Micro-creamery coming to Iowa State University

June is National Dairy Month, and soon the milk produced by the dairy cows at the ISU Dairy Farm will be used to produce ice cream and cheese right here on campus.

For the past couple of years, Professor Stephanie Clark in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition has been working on plans to open a creamery at Iowa State. The first phase of her plan will come to fruition this fall with the opening of a micro-creamery in the Center for Crops Utilization Research pilot plant, located within the Food Sciences Building.

The micro-creamery will be situated in the southeast corner of the pilot plant, and will include a clarifier/separator, a pasteurizer cheese vat, an ice cream freezer and sanitation equipment. Beginning in August, Clark hopes to train as many as five to six students who will work in the micro-creamery.

“It’s meant to train students and give them valuable experience so they can take practical skills into food science careers and dairy science careers,” Clark said of the micro-creamery.

Clark and the student employees will start by making ice cream, including the much-anticipated ISU Signature Ice Cream, created by a team of food science seniors. In December 2017, the winning ice cream concept of the ISU Signature Ice Cream Contest was announced. The peanut butter ice cream with scotcheroo balls and fudge swirls, which honors Iowa State alumni George Washington Carver and Mildred Day, will be featured at various Iowa State events.

The milk needed to produce the ice cream, and later, cheese, will come from the ISU Dairy Farm.

The micro-creamery is just the first step to building and opening a large-scale creamery, to be called the ISU Dairy Products Innovation Center (DPIC). Not only will the DPIC produce ice cream and cheese, but, like the micro-creamery, it also will serve as a place for students to gain experience working in the dairy industry. Additionally, Iowa dairy farmers will come to the center to learn how to turn their milk into products in a small-scale environment, rather than selling their extra milk to other states, Clark said.

Retail space would be included at the DPIC, where cheese and ice cream products would be sold.

This summer, Clark will work with students in the CyBIZ Lab, through the Ivy College of Business. The students will go over Clark’s business plan, help her conduct feasibility studies and SWOT analyses, and further help her along the way of turning her DPIC dream into a reality.

Once the DPIC is up and running, Clark’s hope is that the micro-creamery will continue in operation in the Food Sciences Building for the sole production of the signature ice cream, to keep peanuts out of the DPIC.

Funding for the micro-creamery has come from Clark’s Virginia M. Gladney Professorship, Savencia USA, as well as from the Midwest Dairy Association. Additional funding will be sought from dairy industry stakeholders, in cooperation with the ISU Foundation.

Clark hopes the success of the micro-creamery will help push forward plans and start-up funding for the DPIC, which is estimated to cost approximately $5.7 million. Funding will be sought from private industry and alumni, in cooperation with the ISU Foundation.

Iowa State team wins worldwide 2018 Food Solutions Challenge

AMES, Iowa – For three Iowa State University graduate students, winning the worldwide 2018 Food Solutions Challenge was more than an honor – it meant they could help reduce food waste in their homeland.

The Iowa State team received $5,000 on May 20 for its proposal to improve the shelf life of cassava, which is a staple food in Africa and can rot within three days after harvest. Team members include Samuel Kiprotich, food science and human nutrition; Mike Sserunjogi, agricultural and biosystems engineering; and Emmanuel Nsamba, genetics.

“I felt this competition gave me the perfect opportunity to be part of a new generation of African youth striving to make a difference in their communities through scientific innovation,” Kiprotich said.

Read the complete story here.

Datta, Baldwin join FSHN Department

Earlier this month, two new individuals joined the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition - Mridul Datta and Kristi Baldwin. Datta is the new director of the Dietetic Internship program, while Baldwin is the new online course designer.

Datta takes lead of Dietetic Internship program

Datta holds a bachelor’s degree in community nutrition from the University of Delhi in India, as well as a master’s degree in clinical nutrition from East Tennessee State University. Her doctorate degree is from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, in the area of human/clinical nutrition.

She comes to Iowa State from Purdue University, where she was the director of the undergraduate coordinated program in dietetics. Datta said what drew her to the position at Iowa State was the ability to focus on a larger dietetics program while responding to the changing needs of dietetics education.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2024, all registered dietitians must have a master’s degree in order to sit for the registration exam for dietitian nutritionists. Iowa State is taking a proactive approach to that national requirement by offering the Professional Practice in Dietetics (MPP-D) program, beginning in the fall 2018 semester. Datta is looking forward to working with clinicians and faculty in the department to develop and grow the dietetic internship and new master’s degree program.

