Louise Wicker

Wicker, Louise
Title Retired Professor
Department School of Nutrition and Food Sciences
E-mail LWicker@agcenter.lsu.edu
Address 1 297B Knapp Hall
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Phone 225-578-6153
Fax 225-578-4443

Professional Positions Held

Professor, 2018-present, Louisiana State University AgCenter, School of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Baton Rouge, LA; Professor & Director, 2015-2018, Louisiana State University AgCenter, School of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Baton Rouge, LA

Adjunct Faculty, 2015-present, University of Georgia, Dept. Nutrition and Foods, Athens, GA

Professor, 2000-2015, Associate Professor, 1994-2000, Assistant Professor 1988 -1994. University of Georgia, Dept. of Food Science & Technology, Athens, GA; 60% research/ 40% instruction

Interim Director of Diversity Relations, July 2007-September, 2008, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of Georgia; Coordinator, Master’s Food Technology, 2000-2015; University of Georgia, Dept. of Food Science & Technology, Athens, GA

Obesity Initiative- Food Ingredients and Obesity Team Leader, UGA, 2013-2015

Assistant Professor, University of Florida, Citrus Research and Education Center, Dept. of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Lake Alfred, FL, 1984-88


North Carolina State University

Ph.D. (Food Science)

Honors and Awards

International and National awards

Elizabeth Stier Award, 2017. Institute of Food Technologists

Fellow, IAUFoST, 2010. International Academy of Food Science and Technology of IUFoST

Fellow, 2007. Institute of Food Technologists

Fellow, IFST, 2005. Institute of Food Science and Technology, the United Kingdom

National Recognition

Centennial Distinguished Alumnus, 1988, Clemson University, Clemson, SC.

Phi Tau Sigma (Honor Society of Food Science), 1990-present

Sigma Xi (The Scientific Research Society), 1991-2009, 2015

Gamma Sigma Delta (Honor Society for Agriculture), 1991-present

Elected President, Phi Tau Sigma, Food Science Honor Society, 2003-04

Major Responsibilities and Accomplishments

Louise Wicker is a food chemist with expertise in pectin chemistry function, processing technology, with an expansive view of food science, nutrition, packaging and barriers to healthier food choices. Crafting shelf stable foods that are healthy and delectable, fit into a too busy lifestyle and affordable are part of her vision for dietary interventions. Current interests include how shelf stable, center-of-the-aisle foods can be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle and contribute to food security sustainability. The topic is of high importance because healthier food choices lead to reduced incidences of chronic health.The direct costs of chronic diseases and the increased risk factor of obesity and overweight, was estimated at $480.7 billion; an additional $1.24 trillion was estimated in indirect costs associated with lost economic productivity (https://www.milkeninstitute.org/publications/view/944).

Food and culture contributes strongly to quality of life. Family celebrations, holidays, and other special events typically center on food. Special foods, indulgence, and enjoyment are center to these occasions. However, routine, day-to-day meal preparation is a challenge in households. Fast food, quick service restaurants, rotisserie chicken and a salad, the grocery deli menu, pre-cut meats and vegetables, home meal delivery and other convenience based foodservice are part of routine family meal plans and are not always healthy-choice options.

The largest percentage of purchased foods is still within the category of processed and convenience foods, despite declared interest in organic, local, fresh foods. The projected size of the global shelf-stable packaging market in 2024 will exceed $358 billion https://www.transparencymarketresearch.com/shelf-stable-packaging-market.html.

Shelf-stable, ready-to-eat, portion sized packages, combined with controlled process parameters like micro-oxygen processing, agitating retort technology, packaging and ambient distribution channels can play a larger role in healthier food choices. Packaging and product positioning influence consumer choice. Consumer insights research to identify what shoppers want, messages that resonate with consumers can be uncovered with conjoint analysis, to craft powerful packaging and marketing claims for innovative, healthier, sustainable food products (King, Wicker, Moskowitz, Food Technology, March 2016, p 41).

