May 20, 2024  
2012-2013 Graduate Catalog 
2012-2013 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Food Science and Human Nutrition

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The Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition 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 department conducts 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 and product development. Competence in a foreign language is not required for a M.S. degree, but may be required of Ph.D. candidates.


  • The M.S. program includes three tracks: 1) Food Science; 2) Human Nutrition; 3) Dietetic Internship. 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, 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
  • 2 credit hours graduate seminar, FSN 571 and FSN 671
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 the Departments of Biological Engineering; Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology; Biological Sciences; Resource Economics and Policy; Mathematics and Statistics; Plant, Soil, and Environmental Sciences; 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. Courses in statistics are required as part of the program of study.

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 major professor in the area of the student’s interest. Current departmental 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 Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition is located in a newly constructed addition to Hitchner Hall. A new chemical food safety laboratory contains state-of-the-art equipment. Research facilities are equipped for food safety and microbiology, food composition and food quality evaluation. A Consumer Testing 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

Rodney J. Bushway, Ph.D. (Texas A&M, 1977), Professor and Chair. Food safety; fate of vitamins, natural toxicants, stress metabolites, pesticides, and food additives as they apply to fruits and vegetables; analytical methods development.

Alfred A. Bushway, Ph.D. (Purdue, 1978), Professor. Fruit and vegetable post-harvest quality and 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; sensory evaluation; phytochemicals.

Richard A. Cook, Ph.D. (University of Maine, 1973), Associate Professor Emeritus. Community nutrition including nutritional status assessment, monitoring and surveillance. Particular interest in nutrition risk assessment of older adults.

Dorothy Klimis-Zacas, Ph.D. (Pennsylvania State University, 1982), Professor. Cholesterol, lipoprotein, trace mineral nutrition and metabolism as related to cardiovascular disease. Transcultural studies on the role of Mediterranean diet(s) in certain degenerative diseases.

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 and Graduate Coordinator. Aquatic food product technology; utilization of crustacean processing by-products; effects of aquaculture feeds on food fish quality, and seafood product development.

Susan S. Sullivan, D.Sc., R.D. (Boston University, 1995), Lecturer and Director of the Didactic Program in Dietetics. Clinical nutrition topics; calcium, vitamin D, and bone mineralization.

Vivian C.H. Wu
, Ph.D. (Kansas State University, 2002), Associate Professor. Food safety and security, food microbiology, food fermentation, and rapid methods and automation in microbiology. Particular interest in the development of new systems for rapid determination of pathogenic injured and non-injured microorganisms in foods, and the development of strategies to control, eliminate, or prevent foodborne pathogens in foods.

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

Lin Chih-Sheng, Ph.D. (National Chung Hsing University, Taiwan, 1998), Professor and Department Head.  Department of Biological Science and Technology, National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan.  Biomedical engineering.

Titan S. Fan, Ph.D. (Univ. of Wisconsin, 1986), Manager, Applications Development, IMMUNO-SYSTEMS, Scarborough, Maine.

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

Katherine O. Musgrave, M.S., C.A.S., R.D. (Oklahoma State, 1968), Professor Emerita of Foods and Nutrition.

Penelope Perkins-Veazie, Ph.D. (Univ. of Florida, 1988), Research Plant Physiologist, USDA-ARS, South Carolina Agricultural Research Laboratory.

Clifford J. Rosen, M.D., (New York at Syracuse, 1975), Research Professor. Clinical and biological implications of osteoporosis.

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