Food Manufacturing & Entrepreneurship


Our vision for the Department is to be a leader in providing food manufacturing and entrepreneurship expertise to state, national, and international students and stakeholders to meet the demand for an abundant, safe, nutritious, flavorful, and affordable food supply.



Establish a food and beverage manufacturing facility to support innovative and sustainable growth in the food and beverage industries with an entrepreneurial focus to train and educate students and stakeholders in current and emerging processing technologies.
Be the primary resource for the food manufacturing sector in North Carolina and across the southeast.
Establish funded research programs in new products and emerging process technologies that will spur innovation within the state and regional food and bioprocessing industries.

Faculty and Research Interests

Eduardo Gutierrez-Rodriguez

  • Development of sanitation procedures for fresh cut industry and minimally process facilities.
  • Preventive controls for fresh-cut food facilities
  • Juice HACCP


Dana Hanson

  • Exploring small plant variation in the application of standardized pathogen control used in beef slaughter and processing
  • Comparison of production efficiency, product quality and nutrient excretion of 1979 versus 2005 pigs when fed “typical” 1979 and 2005 diets
  • Determine microbiological quality and safety of souse and air dried country sausage using challenge studies with Listeria monocytogenes, and Staphylococcus aureus
  • Evaluation of methyl bromide emissions and possible alternatives for country hams

 Tyre Lanier

  • Gelling properties of muscle proteins as affected by myofibrillar disintegration and pH shifting
  • Improvement of cook yield and succulence of intact meats, poultry and seafoods injected with dispersed muscle protein

K.P. Sandeep

  • Mathematical modeling and experimental validation of continuous flow microwave processing of liquid and particulate foods
  • Development and use of sensors in validating aseptic processing of multiphase foods
  • Scale-up of heating and mixing operations

John Sheppard

  • Process optimization of yeast-based bioprocesses, with a specialization in brewing, fuel-ethanol, and yeast-bacteria co-cultures for fermented food and beverage production
  • Use of near-infrared spectroscopy for control of bioprocesses, including cell culture for viral vaccine production
  • Use of enzymes in hydrolysis of barley malt

Josip Simunovic

  • Design and development of protocols for continuous flow microwave processing of various pumpable foods
  • Development of sensors for process monitoring and validation of continuous flow thermal processes
  • Development of energy-efficient operations for the food industry

Clint Stevenson

  • Reality-based training systems, including videos, games, and customized training modules
  • Increasing the workforce capacity of food manufacturing professionals through optimizing recruitment activities

Den Truong

  • Phytochemicals in sweet potatoes: selection of genotypes for high beta-carotene, polyphenolics and other bioactive compounds; optimization of processing conditions to minimize losses
  • Effects of postharvest handling and storage of sweet potato genotypes on chemical constituents related to rheological properties, sensory and nutritional quality of processed products
  • Microwave-assisted processing and aseptic packaging of vegetable products
  • Drying technologies for processing of sweet potatoes into functional food ingredients