A newcomer to Iowa, Datta also is looking forward to breaking out her camera to capture various images as she explores and familiarizes herself with the state.

Baldwin looking forward to combining technology, education work

As the new online course designer, Baldwin will provide assistance to department faculty with their online courses, especially for the new Master’s of Professional Practice in Dietetics program, which will launch this fall.

Baldwin comes to Iowa State with experience in teaching online courses for a K-12 program and serving as an instructional designer for Great Falls College Montana State University. While at the community college, she worked to create a flexible learning environment classroom that served as a model for updating other classrooms on campus.

She said what drew her to the online course designer position at Iowa State was the ability to combine technology and education work.

“I love technology and I love working in education. I knew that this opportunity would be an exciting way to bring the two together in designing online courses for the department,” Baldwin said.

As she begins her new position, she is looking forward to working with faculty to come up with innovative strategies to engage students with online content.

“I think technology is providing us with so many new opportunities for communicating and demonstrating understanding that we can utilize to help our online environments feel more personal; it’s just a matter of ensuring that the tools utilized for doing this are made to be as user-friendly as possible,” she said.

Baldwin and her family have been in Ames for the past year. They moved here after her husband, John, accepted a position as an ROTC instructor for the Air Force at Iowa State. The couple has two sons, Nathan, 11, and Joshua, 9, as well as a 3-year-old chocolate lab named Duke.

In her spare time, Baldwin enjoys reading and shopping.

Announcing the 2018 FSHN Alumni Impact Award winners

The Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Iowa State University is pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 FSHN Alumni Impact Award.

The winners are as follows:

  • Milagros Hojilla-Evangelista ('90, PhD food technology)
  • Julie Miller Jones ('68, BS home economics - food science)
  • Barb Struempler ('81, MS food and nutrition; '84, PhD food and nutrition)

The award winners will be recognized during the annual FSHN Department awards ceremony Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018, at the Jeff and Deb Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center in Ames. Additional details about the ceremony will be announced on the FSHN website once the event gets closer.

This is the eighth year the awards have been given to alumni to recognize them for the impacts they have made in their profession. Past winners include:


  • Celeste Clark ('77, MS nutrition)
  • Tunyawat Kasemsuwan ('91, MS food science and technology; '95, PhD food science and technology)
  • Susan Roberts ('73, BS dietetics)


  • Andrew McPherson ('92, BS food science & technology - agriculture; '99, PhD food science and technology)
  • Linda Snetselaar ('72, BS dietetics)
  • Mary Wagner ('78, BS bacteriology; '80, MS food technology)


  • Charlotte Hayes ('80, BS dietetics)
  • Justin Kanthak ('07, BS food science)
  • Julie Simonson ('87, BS food science - food and nutrition)


  • Barbara Harland ('46, BS dietetics)
  • Rodrigo Tarte ('87, BS food technology and science; '90, MS food technology; '96, PhD food science and human nutrition) 
  • Jill Zullo ('96, PhD food science and human nutrition)


  • Jill Moline ('98, BS food science)
  • Mary Shell ('06, BS food science)
  • Kris Spence ('94, MS food science and human nutrition; '98, PhD food science and technology)


  • Linda Fullmer ('00, BS food science)
  • Lori Roth-Yousey ('83, BS dietetics - food and nutrition)


  • Nancy Degner ('72, BS food science)
  • Simin Meydani ('81, PhD food science)
  • Justin Moore ('93, BS dietetics - family and consumer sciences)

Brain activity, reactivity help explain diabetics’ negative feelings and risk for depression

AMES, Iowa – For millions of Americans who are obese and living with diabetes or prediabetes, feelings of sadness, anger and anxiety are often part of daily life.

A new Iowa State University study suggests those negative feelings may stem from problems regulating blood sugar levels that influence emotional response in the brain. The study found people with Type 2 diabetes and prediabetes were more likely to focus on and have a strong emotional response to threats and negative things, which affects quality of life and increases risk for depression. The research is published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine.

Auriel Willette, an ISU assistant professor of food science and human nutrition; Tovah Wolf, lead author and a graduate student working with Willette on this project; and colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison analyzed data on startle response, brain activity, cortisol levels and cognitive assessment. Data for the study came from Midlife in the U.S. (MIDUS), a national study of health and well-being.

