The University of Massachusetts Amherst

News and Events

UMass sensory scientist researches how diminished taste function can affect cancer patients’ post-treatment diets


Alissa Nolden of UMass food Science set out to review the literature about the impact of cancer patients’ sense of taste and smell on their “food behavior,” defined as any behavior that affects patients’ overall nutritional health, such as their desire to eat, food preferences and consumption. Nolden’s goal is to develop a better understanding of changes in taste and how that affects cancer patients’ ability to enjoy food and meet optimum nutritional needs during and after treatment.  Her review evaluated 11 studies published between 1982 and 2018 “that psychophysically measured taste and smell function and assessed some aspect of food behavior.” Nolden found a reduced taste function, particularly for sweet flavors, among people with cancer. And that diminished taste was associated with a reduced appetite; avoidance of certain foods, including meat; and a lower intake of calories and protein.  CNS News December 18, 2019


David Julian McClements, Eric Decker and Hang Xiao are recognized among world’s most highly cited scientists

Ten researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have been recognized for being among the world’s most highly cited researchers in 2019 by London-based Clarivate Analytics, owner of the Web of Science. The ten UMass Amherst researchers recognized on the 2019 list are Catrine Tudor-Locke and Laura Vandenberg of the School of Public Health and Health Sciences, food scientists David Julian McClements, Eric Decker and Hang Xiao, microbiologist Kelly Nevin and Derek Lovley, materials scientist Thomas Russell and chemist Vincent Rotello in the College of Natural Sciences, and environmental chemist Baoshan Xing of the Stockbridge School of Agriculture. See more details on UMass News & Media Relations. November 22, 2019.

Food scientists create a model for NASA to predict spaceflight vitamin degradation

A team of food scientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has developed a groundbreaking, user-friendly mathematical model for NASA to help ensure that astronauts’ food remains rich in nutrients during extended missions in space.

The new research, published in the journal Food Chemistry, gives NASA a time-saving shortcut to predict the degradation of vitamins in spaceflight food over time and more accurately and efficiently schedule resupplying trips. The investigation was funded with a $982,685 grant from NASA.

College of Natural Sciences News Spetember 18, 2019 


Study Shows Frying Oil Consumption Worsened Colon Cancer and Colitis in Mice

Research by UMass Amherst food scientists compared effects of fresh and thermally processed oil

In the paper published Aug. 23 in Cancer Prevention Research, lead author and Ph.D. student Jianan Zhang, associate professor Guodong Zhang, and professor and department head Eric Decker showed that feeding frying oil to mice exaggerated colonic inflammation, enhanced tumor growth and worsened gut leakage, spreading bacteria or toxic bacterial products into the bloodstream.

News & Media Relations August 23, 2019

Maple Valley Creamery – UMass Food Science Ice Cream Competition Winners announced!

Congratulations to Team “Vanilla Chai” on their winning flavor concept in this year’s Maple Valley Creamery – UMass Food Science Ice Cream Competition. This year we had six teams present their unique flavor concepts to Maple Valley Creamery and a judging panel of eight culinary professionals. Maple Valley Creamery and the judges were impressed with all of the team’s submission, and ultimately selected the flavor that was the most ready to move into production. See picture of the winning team: “Vanilla Chai” - Ryan Claudino, Dietrich Pultinas, Adam Salhaney, Constantinos Argyrou, Amélia Vega. 

Congratulations to our fan favorite winners this year team “Blueberry Lemon Bar”- Team members: Joy Aberg, Aanal Bhavsar, Kristen Buermeyer, Austin Cain & Emily Kelly.

Thanks to Maple Valley Creamery, faculty and students for their support and congratulations to all the teams for a great competition!

22News ; News & Media Relations May 01, 2019