Research Group

Bismarck Martinez

Bismarck Martinez is a research specialist working at The Food Processing Center. He received his Doctoral and Master degrees in Food Science and Technology at UNL. During his Master and Doctoral programs, he investigated the potential transmission of E. coli O157:H7 on wheat fields and the presence of sporeforming bacteria in the milk production chain in Nebraska, respectively. He has been working in Dr. Stratton and Dr. Bianchini's Lab since 2011. Currently, he conducts research projects related to microbial interventions for food companies. 

Rhaisa Crespo

Rhaisa A. Crespo is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Food Science and Technology. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez in Industrial Microbiology. Her Master’s degree was obtained from UNL in Food Science and Technology while working with probiotics and gut microbiology. During her Master program Rhaisa studied Debaryomyces hansenii killer toxin and its effect on pathogenic Candida isolates. Her current PhD dissertation, advised by Dr. Andrèia Bianchini and Dr. Jayne Stratton, focuses on Food Safety and Dairy Microbiology. More specifically Rhaisa is studying the effect of farm interventions in reducing sporeforming bacteria in the milk chain and expanding the use of probiotics through technology and innovation.

Sadia Hassan

Sadia Hassan from Pakistan is a PhD student (Food and Nutrition program) in Government College University Faisalabad (GCUF), Pakistan. She received her BS degree in major Food Technology from University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF), Pakistan and her master degree in Food and Nutrition from Government College University Faisalabad (GCUF), Pakistan. Her area of research interests includes antioxidants and phytochemicals. Currently she is in UNL as a visiting PhD research scholar. She is working with Dr. Changmou Xu regarding her PhD project on sorghum including polyphenols, antioxidants analysis and enrichment.

Raminder Kaur

Raminder Kaur is a PhD student at Department of Food Science and Technology and the Food Processing Center. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Punjab Agricultural University, India in Food Science and Technology and Master’s degree from Panjab University, India in Food Technology with Food Nanotechnology as major. She worked on project ‘Green Synthesis and Characterization of ZnO Nanoparticles for Antibacterial Applications’. She joined Dr. Changmou Xu’s lab in Fall 2016. Currently, she is working on Essential oils and phytochemicals evaluation of various hop varieties grown in the Midwest of United States. Her research interest areas include determination of functional ingredients in food and applications of advanced analytical instruments used in determination of bioactive compounds.

Rodrigo

Rodrigo Mendoza is from Guatemala and received his BS in Food Engineering from Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (UVG). After completion of his masters in Food Science and Technology (UNL) advised by Dr. Jayne Stratton, he transitioned to the PhD program in same department at UNL, currently advised by Dr. Andréia Bianchini. His interests include food safety and food quality of cereal and cereal based products. Rodrigo’s research encompasses multiple aspects of corn storage and pathology, focusing broadly on limiting post-harvest loss of corn to insects, molds and mycotoxins.

Eric Oliver

Eric L Oliver is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Food Science and Technology Food Processing Center. He received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah in Biology and his Master’s degree from UNL working in Food Safety with an emphasis on controlling E. coli O157:H7 and other STEC using high pressure processing. Prior to joining UNL, Eric worked as a Quality Assurance Supervisor in the food industry. His dissertation, advised by Dr. Jayne Stratton, focuses on ISO/IEC 17025 certification of small and academic laboratories and the validation of laboratory methods for identifying foodborne pathogens.

Luis Sabillón

Luis Sabillón is a doctoral student in the Department of Food Science and Technology and the Food Processing Center. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Food Science and Technology from Zamorano University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), respectively. Since Luis joined UNL, his research has been focused on wheat safety, specifically on the risk factors for microbial and mycotoxin contamination and potential pre/post-milling interventions to mitigate the risk. His dissertation, advised by Dr. Andréia Bianchini, focuses on improving the safety of ready-to-bake wheat-based doughs through non-thermal interventions following a risk-based approach. Luis’ areas of interest include cereal processing, cereal microbiology, and the development of strategies to improve the safety and quality of low-moisture food products.

Igra Yasmin

Iqra Yasmin is a PhD student in the field of Food Science & Technology from National Institute of Food Science and Technology, University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Pakistan. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture and Master degree in Food Science and Technology from the same University. During her Master programs, she isolated the Lactobacillus plantarum from indigenous sources and utilized it in the development of fermented vegetable products. Currently she is in UNL in Food Innovation Center as a visiting research scholar and working with Dr. Changmou Xu. Her research project has been focused on the utilization of oat and barley in the development of cereal based fermented products. She also has been focus on encapsulation techniques to increase the survivability and stability of probiotic during processing and storage.

Hefei Zhao

Hefei Zhao is a PhD student in the Department of Food Science and Technology and the Food Processing Center. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Food Science and Technology from Jiangnan University, China. During his master’s degree program, he worked on separation and purification of xylo-oligosaccharides derived from steam-exploded wheat straw by using integrated membrane technology. He also applied mathematical modeling to mimic the mass-transfer of non-equilibrium thermodynamics and diafiltration process of xylo-oligosaccharides by nanofiltration membrane. Currently, his doctoral dissertation at UNL, advised by Dr. Changmou Xu, focuses on developing functional ingredients of under-utilized agricultural commodities, and their synergistic effect with high pressure processing technology. His areas of interest also include evaluating the functional properties of proteins for an appropriate application in food products, and developing fast analytical methods (Surface-enhanced Raman Spectroscopy) to detect food compositions.

Ana Arciniega

Ana Arciniega, is a Master's student in the Department of Food Science & Technology. She is from Ecuador and received her Bachelor’s degree in Food Science and Technology from Zamorano University in Honduras.  Prior to joining UNL, Ana worked as a Research Aide at The Ohio State University being involved in Food Safety projects related to airborne contamination of leafy greens and tomato with pathogens associated to adjacent land use. Her current research, advised by Dr. Jayne Stratton, is on modeling the survival of Salmonella spp. in soy sauce based products stored at different temperatures.

Amy Garrison

Amy Garrison is a Master's student in the Department of Food Science & Technology.  During her undergraduate career at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln she received a Bachelor's degree in Food Technology for Companion Animals with a minor in Animal Science in 2016.  Her thesis, advised by Dr. Bianchini, will focus on the survivability and stability of sporeformer probiotic Bacillus coagulans through processing and storage of different products and the survivability of the probiotic through human digestion. 

Brandon Nguyen

Brandon Nguyen is a Master's student in the Department of Food Science and Technology. He is continuing his education at UNL after receiving his Bachelor's of Science degree in Food Science and Technology in 2015. His thesis research, advised by Dr. Andreia Bianchini, is on detection and quantification of fungi in dairy products.