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Thursday, Jan. 21, 2010

TIP SHEET: K-STATE FACULTY EXPERTS AVAILABLE TO DISCUSS TOPICS RELATED TO OLYMPICS: SPORT NUTRITION, PROTECTIVE CLOTHING, FOOD SAFETY PRACTICES AND TESTING

MANHATTAN -- Kansas State University has several faculty experts available to discuss topics that may come up in coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympics, beginning Feb. 12 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Sport nutrition
Mark Haub is an associate professor of human nutrition who can talk about sport nutrition or other metabolism and physiology questions relating to Olympic athletes. His expertise includes weight loss/gain and body fat, training and psychology issues. His research group studies preventing metabolic conditions like diabetes by altering the foods people consume, for example by adding fiber to bread and tortillas. He also studies how altering the diet affects body composition and health outcomes like blood pressure and cholesterol. Haub can be reached at 785-532-0170 or haub@k-state.edu.

Protective clothing in cold environments
Elizabeth McCullough is a professor of textiles and co-director of the Institute for Environmental Research. She can address how garments can keep athletes and spectators warm in cold environments. McCullough studies the thermal properties of fabrics and the development and evaluation of protective clothing systems and sleeping bags. She has written several standards for the American Society for Testing and Materials, including a recent one for determining the temperature ratings for cold-weather clothing. She can be reached at 785-532-2284 or lizm@k-state.edu.

Food safety practices
Doug Powell is an associate professor of food safety who has extensively studied food safety systems in Canada. He can talk about why food service precautions like good hand hygiene, avoiding cross contamination and getting food from safe sources is important when feeding large groups of people, such as at the Olympics. He said that getting food from safe sources will be key, especially for fresh produce. Powell can be reached at 785-317-0560 or dpowell@k-state.edu.

Food safety testing
Daniel Fung is a professor of food science and an expert in real-time testing methods. During the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, media used him as a source on food safety issues. Fung said that at a large event like the Olympics, food contamination has the potential to affect a large number of people in a small area. Testing for E. coli is important, he said, because testing for multiple pathogens simultaneously is difficult, and the presence of E. coli -- a fecal indicator -- can suggest the potential presence of Salmonella, Clostridium and Listeria. Fung can be reached at 785-532-1208 or dfung@k-state.edu.