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Casimir Akoh Receives Appert Award

BY: Kelly Hensel
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Casimir C. Akoh, left, and IFT President (2011-2012) Roger ClemensCasimir C. Akoh, Distinguished Professor, Dept. of Food Science & Technology, University of Georgia, was honored as the recipient of the 2012 Nicolas Appert Award on Monday, June 25, at the Awards Celebration. Roger Clemens, IFT President, presented Akoh with the award, which is IFT’s highest honor and is given annually to an IFT member for preeminence in and contributions to the field of food science and technology. The award includes a $5,000 honorarium and a plaque from IFT.

Akoh is recognized for his innovative contributions to research in fats and oils, especially his research on the enzymatic modification of lipids to produce functional and healthful structured lipids and improvement of frying oil life and quality. He is one of the first researchers to publish articles on the enzymatic modification of lipids to produce trans-free fats, and industry has used the enzymatic technology to commercialize the production of diacylglycerol oil. Akoh is also a research leader in the area of enzymatic production of infant formula fat analogs. He continues to collaborate with others in academia, industry, and government from the United States and around the world.

2012 IFT Achievement Awards
In addition to presenting Akoh with the Nicolas Appert Award, IFT recognized 15 other achievements on at the Awards Celebration.

Babcock-Hart Award: Richard Black
$3,000 honorarium from the International Life Sciences Institute North America and a plaque from IFT

Richard BlackRichard Black, Vice President/Chief Nutrition Officer, Kraft Foods Global, received the 2012 Babcock-Hart Award for his leadership and efforts in addressing the public’s health and wellness concerns, including the public health challenge of rising obesity rates.

In his role at Kraft, Black has led corporate-wide nutrition programs by developing strategies, guidelines, and portfolio improvement opportunities as well as providing overall accountability for nutrition research, nutrition communications, and nutrition business applications. He is a member of Kraft’s internal Worldwide Health and Wellness Committee, and leads the Worldwide Health and Wellness Advisory Council by engaging independent experts in key health and wellness disciplines. Additionally, he has played a key role in helping Kraft enhance the nutrition profile of its product portfolios, substantiate the company’s “Sensible Solution” labeling program in the United States, and improve nutritional labels to make it easier for consumers to choose the portion size of the foods they eat.

Research and Development Award: Vijay K. Juneja
$3,000 honorarium and a plaque from IFT

Vijay JunejaVijay K. Juneja, Lead Scientist, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service-Eastern Regional Research Center, received the 2012 Research and Development Award for his research on pathogenic bacteria to ensure a safe food supply

A leading authority on food safety research, Juneja has made significant contributions to multiple areas within the broad discipline of food safety microbiology, including a series of groundbreaking publications on microbiological safety of minimally processed foods and predictive microbiology. Specifically, his research focuses on interventions to reduce/eliminate pathogens in foods of animal origin, assessing and minimizing risks from emerging technologies, and developing strategies for performing risk assessment on cooked foods.

Carl R. Fellers Award: Mary K. Schmidl
$3,000 honorarium from Phi Tau Sigma Honorary Society and a plaque from IFT

Mary SchmidlMary K. Schmidl, Principal, National Food & Nutrition Consultants and Assistant Adjunct Professor, University of Minnesota, has received the 2012 Carl R. Fellers Award for her service to the field of food science and technology and for bringing honor to the profession.

For 40 years, Schmidl has had a distinguished career as a scientist, research director, educator, and leader to public and private agencies both domestically and internationally. One of her major contributions is her ability to effectively communicate on issues related to food science, technology, and public health not only to food scientists but to the entire scientific community as well as to governments, international agencies, students, and consumers. She has played an active role in the International Union of Food Science and Technology and serves on the European Union’s Advisory Board on Risk Communication. Schmidl was the President of IFT (2000–2001); chaired IFT Nutrition Division and Minnesota Section; and was a leader/member of more than 25 IFT committees. During her term as IFT President, she worked with the IFT Committee for Global Interests to develop a relationship with food science professionals and food industry officials in China. Her vision, commitment, and diplomacy contributed to the current relationship that IFT has with the Chinese Institute of Food Science and Technology.

Bor S. Luh International Award: Richard F. Stier
$3,000 honorarium from the Bor S. Luh Endowment Fund of Feeding Tomorrow and a plaque from IFT

Richard StierRichard F. Stier, Food Scientist Consultant, received the 2012 Bor S. Luh Award for his international contributions in food science focusing on food safety, quality, and sanitation.

