Muscle Foods Faculty

Dr. Linda Andrews

Aquaculture Processing and Safety (Research and Extension)

Dr. Jason Behrends

Muscle Foods Processing/ Safety (Extension and Research)

Dr. Patti Coggins

Muscle Foods Sensory (Research and Teaching)

Dr. Anna Hood

Muscle Foods Safety and Entrepreneurialship (Extension)

Dr. Mike Martin

Muscle Foods Processing (Research and Teaching)

Dr. Benjy Mikel

Head FSNHP and Director, FSI (Administration and Teaching)

Dr. Wes Schilling

Meat Chemistry/Muscle Foods Processing (Research and Teaching)

Dr. Ty Schmidt

Muscle Biology/ Physiology (Research and Teaching)

Dr. Yvonne Thaxton

Poultry Processing (Research and Teaching)

Dr. Byron Williams

Muscle Foods Processing and Safety (Extension and Research)

Current Muscle Foods Related Faculty Positions

Dr. Hart Bailey Food Animal Safety (Research and Teaching)
Dr. Terry Hanson Food Economist (Research and Teaching)
Dr. Mark Lawrence Food Animal Safety (Research and Teaching)
Dr. Doug Marshall Muscle Foods Microbiology (Research and Teaching)
Dr. Rama Nannapaneni Molecular Food Microbiologist (Research and Teaching)
Mr. Roland Parny Executive Research Chef (Extension and Research)
Dr. Juan Silva Aquaculture Processing/ Engineering (Research and Teaching)
Dr Diane Tidwell Nutrition (Research and Teaching)

Contact Person

Dr. Benjy Mikel
Professor & Head
Food Science, Nutrition & Health Promotion
Director, Food Science Institute
Mississippi State University
PO Box 9805
Mississippi State, MS 39762
Email: wmikel@fsnhp.msstate.edu

The muscle foods web section is currently under construction. Additional information about the departments and faculty can be located at the following sites:


In our college, meat science/muscle foods research and teaching are a joint effort between Food Science and Animal Science. Students have an equal opportunity to pursue graduate studies in either department, but the majority of the current graduate students are in the Food Science program.

University Profile

The long and storied meat science program at Mississippi State University has taken an upward turn in response to increased demand from around the region. A program that has traditionally seen two meat scientists on board now boast 18 faculty (9 trained in Meat Science) and 13 staff in three departments and two colleges under the umbrella of the Food Science Institute (FSI). Add in the 18 graduate students working in the area of muscles foods research and you have almost 50 individuals at MSU with a passion about muscle as a food. With programs in the Departments of Food Science, Nutrition & Health Promotion, Poultry Science and Animal & Dairy Sciences in the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, and the College of Veterinary Medicine, our faculty stand ready to address numerous issues from safety related issues of pre- and post-harvest products to the enhancement of raw materials through value-added techniques to the improved nutritional quality of various products as affected by production and processing. The list of faculty above is a testament to the wide ranging meaning of the phrase "muscle as food" at MSU. From fish (and other water-based species) to fowl to four-legged animals our faculty and staff pursue both application based research and Extension activities geared toward the industry to the most fundamental research aimed at elucidation of mechanistic properties affecting muscle food safety and quality.

Another area of growth in addition to faculty has been that of facilities. Although the long standing meat science laboratory is still in use and in great shape, we now also have three new additions; the 6,000 square-foot Ammerman-Hearnsburger Pilot plant, the state-of-the-art Garrison Sensory Laboratory and the Poultry Science Pilot Processing Facility. The pilot plant gives faculty and students much greater flexibility in conducting research projects and in working with industry clientele. Capacities may range from bench-top to full pilot plant scale production runs. The Garrison Sensory Laboratory adds a unique feature to be able to respond to both research and industry needs for speedy product analysis. The Poultry processing plant allows researchers to imitate industry like conditions in manageable research sized projects with their full processing line. These facilities, coupled with an experimental seafood lab located on the gulf coast and other campus-based analytical labs provide faculty and students a wealth of support opportunities. Furthermore, the recently enhanced Extension component in the muscle foods area now allows for greater responsiveness to the industry. Almost every faculty member has some involvement with industry-based issues. Our program is now reaching beyond the borders of Mississippi to address the needs of the region and country.

An integral part of our teaching program is the hands-on aspect along with the internship opportunities with industry. The majority of our students, both undergraduate and graduate, participate in some form of internship that provides experience that prepares them for the future. Internships and opportunities to work on cutting edge research projects, prepares students to think critically, solve problems, and make decisions based on facts. Students currently participate in the Block & Bridle Club, Food Science Club, Pre-Vet Club, New Product Development Team and others. Plans are underway to rejuvenate the Meat Judging Program (a very competitive Dairy Products Evaluation Team already exist) and possibly a Meat Science Organization. Change is constant and we at MSU are embracing change in these exciting times in which we live!

Social Media

  • @MeatScience: RT @GHGGuru: This might become an interesting discussion, because folks are tired of food groups being compared by weight or volume or tota…
  • @MeatScience: We love seeing quiz bowl teams getting ready for #RMC21 Quiz Bowl! #MeatScience https://t.co/LO1S39vZrU
  • @MeatScience: RT @NationalPork: The best way to ensure both a safe and delicious eating experience is with a meat thermometer! Make sure it’s accurate so…
  • @MeatScience: RT @natprovisioner: Join @MeatScience in Reno for the premiere Meat Science conference of the year. The 2021 Reciprocal Meat Conference wil…
  • @MeatScience: RT @uf_ansci: The 2020 @MeatScience iron chef contest inspired Kylie Phillips to incorporate product development and industry collaboration…