Dr. Rosalee Hellberg

Dr. Rosalee Hellberg

Associate Professor
Schmid College of Science and Technology; Food Science
Expertise: Food Safety; Food Microbiology; Food Fraud and Mislabeling; DNA Barcoding; Real-Time PCR; Species Identification;
Office Location: Keck Center for Science and Engineering 258
Lewis and Clark College, Bachelor of Arts
Oregon State University, Master of Science
Oregon State University, Ph.D.


Rosalee Hellberg, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor and serves as the Associate Director of the Food Science Program at Chapman University. She teaches courses on Food Fraud, Food Microbiology, Introduction to Food Science, and Food Industry Tour. Dr. Hellberg received an M.S. and Ph.D. in Food Science and Technology at Oregon State University, where she studied seafood safety and fish mislabeling. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the FDA working on the development and optimization of DNA-based methods for the detection of food pathogens and food mislabeling. Dr. Hellberg received the 2015-2017 Wang-Fradkin Assistant Professorship Award for exceptional merit in scholarly and creative activity at Chapman University. In 2017, Dr. Hellberg was selected as a recipient of the Emerging Leaders Network Award by the Institute of Food Technologists. She also received the 2018-2019 Award in Mentorship of Undergraduate Research & Creative Activity at Chapman University. Dr. Hellberg has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.


Dr. Hellberg’s research program at Chapman University is focused on the development and application of rapid methods for the detection of food fraud and food contaminants. Her research on food fraud has been dedicated to the development and application of molecular techniques to identify meat and seafood species in food products. Dr. Hellberg and her research team have published numerous studies that utilize methods such as DNA barcoding and real-time PCR to reveal undeclared species in food products, including pet foods, game meats, and seafood products. Dr. Hellberg’s research on food contaminants has been focused primarily on the development and application of rapid methods to concentrate, detect and differentiate foodborne pathogens, such as norovirus, Salmonella, and Listeria.

