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Kumar Mallikarjunan



Ph.D., Biological Engineering, University of Guelph, Canada, 1993

M.E., Agricultural & Food Engineering, Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand, 1988

B.E., Agricultural Engineering, Tamilnadu Agricultural University, India, 1986


July 2014 – present - Professor, Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA

July 2004 – June 2014 - Associate Professor, Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA

January 1999 – June 2004 - Assistant Professor, Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA

September 1993 – December 1998 - Post-doctoral research associate, Center for Food Safety and Quality Enhancement, University of Georgia, Griffin, GA

August 1988 – August 1989 - Research Associate, Agricultural and Food Engineering Division, Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand

Selected Major Awards

  • 2011 – ASABE Leadership Citation Award
  • 2009 – Departmental nominee for College of Engineering Outstanding Teaching Award

Courses Taught Last Five Years

  • BSE 4004 - Instrumentation for measurement and control of biological systems
  • BSE 4604 - Food Process Engineering
  • BSE 4514 - Industrial Processing of Biological Materials
  • BSE 5604 - Advanced Food Engineering
  • BSE 5114 - Physical properties of biological materials

Program Focus

My research program is two folded: process development and nondestructive sensing.  In process development area, I work in the development of novel frying methods, novel inactivation methods, microwave assisted methods for extraction of phytochemicals, high pressure processing of meats and seafood, and mathematical modeling of cooking processes.  My research is focused on the use of technologies like electronic nose, spectroscopy and ultrasound for development of nondestructive methods to evaluate quality, detect pathogen and toxin contaminations and develop rapid tools for medical diagnostics.

Current Projects

  • Detection of Aspergillus spp and aflatoxin in peanuts and peanut products using Fourier Transformation Infrared spectroscopy. This is a USAID funded project (Peanut CRSP) and involves host institutions in East Africa.  
  • Development of rapid methods to inactivate pathogens in spices – is a multidisciplinary project and work with food science and horticulture faculty.  
  • Characterize the effects of high hydrostatic pressure processing on the quality of meat products with specific emphasis on the role of natural antimicrobials.  
  • Development of point of care diagnostic tool to assess the oxidative stress injury using electronic nose technology – is a multidisciplinary project with Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine.  
  • Development of point of care diagnostic tool to evaluate prostate cancer – is a multidisciplinary project with College of Veterinary Medicine and Carillion Medical School

Selected Recent Publications

(* undergraduate student, ** graduate student, *** post-doc)

