Cocoa, Chocolate, and Confectionery Researchers

The mission of the Cocoa, Chocolate, and Confectionery Research Group is to serve confectionery manufacturers and consumers by conducting research pertinent to this large and dynamic segment of Pennsylvania's food system.

Consistent with the student-centered philosophy of the Department of Food Science, this research will be conducted primarily in the context of graduate education; consequently, an important function of the group is to develop well-educated employees for the confectionery industry. Through an emphasis on collaborative and creative research, the Cocoa, Chocolate, and Confectionery Research Group will achieve international recognition as a center of excellence in cocoa, chocolate, and confectionery science and technology. 

The objectives to fulfill our mission are:

  • to maintain high-quality graduate research
  • to maintain relationships with organizations that share an interest in chocolate and confectionery (e.g., AACT, CMA/ACRI, NCA, PMCA, DMI, USAID, USDA), and the confectionery industry
  • to encourage a collaborative approach to research on cocoa, chocolate, and confectionery
  • to strengthen interdepartmental and intercollege research collaboration
  • to promote the transfer of research findings through the sponsorship of an international seminar and the presentation of short courses
  • to encourage presentations at national and international meetings.
  • Professor of Food Science
  • Director for Education by Non-Traditional Delivery
  • Chair of the Cocoa, Chocolate, and Confectionery Research Group


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, High pressure processing.

  • Alan R. Warehim Faculty Chair in Agribusiness


  • Professor of Food Science;
  • Undergraduate Program Coordinator
  • Chair of the Ingredients as Materials Impact Group


Physical chemistry of foods; food emulsions and biopolymers and their behavior during processing; ultrasonic sensors.

  • Associate Professor of Food Science
  • Director, Sensory Evaluation Center


Flavor perception, behavioral genetics, and ingestive behavior; biological foundations of food liking and intake; Impact of genetic variation on food sensations and intake; Acquisition of preference for initially aversive stimuli.

  • Rasmussen Career Development Professor in Food Science
  • Assistant Professor of Food Science
  • Program Chair, Graduate Certificate Sensory & Consumer Science


  • Associate Professor of Food Science
  • Co-Director, Center for Plant and Mushroom Foods for Health


Obesity and fatty liver preventive effects of dietary polyphenols; potential hepatotoxicity of high doses of dietary phytochemicals; lung cancer preventive efficacy and mechanisms of action of food-derived phytochemicals; biotransformation and bioavailability of dietary phytochemicals.

  • Professor of Food Science
  • Director of Graduate Studies


Foods as composite materials; physical properties and processing of polymeric and particulate foods, with an emphasis on chocolate and confectionery products.