Mehdi Hashemi

Graduate Student Food Science

Mehdi earned a BS degree in Food Science and Technology from Texas A&M University in 2017 after working in food industry as a food technologist for almost ten years with a focus on pasteurized, sterilized, and dried dairy products, sterilized drinking water, fruit juices, soft drinks, salad dressing and sauces. He also earned a BS degree in Food Science from Iran Azad University. Mehdi is now pursuing a Ph.D. in Food Science and Technology in the area of high moisture meat analogue product by using vegan ingredients with a focus on functionality, feasibility, shelf-life and quality.

Fariha Irshad

Graduate Student Food Science

Fariha Irshad did her bachelor’s and Master’s in Food and Nutrition from Pakistan. Her major field of research was mainly on black cumin and celery seeds and their potential hypoglycemic properties in controlling diabetes. After her Master’s degree in 2016 from University of Agriculture Fariha is now a PhD student of Food Science and Technology at Texas A & M University. Her basic field of research is Halal foods and she is working to find out gelatin substitutes mainly plant based that can be acceptable for Halal, Vegan and Kosher as well.

Kevin Kiefer

Undergraduate Student Food Science

Kevin is working on his Bachelor’s degree in the department of Nutrition and Food Science at Texas A&M University.  He developed an interest in the Food Diversity program and is currently working in Dr. Susanne Talcott’s laboratory researching the level of toxicity and anti-tumor capacity of phenolic compounds and alkaloids present in a traditional Amazonian brew.

 Helen Sarbazi

Graduate Student Food Science

After receiving a BS-degree in Food Science from Iran Azad University, Helen gained experience in quality control of dairy, meats and canned foods in food industry for seven years. After a BS degree in Food Science and Technology at Texas A&M University in 2017, Helen is now working on her Ph.D. degree in the area of diverse foods. Specifically, she is interested in the functional properties and product development of various  fruits.

Vinicius de Paula Venancio

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Vinicius Venancio has a Bachelor degree in Pharmacy (Alfenas Federal University, Brazil) and a Ph.D. in Toxicology (University of Sao Paulo, Brazil). Currently, he is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Dr. Susanne Talcott’s laboratory (Department of Nutrition and Food Science, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX). His research interests include identifying and solving toxicological concerns related to new foods and ingredients used by ethnic populations (including Halal, Kosher, and GMO-free).


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