Charles R. Santerre, PhD

Professor of Food Toxicology

Foods and Nutrition

Contact Information

Purdue University
700 West State St.
Stone Hall, Rm. 205
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2059
Phone: (765) 496-3443
Fax: (765) 494-0674

Additional Links

Education Background

  • B.S. in Human Nutrition at Michigan State University in 1983
  • Ph.D. in Environmental Toxicology & Food Science at Michigan State University in 1989

Dissertation Title: Daminozide (Alar) Breakdown During Thermal Processing of Cherry Products to Yield, Unsymmetrical Dimethylhydrazine (UDMH)

Awards and Honors

  • 1999 Outstanding Dietetic Intern Award (Ohio), American Dietetic Association
  • 2004 Acorn Award, Purdue University
  • 2005 Acorn Award, Purdue University
  • 2006 Seed for Success, Purdue University
  • 2007 Seed for Success, Purdue University
  • 2008 Seed for Success, Purdue University


In recent years, dietary recommendations concerning fish consumption have rapidly fluctuated between encouragements to consume more fish (to obtain omega-3 fatty acids) or recommendations to avoid fish (and reduce exposure to PCBs and mercury). The overall goal of the Santerre Laboratory is to better understand the risks and benefits for sensitive populations (i.e., pregnant or nursing women, women that will become pregnant and young children) that eat seafood. Our past studies have: measured pollutants, nutrients and therapeutic compounds in recreationally-caught and commercially-sold fish; developed rapid methods for measuring pollutants in fish; determined the influence of cooking on chemical residues in seafood; measured the impact of bioactive compounds in foods on heavy metal bioavailability; and measured the movement of pollutants from diet to maternal milk. The following are research projects that are currently underway in our laboratory.

Project 1 - Determine the bioavailability of mercury as influenced by bioactive food components using in vitro and in vivo models.

Project 2 - Determine the effects of energy balance on pollutant concentrations in milk using accelerator mass spectrometry.

Project 3 - Develop a chip that can measure selected PCB congeners in biological matrices.

Project 4 - Determine the influence of fish consumption on mercury and omega-3 fatty acid status in a human clinical trial.

If you are a motivated individual who is also a perspective graduate student and you would like to join our group and contribute to one of these projects, please contact me.

Discovery Publications (selected)

Shim, S.M., M. Ferruzzi, Y.C. Kim, E.M. Janle and C.R. Santerre. 2009. Impact of phytochemical-rich foods on bioaccessibility of mercury from fish. Food Chemistry 112:46-50.

Janle, E., J. Sojka, G.S. Jackson, P. Lachcik, J.A. Einstien and C.R. Santerre. 2007. Measuring transfer of 14C-PCB from maternal diet to milk in a goat model using an accelerator mass spectrometer (AMS). Nuclear Instruments & Methods in Physics Research, Section B. B259: 758-762.

Lasrado, J.A., C.R. Santerre and G.P. McCabe. 2005. Predicting toxicity equivalents in fish tissue. Journal of Food Protection 68(12): 2679-2685.

Shim, S.M., J.A. Lasrado, L.E. Dorworth, and C.R. Santerre. 2005. Mercury and omega-3 fatty acids in retail fish sandwiches. J. Food Protection 68(3): 633-635.

Lasrado, J.A., C.R. Santerre, S.M. Shim, and J.R. Stahl. 2005. Analysis of mercury in sportfish tissue using thermal decomposition, amalgamation/atomic absorption spectrophotometry. J. Food Protection 68(4): 879-881.

Lasrado, J.A., C.R. Santerre, J.R. Stahl, T. Noltemeyer and D.C. Deardorff. 2004. Measurement of polychlorinated biphenyls in fish tissue by gas chromatography with electron capture detection and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. J. Food Protection 67(6): 1209-1213.

Shim, S.M., L.E. Dorworth, J.A. Lasrado, and C.R. Santerre. 2004. Mercury and fatty acids in canned tuna, salmon and mackerel. J. Food Science 69(9): 681-684.

Shim, S.M., C.R. Santerre, L.E. Dorworth, B.K. Miller, J.R. Stahl and D.C. Deardorff. 2004. Prediction of PCB content in sportfish using semipermeable membrane devices (SPMDs). Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part B B39(2): 263-271.

Wan P., C.R. Santerre, P.B. Brown, D.C. Deardorff. 2003. Chlorpyrifos residues before and after cooking of catfish fillets. J. Food Science 68(1): 12-15.

Books, Chapters, and Monographs Publications

Santerre, C.R. 2008. Is Bisphenol A the Next Alar? Journal of Food Technology (Perspectives). July :96

Santerre, C.R. 2006. Food Biotechnology. In, "Present Knowledge in Nutrition". 9th Edition.


Goodrum, J.W., M.K. Kilgo and C.R. Santerre. 1996. Oilseed Solubility and Extraction Modelling. In, "Supercritical Fluid Technology in Oil and Lipid Chemistry,” ed. J.W. King and G.R. List. AOCS Monographs, AOAC Press. ISBN 0-935315-71-3; pp. 101-131.

