Course Objectives

 At the conclusion of this course, participants will be able to:

  1. Define and differentiate between food protection, food safety, food defense, and food security
  2. Understand how the complexity of the food system makes it vulnerable to nefarious acts at any point in the supply chain, and learn ways to make it safer for consumers
  3. Identify motivations and methods that lead to food defense incidents and how to protect against them
  4. Understand food defense policy, regulatory requirements, and implications of evolving food defense law
  5. Identify strategies of investigation for food defense incidents, including how food system terms and concepts can be used to help investigate crimes in the food system (e.g., a vulnerability may be a potential lead)

Jennifer van de Ligt


Jennifer van de Ligt, PhD, is the Associate Director of the Food Protection and Defense Institute (FPDI), a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence at the University of Minnesota. She has an extensive background in animal feed and human food production, nutrition, safety, and regulations. Currently, Dr. van de Ligt helps lead a talented team of experts providing evidence-based food defense innovation, education, and outreach solutions. A key focus of her leadership is building collaborations with and transitioning the food defense solutions to the food industry.

Prior to joining FPDI, Dr. van de Ligt held numerous leadership positions at Cargill, Inc. where she led interdisciplinary technical and regulatory teams tasked with assuring ingredients met appropriate nutrition, safety, and regulatory standards. In addition, she led the nutrition and regulatory strategy for a variety of novel ingredients including the regulatory strategy that allowed Truvia® tabletop sweetener to successfully launch in key international markets and expand market penetration in the US. Dr. van de Ligt completed her Ph.D. in Nutrition from the University of Kentucky.