Read about the study results in the story published by ISU News Service


Research key component of food science students’ time at Iowa State

For many aspiring food scientists, research is a major component of their collegiate studies. Opportunities to conduct research in laboratories while pursuing degrees have made lasting impacts on two soon-to-be graduates.

Thadeus “Tad” Beekman, senior in food science, and Brett Brothers, graduate student in food science, quickly became involved in research at Iowa State, gaining valuable experience that will help them following graduation.

After making the switch to food science from animal science his freshman year, Beekman joined University Professor Lester Wilson’s lab, where he has spent the last three years as an undergraduate research assistant. He’s conducted research related to aronia berries, the possibility of making cheese on lunar and Mars missions, and the influence of wavelength on the aroma of herbs.

Brothers’ decision to come to Iowa State to pursue his master’s degree was an easy one – he grew up in Ames and was aware of the level of research for which Iowa State is known.

“I learned a lot during my undergraduate studies and wanted to apply what I learned to a graduate degree,” Brothers said.

He’s been working in Professor Tong “Toni” Wang’s lab, conducting corn fermentation research, specifically looking at where free fatty acid is formed during the process of converting ground corn to ethanol.

Perhaps one of the most valuable life lessons Brothers has learned during his graduate studies has been learning how to fail when experiments don’t go as planned.

“I learned a lot through failed experiments,” Brothers said. “They’ve all been learning opportunities.”

Wang has been impressed with the work Brothers has done in her lab. She said his research findings are “one of a kind” with his paper being the first report showing how free fatty acid content in corn distillers oil can be different depending on the assay methods used, and the high degree of oxidation of this type of oil.

“Brett is a perfect example for how unexpected research results can be a gift for making one gritty, critical in thinking, and masterful in problem solving,” Wang said.

For Beekman, a highlight of his time at Iowa State has been his research on aronia berries. Continuing the work started by Wilson’s previous research assistant, Beekman has worked to determine the best time to harvest the berries, as well as looked at their sugar and acid content, and how the berries can be used for natural coloring.

The results of his research have been submitted as a manuscript - it’s just waiting to be published. Beekman has been able to present his research related to aronia berries at research symposiums.

“It’s exciting to be able to talk about it,” Beekman said.

Putting extra time and effort into their work in the lab has proven beneficial to the students as they’ve seen success along the way.

“For me, just being willing to put the work in and seeing it pay off later,” Beekman said. “Faculty members want to see you succeed and they push you to do your best.”

When it comes to individuals who have been influential to the students’ time on campus, Brothers said Wang has been a great help along his journey to obtaining a master’s degree.

“Dr. Wang has been very helpful and she’s passionate about what she does,” Brothers said. “She pushes you to be the best you can be.”

Working alongside other graduate students in the lab and bouncing ideas off each other also has aided Brothers in his progress.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time here. I’ve learned a lot about research and life,” he said.

Following graduation, Beekman will head to the University of Arkansas, where he has accepted a full-ride, four year Distinguished Doctoral Fellowship in the area of sensory science. He said he likes sensory analysis because it allows him to work with food and interact with consumers regarding food at the same time.

“You have to understand food science in order to work with sensory analysis – it helps you understand why foods have the qualities they do and how consumers perceive those specific qualities,” Beekman said.

Though he’s still looking for a job, Brothers hopes to obtain a position in research and development for a food company.

Internship experiences prepare graduating senior for entrance into professional world

While only one internship is required for culinary food science majors, one graduating student decided to complete three.

Jared Diehl came to Iowa State University to pursue a degree in culinary food science.

“I always knew I wanted to do something with food, but I knew I didn’t want to work in a restaurant,” Diehl said.

To help build his resume and give him an idea of the type of career he’d like to have upon graduation, Diehl began attending Iowa State’s career fairs and looking for internships his first year at Iowa State. He landed his first internship the summer after his freshman year, obtaining a position at Aspen Meadows Resort in Aspen, Colo. While the experience there was great, he said it opened his eyes to what working full-time in a restaurant would be like.

“That really helped solidify that I don’t want to work in a restaurant,” Diehl said.

His next internship was with Emmi Roth USA, a leading provider of specialty cheeses in Madison, Wis. He was employed as a culinary development intern, taking food trucks all over the U.S. He also had the opportunity to develop dip and sandwich recipes, and even make a recipe booklet.

