John Coupland, Ph.D.

John Coupland, Ph.D.

  • Professor of Food Science;
  • Undergraduate Program Coordinator
337 Rodney A. Erickson Food Science Building
University Park, PA 16802


  • Ph.D. Leeds University, UK Food Science, 1996
  • B.S. Leeds University, UK Food Science, 1991

Research Interests

My own research is involved with study of the physical properties of foods, especially lipids.  I am also a member of the Institute of Food Technologists.  

Emulsion Science.  Emulsions are fine dispersions of immiscible liquids.  In foods this is almost always oil droplets in water for example milk, mayonnaise and ice cream mix.  The size, number and state of association of the particles define the physical properties and stability of the product.  Recent work in my lab has involved using emulsions to deliver lipid soluble flavors and nutrients into aqueous foods.  In particular we are experimenting with very fine droplets of crystalline fats.  In addition we are using a Micropore membrane homogenizer to generate water-in-oil emulsions and then use them to encapsulate microorganisms and colors and to add water to chocolate.

Extending the Functionality of Food Polymers. Food macromolecules are frequently used to impart desired physical structure to foods (e.g., thickening, gel formation, stabilizing emulsions, film formation and microencapsulation). By studying the chemical and physical basis of the interactions responsible for functionality, it is possible to extend the range of use of existing ingredients and develop novel products. If a new role can be identified for a food ingredient, its value is often increased - particularly important for low-value or surplus food ingredients.  Recent studies in my lab on the functionality of soy has elucidated a mechanism for the enhancement of solubility by the addition of pectin.  We are now doing a pilot scale trial on how it will work in a real bottled beverage.

Ultrasonic Sensors. Good sensors facilitate the automation of food production processes. Low power, high frequency sound can, in some cases, be the ideal sensor as it is non-invasive, non-destructive, and cheap. Ultrasonic methods are already available to measure several simple properties of foods including depth in a tank, flow rate in a pipe, and composition of simple binary solutions. Better data analysis could extend these applications to include measurement of emulsion particle size, polymer compressibility, crystallization of fats and sugars, and chemical kinetics - all without the need to disturb the sample. These sensors can readily be incorporated into an imaging system to detect contamination (e.g., glass, wood, or metal fragments) or structural inhomogineities in the food itself (e.g. air bubbles in cheese, sugar gradients.  Current research in my lab involves use of ultrasound to study the mixing and sedimentation of solid particles dispersed in oil.  Liquid chocolate is a suspension of solid particles in oil and the way the particles stick to one another affects the flowability of the dispersion.


Perspective: A Research Roadmap about Ultra-Processed Foods and Human Health for the United States Food System: Proceedings from an Interdisciplinary, Multi-Stakeholder Workshop
Advances in nutrition (Bethesda, Md.), O'Connor, Lauren E., Higgins, Kelly A., Smiljanec, Katarina, Bergia, Robert, Brown, Andrew W., Baer, David, Davis, Cindy, Ferruzzi, Mario G., Miller, Kevin, Rowe, Sylvia, Rueda, Janice M.W., Andres, Aline, Cash, Sean B., Coupland, John, Crimmins, Meghan, Fiecke, Chelsey, Forde, Ciarán G., Fukagawa, Naomi K., Hall, Kevin D., Hamaker, Bruce, Herrick, Kirsten A., Hess, Julie M., Heuven, Lise AJ, Juul, Filippa, Malcomson, Fiona C., Martinez-Steele, Euridice, Mattes, Richard D., Messina, Mark, Mitchell, Alyson, Zhang, Fang Fang, 2023

Characterization of high pressure jet–induced fat-protein complexation
Journal of Dairy Science, Lewis, G., Coupland, John, Harte, Federico, 2022

Partitioning of caffeine and quinine in oil-in-water emulsions and effects on bitterness
Journal of Food Science, Elias, R, Tenney, K, Hayes, John, Tenney, Kelsey, Bakke, A, Coupland, John, Elias, Ryan, 2022

Effect of alkyl chain length on the antioxidant activity of alkylresorcinol homologs in low-moisture crackers
LWT, Elder, Andrew S., Coupland, John N., Hopfer, H, Elias, R, Hopfer, Helene, Elias, Ryan J., Andrew, Elder, 2022

