“Prior to Dr. Shahani’s research findings, the scientific and medical communities did not generally recognize the health merits of probiotic cultures. Dr. Shahani initiated a movement to bring the science of probiotics and their use directly to consumers concerned with improving their health.”

~ Ramesh Chandan, Ph.D.


As one of the most influential probiotics scientists to date, Dr. Khem Shahani began his landmark research on L. acidophilus at the University of Nebraska in the late 1950s. There he discovered a particular strain of L. acidophilus that showed superior growth, stability and nutritional viability. Dr. Shahani would later name the strain DDS-1 for the Department of Dairy Science Number One strain, and spend the rest of his career unlocking its potentials for improving overall health. During his lengthy career, the late Dr. Shahani had over 200 articles published in peer-reviewed scientific journals and was a consultant for international agencies such as the World Health Organization. Nebraska Cultures continues Dr. Shahani’s life’s work through a commitment to continued scientific probiotic research and technology.


Ph.D., 1950, University of Wisconsin
Major: Food and Dairy Science; Minor: Biochemistry
MS, 1947, University of Bombay (through Indian Dairy Research Institute)
Major: Dairy Chemistry; Minor: Microbiology
BS, 1943, University of Bombay
Major: Dairy and Food Technology; and Nutritional Microbiology

Professor of Food Science & Technology,
Univ. of Nebraska, 1961-2001.
Professor of Dairy Science,
Univ. of Nebraska, 1957-1961.
Research Associate, Dept. of Dairy Technology,
Ohio State Univ., 1953-1957
Research Associate, Dept. of Dairy & Food Technology,
Univ. of Illinois, 1950-1952.
Instructor, Agricultural Chemistry,
Agricultural College, Sakrand, India, 1943-1945.

Conducted basic research and developmental work as related to the science and technology of dairy foods – bioprocessed and cultured foods; lactic cultures, especially L. acidophilus; food safety; food fermentation; human and animal nutrition; food and feed supplements; bioprocessed and cultured foods, significance and role of proteins and enzymes in milk and other foods, whey utilization; water quality; vitamins, antibiotics and toxins in foods; human milk, infant foods, and biotechnology.

Taught several multidisciplinary courses in Food Science and Technology, Biotechnology, Fermentation technology, for graduate students. Supervised 16 postdoctoral fellows, 16 Ph.D. candidates, and 22 MS candidates.

Administered and supervised a large number of research projects with several graduate students and postdoctoral fellows actively engaged in biochemical and nutritional research work. Supervised three research projects. Worked with several national and international students and postdoctorals from U.S.A., Middle East, China, India, Korea, Africa, South America and Romania. Served as a member and Chairman of the Academic Planning Committee of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln pertaining to academic affairs and budget allocations.

Research Projects (Shahani, Principal Investigator)

  1. Immunomodulatory effect of Lactic acid bacteria and the mechanism delineation An
    interdisciplinary project with the dept. of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, UNL
  2. Role in lactic cultures in infant nutrition – Supported by Nebraska Cultures.
  3. “Evaluation of Nutritional Aspects of Dairy Cultures.” Funded by Ira DeCamp Foundation, and Roberts Dairy, (1982-87).
  4. “Alcoholic Fermentation of Whey for Gasohol Production.” Funded by Ag Products and Industrial Utilization Committee, State of Nebraska, and Pedco International, 1979-80 and USDA (1982-84).
  5. “Nutritional Properties of Cultured Products.” Funded by Dairy Research, Inc., Roberts Dairy, and National Dairy Council, 1972-84).
  6. “Effects of Processing on Nutritional Aspects and Lysozyme of human milk”. Funded by N.I.H. (1963-70 and 1979-81).
  7. “Effect of Antibiotics Upon Lactic Cultures.” Funded by N.I.H., 1960-1962.

