Feb 21, 2024  
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Food Science and Human Nutrition

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The School of Food and Agriculture provides students with the opportunity to obtain a M.S. degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition and a Ph.D. in Food and Nutrition Sciences, an interdisciplinary program. The faculty in food science and human nutrition conduct both basic and applied research, using human and animal nutrition models, as well as studies in the areas of fruit and vegetable products, food safety, seafood quality sensory evaluation, and product development.


The M.S. program includes three tracks: 1) Food Science; 2) Human Nutrition; 3) Dietetic Internship. All tracks have thesis and non-thesis options. Applicants selecting the Food Science area must have successfully completed undergraduate training with either a major or minor in one of the biological or physical sciences with courses in organic chemistry and biochemistry. Those selecting the Human Nutrition area should have an undergraduate degree in nutrition (or approved by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics), human ecology, chemistry, biochemistry, or in an appropriate combination of biological sciences with courses in nutrition, organic chemistry, biochemistry and human physiology.


The Food Science and Human Nutrition thesis tracks for a Master of Science degree require:

    30 credit hour minimum, typically taking two years to complete

    12 credit hours of FSN formal coursework minimum, with no more than 4 credits at the 400 level, exclusive of seminars and special problems courses

    2 credit hours graduate seminar, FSN 571 and FSN 671

    3-4 credits of statistics at the 400 or higher level

    no more than 6 credits as FSN 581, Problems in Food Science & Human Nutrition

    minimum GPA of 3.0 for graduation

The non-thesis option Master of Science degree requirements are the same as those listed above except for:

    36 credit hour minimum, typically taking two years to complete

    15 credit hours of FSN formal coursework minimum, with no more than 4 credits at the 400 level, exclusive of seminars and special problems

    3-4 credits of statistics at the 400 or higher level

    no thesis

The Dietetic Internship and Master of Science degree, thesis or non-thesis, requirements are the same as those listed above except for:

    34 credit hour minimum, typically taking two years to complete

    FSN 650, 651, 652 and 681 in addition to the 12 or 15 FSN credit hour requirement

    3-4 credits of statistics at the 400 or higher level

    21- month continuous enrollment to complete FSN 650, 651, 652 and 681. FSN 681 is completed as 1 credit in the summer and 5 credits in the fall or spring, depending upon an individual student’s program

    An Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Verification Statement from a Director of an ADA accredited undergraduate program, indicating completion of undergraduate requirements


An M.S. program in Food Science and Human Nutrition may include supporting courses from Biological Engineering; Molecular and Biomedical Sciences; Biological Sciences; Economics; Mathematics and Statistics; Plant, Soil, and Environmental Sciences; Psychology; Communications and Journalism; and the Colleges of Business, Public Policy and Health and Education and Human Development.

The interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in Food and Nutrition Sciences has variable credit hour requirements. It usually requires an additional 60 hours and an additional 3-4 years beyond the Master’s to complete. Students may pursue a terminal M.S. degree or sequential M.S. and Ph.D. degrees; students with a Master’s degree from another institution may enter the Ph.D. program directly. Students who have not completed a Master’s degree with thesis may not enter the doctoral program. Courses in statistics are required as part of the program of study. Doctoral students must document a professional competency unrelated to their dissertation research; this competency may be demonstrated via course work or other practical activities. Competencies may include languages, electron microscopy, innovation engineering, marketing, and distance education. Although Ph.D. students are encouraged to publish manuscripts with their advisors, there is no minimum number of publications required for graduation.

The student’s program is planned in accordance with needs for competence according to the departmental faculty areas of expertise. Graduate thesis research is under the supervision of the student’s advisor in the area of the student’s interest. Current research includes projects directed toward community nutrition, trace mineral and lipid nutrition, diet assessment, health benefits of phytochemicals, development of improved procedures for the prediction and control of food quality and safety, extrusion technology, product development, and sensory evaluation.

