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MSU food science student wins IFT poster contest

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A Mississippi State University food science doctoral student, received top honors at the Institute of Food Technologists’ Annual Meeting and Food Expo.

Monil Desai of Ahmedabad, India, won first place for his presentation in the Muscle Foods Division. The expo, which was held in New Orleans in June, is one of the world’s largest annual food science meetings and food industry expositions.

Monil Desai
Monil Desai

Desai won for his research on ingredient technology and poultry packaging. He studied the benefits of adding vinegar to chicken retail cuts that were packaged in carbon dioxide in order to extend the product’s shelf life. This research is important to the restaurant industry because it takes a substantial amount of time to ship refrigerated retail cuts from the southern U.S., where a lot of chicken is produced, to dining establishments on the West Coast.

Currently, packaging chicken retail cuts in carbon dioxide at refrigeration temperature provides a shelf life of 12 days. Desai’s research extends the shelf life to 20 days, providing a direct benefit to producers, restaurants and consumers.

Wes Schilling, professor in the MSU Department of Food Science, Nutrition, and Health Promotion, said the accolade is a distinct honor for the student and the department as a whole.

“Desai’s recognition showcases Mississippi State’s premier food science graduate program,” Schilling said. “This award is testament to the fact that our researchers strive to develop food science and technologies that offer applicable, practical solutions that advance the fields of food science and technology and meet the needs of the food industry.”

Desai is a research assistant in the Food Chemistry and Sensory Evaluation Laboratory in the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. He earned his bachelor’s degree in food technology and his master’s degree in food science at MSU. He is currently pursuing his doctoral degree in food science.

For more about the Department of Food Science, Nutrition, and Health Promotion in MSU’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, visit

Released: July 30, 2014
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