Maria L. Plaza-Delestre, PhD

Associate Professor
Department of Food Science &
Technology Program
Mayaguez Campus
University of Puerto Rico
Cell Box 9000, Mayaguez 00681, Puerto Rico


Dr. Plaza is Associate Professor in the Food Science and Technology Program at The University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus. She earned a Bachelor Degree in Biology and a Masters Degree in Food Science and Technology (both from the University of Puerto Rico). She also has a Doctorate in Food Science with a concentration in Food Chemistry (University of Florida). Dr. Plaza is a member of The Institute of Food Technology, Life Time Member of the Phi Tau Sigma honor Society, and elected President of The Alpha Delta Gamma International Educators Sorority. As a Food Scientist, she is a Food Safety Manager Certified and SQF certified. She is part of the trainers group for JIFSAN GAP courses. In addition she participates as trainer in GAP, GMP and HACCP Programs at the UPR-Mayaguez Campus. She has obtained several research awards for her work on Use of edible films to extend the shelf life of fruit and vegetables, focusing on its effect on physicochemical characteristics and microorganism’s growth.

Research Interest

Her research interests include: Food Chemistry, Food Analysis, Postharvest Treatment and Value Added, Sensory Analysis, Flavor Chemistry.

Scientific Activities

• (June 2009) IFAS/CALS Graduate Student Travel Grant
• (June 2009) FSHN Graduate Student Travel Awards
• (April 2009) GSC Research Grant
• (July 2008) 2nd Place Poster Competition Fruit and Vegetables Division IFT Annual Meeting
• (July 2008) Davidson Graduate Student Travel Scholarship
• (July 2008) FSHN Graduate Student Travel Awards
• (July 2008) IFAS/CALS Graduate Student Travel Grant
• (July 2007) Graduate Student Council Travel Grant
• (July 2007) IFAS/CALS Graduate Student Travel Grant
• (November 2001) SOPCA (Sociedad Puertorriqueña de Ciencias Agrícolas) Scholarship
• (May 1999) Recognition of the Agricultural Department of Puerto Rico
• (January 1997-May 2000) Teaching Assistantship from UPR Mayagüez Campus


• Alpha Delta Kappa
• Phi Tau Sigma Honor Society-President (2003-2005), Professional Member
• Food Science and Technology Graduate Student Association-President (1997-1998)
• Who’s Who Biltmore
• The National Scholars Honor Society
• National Restaurant Association
• National Registry Food Safety Professionals
• Gamma Sigma Delta- Honor Society of Agriculture (PR Chapter and UF Chapter)
• Institute of Food Technologist


1. Ramirez-Rodrigues MM, Plaza ML, Ferrentino G, Balaban MO, reyes-de-Corcuera J, Marshall MR. Effect of dense phase carbon dioxide processing on microbial stability and physicochemical attributes of hibiscus sabdariffa. Journal of Food Processing Engineering. 2013; 36(1): 125-133. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-4530.2011.00663.x
2. Ramirez-Rodrigues MM, Plaza ML, Azeredo A, Balaban MO, Marshall MR. Phytochemical, Sensory Attributes and Aroma Stability of Dense Phase Carbon Dioxide Processed Hibiscus sabdariffa Beverage during Storage. Journal of Food Science. Food Chemistry. 2012; 134(3): 1425-1431. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2012.03.042
3. Ramirez-Rodrigues MM, Plaza ML, Azeredo A, Balaban MO, Marshall MR. Physicochemical and Phytochemical Properties of Cold and Hot Water Extraction from Hibiscus sabdariff. Journal of Food Science. 2011; 76(3): C428-C435. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2011.02091.x.
4. Ferrentino G, Plaza ML, Ramirez-Rodrigues M, Ferrari G, Balaban MO. Effects of Dense Phase Carbon Dioxide Pasteurization on the Physical and Quality Attributes of a Red Grapefruit Juice. Journal of Food Science. 2009; 74(6): E333-E341. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2009.01250.x
5. Darnell RL, Brunner B, Alvarado HE, Williamson J, Plaza M, Negron E. Annual, Off-Season Raspberry Production in Warm Season Climates. Hort Technology. 2006; 16(1): 92-97.