His final internship was a research and development position with Johnsonville Sausage in Sheboygan, Wis., working on flavor development and meat texture analysis. He even had the chance to develop a flavoring for sausage. Even though the pH was too low, making the sausage appear to be gray, it was a learning experience.

“I felt like I was actually contributing,” he said.

Diehl appreciated the fact that he was treated like a regular employee, not just an intern, while at Johnsonville. He remembers introducing himself as an intern to the company president, who corrected him by stating Diehl was not an intern, but rather a part of the company.

With three internships under his belt, Diehl is grateful for the experience and independency he’s gained at each one. He feels his first two internships played a role in his ability to obtain his internship at Johnsonville, working in a position he’d like to one day hold as a professional.

“This past year, being able to do something I want to do for a career was amazing,” Diehl said.

In addition to his internships, Diehl has become prepared for entrance into the professional world through the culinary science classes he’s taken at Iowa State, especially the one where students have the opportunity to work in The Joan Bice Underwood Tearoom.

“You get to see the restaurant side and the back of the house,” Diehl said. “When you’re at a restaurant and you’re wondering what’s taking your food so long or why certain things are happening, you can understand what’s going on.”

Finding time to get involved in clubs and organizations is another aspect of his college career that has had a significant impact on his time at Iowa State. Diehl is a member of the Culinary Science Club, taking part in cooking competitions and club trips. In addition, he served as a member of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) Student Council during his sophomore and junior years. He liked how the council gave him insight into the happenings within the university, including discussions on differential tuition.

Helping him find success in all his college endeavors have been Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition senior lecturer Erica Beirman and academic adviser Mickie Deaton. They have impacted his time as a culinary food science student and introduced him to key people along the way.

“Erica and Mickie do a good job of getting you connected with people,” Diehl said.

Beirman said Diehl has made the most of his time at Iowa State, getting involved in a variety of clubs and activities to enhance not only his knowledge in culinary food science, but his overall experience at the university.

“Jared is a student who has taken every opportunity presented to him and used those experiences to positively impact his undergraduate journey here at Iowa State,” Beirman said.

As far as advice for current or future culinary food science students, Diehl said it’s never too early to start attending career fairs. Not only will it help you find an internship, but it’s a great way to start networking and connecting with individuals in the industry.

“Start early and even though the career fair might seem intimidating, just go,” Diehl said.

Nutritional science, dietetics student to serve as university marshal

A student from the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition will have the honor of serving as the university marshal for the College of Human Sciences at Saturday’s undergraduate commencement ceremony.

Morgan Bahl, senior double majoring in nutritional science and dietetics, came to Iowa State to pursue a degree in dietetics. She said she was impressed with the university’s high-ranking dietetics program, and loved Iowa State’s image branding.

Highlights of her time at Iowa State include serving as a First-Year Learning Community mentor, spending a summer abroad studying in Spain for her Spanish minor, and being a member of The S.H.O.P. and Body Image and Eating Disorder Awareness clubs.

During her sophomore year, Bahl was selected for the Louise Rosenfeld Undergraduate Research Internship, a program that provides high quality research experience to undergraduate students in the College of Human Sciences. She was paired with Sarah Francis, an associate professor of food science and human nutrition and nutrition extension state specialist.

“Morgan is an exceptional student who is energetic, self-motivated, and dedicated. She approaches everything she does with optimism, determination and professionalism,” Francis said. “She has been instrumental in assessing the impact of a statewide Extension and Outreach nutrition newsletter and developing materials for Nutrition and Wellness Extension and Outreach programming.”

While working with Francis, Bahl had a paper published in the Journal of Extension, and two other manuscripts have been submitted for review.

It’s no surprise that Bahl mentioned Francis is one of the people who have been most influential during her time at Iowa State.

“She’s opened tons of doors for me,” Bahl said. “She has trusted me with projects and that trust has increased my confidence.”

Following graduation, Bahl will travel to the University of Michigan where she will complete her dietetic internship. Her goal is to become a registered dietitian and obtain a master’s degree in counseling. Eventually, she’d like to combine the dietetics and counseling degrees to help individuals with eating disorders.

Bahl encourages current students to not give up, even when a class or project seems challenging.

