Tyre Lanier

Professor of Food Science

Academic Degrees

B.S. (1973) University of Georgia
Ph.D. (1977) University of Georgia


Through research, popular and scientific publications, education of graduate students, invited lectures and shortcourses, organization of national and international meetings, and as an editor and contributor to leading textooks, Dr. Lanier has stimulated innovation in the domestic and international surimi and processed meats industries. He co-developed a torsion test for evaluating surimi gel-forming ability (now codified in Codex Alimentarius) that has wide applicability to testing of most food gels. His work with transglutaminase and beef plasma resulted in creation of the American formed scallop industry and he is presently assisting a new raw crab product industry to emerge. His laboratory has conducted seminal work on the cryoprotection and stabilization of proteins to other denaturing environments, and on factors relating to the inhibition of proteases active in muscle food systems. His work on microwave rapid heating holds much promise for better throughput, process control, lower equipment footprint, and efficient processing of many gel- and emulsion-type meat, poultry and seafood products as a better understanding is gained of how the protein gel develops in this environment.

Current Research Interests

Recently his program has focused on development and commercialization of the pH shifting method for recovering and refining muscle proteins, and exploration of this material as a key marinade component for moisture retention and improvement of meat succulence, particularly in PSE, twice-frozen, and other partially damaged meats. His fundamental work seeks to understand how proteins and water interact to affect structure of food gels and their waterholding and textural properties, and how water structuring is involved in protein stability.

Funding Sources

UNC Sea Grant ; NC Fisheries Resource Grants ; American Egg Board ;Bumblebee Seafoods ; USDA NRI/AFRI ; NC Agricultural Foundation ; DSM Nutritionals ; Kraft ; RJR Tobacco ; NC Biotechnology Center

Teaching Activities

His graduate course in Food Ingredient Technology and New Food Product Development leads student teams to develop innovative food concepts, which have garnered top placings in several national R&D competitions. He teaches presentation skills in the graduate seminar series, and has recently led the undergraduate capstone/senior design class wherein student teams tackle emerging challenges in the food science and bioprocessing industries.


Fellow, Institute of Food Technologists; Earl P. McFee Award, Atlantic Fisheries Technological Conference, for “significant contributions to the field of fishery science.”


Curriculum vitae