A. Brough.  2018.  Environmental food exposure: what is the risk of clinical reactivity from cross-contact and what is the risk of sensitization.  J. Allergy Clin. Immunol. In Practice 6:1825-1832.
Taylor, S. L., J. A. Nordlee, S. Jayasena, and J. L. Baumert.  2018.  Evaluation of a handheld gluten detection device.  J. Food Prot. 81:1723-1728.

Ubeyitogullari, A., Brahma, S., Rose, D., and Ciftci, O.N. (2018). In vitro digestibility of nanoporous wheat starch aerogels. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 66 (36), 9490–9497.

Xie, L., Cahoon, E., Zhang, Y., and Ciftci, O.N. (2019). Extraction of astaxanthin from engineered Camelina sativa seed using ethanol-modified supercritical carbon dioxide. Journal of Supercritical Fluids, 143, 171-178.

Recent Awards

Yulie Meneses, Jayne Stratton, Andreia Bianchini, Devin Rose, Rick Goodman, Sara Roberts, and Nathan Conner, Using Current and Emerging Food Trends to Enhance Science Educators’ Curriculum, USDA, $148,421.

Sviatoslav Navrotskyi. David H. & Anne E. Larrick Memorial Travel Fund, $400

Rachana Poudel, Shear-Miles Fellowship, $2,000.

Jeyam Subbiah, Radiofrequency processing for enhancing safety and quality of egg white powder, ARD Poultry Research, $50,000.

Internships and Jobs

Lab Animal Care Assistant

University of Nebraska Lincoln

The Gnotobiotic Mouse Facility (located on East Campus behind the Vet Sciences building in the Life Sciences Annex) The gnotobiotic mouse facility is seeking a highly motivated, detail-oriented individual to help care for our mouse colony. Responsibilities include working with mice in sterile environments; preparing the food, water, and bedding for the mice and maintaining the sterile conditions of the isolators using aseptic techniques. Performing periodic microbiological quality-control checks and assisting lab personnel with various mouse-related tasks. The position is for Fall 2018 and possibly longer.

To apply please contact Dr. Amanda Ramer-Tait ( Please send (1) cover letter, (2) resume, (3) schedule of available days/times to work, and (4) indicate if you are eligible for work study. All four items must be included in your application email.

Assistant Professor

Brigham Young University

The Department of Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Science at Brigham Young University invites applications for a full-time, continuing-status track faculty position at the rank of Assistant or Associate Professor. Applicants must have an earned PhD in Food Science or a related field, or an equivalent doctoral degree.

To apply: Complete an online application found at: Send a letter of interest and curriculum vitae to Dr. Oscar Pike, search committee chair, at

Assistant Professor of Microbial Food Safety

Cornell University

This tenure-track position requires a balanced effort between research (50%) and teaching (50%) on a 9-month academic year basis. The successful candidate will be expected to develop and direct an innovative, externally funded research program in any areas relevant to food microbiology and food safety that will attract graduate students, post docs and strategic collaborators. Specific potential areas of focus for this position could include (but are not limited to) novel technologies to control microbial hazards; studies of the molecular biology or molecular ecology of microbial pathogens and other food associated microorganisms; pathogenesis of foodborne diseases, predictive microbiology and modeling of foodborne disease and spoilage organism transmission; scientific basis for risk management strategies. 

To apply please visit

Quality Compliance Team Leader

Nestlé Purina

The Quality Assurance Compliance Team Leader, will manage all aspects of the factory's compliance and audit program. The position will be responsible for development, certification, compliance, on-going sustainability and continuous improvement of the factorys Food Safety Management System. In a typical 24-hour production cycle, we conduct 30,000 documented quality checks involving ingredient/packaging, receiving, processing, and packing.

Apply at the Nestlé Purina job page.

Quality Lead

Nature's Variety

he Quality Lead, Technical Services position is responsible for the day to day operations of the in-house lab to ensure it functions smoothly and accurately. This position will also play an active role in reporting lab results and working with the QA, Production and Sanitation teams to drive continuous improvement with our environmental and sanitation programs. This position requires an associate degree in Food Science, Biology, Microbiology, or related field and at least 1-year lab experience and/or manufacturing experience.

Apply at the Nature's Variety jobs page.


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