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Michael Tunick

Assistant Clinical Professor, Culinary Arts & Food Science
Culinary Arts and Food Science

Michael Tunick Headshot


  • BS, Chemistry, Drexel University
  • PhD, Physical-Analytical Chemistry, Temple University

Areas of Expertise

  • Physical chemistry of food
  • Dairy products
  • Food analysis

Michael H. Tunick, PhD graduated from Drexel University with a B.S. in Chemistry. He served as a co-op student with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s laboratories in Wyndmoor, PA and was hired full time after graduation. He pursued a PhD in Physical-Analytical Chemistry on a part-time basis at Temple University and received the degree in 1985. Starting then as a Research Chemist, he planned and conducted research aimed at creating new dairy products and expanding marketability of existing products. His accomplishments included developing a low-fat Mozzarella cheese that has been used in the National School Lunch Program since 1995; devising rapid thermal methods for detection of mislabeled cheese and for differentiating genuine butter from a recombined product; determining thermal stability of Listeria monocytogenes ribosomes and Clostridium perfringens vegetative cells; relating manufacturing techniques, storage time and other variables to changes in composition, texture, and microstructure of ethnic and specialty cheeses such as Queso Fresco; determining rheological and microstructural changes in extruded whey proteins; examining changes in whey powders stored at high temperature and humidity; analyzing bioactive compounds in milk from cows fed conventionally and on pasture; and investigating effects of heat and homogenization on digestion of milk.

Tunick has authored or coauthored over 130 publications and has coedited six books. He has co-chaired more than 20 symposia in the Division of Agricultural & Food Chemistry in the American Chemical Society (ACS) and has been invited to present seminars on cheese research across the U.S., including more than 50 presentations at universities and at local sections of ACS and the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). He was named a Fellow of the ACS in 2011 and Oxford University Press published his book “The Science of Cheese” in 2013. He was an adjunct faculty member at Drexel University starting in January 2016 and became an Assistant Clinical Professor in September 2017 when he retired from USDA. He is teaching several courses at Drexel, including chemistry, microbiology, and preservation of food. He is also studying comparisons between artisanal and conventional food. The Philadelphia Section of IFT awarded him the Julius Bauermann Lectureship in 2019.