Daniel Y. C. Fung

Professor of animal sciences and industry
Professor of food science

Daniel Y.C. FungRapid detection of spoilage and harmful microorganisms in food, clinical specimens, industrial and environmental samples can help prevent food spoilage and foodborne outbreaks — and promote food safety and public health.

Daniel Y.C. Fung, professor of animal sciences and industry and professor of food science at Kansas State, has devoted his career to developing faster processes for detecting spoilage and harmful and beneficial microorganisms in food and the environment. He also has worked on controlling pathogenic organisms by physical methods (microwave treatment, heating, freezing, etc.), chemical methods — antioxidants and antimicrobials — and fermentation procedures. He has received three U.S. patents in relationship to pathogen detection and fermentation technology.

Fung has been the major professor to 33 doctoral graduates and 83 master's graduates. In addition, he has served on more than 100 graduate student committees.

Fung has published about 800 journal articles, proceeding abstracts and other communications in his distinguished career.

His publications include his studies on how spices can deter food-borne pathogens. Use of common kitchen spices, like clove and garlic, can kill up to 99 percent of the E. coli bacteria in ground beef. Fung is testing other spices for similar results and working to determine the exact combination of heat and spice that will be most effective on food-borne pathogens — as well as the best tasting.

Fung is an internationally recognized authority in the field of rapid methods and automation in microbiology for his research and for his many presentations in more than 60 countries on five continents. At K-State he initiated the annual International Workshop on Rapid Methods and Automation in Microbiology in 1981, a workshop that has attracted more than 1,500 scientists from 45 countries to date. Fung is also a consultant to the food industry and microbiological diagnostic companies.

Fung received his bachelor's degree from the International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan, in 1965; his master's degree from the University of North Carolina in 1967; and his doctorate from Iowa State University in 1969. He has been with K-State since 1978. He is a member of 15 professional societies, including the American Society for Microbiology and the Institute of Food Technologists, where he has active leadership roles.

The recipient of numerous awards throughout his career, Fung's many honors include the 1997 Harold Macy Food Science and Technology Award from the Minnesota Section of the Institute of Food Technologists and the 1997 Institute of Food Technologists International Award. In 1995 he was named a fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists and in 1998 he was elected a fellow of the newly formed International Academy of Food Science and Technology. In 2007 he received the inaugural Outstanding Educator in Food Safety Award, given by Food Safety magazine and ConAgra Foods.

He also was awarded the title of university distinguished professor in 2006 from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona in Spain for his contributions to rapid methods education in Spain.

Fung can be reached at 785-532-1208 or dfung@k-state.edu.