Dr. Wicker is author or co-author of over 200 publications on topics dealing with proteins, enzymes and pectic substances applied to food processing and packaging, ingredient technology and healthy foods. She has published over 130 peer reviewed journal articles, peer reviewed book chapters, a patent, and numerous published abstracts. Dr. Wicker has advised over 63 Ph.D., M.S., MFT, post-docs, and visiting scientists, mentored minority undergraduate researchers, undergraduate assistants, high school interns, and served on numerous advisory committees.

Classroom and Other Instruction – Louisiana State University, 2015-present

NFS 7030, Spring 2016, 3 credits, Graduate course to develop effective recruiting activities

NFS 7004, Fall odd years, 2 credits, Graduate Seminar, Pennington Biomedical Center & SNFS

NFS 7005, Fall even years, 2 credits, Graduate Seminar, Pennington Biomedical Center & SNFS

NFS 9000, Member, Graduate faculty

International Speaker/ Lecturer - selected

Invited keynote speaker. Wicker, L. 2016. Pectin as a bioactive, gelling, and emulsifying ingredient – structure and function. International Symposium of Food Science, Shenyang, Liaoning, China, August 1-2, 2016

Invited keynote speaker. Wicker, L. 2016. Crossing Borders, Bridging Disciplines, and Building Collaborations in Food Science, University Key Laboratory of Microbiology, College of Life Science, Heilongjiang University, Harbin 150080, China, August 4.

Selected Refereed Chapters in Books & Refereed Journal Articles

Lin, Z., Pattathil, S., Hahn, M.G., & Wicker, L. (2019). Blueberry cell wall fractionation, characterization and glycome profiling. Food Hydrocolloids, 90, 385-393

Koh, J., Xu, Z. M., & Wicker, L. (2018). Blueberry Pectin Extraction Methods Influence Physico-Chemical Properties. Journal of Food Science, 83(12), 2954-2962. doi:10.1111/1750-3841.14380

Karnik, D., & Wicker, L. (2018). Emulsion stability of sugar beet pectin fractions obtained by isopropanol fractionation. Food Hydrocolloids, 74, 249-254. doi:10.1016/j.foodhyd.2017.07.041

Morales-Contreras, B. E., Rosas-Flores, W., Contreras-Esquivel, J. C., Wicker, L., & Morales-Castro, J. (2018). Pectin from Husk Tomato (Physalis ixocarpa Brot.): Rheological behavior at different extraction conditions. Carbohydrate Polymers, 179, 282-289.

Wicker, L.; Kim, Y. (2015). Pectin and Health. In: Encyclopedia of Food and Health. Elsevier, Eds: Benjamin Caballero, Paul Finglas, Fidel Toldra.

Brody, A.L.; Wicker, L. (2014). Micro-oxygen: The next giant step in packaged food preservation. Food Technology 68(3), 79-81.

Wicker, L., Kim, Y., Kim M-J., Thirkield, B., Lin, Z., Jung, J. (2014) Pectin as a bioactive polysaccharide – extracting tailored function from less. Food Hydrocolloids, 41, Special Issue, 251-259. Food Hydrocolloids, 42, 251-259. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodhyd.2014.01.002

Jung J, Arnold, R & Wicker L. 2013. Pectin and charge modified pectin hydrogel beads as a colon-targeted drug delivery carrier. Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces 104: 116-121.

Morris, C., Brody, A.L., Wicker, L. 2007. Non-thermal food processing/preservation technologies: A review of packaging implications. Packaging Technol. And Sci. 20(4): 275-286.

Kuchel, L., Brody, A.L., Wicker, L. 2006. Oxygen and its Reactions in Beer. Packaging Technology and Science 19: 25-32.

Banjongsinsiri, P., Shields, J. and Wicker, L. 2004. Vacuum Infusion of Plant or Fungal Pectinmethylesterase and Calcium Affects Texture and Structure of Eggplant. J. Agric. Food Chem. 52(26): 8214-8223.

Ackerley, J.L. and Wicker, L. 2003. Floc Formation and Changes In Serum Soluble Cloud Components Of Fresh Valencia Orange Juice. J. Food Sci. 68(4): 1169-1174.

Articles Regarding Health, Consumer Choice and Shelf Stable Foods

King, J., Wicker, L., & Moskowitz, H. (2016). Influencing Consumer Choice for Healthier Products. Food Technology, 70(3), 40-47.