Recent Creative, Scholarly Work and Publications

Roungchun JB, Tabb AM, Hellberg RS. 2022. Identification of tuna species in raw and processed products using DNA mini-barcoding of the mitochondrial control region. Food Control, 134: 108752. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodcont.2021.108752
Sampson GL, Ruelle SB, Phan L, Williams-Hill D, Hellberg RS. 2023. Effectiveness of selected pre-enrichment broths for the detection of Salmonella spp. in meat analogs. Food Control, 143: 109282. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodcont.2022.109282
Kitch CJ, Tabb AM, Marquis GE, Hellberg RS. 2023. Species substitution and mislabeling of ceviche, poke, and sushi dishes sold in Orange County, California. Food Control, 146: 109525. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodcont.2022.109525
Hellberg RS, Everstine K, Sklare SA, editors. 2021. Food Fraud: A Global Threat with Public Health and Economic Consequences. San Diego: Academic Press/Elsevier. 401 p.
Everstine K, Hellberg RS, Sklare SA. 2021. Introduction to food fraud. In: Hellberg RS, Everstine K, Sklare SA, editors. Food Fraud: A Global Threat with Public Health and Economic Consequences. San Diego: Academic Press/Elsevier. p. 1-7.
Silva AJ, Hellberg RS, Hanner RH. 2021. Seafood fraud. In: Hellberg RS, Everstine K, Sklare SA, editors. Food Fraud: A Global Threat with Public Health and Economic Consequences. San Diego: Academic Press/Elsevier. p. 109-137.
Silva AJ, Hellberg RS. 2021. DNA-based techniques for seafood species authentication. In: Toldra F, editor. Advances in Food and Nutrition Research. San Diego: Academic Press/Elsevier. Volume 95: p. 207-255. https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.afnr.2020.09.001
Chauvin J, Duran R, Tavakolian K, Akhbardeh A, Mackinnon N, Qin J, Chan D, Hwang C, Baek I, Kim MS, Isaacs R, Yilmaz AG, Roungchun J, Hellberg RS, Vasefi F. 2021. Simulated annealing-based hyperspectral data optimization for fish species classification: can the number of measured wavelengths be reduced? Applied Sciences, 11(22): 10628. https://doi.org/10.3390/app112210628
Scales ZM, Narbay E, Hellberg RS. 2021. Use of DNA barcoding combined with PCR-SFLP to authenticate species in bison meat products. Foods, 10(2): 347. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10020347
Dahm OJ, Sampson GL, Silva AJ, Hellberg RS. 2021. Use of molecular methods to authenticate animal species and tissue in bovine liver dietary supplements. Journal of Dietary Supplements, https://doi.org/10.1080/19390211.2021.1887424
Silva AJ, Yang Z, Wolfe J, Hirneisen KA, Ruelle SB, Torres A, Williams-Hill D, Kulka M, Hellberg RS. 2021. Application of whole-genome sequencing for norovirus outbreak tracking and surveillance efforts in Orange County, CA. Food Microbiology, 98: 103796. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fm.2021.103796
Peterson AM, McBride GE, Jhita SK, Hellberg RS. 2021. An investigation into country of origin labeling, species authentication and short weighting of commercially sold frozen fish fillets. Heliyon, 7(4): e06713 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2021.e06713
Hellberg RS and Hanner R, Guest Editors, Special Issue "Detection of Food Fraud Using Analytical Methods" (2021) Foods.
Silva AJ, Dahm OJ, Hellberg RS. 2020. Bovine liver supplement labeling practices and compliance with U.S. regulations. Journal of Dietary Supplements, Published Online 11/5/2020. https://doi.org/10.1080/19390211.2020.1834048
Isaacs RB, Hellberg RS. 2020. Authentication of red snapper (Lutjanus campechanus) fillets using a combination of real-time PCR and DNA barcoding. Food Control, 118: Article 107375. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodcont.2020.107375
Qin J, Vasefi F, Hellberg RS, Akhbardeh A, Isaacs RB, Yilmaz AG, Hwang C, Baek I, Schmidt WF, Kim MS. 2020. Detection of fish fillet substitution and mislabeling using multimode hyperspectral imaging techniques. Food Control, 114: Article 107234. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodcont.2020.107234
Rosen DK, Gallardo M, Vail M, Hellberg RS. 2020. Microplate immunocapture coupled with the 3M molecular detection system and selective plating for the rapid detection of Salmonella infantis in dry dog food and treats. Journal of Microbiological Methods, Article 105881. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mimet.2020.105881
Silva AJ, Kawalek MD, Williams-Hill DM, Hellberg RS. 2020. PCR cloning combined with DNA barcoding enables partial identification of fish species in a mixed-species product. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 8: 28. https://doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2020.00028
Liou P, Banda A, Isaacs RB, Hellberg RS. 2020. Labeling compliance and species authentication of fish fillets sold at grocery stores in Southern California. Food Control 112: 107137. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodcont.2020.107137
Chung SM, Hellberg RS. 2020. Effects of poor sanitation procedures on cross-contamination of animal species in ground meat products. Food Control 109: Article 106927. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodcont.2019.106927
Zahn RJ, Silva AJ, Hellberg RS. 2020. Development of a DNA mini-barcoding protocol targeting COI for the identification of elasmobranch species in shark cartilage pills. Food Control 109: Article 106918. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodcont.2019.106918
Hellberg RS, Isaacs RB, Hernandez EL. 2019. Identification of shark species in commercial products using DNA barcoding. Fisheries Research 210: 81-88.
Naaum AM, Hellberg RS, Okuma TA, Hanner RH. 2019. Multi-instrument evaluation of a real-time PCR assay for identification of Atlantic salmon: a case study on the use of a pre-packaged kit for rapid seafood species identification. Food Analytical Methods Published online 02 August 2019.
Isaacs RB, Hellberg RS. 2019. Shark cartilage supplement labeling practices and compliance with U.S. regulations. Journal of Dietary Supplements Published online 06 December 2019. https://doi.org/10.1080/19390211.2019.1698687
Pollack SJ, Kawalek MD, Williams-Hill DM, Hellberg RS. 2018. Evaluation of DNA barcoding methodologies for the identification of fish species in cooked products. Food Control 84: 297-304.
Bosko SA, Foley DM, Hellberg RS. 2018. Species substitution and country of origin mislabeling of catfish products on the U.S. commercial market. Aquaculture 495: 715-720.
Okuma TA, Huynh TP, Hellberg RS. 2018. Use of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to screen for aflatoxins, ochratoxin A, and deoxynivalenol in dry pet foods. Mycotoxin Research 34(1): 69-75.
Rogers SA, Calicchia M, Hellberg RS. 2018. Concentration of Listeria monocytogenes in skim milk and soft cheese through microplate immunocapture. Journal of Microbiological Methods 153: 54-59.
Perestam AT, Fujisaki KK, Nava O, Hellberg RS. 2017. Comparison of real-time PCR and ELISA-based methods for the detection of beef and pork in processed meat products. Food Control 71: 346–352.
Hellberg RS, Hernandez BC, Hernandez EL. 2017. Identification of meat and poultry species in food products using DNA barcoding. Food Control 80: 23-28.
Hellberg RS, Pollack SJ, Hanner RH. 2016. Seafood species identification using DNA sequencing. In: Hanner RH, Nauum AM, editors. Seafood Authenticity and Traceability: A DNA-based Perspective. San Diego: Academic Press/Elsevier. p. 113-133.
Hellberg RS, Chu E. 2016. Effects of climate change on the persistence and dispersal of foodborne bacterial pathogens in the outdoor environment: A review. 42(4): 548-72.
Kane, DE, Hellberg RS. 2016. Identification of species in ground meat products sold on the U.S. commercial market using DNA-based methods. Food Control 59: 158-163.
Quinto CA, Tinoco R, Hellberg RS. 2016. DNA barcoding reveals mislabeling of game meat species on the U.S. commercial market. Food Control 59: 386-392.
Mitchell JK, Hellberg RS. 2016. Use of the mitochondrial control region as a potential DNA mini-barcoding target for the identification of canned tuna species. Food Analytical Methods 9(10): 2711-2720.