Agricultural and Natural Resources Policy Internship Program

Food Science & Cereal Quality

Grains are the primary source of nutrition for mankind and present a major portion of American diet and caloric intake. Most people consume grain-based products on a daily basis, and often, many times a day. Grains thus present an ideal opportunity to improve nutritional and health-promoting quality of foods. With high cost of health care and rising incidences of lifestyle diseases like obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, the nutritional quality of foods available to consumers is under increased scrutiny. At the same time, the food industry faces major challenges in delivering foods that can mitigate the various diseases, while meeting consumer sensory expectations and remaining affordable. The Cereal Quality Program maintains collaborative research with plant breeders, biotechnologists, geneticists, and nutritionists to deliver knowledge and grains (primarily corn, wheat, and sorghum) with improved composition and quality for processing into foods that address the challenges facing the industry and consumers.


  • Joseph Awika, Professor,  Food Science and Technology, College Station, TX
  • Tadesse Fikre Teferra, Staff/Postdoctorate, Food Science and Technology

Research Interests

  • Composition of bioactive compounds in grains and their contribution to the health benefits of grain products
  • Effect of processing on chemistry and nutritional attributes of grain-based food products
  • Use of genetic tools to influence composition of desirable attributes in grain for food and health applications, e.g., protein and starch functionality, bioactive flavonoid profile, soluble polysaccharide properties.
  • Interaction of food ingredients with starch, proteins and minor grain constituents, and how these interactions influence product quality and health attributes.

Related Sites of Interest