The effect of dairy proteins on the oral burn of capsaicin
Journal of Food Science, Farah, Brigitte, Hayes, John E., Coupland, John, 2022

The effect of high-pressure jet processing on cocoa stability in chocolate milk
Journal of Dairy Science, Roberts, R, Tran, Michele, Coupland, J, Voronin, Grace, Lewis-Voronin, Grace, Roberts, R. F., Tran, Michelle, Lewis-Voronin, Grace, Coupland, J. N., Ziegler, G. R., Harte, F. M., 2021

Stability, temperature dependence, and microstructure of high pressure jet-treated dairy foams
Food Hydrocolloids, Voronin, Grace Lewis, Coupland, John, Harte, Federico, 2021

Freezing kinetics and microstructure of ice cream from high-pressure-jet processing of ice cream mix
Journal of Dairy Science, Voronin, G.L., Ning, G, Coupland, John, Roberts, Robert, Harte, F.M., 2021

Effect of high-pressure-jet processing on the physiochemical properties of low-fat ice cream mix
Journal of Dairy Science, Voronin, G, Roberts, Robert, Felix, Tara L., Coupland, John N., Harte, Federico, 2020

Working to Improve Scientific Integrity
Journal of Food Science, Coupland, John, 2019

Evaluation of Antioxidant Activity and Interaction with Radical Species Using the Vesicle Conjugated Autoxidizable Triene (VesiCAT) Assay
European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology, Durand, Erwann, Zhao, Yu, Ruesgas-Ramón, Mariana, Figueroa-Espinoza, Maria Cruz, Lamy, Samantha, Coupland, John N., Elias, Ryan J., Villeneuve, Pierre, 2019

Effect of ethanol on the solubilization of hydrophobic molecules by sodium caseinate
Food Hydrocolloids, Qu, Yanqi, Harte, Federico M., Elias, Ryan J., Coupland, John N., 2018

Characterization of nisin containing chitosan-alginate microparticles
Food Hydrocolloids, Chandrasekar, Vaishnavi, Coupland, John Neil, Anantheswaran, Ramaswamy C., 2017

Effect of fat content on the physical properties and consumer acceptability of vanilla ice cream
Journal of Dairy Science, Rolon, M. Laura, Bakke, Alyssa J., Coupland, John N., Hayes, John E., Roberts, Robert F., 2017

IFT17: Go with purpose
Food Technology, Coupland, John Neil, 2017

Binding of Caffeine and Quinine by Whey Protein and the Effect on Bitterness
Journal of Food Science, Tenney, Kelsey, Hayes, John, Euston, Stephen, Elias, Ryan, Coupland, John, 2017

Essential Oils Against Pathogen and Spoilage Microorganisms of Fruit Juices: Use of Versatile Antimicrobial Delivery Systems
Journal of Food Science, Trinetta, Valentina, Morgan, Mark T., Coupland, John Neil, Yucel, Umut, 2017

Release Kinetics of Nisin from Chitosan-Alginate Complex Films
Journal of Food Science, Chandrasekar, Vaishnavi, Coupland, John N., Anantheswaran, Ramaswamy C., 2016

Communicating the science of food
Food Technology, Coupland, John, 2016

Assessing Interactions between Lipophilic and Hydrophilic Antioxidants in Food Emulsions
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Durand, Erwann, Zhao, Yu, Coupland, John N., Elias, Ryan J., 2015

Effect of lipophilization on the distribution and reactivity of ingredients in emulsions
Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Leong, Wai Fun, Berton-Carabin, Claire C., Elias, Ryan J., Lecomte, Jérôme, Villeneuve, Pierre, Zhao, Yu, Coupland, John N., 2015

Effect of food structure on the distribution and reactivity of small molecules
Current Opinion in Food Science, Zhao, Yu, Elias, Ryan J., Coupland, John N., 2015

Effect of interfacial properties on the reactivity of a lipophilic ingredient in multilayered emulsions
Food Hydrocolloids, Chaprenet, Jérôme, Berton-Carabin, Claire C., Elias, Ryan J., Coupland, John N., 2014

Physical approaches to masking bitter taste: Lessons from food and pharmaceuticals
Pharmaceutical Research, Coupland, John N., Hayes, John E., 2014