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CASNR food safety expert featured in current issue of ‘Women’s Health’

CASNR food safety expert featured in current issue of ‘Women’s Health’

Texas Tech’s leadership in food safety research was highlighted on a national scale this month, as one of its top scientists was featured among a list of experts in a well-known, women’s-oriented magazine and website, Women’s Health (April 2011).

Mindy Brashears, director of Tech’s International Center for Food Industry Excellence, was interviewed along with other researchers, dietitians, nutritional scientists from across the nation. The Rodale-owned magazine currently claims to have a circulation of more than 10 million.

In the article, titled “Decoding the Deli – Food Safety First,” Brittany Risher, Women’s Health Associate Editor, noted: If last August’s recall of 380,000 pounds of deli meat has you worried about Listeria, relax. This invisible food-borne bacteria isn’t common, and even if it is ingested, it’s rarely deadly unless your immune system is already compromised (pregnant women are advised to steer clear of eating cold cuts, because Listeria can affect the developing fetus). If you’re iffy about an order, try this trick from Mindy Brashears, Ph.D., director of the International Center for Food Industry Excellence at Texas Tech University: “When you get home, microwave the meat until it’s steaming (a temperature of about 165°F) before putting it away in the refrigerator.”

Other sections included:
• Not All Cuts Are Created Equal – Jan Novakofski, Professor-University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
• Nitrate Dangers Are No Baloney – Renata Micha, Registered Dietitian-Harvard School of Public Health
• Low-Sodium Doesn’t Have to Mean Low Taste – Marjorie Nolan, New York-based Registered Dietitian
• Choose Your Cheese Wisely – Cathy Strange, Global Cheese Buyer-Whole Foods Market
• Avoid Shiny Sides – Keri Gans, Author of “The Small Change Diet”

For years Texas Tech’s Brashears has been on a mission to provide safer foods for consumers through new treatments to reduce food-borne pathogens. A recipient of millions of dollars in federal, commodity and research grants, she’s made breakthrough discoveries and helped develop innovative new technologies.

For instance, she developed a treatment shown to reduce food-borne pathogens such as Salmonella and E. coli in processed beef and poultry. The treatment consists of a combination of lactic acid bacteria cultures, a “good” bacteria already found in foods like yogurt, cheeses and sausages.

Brashears’recent research involves an industry collaboration supported by the State of Texas’ Emerging Technology Fund to develop MicroZAP, a company that supports a microwave pasteurization technology. MicroZAP was spun off from patented technology developed through the cutting-edge food sterilization research at Tech’s International Center for Food Industry Excellence.

MicroZAP uses directional microwaves delivered at varying doses and intensities to target disease-causing microorganisms with great precision. The new technology is helping to remove harmful pathogens in foods such as eggs and meat products without harming or changing the functional properties of the products.

Rodale’s magazine properties include Prevention, Men’s Health and Runner’s World, as well as Women’s Health, Organic Gardening, Backpacker, Best Life, Bicycling and Mountain Bike.

Written by Norman Martin

CONTACT: Mindy Brashears, Professor, Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2805 ext. 235 or



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