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Plant and Mushroom Products Researchers

The Pennsylvania agriculture and food industry is both large and diverse. The Commonwealth is among the leading states in the production and processing of numerous fruits, vegetables, and cereals. Pennsylvania also leads the nation in the production and processing of mushrooms.
It is the goal of the Plant and Mushroom Products group to conduct teaching, research and outreach programs that will make Penn State a premier institution in improving the quality of and adding value to plant and mushroom products. The diverse group of faculty members listed below seek to enhance the sustainability of the food systems involved in producing and processing these products in Pennsylvania and beyond.
  • Professor of Food Science
  • Director for Education by Non-Traditional Delivery
  • Chair of the Cocoa, Chocolate, and Confectionery Research Group


814-865-3004

Microwave processing of foods; Dielectric properties of food materials; Ingredient interactions during microwave heating of foods; Moisture and fat migration in confectionery products; Modified atmosphere and modified humidity packaging of fresh produce; Rapid cooling of shell eggs.

  • Professor Emeritus of Food Science;
  • Director, Center for Plant and Mushroom Foods for Health


814-863-2964

General area of research interest involves development of cultural and postharvest practices for fruit, vegetable and mushrooms to improve their composition,  quality, stability and safety of food products produced from them. Recent research has focused on development of methods to enhance the levels of important bioactive components of cultivated mushrooms in order to improve their nutritional/and or medicinal value.

  • Associate Professor of Food Science
  • Division of Science, Berks College
  • Department of Food Science, University Park


610-396-6121

Significance of molds and mycotoxins in foods: identification of molds, mold growth and mycotoxin production; control of mold contaminants and development of rapid detection methods for molds. The detection and control of bacterial pathogens in foods.

  • Lester Earl and Veronica Casida Development Professor for Food Safety
  • Professor of Food Science


814-863-2298

Quality and safety of fresh and processed fruits and vegetables. Patulin degradation and detoxification of apple juice. Food safety Extension programs for fruit, vegetable, and mushroom producers.