Pennsylvania is a leading state in the production and processing of numerous foods from plants and mushrooms and Penn State has strong research, education and extension programs supporting this important segment of the Commonwealth's economy

There is mounting and compelling evidence supporting the health benefits derived from consuming more fruits, vegetables and whole grains especially as it relates to reducing the risk of chronic degenerative diseases like cancer, coronary heart disease and Alzheimer's dementia. Also, there have been an increasing number of discoveries related to the nutritional and medicinal properties of numerous cultivated mushrooms.

The Department of Food Science has a strong strategic focus on improving health and wellness. The vision of this Center is to discover the potential of foods from plants and mushrooms to improve human health.