Dennis J. D'Amico

Associate Professor- Dairy Foods

Dr. Dennis D'AmicoContact

   Phone: (860)486-0567

   Email: DDAmico@UConn.edu

   Office: ABL Room 302B

   Lab: ABL Room 315

   Lab Phone: (860)486-6586

 

Dr. D'Amico's Lab

In the News

Background

Education

  • Ph.D. (Food Microbiology), University of Vermont
  • M.S. (Food Microbiology/Technology), University of Vermont
  • B.S. (Nutrition and Food Sciences), Cum Laude, University of Vermont

Positions

  • 2019-present: Associate Professor, University of Connecticut, Dept. of Animal Science
    • 2018-present: Director of Graduate Studies, ANSC
  • 2013-present: Assistant Professor, University of Connecticut, Dept. of Animal Science
    • 2018-present: Graduate Program Chair, ANSC Graduate Studies Committee
  • 2008-2013: Senior Research Scientist and Lecturer, University of Vermont, Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese

Academics

Area of Interest

My primary research and outreach efforts focus on improving the safety and quality of cheese. I work extensively with small to very-small producers on product development, process control, environmental monitoring, and the development and implementation of food safety management systems. I develop, support and deliver workshops to provide dairy manufacturers and professionals with technical and scientific knowledge necessary to assure the consistent production and sale of safe, high quality cheese and dairy products. My research group examines the microbial ecology of dairy products, the prevalence of pathogenic bacteria in raw milk destined for cheesemaking, and microbial behavior during the manufacture and aging of various foods. Current projects seek to identify novel and natural interventions as preventive controls for pathogens in dairy foods.

Classes Taught

ANSC 3641 Animal Food Products: Dairy Technology
ANSC 3642W Scientific Writing in Animal Food Products: Dairy Technology
 

Academic Honors & Awards

  • 2020. New York Farmers Medal
  • 2016. Above and Beyond Award. American Cheese Society.
  • 2016. Young Scientist Award- Educator. American Society for Animal Science/American Dairy Science Association. Northeast Section.
  • 2013. Outstanding Leadership, Collaboration, and Education, Outreach/Public Engagement, Innovation center for US Dairy.
  • 2011. University of Vermont College of Agriculture and Life Sciences New Achiever Alumni Award
  • 2006. Developing Scientist Award. International Association of Food Protection
  • 2004. Graduate Student Teaching Award of Merit. North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture
  • 2002. Ruben and Rose Mattus Scholarship for undergraduate research

Recent Grants/Projects

  • Commercial bacteriophage preparations to control pathogens in milk and dairy products.
  • Evaluating the Antimicrobial Activity of a Novel Glycolipid.
  • Optimizing the Application of Hydrogen Peroxide to Control Listeria monocytogenes Contamination on the Surface of High-Moisture Cheese.
  • Impact of Protective Cultures on the Growth of Staphylococcus aureus in Milk and the Production of Enterotoxins.
  • S1077: Enhancing Microbial Food Safety by Risk Analysis. Storrs Agricultural Experiment Station Multistate Project.
  • Biocontrol of Foodborne Pathogens in Raw Milk for Cheesemaking using Novel Bacterial Antagonists.
  • Determining the efficacy of glycolipids to control Listeria monocytogenes in Queso Fresco.
  • Determining the Efficacy of Commercial Protective Cultures for the Control of Salmonella and Shiga-Toxin Producing Escherichia coli in Raw Milk for Cheesemaking.
  • Developing protective culture-based approaches to enhance the safety of raw milk cheese. 
  • Understanding nutrition through biomics.
  • Investigating the beneficial role of low-fat cheese and cheese starter cultures in the prevention of inflammatory bowel disease in a mouse colitis model.

Extension/Workshops

  • Technical Assistance and Training for Dairy Processors to Enhance Microbiological Quality and Safety
  • National Dairy Food Safety Plan Coaching Workshop
  • Artisan Food Safety Advisory Team
  • Food Safety for Artisan Cheesemakers - Online Course
  • www.safecheesemaking.org

Professional Memberships & Service

  • American Cheese Society
  • International Association for Food Protection (IAFP)
    • Editorial Board, Journal of Food Protection
    • Editorial Board, Protection Trends
    • IAFP Dairy Professional Development Group
  • Oldways Cheese Coalition
    • Academic Advisory Committee
  • Institute of Food Technologists (IFT)
    • Nutmeg Section of the Institute of Food Technologists
      • Chair of Scholarship & Awards Committee
  • American Dairy Science Association (ADSA)
  • American Public Health Association
    • Technical Committee for the 18th edition of Standard Methods for the Examination of Dairy Products
  • American Society for Microbiology (ASM)

Recent Publications

Aljasir, S.F, and D. D'Amico. 2020. The effect of protective cultures on Staphylococcus aureus growth and enterotoxin production. Food Microbiology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fm.2020.10354.