Member, Research Council (1986-89) ; Member, Graduate Faculty of the Interdepartmental Nutrition Area (1983 to date) ; Professional Conduct Committee (1979-1980); Academic Planning Committee (1972-1975) – Chairman 1974-1975; Budget Reallocation Ad Hoc Committee (1973);
Library Committee, Member, Secretary, Chairman (1967-1971); Human Rights Committee (1970- 1971); Anti-discrimination Ad Hoc Committee (1971); Search Committee, Director of Libraries (1970-1971); Microbiology Ph.D. Program Review Committee, Chairman (1971); Agronomy Ph.D. Program Review Committee (1972). Genetic Ph.D. Program Review Committee (1972);

Membership in Professional Organizations
Member of American Dairy Science Association (A.D.S.A.); Institute of Food Technologists, (IFT), American Society of Microbiology; American Oil Chemists’ Society; Gamma Sigma Delta, Sigma Xi, Gamma Alpha, Phi Tau Sigma; Member, Editorial Board, Journal of Dairy Science (1970-1972). Served as Scientific Lecturer for National IFT (1967-1971).

Member, Expert Advisory Panel on Food Hygiene, WHO of United Nations (1973-1978); reappointed 1978-1983, 1983-86, and 1986-87.

Helped develop a collaborative research project on the Anticarcinogenic Role of Lactobacilli at the Henan Medical Inst., Zhengzhou (1986).

Presented invited paper at the 2nd Int’l Symp. on Lactic Acid Bacteria, Wagnengin, The Netherlands (1987).

Served as the U.S.A. member on the scientific review and selection Jury of the Institut Yoplait International for research grants in Paris (1986-91).

Presented invited paper at the International Symposium on Yogurt organized by the Belgium Dairy Industry Union in Brussels (1986).

Consulted with the University of Dhaka and International Center for Diarrheal Diseases Research, Bangladesh for the development and use of special oral rehydration solutions, lactobacillus products, and special infant foods for the prevention and cure of diarrhea (1981-86, every year).

Helped develop a cooperative research project at the Inst. Of Nutrition and Food Sci., Dhaka (1986).

Presented a keynote lecture at the Third Korean Public Health Assoc. Biennial Seminar in Seoul (Aug. 1983); and also presented invitational talks on Lactobacilli and Immobilized Enzymes at the Food Industry Res. & Rev. Inst., and Univ. of Taipei Medical Inst., Taipei, and at the Yakult Inst. Nutrition Res., Tokyo (Aug.-Sept., 1983)

Participated in the cooperative scientists exchange program between the Government of Romania and the University of Nebraska and helped the Institute of Animal Nutrition and the Institute of Food Science to develop and establish research and pilot plant facilities for the production of cultures and enzymes 1982).

Served as a consultant to the state of del Estero (Argentina) and a dairy company there to help plan, assemble and start a dairy farm and a dairy plant, January 1980.

Official attendance and participation at the XVII Int’l Dairy Congress, Munich (1966); XVIII Int’l Dairy Cong., Sydney (1970); XIX Int’l Dairy Cong., New Delhi (1974); and XX Int’l Dairy Cong., Paris (1978).

Organized and Co-chaired a Symposium on the Nutritional and Pharmacological Aspects of Cultured Dairy Products at the 6th World Congress of Food Science & Technology, Dublin, Ireland, Sept. 18-23, 1983.

On behalf of the U.S. Depts. of Agriculture & Commerce and D.S.I., organized and supervised (with two other dairymen) a dairy equipment show at the U.S. Trade Fair in New Delhi, for three months (1958-1959).

Worked on a special project relative to the use of Pimaricin to Retard Mold Growth in Cheese and Other Foods for Gist Brocades, Holland. Also helped in the preparation on applications to seek permission from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use of pimaricin in foods (1970-1977). Served as a reviewer of scientific papers for the Journal of Dairy Science, Journal of Food
Science, Journal of Food Protection, Journal of Food Biochemistry, Cultured Dairy Products Journal, ACS Proceedings, Academic Press and CRC Press.

