Xiang (Crystal) Yang

Xiang Yang

Position Title
Assistant Professor

Animal Science


Yang, an assistant professor in the Department of Animal Science, is a meat scientist conducting research in meat quality and safety management. Yang completed her Ph.D. in animal science with an emphasis on meat science at Colorado State University. She was a postdoctoral researcher working at both Colorado State University and the USDA Meat Animal Research Center before joining the UC Davis faculty in 2017.

Research interests:

Meat safety, meat quality, shelf life of meat and meat products, postharvest foodborne pathogen control, characterizing pathogen and whole microbial community profiles present in meat production chain, effect of feeding system on degree of antimicrobial resistance and pathogen prevalence in livestock and poultry

Brief overview:

As the global human population continues to grow exponentially, it is critical to ensure the supply of high quality, safe and affordable meat as an important dietary protein source for human consumption.

Meat is the final outcome of animal production. Any factors involved in animal production, from preharvest (animal breeding, feeding, management practices) to postharvest (slaughtering, fabrication, packaging, distribution), may have a significant impact on meat quality and safety.

My research focuses on evaluating the effects of both preharvest and postharvest factors on foodborne pathogen prevalence, the degree of antimicrobial resistance, and quality and shelf life of different types of meat. I am also interested in characterizing microbiome profiles of environmental samples to assess the impact of meat production on the environment and human health. Additionally, I work on validating different antimicrobial chemicals and interventions applied in packing plants against foodborne pathogens on meat.

Current projects:

  • Evaluating the prevalence of Salmonella and characterizing the fecal microbiome profiles associated with chickens raised under different feeding systems (conventional, organic, free-range, etc.)
  • Investigating non-thermal interventions against major foodborne pathogens on beef and pork
  • Comparing nutrient composition, quality and sensory attributes of lamb meat from different breeds of sheep