Gensler, C.A., Brown, S.R.B., Aljasir, S.F, and D. D'Amico. 2020. Compatibility of commercially produced protective cultures with common cheesemaking cultures and their antagonistic effect on foodborne pathogens. Journal of Food Protection. doi: 10.4315/JFP-19-614.

Aljasir, S.F., Gensler, C., Sun, L. and D'Amico, D.J., 2020. The efficacy of individual and combined commercial protective cultures against Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, O157 and non-O157 shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli in growth medium and raw milk. Food Control, 109: p.106924. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodcont.2019.106924

Brown, S.R.B., Kozak, S.M., and D. J. D’Amico. 2018. Applications of Edible Coatings Formulated with Antimicrobials Inhibit Listeria monocytogenes Growth on Queso Fresco. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems. doi:10.3389/fsufs.2018.00001

Brown, S.R.B., E. C. Forauer, and D. J. D’Amico. 2018. Effect of modified atmosphere packaging on the growth of spoilage microorganisms and Listeria monocytogenes on fresh cheese. Journal of Dairy Science. 101:7768-7779. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2017-14217

Kozak, S.M., Y. Bobak, and D.J. D’Amico.  2018. Efficacy of antimicrobials applied individually and in combination for controlling Listeria monocytogenes as surface contaminants on Queso Fresco.  Journal of Food Protection. 81(1):46-53.

Kozak, S.M., Y. Bobak, and D.J. D’Amico. 2018. Control of Listeria monocytogenes in whole milk using antimicrobials applied individually and in combination. Journal of Dairy Science. Journal of Dairy Science. 101:1–12. doi:10.3168/jds.2017-13648.

Brown, S. R. B., N.C. Millán-Borrero, J.C.  Carbonella, A.J.P.  Micheletti and D.J. D’Amico. 2017. Acidification of model cheese brines to control Listeria monocytogenes. Journal of Food Protection. 81(1):79-83.

Kozak, S.M., K.M. Margison, and D.J.  D’Amico. 2017. Synergistic antimicrobial combinations inhibit and inactivate Listeria monocytogenes in neutral and acidic broth systems. Journal of Food Protection. 80:1266-1272.

D’Amico. D.J. 2017. Recommendations and Outcomes from the First Artisan Cheese Food Safety Forum. Food Protection Trends. 37:332–339

D'Amico, D.J., and C.W. Donnelly. 2017. Growth and Survival of Microbial Pathogens in Cheese. In Cheese: Chemistry, Physics & Microbiology. 4th Edition. Academic Press.  ISBN: 9780124170124

American Cheese Society. 2017. Best Practices Guide for Cheesemakers. Available at: http://www.cheesesociety.org/events-education/best-practices-guide-for-cheesemakers/

Recent Abstracts and Presentations

Aljasir, S., and D. D'Amico. 2020. Protective Cultures Inhibit Staphylococcus aureus Growth and Enterotoxin Production. International Association for Food Protection Annual Conference 2020.

Sun, L. and D. D’Amico. 2020. Different ecological process structures microbiomes on cheese interior and rind. American Society for Microbiology Microbe 2020.

Robinson, B. and D. D'Amico. 2020. Antimicrobial Activity of Hydrogen Peroxide, With and Without Neutralization, Against Listeria monocytogenes on the Surface of High-moisture Cheese. International Association for Food Protection Annual Conference 2020.

Brown, S. R. B., and D. D'Amico. 2020. Effects of Commercially Available Antimicrobials on the Inhibition and Inactivation of Listeria monocytogenes biofilms. International Association for Food Protection Annual Conference 2020.

Brown, S. R. B., and D. D'Amico. 2020. Effect of Sub-Inhibitory Concentrations of Antimicrobials on Listeria monocytogenes motility and Its Ability to Adhere to and Invade Caco-2 Cells. International Association for Food Protection Annual Conference 2020.