Cox, R.D., T. Crawford, H. Frumkin, B.B. Looney, R.O. Manning and C.R. Santerre. 1995. Analysis of Environmental and Medical Data Concerning the Health Implications of Potential Toxic Chemical Exposure in the Virginia and Hyde Park Area, Richmond County, Georgia. Prepared for The Governor of the State of Georgia and The Governor's Task Force for the Southern Wood Piedmont Residents.


Angling Indiana - Approximately, 19% of Indiana's adult residents are licensed anglers. Research conducted at Purdue University has found that 38% of licensed anglers either do not follow or are not aware of the annual consumption advisory published jointly by the Indiana State Department of Health, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. When projecting the number of Indiana consumers that are potentially affected, as many as 600,000 residents may be at risk from exposure to contaminants. With infants and children being at greatest risk from exposure to mercury and PCBs in locally caught fish, it is important that anglers and their families be informed about the potential risks from consuming fish from contaminated waters.

Using media contacts and press releases we have attempted to inform residents of the importance of making informed decisions about their fish consumption. Our press releases have been picked-up by the Associated Press and the United Press International and highlighted in stories in: USA Today; Reader’s Digest; Popular Science; Good Housekeeping; Chicago Tribune; Psychology Today; Health; Shape; Self; Glamour; Allure; Oxygen; Bottom Line Personal; Environment News Service; The Detroit News; Indianapolis Star; The Muncie Star Press; Environmental Nutrition; CBS Health Watch; Health Scout News Service; Food Chemical News; Food Quality; The Globe and Mail (Canada); La Presse (Canada); The National Post (Canada); The New Brunswick (Canada) Telegraph Journal; and The Purdue Exponent; and in the following broadcast media; CNN; NPR; WGN Radio (Milt Rosenberg Show); WTTW-TV Chicago Tonight; CKNW AM980 Rafe Mair Show; WFYI Sound Medicine; WBEZ-FM in Chicago; Great Lakes Radio Consortium; USA Radio; Network Indiana; WBAA-AM/FM in West Lafayette; WPEC-TV CBS in West Palm Beach, Fla.; and WLFI-TV18.

Engagement Publications (selected)

Santerre, C.R. 2009. The Risks and Benefits of Farmed Fish. Journal of the World Aquaculture Society. (in press)

Santerre, C.R. 2008. Wild vs. Farm-Raised Salmon: Health Benefits and Risks. American Dietetic Associations - Sports, Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutritionists (SCAN) PULSE. 27(4): 1-5.

Santerre, C.R. 2005. X-Train: Teaching professionals remotely. Journal of Nutrition 135(5): 1248-1252.

Santerre, C.R. 2004. Farmed Salmon: Caught in a Numbers Game. Journal of Food Technology (Back Page) 58(2): 108.

International Food Information Council Foundation and G.T. Cameron, E. Jeffery, R.S. MacDonald, C.R. Santerre and C. Weaver. 2004. Guidelines for Communicating the Emerging Science of Dietary Components for Health. pp 1-11.

Santerre, C.R. and G.W. Lewis. 2003. Aquaculture Food Safety – Residues. Report of the Southern Regional Aquaculture Center Regional Research Project No. 6001 :1-23.

Santerre, C.R. 2003. Letter Rebuts Flawed Salmon Study. Global Aquaculture Advocate. 6(2) :15-16.

Avery, Beachy, Bennetzen, Chassy, Chrispeels, Chory, Ecker, Noel, Kay, Dean, Lamb, Jones, Santerre, Schroeder, Umen, Yanofsky, Wessler, Zhao and Parrott. 2002. Divergent Perspectives on GM Food: Letter to Editor. Nature Biotechnology. 20 :1195-1196.

Santerre, C.R. and K.L. Machtmes. 2002. The impact of consumer food biotechnology training on knowledge and attitude. Journal of Am. College of Nutrition 21(3S):174S-177S.

Mackey M A. and C.R. Santerre. 2000. Biotechnology and our food supply. Nutrition Today 35(4): 120-128.



Food Science I (F&N 205) - Chemical and physical composition of foods: their changes during processing, storage, and preparation.

Food Regulations (F&N 540) - This course introduces students to the laws and regulations that govern our food supply.

International Programs and Activites

In 2006, Dr. Santerre traveled to Belgium to visit with seafood companies at the European Seafood Expo in Brussels. In 2004, he traveled to Chile to share food safety information with the salmon aquaculture industry. In 2003, Dr. Santerre presented on the topic of chemical contaminants in fish in Honduras, Holland and Canada. In 2002, he visited with scientists in Norway to discuss contaminants in farmed and wild salmon. In 2001, he traveled to Mexico as a featured speaker at a scientific conference attended by food technologists. The focus of his presentation was the safety of foods from biotech crops. In 2000-01, Dr. Santerre was twice invited by the Philippine Pediatric Society to provide multiple presentations to pediatricians on the topics of food biotechnology and seafood safety. He also visited with scientists at the International Rice Research Institute in Los Baños, Philippines to discuss issues surrounding Golden Rice (a bioengineered rice that has elevated levels of beta-carotene and iron).

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