Presented invitational papers:
1st Intern’l Congress of Bacteriology, Israel (September, 1973); Indian Science Congress, India (January, 1973); Conference on Microbial Safety of Fishery Products, Puerto Rico (1970); 1st Chemical Congress, Mexico City (1973); IUPAC Intern’l Symposia on Toxins in Feeds and Foods, Sweden (1972), Paris (1976), and Lausanne (1979); Twentieth Anniversary International; Dutch clinical Ecology Group Meeting, Heemskale, Holland (1988); XIII International Congress of Gastrointestinal Microecology, sardinia, Italy (1988); Nutricia Research Council, Rotterdam (1988); Food Safety Seminar, Tessier Association International (1989); American Dietetics Association Meeting, Kansas City (1989); Canadian Health Food Association, Vancouver, Canada (1989); International Fermented Milk Club, Paris (1989); International Conference on Goats, New Delhi, India (1992); American Academy of Otolaryugic Allergy, Kansas City (1991); Orthomolecular Medical Association Conference, Amsterdam, (1992); Klair Laboratories International Orthomolecular Conference, Italy (1990, 1992, 1994), Austria (1996); American Biologics’ Intenational Alternative Medicine Conference, Mexico (1992), Italy (1987), Turkey (1998); 1st Collegium Humanum World congress on High Technology Medicine, Bugenstock, Switzerland (1997); Third Saudi Arabia Symposium on Foods and Nutrition (October 1998); International Food Convention, Mysore, India (November 1998).

Published 202 papers, including 80 on lactic culturesin scientific refereed journals of national and international repute.

Book Chapters:
1. “Lipases & Esterases” in Enzymes in Food Processing
2. “Cultured Milk Products” in CRC Handbook Series in Agriculture
3. “Enzymes in Food Technology” in Comprehensive Biotechnology
4. “Fermented Dairy Products” in Comprehensive Biotechnology
5. “Fermented Dairy Products & Health” in Lactic Acid Bacteria – Elsevier
6. “Yogurt” in Dairy Science & Technology, VCH Press.

Sections Contributed to Encyclopedia of Food Technology
1. Enzymes
2. Immobilized Enzymes
3. Ribonuclease and Lysozyme


  1. U.S. Patents (No. 3,689,640), “Antibiotic Acidophilin and Process of Preparing the Same.”,
  2. U.S. Patent (No. 4,279,998), “Regeneration of Immobilized Enzymes”. Has two more patent applications pending on “Cofermentation of Whey and Grain to produce Industrial Alcohol”.

Served as a consultant for W. R. Grace Co. (1973-1978), Microlife Technics (1972-1974), Culture Products, Inc. (1978), Dannon Yogurt Co. (1973-80), Casey Products Inc. (1979-1983), Yoplait U.S.A.(1979), Yakult, Japan (1976, 1982), United Agri-Services, Inc. (1981-1983), Novo, Inc. (1980), Miles Laboratories, Inc. (1964, 1980, 1981), Dairy Products Lab (1982-1984), Alta Dena Dairy, Inc. (1983 to date), and NU-AG Inc. (1983-1984), Conklin, Inc. (1984).

Served as a consultant for several food and feed supplements and nutrients manufacturing and marketing companies, including Klaire Labs., Nutritional Enzyme Corp., National Enzyme Company, Makers of KAL, Nature’s Way, Nature’s Life, Kovac, TwinLab, American Biologics, Nutratec and others.

Organized and conducted promotional and training seminars for the manufacturing staff, laboratory personnel, distributors and sales staff of nutritional supplement manufacturers nationally and internationally.

  1. Borden Award of the American Dairy Science Association for Excellence in Research in Dairy Manufacturing (Dairy Microbiology and Dairy Chemistry) – 1964
  2. Gamma Sigma Delta International Award for Distinguished Service to Agriculture – 1966- Dr. Shahani was the youngest scientist ever to receive this award.
  3. Sigma Xi Outstanding Scientist Award, University of Nebraska – 1977
  4. Pfizer Award of the American Dairy Science Association for excellence in research and development in the areas of lactic cultures and cultured products – 1977
  5. Nordica International Award of the American Cultured Dairy Products Institute for excellence in
    research and development in the area of lactic cultures, yogurt and other cultured products – 1977. Dr. Shahani was the recipient of the First Nordica Award
  6. Elected as a Fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists – 1983
  7. Dairy Research Foundation Award of the American Dairy Science Association for distinguished service and research in the area of lactic cultures, cheese and other cultured products – 1983. Dr. Shahani was the first recipient of the three major awards of the ADSA.