The faculty in Food Science and Human Nutrition are located in Hitchner Hall. A chemical food safety laboratory contains a variety of chromatography instrumentation (HPLC, UPLC and GC) equipped with an array of detection systems (MSD, DAD, FLD, RI, UV/Vis, CAD, ECD and FID)  equipment. Research facilities are equipped for food safety and microbiology, food composition and food quality evaluation. The Sensory Evaluation Center offers computerized sensory evaluation services. A pilot plant for processing fruits and vegetables, seafood and dairy products is available on site. There is a fully-equipped laboratory for food product preparation, and several research laboratories for applied human studies or animal research. Special facilities and equipment are available in the College and University, including atomic absorption spectrophotometers, electron microscopes, and an animal care facility.


Graduate Faculty

Alfred A. Bushway, Ph.D. (Purdue, 1978), Professor Emeritus. Fruit and vegetable post-harvest quality and safety, and product development. Dr. Bushway is no longer accepting graduate advisees.

Jason Bolton, Ph.D. (University of Maine, 2012), Assistant Extension Professor and Food Safety Specialist. Food safety; food processing; product development.

Beth L. Calder, Ph.D. (University of Maine, 2003), Associate Professor and Extension Food Science Specialist. Assisting Maine food companies with product development. Value-added and food safety research. Improving the post-harvest quality of fresh-cut and processed Maine potatoes.

Mary Ellen Camire, Ph.D. (Texas Woman’s University, 1989), Professor. Extrusion technology; nutrition policy, dietary fiber; consumer acceptance of healthful foods; sensory evaluation; phytochemicals.

Dorothy Klimis-Zacas, Ph.D. (Pennsylvania State University, 1982), Professor. Cholesterol, lipoprotein, trace mineral nutrition and metabolism as related to cardiovascular disease. Berry bioactives and their role on inflammation and vascular function, metabolism and gene expression related to chronic diseases (cardiovascular disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome). Transcultural studies on the role of Mediterranean diet(s) in certain degenerative diseases.

Angela D. Myracle, MPH, Ph.D. (Purdue University, 2010) Assistant Professor. Phytochemicals and plant bioactives, bioavailability and their impact on chronic disease (diabetes, inflammation and oxidative stress).

Balunkeswar (Balu) Nayak, Ph.D. (Washington State University, 2011), Assistant Professor. Thermal and non-thermal food processing, effect of processing on food bioactives, food allergens, and toxins.

L. Brian Perkins, Ph.D. (University of Maine, 2002), Laboratory Director and Assistant Research Professor, Department of Food Science & Human Nutrition. Chromatographic (HPLC, GC) method development for bioactive compounds phytonutrients, and toxic substances (naturally-occurring & synthetic) in food and environmental matrices.

Denise I. Skonberg, Ph.D. (University of Washington, 1997), Associate Professor . Seafood by-product utilization; fish oil fortification; by-product utilization quality evaluation of aquaculture products;  and seafood product development.

Mona Therrien, D.CN., R.D, L.D. (Rutgers 2013), Lecturer, Director of the Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics and Undergraduate Coordinator. Nutrition in chronic kidney disease and diabetes.

Adrienne A. White, Ph.D., R.D. (University of Tennessee, 1988), Professor and Dietetic Internship Director. Nutrition education, interventions, and theory-driven behavior change strategies. Community based participatory research. Food behavior across the life cycle.


Associate Graduate Faculty

Neil Greenberg, MSc. (University of Maryland, 1992),  Assistant Director of Aquatic Operations. Aquaculture.

Kathleen Halpin, M.S., R.D., L.D. (University of Southern Maine, 1978), Manager, Clinical Nutrition & Patient Services, Maine Medical Center. Portland, ME. Clinical nutrition.

Lawrence Leblanc, Ph.D. (SUNY Stony Brook, 2001), Research Scientist. Environmental organic chemistry.

Lisa Phelps, Ph.D.,  Program Administrator, University of Maine Cooperative Extension. 4H.

Susan S. Sullivan, D.Sc., R.D. (Boston University, 1995), Associate Director, School of Food and Agriculure. Clinical nutrition topics and vitamin D.

Sharon Tate, M.S., R.D., L.D. (Montana State University, 2002), Clinical Dietitian, Maine Medical Center. Portland, ME. Clinical nutrition.

Catherine Toste, M.A., C.C.C.-S.L.P. (Seton Hall, 2010), Lecturer, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. speech-language pathology.

Kathryn L. Yerxa, M.S., R.D. (University of Maine, 2003), Assistant Extension Professor. Nutrition education; obesity prevention; food security.






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