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LSU AgCenter, College of Agriculture name new director of School of Nutrition and Food Sciences

Dr. Louise WickerBATON ROUGE, La – Louise Wicker, a food scientist who spent much of her career on the faculty at the University of Georgia, has been named director of the LSU AgCenter and College of Agriculture School of Nutrition and Food Sciences.

Wicker started on July 1.

She spent 27 years at the University of Georgia where she was an assistant professor, then professor of food science and technology. There she coordinated the Master of Food Technology, a part-time degree program for full-time working professionals in the food industry, and managed the transition to a fully online degree program.

Wicker also served as the team leader of UGA’s Food Ingredients and Obesity group under the university’s obesity initiative. Wicker was drawn to the AgCenter because the school includes both nutrition and food sciences as well as the school’s relationship with Pennington Biomedical Research Center.

“Nutrition and Food Sciences is a great program. It has the right elements in place, and it is unique in the country,” Wicker said.

Wicker said she is interested in expanding the health and wellness programs to address obesity.

“The Southeast is the obesity belt, and obesity is home for so many chronic health problems,” she said.

Wicker also wants to engage the food industry in the process to help develop healthier food products and to develop, validate and craft messages to consumers that will help them buy and consume healthful foods.

“You can’t just say, ‘Broccoli is good for you, eat your broccoli,’” she said. “That broccoli has to be in a food form that the consumer wants to eat, and the message has to resonate with the consumer. We have to change our message to change lifestyles.”

Wicker describes herself as a foodie but realizes not everyone has a passion for food as she does. She said the food industry needs to have what she calls “food for the rest of us” – food that meets taste, cost and convenience criteria. She also said food scientists have to help make healthier an easier choice for consumers.

Food safety is a priority under the health and wellness umbrella, Wicker said. “Ensuring food safety with all players in the value-added chain from production to consumption is integral to our mission, with programs that work with private industry and regulatory bodies and those that teach people how to choose foods and to prepare them safely,” she said.

Wicker received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Clemson University and received a doctorate from North Carolina State University.

Her research has focused mainly on pectin chemistry and looking at pectin as a delivery vehicle for encapsulated nutrients or antioxidants and as a means to protect beneficial nutrients in foods from damages of processing and digestion.

Louise Wicker can be reached at 225-578-5207 or lwicker@agcenter.lsu.edu.

Writer: Tobie Blanchard at 225-578-5649 or tblanchard@agcenter.lsu.edu
Permanent link to article: AgCenter Headline News

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 School of Nutrition and Food Sciences fulfills the land grant mission through excellence in teaching, research, and outreach, improving the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities in Louisiana and globally.

NFS Graduate & Undergraduate Scholarships

Application Deadline November 6, 2015.

A complete application package should be placed in a manila envelope addressed to Petrie Baker and delivered to her by 3:00 pm on November 6, 2015 in room 297 Knapp Hall.

Only one application is required to be considered for all graduate scholarships, but be sure to include all required information which may be different.

Only one application is required to be considered for all undergraduate scholarships, but be sure to include all required information which may be different.

The successful candidates will be announced at the Thanksmas Dinner Meeting on November 18, 2015.

Download scholarship information, and application:

  • Application Form for all scholarships - PDF
  • Graduate Scholarships: Information and requirements - PDF
  • Undergraduate Scholarships: Information and requirements - PDF

Upcoming Events

14 December 2015

Sanitation Control Procedures for Fish and Fishery Products(SCP) Training
Registration is now open for the the Sanitation Control Procedures for Fish and Fishery Products (SCP). The Sanitation Control Procedures training is intended to assist the seafood industry in developing and implementing “Sanitation Control Procedures” as mandated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

For more information, and a link to registration, go the Sanitation Control Procedures for Fish and Fishery Products (SCP) Training page.

15-17 December 2015

Basic Seafood HACCP Training
Registration is now open for the the Basic Seafood HACCP Training. Training in Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) is mandated for the seafood processors by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Basic HACCP courses teach the principles of HACCP and empower processors to develop HACCP plans specific for each seafood product they handle or produce.

For more information, and a link to registration, go the Basic Seafood HACCP Training page.

12-13 January 2016
Acidified Foods School

Registration will be available soon...
To assist food industries in complying with the FDA/USDA regulations, a two-day Acidified Foods School for supervisors of acidified food plants is offered by the LSU AgCenter School of Nutrition and Food Sciences in conjunction with the FDA and the Grocery Manufacturers Association Science & Education Foundation (GMA SEF).

See the 2016 Acidified Foods School page for more information


24 September 2015

NFS Faculty members, Achyut Adhikari and Marlene E. Janes, are featured in Louisiana Agriculture-Summer Edition: Water Use and Food Safety in the Fresh Produce Market.

27 August 2015

IFT's Journal of Food Sciences' “Take 5 for Food Science” videos showcase interesting new research published in the journal. The series features authors discussing highlights and applications of their latest research projects.

The most recent video highlights research that was performed at LSU by Dr. Witoon Prinyawiwatkul. Damir Dennis Torrico, PhD, discusses saltiness and bitterness perception in emulsion systems, from his group's study, "Psychophysical Effects of Increasing Oil Concentrations on Saltiness and Bitterness Perception of Oil-in-Water Emulsions" (JFS 80(8):S1885-1892. DOI: 10.1111/1750-3841.12945).

The video is available online under the Journal of Food Science: Take 5 for Food Science, August 2015 video link

18 August 2015

The Student Handbook: Didactic Program in Dietetics has been revised. The most current version, August-2015, is available as a PDF for download. The revised handbook and other important information for students currently enrolled in the Dietetics program can be found on the Dietetics AoC page of the School of Nutrition and Food Sciences website: http://nfs.lsu.edu/academics/aoc-dietetics.htm#p3

4 August 2015
Kids become chefs for week at nutrition camp

ALEXANDRIA, La. – The last week of July provided a week full of food, fun and nutrition education for 20 Louisiana youth ages 9 to 12 who attended Kid Chef Nutrition Camp July 28-31.

LSU AgCenter area nutrition agent Quincy Cheek said the objective was to get youth into the kitchen at a young age to learn early about kitchen safety, food safety, the importance of eating healthy and being active.

16 July 2015

Subramaniam “Sathi” Sathivel’s students from the School of Nutrition and Food Sciences (NFS) and Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering (BAE) have won several awards for presenting papers at the 2015 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) annual meeting in Chicago.

The details of the awards and paper presentations are available on our News page. Join us in congratulating these students! In the last eight years Sathi’s students won 50 awards for presenting papers at international, national, and local scientific meetings.

Go to: News Archives

revised: 12-Nov-2015 15:15