Food Processing and Packaging

The Food Processing and Packaging science focus area investigates the physical and microbial effects that processing and packaging steps have on the potential public health impact of foods in terms of food safety, quality and nutrition. The processing aspects of the research centers on pasteurization, extended shelf life and sterilization. When working with IFSH, industry members receive applied scientific expertise and research data on the following focus areas:

  • Validation of novel technologies for sterilization, pasteurization and decontamination of dried ingredients and minimal processing of fresh produce
  • World-class leadership in C. botulinum research to further develop validation and process authority capability for conventional and novel processing technologies
  • Use of new risk management tools and methods, such as Food Safety Objectives (FSOs), to facilitate regulatory approval and equivalency of novel processes
  • New technologies and tools for validating package integrity
  • Models for predicting migration of contaminants through packaging
  • Technological abilities and risks associated with nanoparticle containing packaging material

IFSH’s Assets and Capabilities

  • Expertise in a wide range of processing technologies and applications, including microwave pasteurization, high pressure processing, pressure assisted thermal sterilization, aseptic processing, ultraviolet light irradiation and cold plasma surface treatment
  • Provides innovative solutions to packaging-related issues, examines new food packaging innovations and assists in obtaining regulatory approval for new applications
  • Access to state-of-the-art facilities, including a GMP processing and kitchen area, a BSL-2 food processing laboratory suite, and a BSL-3 laboratory and biocontainment pilot plant

Key Staff Members and Contact Information

Research Assistant Professor, IIT
708-563-8170
Engineer, Assistant Professor, IIT
708.563.8272
Director, Center for Processing Innovation, Associate Professor, IIT
708.563.8277
Director, Business Development, Adjunct Industry Professor, IIT
708.563.8175