“Be intentional about your experiences and what you do,” Bahl said. “Always try to stick things out even when they’re not enjoyable and even though you might not like it. There’s usually a lesson to be learned from it.”

Body image awareness, body positivity large part of graduating student’s time at Iowa State

Since coming to Iowa State University to pursue a dietetics degree, Jade Gibson has been active in a number of activities and clubs related to body positivity.

A senior in dietetics, Gibson spent her freshman year of college at the University of Northern Iowa, where she studied exercise science. After talking to her roommate’s friend about the dietetics classes the friend was taking, Gibson started thinking about making the switch to dietetics. Gibson began communicating with academic adviser Anne Oldham at Iowa State, as well as HyVee dietitians, which lead her to the decision to pack her bags and head to Ames to pursue a dietetics degree.

“I’m a Hawkeye fan who thought I would never go to Iowa State,” Gibson said with a laugh.

When a doctor told her there was a need for dietitians who specialize in eating disorders, Gibson began looking at how she could incorporate that into her career path. To gain more information about eating disorders, she soon joined Iowa State’s Body Image and Eating Disorder Awareness (BIEDA) club.

It didn’t take her long to become heavily involved in the club. Her junior year was spent serving as an event coordinator, organizing activities for BIEDA week. This year, she’s served as co-president of the club and once again coordinated BIEDA Week’s activities.

“I’ve gotten to know a lot of dietitians,” Gibson said of her involvement in BIEDA. “Seeing how the events impact the community and students on campus has made me realize how important it is to stay passionate about body image and eating disorder awareness.”

In addition, Gibson has been a peer facilitator for The Body Project and served as a Peer Wellness Educator, creating a program called Project Nurture that emphasizes intuitive eating and body positivity with mindful movement.

Alison St. Germain, clinician and faculty adviser for BIEDA and The Body Project, said Gibson has done an “outstanding job” of organizing programs related to body image, body positivity and prevention of eating disorders.

“She has an upbeat personality and is kind and compassionate, so it makes it easy for the attendees to be open and talk with her,” St. Germain said.

Gibson named St. Germain as one of the most influential people who has affected her time at Iowa State.

“She’s provided me with many opportunities,” Gibson said of St. Germain.

The next step for Gibson is to head to the University of Iowa, where she will complete her dietetic internship. From there, she’d like to obtain her master’s degree and possibly doctoral degree in dietetics to better assist individuals with eating disorders someday.

Experiencing culinary food science outside the U.S.

When she leaves Iowa State to pursue her next adventure, one thing this culinary food science student will take with her is the experience she gained from spending a semester in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Tessa Anderson, senior in culinary food science, spent the spring semester of her junior year taking part in the EARTH Service Learning Program. The semester-long program has undergraduate students teach pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students in the Caribbean and U.S. Virgin Islands about food and agriculture. The college students also learn about the culture of the area’s agriculture and ecosystems.

During her time with the program, Anderson worked in the Gifft Hill School on the island of St. John. As part of a farm-to-table class at the school, she taught students how to grow fruits and vegetables in the school garden. The students then learned how to prepare meals using the harvested produce.

The same produce grown at the garden also was used at the local soup kitchen. Anderson went there once a week to assist the chef with preparing a meal. Many of the foods used were incorporated from the school garden. She said she learned a lot working alongside the chef.

“It increased my passion and appreciation for fresh produce, and I learned how to incorporate it into everyday diets,” Anderson said.

One thing she walked away with from the experience was how to get the most use out of food without letting it go to waste. The chef she worked alongside never threw any food into the garbage – it all was used in one way or another.

“The things she was able to teach me and her passion for the students and the students’ health” are what Anderson said will have a lasting impact on her.

Erica Beirman, senior lecturer in the food science and human nutrition department, said she saw a change in Anderson once she returned at the end of her semester abroad.

“The EARTH internship seemed to help Tessa grow in her confidence, and she returned to campus with a clear set of professional goals,” Beirman said.

Following graduation, Anderson has accepted a position at Buddy’s Kitchen, where she will work in the area of quality, operations, and innovation and design. Her ultimate goal is to one day work with hunger relief.

Her advice to fellow students is to take part in programs and clubs about which they are passionate. For instance, Anderson’s involvement in The S.H.O.P., a campus food pantry, feeds her desire to help individuals gain access to food they might not otherwise get.

“If you have a passion, there’s a way to use that passion to help people,” Anderson said.