Melvin Hunt's reputation as a top meat color researcher is well-known throughout the world, and his service to the meat industry spans two decades of teaching, mentoring, and research. He is the primary author of the Guidelines for Meat Color Measurement (published by AMSA), which is the only comprehensive document on meat color measurement available to meat scientists. His research also expanded the industry's understanding of meat quality. Based in part on his research on the premature browning phenomena, USDA changed its public policy recommendations from using color as an indicator of ground beef doneness to using endpoint temperature. His work has improved other important US food safety standards, and universities across the globe have asked him to help develop their meat science curricula.
Hunt's accomplishments reach well beyond research. Under his leadership, K-State's undergraduate food science program more than quadrupled its enrollment. He has received various awards for teaching and student services. Many of his former graduate students serve prominently in government, industry, and academia. He has played a vital role in planning ICoMST meetings and was the only US representative on the European Union research project Q-Pork Chains.
Continuing the Legacy
A fundraising drive for establishing a mentor recognition in the name of Mel "Hunter" Hunt was started in December, 2014. The funds raised from the mentor recognition will be used to support student travel to international meetings and, as available, enable participation in other international activities.