Dinaso, C., Wicker, L., Krieger, B., Moskowitz, H. 2015. How to identify the perfect product claim: Mind Genomics uncovers the specific messages for healthier living, for specific products, for specific people. World of Food Ingredients, March 2015, 48-51.

King, J. 2018. Expanding regional boundaries via shelf-life extension. Packworld.com, April, 2018, 90-94.

Abstracts & Presentations


Koh, J.; Xu, Z.; Wicker, L. (2019). Blueberry Pectin-Anthocyanin Interactions Influenced by pH and Ionic Strength. IFT Annual Meeting, June 5-8, 2019, New Orleans, LA

**Wicker, L., Koh, J. Blueberry Pectin Structures, Anthocyanin binding and stability, and health implications. (2019) Pectin Symposium, IFT Annual Meeting, June 5-8, 2019, New Orleans, LA

Wicker, L., King, J. (2019). Another Food Fusion – shelf stable, healthy, convenient foods in the global marketplace. IFT Annual Meeting, June 5-8, 2019, New Orleans, LA


Koh, J.; Xu, Z.; Wicker, L. (088) (2018). Binding of Anthocyanins to Blueberry Pectins Influences In-Vitro Degradation of Anthocyanins. IFT Annual Meeting, July 15-18, 2018, Chicago, IL

Koh, J.; Xu, Z.; Wicker, L. Po46. (2018). Interaction Between Anthocyanins and Blueberry Pectins: Structural Aspects. 14th International Hydrocolloids Conference, May 21-25, 2018, Nanchang, China

Morales-Contreras, B.E.; W. Rosas-Flores, J.A. Gallegos-Infante, J.C. Contreras-Esquivel, L. Wicker, J. Morales-Castro. (2018). Enzymatic de-esterification of apple pomace (Malus domestica var. Blanca de Asturias) pectin: as a tool to design custom-made pectins. Latin Food 2018. Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, México. November 14-16.

Morales-Contreras, B.E.; W. Rosas-Flores, J. Morales-Castro, L. Wicker, (2018). Extraction and de-esterification of apple pomace (Malus domestica var. Blanca de Asturias) soluble polysaccharide. Canadian Institute of Food Science and Technology, May 29-31, 2018.

Morales-Contreras, B.E.; W. Rosas-Flores, L. Wicker, J. Morales-Castro. 2018. Use of apple pomace from a pollinating variety to obtain a pectic polysaccharide with potential use in the food industry: obtaining and characterization. Institute of Food Technologists IFT. Chicago, Illinois, USA. July 16-18.

** Invited

Research Grants and Contracts

Frito-Lay, Inc. Production and Consumption of Tubers worldwide for Health and Nutrition. Frito-Lay, Wicker, L. (PI), Losso, J., Xu, Z., Prinyawiwatkul, W., Sathi, S., King, J., 2016-

PepsiCo, Inc. Pectin Analysis, Wicker, L. 2016-

PepsiCo, Inc., Pectin Quality Analysis, Wicker, L., 2017-

PepsiCo, Inc., HLB Citrus & Pectin Analysis, Wicker, L., 2019-

LSU BOR, Targeted Enhancement, Wicker, L. Economic and Workforce Development in Food Manufacturing, 2019-

UHBBC, Shelf stable blueberry products, pending

Gifts to Support Thermal Processing Research

Allpax - SHAKA2402 R&D retort, on loan

Control GMC – Food packaging and sealing equipment

Sonoco - containers and film

Sielgan - rigid containers; Sielgan cans

Beamis - film

Current Membership, and Other Special Assignments in Professional Societies

Institute of Food Technologists (IFT)

Education Division, Food Chemistry Division, Fruit and Vegetable Division, Carbohydrate Division, International Division

American Chemical Society (ACS)

Agricultural and Food Chemistry Division (AGFC)

Institute of Food Thermal Processing Specialists (IFTPS)

Louisiana Extension Association Family and Consumer Sciences (LEAFCS)

Gamma Sigma Delta (GSD)

Innovate . Educate . Improve Lives

The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture