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The School of Nutrition and Food Sciences aims for excellence with comprehensive, integrated, and 21st century education, scholarship, and outreach. Food science professionals train students in the quality, processing, and safety of foods for the multibillion dollar food industry. Nutrition professionals provide training in nutrition science, community nutrition, and clinical nutrition with a focus on improving health and well-being of all citizens and populations.

Scholarly and educational programs at the undergraduate and graduate level integrate the basic and applied sciences with outreach.

Our Mission

The mission of the SNFS is to prepare future professionals and support the community through discovery, didactic and experiential teaching and learning, and the development of services and products that improve the health and wellbeing of individuals, families, and communities in a complex and changing society, and to assist local, national and global food industries.


This Week in SNFS


LSU COVID-19 Updates & Information


NFS Training & Certification

New workshops have now been scheduled

17 - 18 August 2021

Sensory Evaluation of Foods
Registration is OPEN

This course is aimed at providing an excellent over-view of sensory evaluation of foods and its appli-cations for food scientists, R&D scientists, QA& QC scientists, and sensory professionals who wish to conduct sensory analysis. This course is appropriate for the beginners who wish to understand basic principles behind the basic sensory tests

See the Sensory Evaluation of Foods page for more information and a link to registration.


In the News

Pearls of wisdom: Unhinging facts about oysters

Louisiana oysters(06/07/21) BATON ROUGE, La. — “He was a bold man that first ate an oyster,” said 18th-century Irish satirist Jonathan Swift. Whether enjoyed fried, grilled, in a seafood gumbo or, perhaps most opinion dividing, raw, there is no denying the oyster’s impact on both Louisiana’s culture and seafood industry.

(right) Raw oysters can pose greater health risks when consumed between May and October due to the prevalence of vibrio, according to the CDC V. Todd Miller/LSU AgCenter Photo Credit.

Oysters have been consumed by humans for thousands of years. Wealthy Greeks and Romans thought of them as a delicacy and an aphrodisiac. While the former is still true in many cultures, the latter is more debatable.

Oysters are high in zinc, with six medium-sized ones providing 32 milligrams or 291% of the daily value, according to Healthline.com. Studies have shown that zinc is important to testosterone production in males, which would lend credence to the aphrodisiac theory, but it isn’t fully known if that is the actual reason for the long-held belief.

Another oyster claim is that they are alive until shucked. Megan La Peyre, a researcher in the LSU AgCenter School of Renewable Natural Resources, said this isn’t quite accurate.

“They are alive even after they are shucked,” she said. “If you eat them immediately after shucking, you are eating them live. And if you look carefully, you can see their heartbeat.”

One adage that many agree on is that oysters should not be consumed in months that don’t contain the letter “r” in their names. This idea likely dates back to 1599 when it appeared in an English cookbook, according to a New York Times article written in 2017 by science journalist Joanna Klein. There is merit to this, said AgCenter and Louisiana Sea Grant food safety specialist Evelyn Watts.

“We know that vibrio is more prevalent in warmer months,” Watts said. “But the fact is vibrio can occur at any time of the year, and eating raw or undercooked oysters always presents a foodborne risk.”

Evelyn Watts: Keeping Louisiana's seafood safe

Dr. Evelyn Watts(3/26/2021) Evelyn Watts gets to combine three of her favorite things in her job: people, seafood and traveling.

As a seafood extension specialist with the LSU AgCenter and Louisiana Sea Grant, Watts spends a lot of time meeting people who work in the industry and teaching them the best ways to process safe, high-quality seafood products.

“I help the industry understand regulations so they know how that applies to their facilities and to their processes,” she said.

She also conducts research on seafood topics. One project has involved studying how different methods of processing crawfish affect the amount of fat in tail meat. Processing has evolved significantly in the past 30 years, she said.

Update: Seafood Extension Events & Research

In the December Seafood Extension Specialist Update is now available. The PDF is available for download. For additional information contact Dr. Evelyn (Gutierrez) Watts, and see the Seafood Quality Laboratory website.

AgCenter scientist exploring how diet, gut health affect COVID-19 severity

Dr. Jack Losso(02/26/21) BATON ROUGE, La. — An LSU AgCenter researcher wants to find out whether eating a plant-based diet and having a healthy gut can reduce the severity of a COVID-19 infection.

Jack Losso, a professor in the School of Nutrition and Food Sciences, has long been intrigued by the links between what people eat and how it affects their health. When he noticed that coronavirus infection and death rates are lower in areas where people tend to have more plant-based diets, he knew he wanted to study the correlation further.

“When you take populations that are relying on plants for a lot for their diet, the rate of infections and death is very low,” Losso said.

He pointed to the Blue Zones — places where many people live longer than usual — as an example. Despite having an older population, these zones have had comparatively fewer COVID fatalities than many other areas of the world, Losso said. The Blue Zones include Okinawa, Japan; Loma Linda, California; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Ikaria, Greece; and Sardinia, Italy.


Dr. Erin McKinley is the 2019-2020 ASA Club Advisor
of the Year

Dr. Erin McKinley image

30 December 2020: Congratulations! Dr. Erin McKinley serves as the Faculty Advisor of the Student Nutrition and Dietetics Association (SNDA). Dr. McKinley is a School of Nutrition and Food Sciences as an assistant professor and the Director of the Didactic Program in Dietetics.

For Healthy Communities, Knowledge Isn’t Enough

5 November 2020: Through the Healthy Communities initiative, led by Denise Holston, assistant professor in the LSU School of Nutrition and Food Sciences, LSU AgCenter extension agents are on the ground in every Louisiana parish inviting residents to decide for themselves how to best lower obesity rates where they live—because knowledge, Holston says, isn’t enough. See:For Healthy Communities...


Congratulations to Dr. Zhimin Xu for winning the 2020 Manfred Kroger Outstanding Reviewer Award

Dr. Zhimin Xu Congratulations to Professor Zhimin Xu of Louisiana State University, the winner of the 2020 Manfred Kroger Outstanding Reviewer Award for IFT's Scientific Journals. Some of the many accolades that can be said for Professor Xu's contributions are that he has reviewed 61 manuscripts over the past 15 years, which reflects agreeing to 98% of our reviewer requests

E. Allen Foegeding, Ph.D., Editor in Chief of the IFT Scientific Journals interviewed Dr. Xu about his experiences of being a reviewer. Dr. Xu shared the rewards of being a reviewer, his overall process, and what he would tell your researchers about reviewing. The article is available via the link below, plus a link to the PDF. Congratulations Dr. Xu!

Celebrating reviewers—The 2020 Manfred Kroger Outstanding Reviewer Award winner. Journal of Food Science, 85(6):1618

Celebrating reviewers—The 2020 Manfred Kroger Outstanding Reviewer Award winner. [PDF]

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revised: 11-Jun-2021 10:38