The Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation recognizes Amanda Stewart, an assistant professor of food science and technology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, for providing research-based resources for the cider and wine industries.
Stewart helps leverage Virginia Tech’s expertise in horticulture, food science and technology, and agricultural and applied economics to develop research-based resources for the rapidly expanding cider industry in Virginia and North America.
Projects include collaborations with horticulture researchers to develop vineyard and orchard management practices for improved wine and cider quality, and the impact of hard cider processing methods on cider chemistry and quality.
Her research focuses on the role of fruit nitrogen concentration and composition during fermentation on wine and cider quality and fermentation kinetics.
With colleagues in the Enology and Fermentation lab, Stewart works with wine and hard cider quality, and the impact of food and beverage fermentation processes on bioactive compounds relevant to human health. They are also working to develop new, collaborative projects in the area of fermented vegetables and human health.
Stewart also studies the polyphenol composition of grapes and apples — an important subject in regard to finding healthful nutritional compounds. She is expanding her research focus to investigate the impact of food and beverage fermentation processes on dietary bioactive compounds.
Stewart received her doctoral degree in food science and her master’s degree in agricultural and biological engineering from Purdue University. She received bachelor’s degrees in biochemistry, and in agricultural and biological engineering, also from Purdue University.