MSU students sweep major food conference

MSU students sweep major food conference
Photo by: Submitted

Two Mississippi State University food science graduate students took top prizes for poster presentations at the Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting and Food Expo in Chicago.

Yan Zhao placed first in the Muscle Foods Division competition for her research on food safety in aging dry-cured hams. Her research looked at not only keeping the food safe but also at the effects different processes have on flavor and sensory quality.

Monil Desai placed second in the same division for his research on red coloration in channel catfish fillets. His study identified the protein biomarkers that produce reddish coloring in catfish fillets. He also examined food quality attributes and sensory analysis.

Wes Schilling, professor of food science, nutrition and health promotion, directs both students’ research.

“These students placed in the top two out of a very large pool of national and international research projects,” Schilling said. “I am very proud of our students and the research they are addressing to improve food safety and quality.”

The Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion is in MSU’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Learn more by visiting their website at

Dated: 8/6/2013