D'Amico, D., and S. R. B. Brown. 2019. Interventions to control Listeria monocytogenes as a surface contaminant on high moisture cheese. ADSA 2019.

Aljasir, S., Gensler, C., and D. D'Amico. 2019.  Determining the Effect of Individual or Combined Protective Cultures on the Growth of Listeria monocytogenes and Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli in Raw Milk. IAFP 2019.

Gensler, C, and D. D'Amico. 2019.  Evaluation of Commercially Available Protective Cultures to Control Listeria monocytogenes and Shiga-Toxin Producing Escherichia coli in Soft, Surface-Mold Ripened Raw Milk Cheese. IAFP 2019.

Sun, L. and D. D'Amico. 2019. Source Tracking and Succession of Microbial Communities during the Production of a Farmstead Cheese. IAFP 2019.

Brown, S. R. B., E. Forauer ‚ and D. D'Amico. 2018. The Effect of Modified Atmosphere Packaging Conditions on Microbial Contaminants in Queso Fresco. Journal of Food Protection. 81 (suppl.):272

Forauer, E.,  S. R. B. Brown, and D. D'Amico. 2018. Surface Application of a Novel Glycolipid to Control Listeria monocytogenes on Queso Fresco. Journal of Food Protection. 81 (suppl.):272

Gensler, C., and D. D'Amico. 2018. Determining the Efficacy of Protective Cultures for the Control of Listeria monocytogenes and Non-O157 Shiga Toxin-producing Escherichia coli in Raw Milk for Cheesemaking.  Journal of Food Protection. 81 (suppl.):63

Sun, L., and D. D'Amico. 2018. Antimicrobial Activity of Commercial Protective Cultures against Listeria monocytogenes and Escherichia coli O157:H7. Journal of Food Protection. 81 (suppl.):37

Barnes, S. R., N.C. Millán-Borrero, J.C.  Carbonella, A.J.P.  Micheletti and D.J. D’Amico. 2017. Acidification Treatments for The Control of Listeria monocytogenes in Model Cheese Brines. Journal of Food Protection. 80 (suppl.):225

Barnes, S. R., S.M. Kozak and D.J. D’Amico.  2017. Application of Edible Coatings Formulated with Antimicrobials to Control Listeria monocytogenes on Fresh Cheese. Journal of Food Protection. 80 (suppl.):55

Kozak, S.M., Y. Bobak, and D.J. D’Amico.  2017. Efficacy of individual and combinatory antimicrobial dip treatments for the control of Listeria monocytogenes as surface contaminants on fresh cheese. Journal of Food Protection. 80 (suppl.):57

Recent Invited Presentations

Of Cheese and Microbes. Michigan State University Food Science and Human Nutrition Department Seminar Series. Fall 2019.

Antimicrobial strategies for the control of Listeria monocytogenes on high moisture cheese. 2019. Annual Meeting of the International Association for Food Protection.

Overview of Cheese Industry and Safety: Regulatory Concerns and Initiatives. 2019. Annual Meeting of the National Association of Dairy Regulatory Officials.

Raw Milk Cheese Food Safety Plan Design. Presented at the 2019 annual conference of the American Cheese Society. Richmond, VA.

Enhancing Dairy Food Safety and Quality Through Research and Education. Penn State Food Science Department Seminar Series. Spring 2019.

Listeria monocytogenes in the dairy plant and the impact of molecular sub-typing. 2018. Tech Talk. Land O' Lakes.
Interventions to control Listeria monocytogenes in dairy products. 2017. 52nd Annual American Society for Microbiology Region I Meeting.
 

Hobbies/Non-Academic Interests

With my free time I like to spend time with my family and pets (3 dogs and a rabbit).  I like to cook but love to ferment foods.  In addition to kombucha, cheese, and other dairy products, I am also a competitive homebrewer.

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Department of Animal Science
Unit 4040
17 Manter Road
Storrs, CT 06269-4040

*Spring 2021 Hours and Contact*
Main office open Monday–Thursday, 12pm–4pm.
*Please call before coming to the office*

For remote assistance Monday–Friday, 8am–4pm, please call 860-486-2413 and leave a voicemail

Fax: (860) 486-4375
Email: AnimalScience@UConn.edu