  • Lohani V., M. Wolfe, T. Wildman, K. Mallikarjunan, and J. Connor. 2011. Reformulating general engineering and biological systems engineering programs at Virginia Tech.  Advances in Engineering Education 2(4): 30 pp. Link to Publication
  • Wolfe, M.L., T. Wildman, K. Mallikarjunan, V. Lohani, and J. Connor. 2009. Spiral Curriculum to Facilitate Student Learning and Development. In: Roy, R., ed. Engineering Education: Perspectives, Issues and Concerns. Delhi, India: Shipra Publications. pp. 419-436.
  • Koo J., M. Jahncke, P. Reno, X. Hu, and P. Mallikarjunan. 2006. Inactivation of Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Vibrio vulnificus in phosphate-buffered saline and in inoculated whole oysters by high pressure processing. J. Food Prot. 69(3):596-601.
  • Powell J., S. Duncan, R. Williams, P. Mallikarjunan, W. Eigel, and S. O’Keefe. 2006. Flavor fade in peanuts during short term storage. J. Food Sci. 71(3):S265-S269.
  • Ballard T., and P. Mallikarjunan. 2006. The Effect of Edible Film Coatings and Pressure Frying using Nitrogen Gas on the Crispness of Breaded Fried Chicken Nuggets. J. Food Sci. 71(3): S259-S264.
  • Innawong B., P. Mallikarjunan, J. Marcy, and J. Cundiff. 2006. Pressure Conditions and Quality of Chicken Nuggets Fried Under Gaseous Nitrogen Atmosphere. J. Food Proc. Preserv. 30:  231-245.
  • Pathange L., P. Mallikarjunan, R. Marini, S. O’Keefe, and D. Vaughan. 2006. Non-destructive evaluation of apple maturity using an electronic nose system -A statistical approach. J. Food Eng. 77: 1018-1023.
  • Ballard T., P. Mallikarjunan, and S. Duncan. 2007. Consumer assessment of crispness of pressure fried chicken nuggets using nitrogen gas. J. Foodservice. 18(1):1-6.
  • Hu X., P. Mallikarjunan, and D. Vaughan. 2008. Development of Non-destructive Methods to Evaluate Oyster Quality by Electronic Nose Technology, Sensing Instr. Food Qual. Safety 2(1):51-57.
  • Sarnoski P.*, M. Jahncke, S. O'Keefe, P. Mallikarjunan, and G. Flick. 2008. Determination of quality attributes of blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) meat by electronic nose and draeger-tube analyses. J. Aquatic Food Product Tech. 17(3): 234-252.
  • Martin, A*., Mallikarjunan, P.K.; and Zoecklein, B.W. 2008. Discrimination of Wines Produced from Cabernet Sauvignon Grapes Treated with Aqueous Ethanol Post-Bloom Using an Electronic Nose, International J. Food Eng. Vol. 4(2), Article 14.
  • Athamneh, A.I.*, B.W. Zoecklein, and P.K. Mallikarjunan. 2008. Electronic nose evaluation of Cabernet Sauvignon fruit maturity. J. Wine Res. 19:69-80.
  • Hong J.*, S. Duncan, A. Dietrich, S. O'Keefe, W. Eigel, and P. Mallikarjunan. 2009. Interaction of copper and human salivary proteins. J. Agric. Food Chem. 57: 6967-6975.
  • Ballard, T.S., P. Mallikarjunan, K. Zhou, and S. O’Keefe. 2009. Optimizing the Extraction of Phenolic Antioxidants from Peanut Skins Using Response Surface Methodology. J. Agric. Food Chem. 57: 3064–3072.
  • Varshney, M. and P. Mallikarjunan. 2009. Challenges in Biosensor Development. Resource: Engineering and Technology for a Sustainable World 16(7): 18-21.
  • Sarnoski*, P., S. O'Keefe, M. Jahncke, P. K. Mallikarjunan and G. Flick. 2010. Analysis of crab meat volatiles as possible spoilage indicators of blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) meat by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. J. Food Chem. 122:930-935
  • Ballard*, T.S., P.K. Mallikarjunan, K. Zhou, and O'Keefe, S. 2010. Microwave assisted extraction of phenolic antioxidant compounds from peanut skins. Food Chem. 120: 1185-1192.
  • Holland, K., M. Balota, W. Eigel, P. Mallikarjunan, J. Tanko, K. Zhou, and S. O'Keefe. 2011. ORAChromatography and total phenolic contents of peanut root extracts.  J. Food Sci. (In Press)

Selected Recent Funding

  • Mallikarjunan P. and Lo, Y.M., 2011-2012. Conference of Food Engineering, USDA-AFRI. $47,950.
  • Mallikarjunan P. 2008-2011. Development of active biodegradable packaging to extend shelf life of organically produced farm produce. USDA-CSREES. $58,105.
  • Mallikarjunan P. 2009-2010 Development of learning modules in MATLAB for implementing in BSE Courses. Mathworks Inc. $15,044.
  • Duncan S., J. Marcy, M. Jahncke, P. Mallikarjunan. 2009-2010. Sensory and physical assessment of microbiologically safe culinary processes for fish and seafood. Fisheries Scholarship Fund. $20,000.
  • Jahncke M., P. Mallikarjunan. 2009-2010. Thermal Inactivation Studies for Salmonella and Vibrio parahaemolyticus in Seafood. Virginia Sea Grant. $70,000.
  • Jahncke M., P. Mallikarjunan. 2008-2009. Thermal inactivation of Salmonella and Vibrio parahaemolyticus in seafood. National Fisheries Institute. $20,000.
  • Mallikarjunan P., P. Brolinson. 2007-2009. Chemosensory evaluation of oxidative stress in long distance runners. ICTAS. $52,646.
  • Christie M., P. Mallikarjunan. 2007-2012. Improving the health and livelihood of people of East Africa by addressing aflatoxin and gender-related constraints in peanut production, processing and marketing, USAID Peanut Collaborative Research Program. $613,000.
  • Lohani V., J. Connor, K. Mallikarjunan, M. Wolfe, T. Wildman, 2004-2009. Reformulating General Engineering and Biological Systems Engineering Programs at Virginia Tech. National Science Foundation. $996,239.