Mentor / Lab:
Dr. Mark Morgan
Specific Research Area / Project:
Chloroxyanion residues in cantaloupes treated with chlorine dioxide gas
Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai, India
My research involves studying treatment of fresh produce with chlorine dioxide gas, which is a selective oxidant and powerful antimicrobial agent. Previous work has shown that the gas can effectively reduce the presence of various food pathogens, such as Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria monocytogenes, on food surfaces. This novel technology may therefore have the potential to help reduce microbial contamination of produce and the occurrence of foodborne illness outbreaks. Chlorine dioxide however, is known to react with organic matter and degrade to the anions chloride, chlorite, chlorate and perchlorate. The goal of my project therefore, is to identify and quantify these residues in chlorine dioxide treated products. Given the multi-state outbreak of Listeriosis (Colorado, 2011) and Salmonellosis (Indiana, 2012) in cantaloupes, I am focusing on residues in cantaloupes treated with chlorine dioxide at treatment conditions known to be effective against these pathogens. So far, the experiments have shown that the primary residues are chloride and chlorate, and they are present mainly in the rind.
Food science is a field that combines my interests in the basic sciences and chemical technology with applications to food, a fundamental human need. During my undergraduate education in Food Engineering and Technology, I was drawn to the area of novel food processing technologies. I am glad therefore, to have received the opportunity to work in my area of interest here at Purdue. I’ve enjoyed being able to interact with people from all over the world and to learn about their different areas of research. Last year, I went on a two-week study abroad trip to China where I visited multinational food companies and local universities with food science programs, gaining a better global perspective about the field.
After graduate school I am open to all opportunities that come my way, but would ultimately like to work in academia where I can simultaneously be involved in teaching and pushing the boundaries of food science with research.
- Certificate of Excellence in Food Science Research, Office of Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs Spring Reception (2013)
- Ross Fellowship – Purdue University (2011)
- "Presence of Residues in Fruits/Vegetables Treated with Chlorine Dioxide Gas." Next Generation Scholars (Nov. 30th 2012), PGSG Academic and Professional Development Committee.
- "Chloroxyanion Residues in Cantaloupes Treated with Chlorine Dioxide Gas." OIGP Spring Reception (April 1st 2013).
- Judge at the Undergraduate Research Poster Symposium (2013)
- All Campus Community Chorale (Purdue Musical Organizations) (2012-present)
- Purdue Taal – Indo-American a cappella singing group (2011-2012)