Food Safety and Post Harvest Research


Improving food safety and post-harvest technologies is the focus of the research teams of Leonard Williams, PhD, and Penelope Perkins-Veazie, PhD. Use the links below to learn more about how they are creating new approaches to prevent pathogenic contamination of foods and to preserve the phytochemical and nutritional content of fruits and vegetables at every step of the food distribution system. To the right, read the most recent headlines and journal articles about post-harvest and food safety research at the NC Research Campus.



Leonard L. Williams, PhD, is a professor, lead scientist and interim director for the NC A&T Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies (CEPHT). He is a specialist in the study of foodborne pathogens in fruits and vegetables. He uses molecular, immunological and epidemiological approaches to identify new strains and their ability to develop resistance. He is studying the genetic diversity and antimicrobial profile of pathogens, testing bioactive compounds from fruits and vegetables and their action against pathogens and developing novel techniques to inactivate food borne pathogens on the surfaces of produce and fruits as well as the hard surfaces that food contacts. Learn more.


Penelope Perkins-Veazie, PhD, is a post harvest physiologist with the NC State University Plants for Human Health Institute. She researches fruits and vegetables in terms of storage methods to extend shelf life and to enhance the nutritional compounds in functional foods. She identifies and quantifies health-related compounds and evaluates food safety, quality and consumer-appeal characteristics to benefit growers and consumers. Learn more.


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