Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences [Dept. of Food Science]

Tung Ching Lee, Ph. D.

Dr. Lee    Faculty Links


Dr. TUNG-CHING LEE is a Professor II (Distinguished Professor of Food Science and Nutrition) with the Department of Food Science, the Center for Advanced Food Technology, as well as the Institute of Marine and Coastal Science at Cook College, Rutgers University. Dr. Lee received his B.S. in Chemistry, Summa Cum Laude from Tung-Hai University in Taiwan, his M.S. (Food Science) and Ph.D. (Agricultural Chemistry) from the University of California, Davis, California. He is a certified C.N.S. (Certified Nutrition Specialist) by U.S. Certification Board for Nutrition Specialists.

Dr. Lee focuses on enhancing food quality by using fundamental approaches through Multidisciplinary research.  Dr. Lee’s research interests are grouped into three main, but overlapping, categories: 1. Molecular Mechanism-Based Chemistry approaches to Food Quality Enhancement; 2. Process Technology Approaches to Food Quality enhancement; and 3.Biotechnological Approaches to Food Quality Enhancement. Dr. Lee's major research interests include biotechnological applications in food technology. These include biogenic ice nucleating active components for energy saving and improved quality in the freezing and storage of food.  He is also interest in the production of Pleurocidin, a natural antimicrobial peptide from the Winter Flounder, in genetically engineered microorganisms for food application.  Additionally, his work concentrates on safety and toxicological aspects of food processing, nitrification of food through food processing and fortification technology and bioavailability of micronutrients, research and development of nutraceuticals science and technology, nonenzymatic Maillard reaction in foods, seafood science and technology, processing and nutrition of foods for NASA advanced support system on space station for long term trips (e.g., to Mars, etc.), development of multi-disciplinary approaches and chemical markers for food quality evaluation, biochemistry, chemistry, and nutrition of carotenoids and Vitamin A, food extrusion technology, new food products and new processes development, aquaculture, feed technology, and applied research programs of food technology and nutrition for developing countries.

Dr. Lee is author or coauthor of more than 230 research papers and 30 book chapters. He edited two books. He was elected as a Scientific Editor for the Journal of Food Science section on "Sensory and nutritive Qualities of Food (flavor, color and texture assessment, both quantitative and subjective, nutritional properties, nutraceuticals, and quality attributes as influenced by processing/storage/packaging)" and section on Food ,Nutrition and Health since January 2000. The Journal of food science has the largest circulation of any food science journal worldwide. In May 2001, Professor Lee was appointed by the National Research Council (NRC)/The National Academies, U.S.A., to serve on the committee “Defining Science-based Concern Associated with the Products of Biotechnology” which is an ad hoc steering committee of the NRC’s Committee on Agricultural Biotechnology, Health, and the Environmental (CABHE). Dr. Lee is a member of many professional societies, including the Institute of Food Technologists, the American Institute of Nutrition, the American Chemical Society, the American Society for Microbiology, AAAS, Institute of Packaging, the American Management Association, Sigma Xi, Phi Tau Sigma and Phi Kappa Phi. Before coming to Rutgers University, he served as a Professor at the University of Rhode Island. Prior to that he worked as a Senior Food Scientist at Hunt-Wesson in California. He also served as a Senior Visiting Scientist at the Nestle Research Centre in Switzerland and Unilever Cornworth Research Center in United Kingdom. He has developed several types of new products and three new processes now in production and on sale in the U.S. national and international market. He holds several patents. Two of his patented processes have been commercialized in industrial production.

Dr. Lee received the prestige 2007 Bobcock-Hart Award  for contributions to food technology that improve public health through nutrition or more nutritious food by  Institute of Food Technologists and International of Life Science Institute. In 2003, Dr. Lee had the highest honor to be elected as a Fellow of the International Academy of Food Science and Technology (IAFoST). He received the “Board of Trustees Award for Excellence in Research”, the Rutgers University’s highest honor for distinguished research contribution, in  2003. He was awarded a “Sustained Research Excellence Award”, Cook College/NJ Agricultural Experiment Station, Rutgers University, 2002. In 1981 Dr. Lee was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists. Dr. Lee's citation notes that "he has effectively used the basic science of chemistry and microbiology in pursuing applied programs in food technology, His contributions to the food industry via this route are outstanding." In 1998, he was elected as a Fellow of the American Chemical Society recognizes his outstanding scientific contributions to the field of agricultural and food chemistry. In addition, he has won numerous awards, including the Harvard-Yen-Ching Institute Scholarship, University of California Reagent Fellowship, the "Future Leader Award' from the Nutrition Foundation, an "Honorary Professorship" from Wuxi Institute of Light Industry, Wuxi, P.R. China, the "Achievement Award" from the Chinese American Food Society and the "Research Scientist of the Year Award" from the University of Rhode Island. Elected as a Fellow, the American Institute of Chemists. A "Certificate of Appreciation" and a "Plaque of Tribute" were presented to Dr. Lee by the Republic of China for outstanding contributions made in the progress and development of the food industry in that country. He has served as Principal Investigator for research grants from NSF, NIH, Nutrition Foundation, U.S.D.A., NASA, EPA, DOD, USAID, SBIR,DOD, Sea Grant and the food industry. Dr. Lee has also served as research project collaborator and consultant for many U.S. and international institutes and the food industry. Dr. Lee's national and international activities have involved collaborative studies with researchers in thirteen countries on six continents