Robert F. Roberts, Ph.D.

Robert F. Roberts, Ph.D.

  • Professor and Head of Food Science
206 Rodney A. Erickson Food Science Building
University Park, PA 16802

Areas of Expertise

  • Microbiology
  • Dairy Products Processing
  • Ice Cream
  • Yogurt
  • Non-dairy Frozen Desserts

Education

  • University of Minnesota, Ph.D., Food Science, May 1991
  • South Dakota State University, M.S., Dairy Science, August 1986
  • University of Vermont, B.S. Animal Science, May 1984

Research Interests

My primary role is administration of the Food Science Department. 

My current research program at Penn State is focused on dairy products with an emphasis on cultured dairy products, ice cream and other frozen desserts.  Ongoing research in my lab includes manufacture of yogurt-based, probiotic-containing beverage for use in clinical trials, evaluation of milk protein isolate functionality in low fat ice cream and characterization of non-dairy proteins for use in frozen desserts. 

I also lead outreach programs focused on the dairy foods industry including:

  • The Penn State Ice Cream Short Course
  • Ice Cream 101


Publications

Transformation of Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus kunkeei is influenced by recipient cell growth temperature, vector replicon, and DNA methylation
Journal of Microbiological Methods, Welker, Dennis, Crowley, Bailey, Evans, Justin, Welker, Martin, Broadbent, Jeff, Roberts, Robert, Mills, David, 2020

The 2018 Guidelines for Initial IFT Approval of Undergraduate Food Science and Food Technology Programs
Journal of Food Science Education, Santau, Alexandra, Roberts, Robert, MacDonald, Ruth, 2020

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

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

Safety of Bifidobacterium animalis Subsp. Lactis (B. lactis) Strain BB-12-Supplemented Yogurt in Healthy Children
Journal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition, Tan, Tina P., Ba, Zhaoyong, Sanders, Mary E., D'Amico, Frank J., Roberts, Robert F., Smith, Keisha H., Merenstein, Daniel J., 2017

Consumption of Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis BB-12 impacts upper respiratory tract infection and the function of NK and T cells in healthy adults
Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, Meng, Huicui, Lee, Yujin, Ba, Zhaoyong, Peng, Jiayu, Lin, Junli, Boyer, Alexander S., Fleming, Jennifer A., Furumoto, Emily J., Roberts, Robert F., Kris-Etherton, Penny M., Rogers, Connie J., 2016

Development of a rapid SNP-typing assay to differentiate Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis strains used in probiotic-supplemented dairy products
Journal of dairy science, Lomonaco, Sara, Furumoto, Emily J., Loquasto, Joseph R., Morra, Patrizia, Grassi, Ausilia, Roberts, Robert F., 2015

Use of Interactive Laser-Scanning Imaging Cytometry (ILIC) for Real-Time Cytotoxicity Assessment of Bacteriocins Against Cultured Mammalian Cells.., Roberts, Robert, Kunze, E., Rashid, K., Murinda, S., 2015

In vitro production of IL-6 and IFN-γ is influenced by dietary variables and predicts upper respiratory tract infection incidence and severity respectively in young adults
Frontiers in immunology, Meng, Huicui, Lee, Yujin, Ba, Zhaoyong, Fleming, Jennifer A., Furumoto, Emily J., Roberts, Robert F., Kris-Etherton, Penny M., Rogers, Connie J., 2015

Safety of Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. Lactis (B. Lactis) strain BB-12-supplemented yogurt in healthy adults on antibiotics
Gut Microbes, Merenstein, Daniel J., Tan, Tina P., Molokin, Aleksey, Smith, Keisha Herbin, Roberts, Robert F., Shara, Nawar M., Mete, Mihriye, Sanders, Mary Ellen, Solano-Aguilar, Gloria, 2015

Encapsulation of Aqueous Components in Solid Fat Beads: Studies of a Model Dye and a Probiotic Culture, Wolfe, Lindsay, Roberts, Robert, Coupland, John, 2015

Development of a rapid SNP-typing assay to differentiate Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis strains used in probiotic-supplemented dairy products
Journal of Dairy Science, Lomonaco, Sara, Furumoto, Emily, Loquasto, Joseph, Morra, Patrizia, Grassi, Ausilia, Roberts, Robert, 2014

Short-term, daily intake of yogurt containing Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis Bf-6 (LMG 24384) does not affect colonic transit time in women
British Journal of Nutrition, Merenstein, Daniel J., D'Amico, Frank, Palese, Caren, Hahn, Alexander, Sparenborg, Jessy, Tan, Tina, Scott, Hillary, Polzin, Kayla, Kolberg, Lore, Roberts, Robert, 2014

Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis ATCC 27673 Is a genomically unique strain within its conserved subspecies
Applied and environmental microbiology, Loquasto, Joseph R., Barrangou, Rodolphe, Dudley, Edward G., Stahl, Buffy, Chen, Chun, Roberts, Robert F., 2013

Explaining tolerance for bitterness in chocolate ice cream using solid chocolate preferences
Journal of dairy science, Harwood, Meriel L., Loquasto, Joseph R., Roberts, Robert F., Ziegler, Gregory R., Hayes, John E., 2013

Technical note
Journal of dairy science, Miller, D. M., Dudley, Edward G., Roberts, Robert F., 2012

Short communication
Journal of dairy science, Tmanova, L. L., Onyenwoke, A., Roberts, Robert F., 2012

Development of a qPCR method for evaluation of strain dynamics during yogurt fermentation, Miller, D., Dudley, Edward, Roberts, Robert, 2012

Short communication
Journal of dairy science, Loquasto, J. R., Barrangou, R., Dudley, E. G., Roberts, R. F., 2011

Effect of pH on the properties of soy protein-pectin complexes
Food Research International, Jaramillo, D. Pamela, Roberts, Robert F., Coupland, John Neil, 2011

Study to investigate the potential of probiotics in children attending school
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Merenstein, D., Gonzalez, J., Young, A. G., Roberts, R. F., Sanders, M. E., Petterson, S., 2011

A simple method of supplementation of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids
Nutrition in Clinical Practice, McCowen, Karen C., Ling, Pei Ra, Decker, Eric, Djordjevic, D., Roberts, Robert F., Coupland, John Neil, Bistrian, Bruce R., 2010

A simple method of supplementation of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids: use of fortified yogurt in healthy volunteers., McCowen, K, Ling, P, Decker, E, Djordjevic, D, Roberts, Robert, Coupland, John, Bistrian, B, 2010

The study to investigate the potential benefits of probiotics in yogurt, a patient-oriented, double-blind, cluster-randomised, placebo-controlled, clinical trial
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Merenstein, D. J., Smith, K. H., Scriven, M., Roberts, R. F., Sanders, M. E., Petterson, S., 2010

Estrone and 17β-estradiol concentrations in pasteurized-homogenized milk and commercial dairy products
Journal of dairy science, Pape-Zambito, D. A., Roberts, Robert F., Kensinger, R. S., 2010