Melvin Carter, Ph.D.

National Program Leader
2448 Waterfront Center
Phone Number:
(202) 720-7166
Fax Number:
(202) 401-6188

Dr. Melvin Carter is a National Program Leader for Food Science and Technology in the Division of Food Safety, Institute of Food Safety and Nutrition at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA. He provides leadership in identifying emerging issues of national importance, program reviews, and grants management in the area of food science and safety. Dr. Carter is actively involved in leadership for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Foundational Programs, Improving Food Safety. Currently, he is working extensively on a number of intra-agency programs that focus on Federal Food Science and Safety priorities. He is actively engaged in improving the quality and effectiveness of collaborations with professional organizations for the advancement of Food Science and Agriculture by working with the Institute of Food Technologists and the International Association for Food Protection and providing programmatic information and updates.

Prior to joining NIFA, Dr. Carter was a team leader/scientist at the Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) in the Combat Feeding Directorate, on the Food Processing, Engineering and Technology Team. Dr. Carter also served as Team Leader of the Food Engineering Services Team, Combat Feeding Directorate, US Army Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Center, where his team was responsible for preparing and coordinating performance based contract requirements and procurement documents for all ration platforms that have been Warfighter Recommended, Tested and Approved. He provided leadership, purpose and direction to a diverse group of people in the planning, organization and direction of life cycle quality assurance programs for food packaging and preservation systems.

Prior to working at NSRDEC, Dr. Carter held terms in private industry, academia and USDA. Dr. Carter has served as the Project Officer of a research and development program titled Next Generation Hurdle Technologies (NGHT), which is focused on formulating very high quality; new intermediate moisture military ration components utilizing novel bioactive ingredients. He directly supported novel food processing program titled Hybrid Optimal Processing, which utilizes high pressure and microwave technology to achieve commercial pasteurization and sterilization, without compromising quality.

He received his Ph.D. from Auburn University where he focused on rapid detection of Salmonella on chicken skin by way of conventional and real time polymerase chain reaction. Dr. Carter received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Food Science and Technology from Alabama A&M University. In July 2007, this Warfighter retired as an Environmental Science Officer with the Army Reserve, where he was deployed as a Combat Engineer in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2003-2005.