Stier has worked in more than 35 countries as a member of industry and a consultant in the area of technology transfer. He has helped processors upgrade operations and has taught or developed educational programs. His work has ranged from the evaluation and validation of technologies for transfer throughout the world (aseptic processing systems in the early 1980s) to his ongoing work of enhancing food safety and quality in developing nations. During a two-year project in Egypt, Stier utilized IFT’s Continuing Education Group as a resource for enhancing programs organized there and brought many Egyptians into the IFT fold. Stier’s most recent international project took him to Afghanistan to work on the Afghan Small to Medium Enterprise Development project, part of which focused on training a group of Afghani men and women to become food plant auditors and consultants to the local food industry.

Samuel Cate Prescott Award: Qixin Zhong
$3,000 honorarium and a plaque from IFT

Qixin ZhongQixin Zhong, Associate Professor of Food Biophysics and Nanotechnology, Dept. of Food Science, University of Tennessee, received the 2012 Samuel Cate Prescott Award for outstanding work in food science research.

Zhong’s research is focused on the application of biophysics and nanotechnology for developing solutions for the food industry. His overall research goal is to discover physically inspired materials and processes for improved food safety, quality, and healthfulness through the creation of nanoscale materials and the understanding of material properties at the nanoscale. His specific research projects focus on delivery systems for bioactive food components, functional nanomaterials, and interfacial engineering. Additionally, Zhong has contributed to the establishment and growth of the university’s Food Biopolymers Research Group, which centers on food biophysics and nanotechnology as they are related to food biopolymers.

Food Technology Industrial Achievement Award: Tate & Lyle
A plaque from IFT

Tate & Lyle received the 2012 Food Technology Industrial Achievement Award for its Promitor™ soluble corn fiber to help manufacturers incorporate fiber into everyday food and beverage applications.

The ingredient can replace traditional sweeteners such as liquid and dry corn sweeteners, sucrose, and other sugar alcohols, and its clarity, low viscosity, and process stability allows for its use in clear beverages, sauces, and dressings. In addition to these applications, the ingredient can replace corn syrup in others like yogurt, jams, soups, energy bars, cereals and cereal coatings, confections, and bakery. Promitor is acid stable and is said not to break down in products with a low pH. And because it is a fiber (more specifically, a prebiotic), manufacturers can make a “good” or “excellent” source of fiber claim.

William V. Cruess Award: Nicki Engeseth
$3,000 honorarium from IFT and a bronze medal from the Northern California Section of IFT

Nicki EngesethNicki Engeseth, Professor, University of Illinois, Urbana, received the 2012 William V. Cruess Award for excellence in teaching food science and technology.

Engeseth is being honored for her effectiveness in the classroom, leading curriculum development in her department, and valuable contributions to teaching and learning at multiple levels and venues. Over the years, Engeseth has taught various food chemistry courses to undergraduate and graduate students as well as to food industry professionals in the university’s off-campus M.S. food science program. A mentor for many students, she has also created opportunities for students through projects that integrate teaching and research. She has received multiple awards for teaching from the university and its food science and human nutrition department and from national organizations.

Sensory and Consumer Sciences Achievement Award: Harry T. Lawless
$3,000 honorarium from the Sensory and Consumer Sciences Division Fund of Feeding Tomorrow and a plaque from IFT

Harry LawlessHarry T. Lawless, Emeritus Professor, Cornell University, received the 2012 Sensory and Consumer Sciences Achievement Award for excellence within the sensory and consumer sciences field.

Lawless has made numerous contributions to the understanding of sensory science over a highly distinguished career. He has authored or edited more than 100 articles and technical reports on sensory science, ranging from applied methodological questions to basic work in chemosensory psychophysics, and he currently co-edits Journal of Sensory Studies. His contributions throughout his career include coining the phrase “tip of the nose” phenomenon and demonstrating that it is functionally distinct from its paronym; finding that the mutual mixture suppression of bitterness and sweetness was a central not peripheral phenomenon; and researching sweetener psychophysics, astringency perception, bitter receptor genes, and metallic “taste.”

Calvert L. Willey Distinguished Service Award: A. Elizabeth Sloan
$3,000 honorarium and a plaque from IFT

Elizabeth SloanA. Elizabeth Sloan, President, Sloan Trends, Inc. received the 2012 Calvert L. Willey Distinguished Service Award for meritorious and imaginative service to IFT.

From her research work for and participation in Food Technology magazine’s General Session at the IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo, researching and writing the magazine’s State of the Industry Reports, serving as a chairman of IFT’s Nutrition and Student Divisions, Sloan has provided exemplary service to IFT since 1973 when she joined as a student member. She has been a contributing editor for Food Technology magazine since the early 1990s. In addition to her writing contributions, Sloan has served on the planning committee for the annual IFT Wellness Conference.

Bernard L. Oser Food Ingredient Safety Award: James Griffiths
$3,000 honorarium and a plaque from the Bernard L. Oser Endowment Fund of the IFT Foundation

James GriffithsJames Griffiths, Vice President, Food, Dietary Supplement and Traditional Medicine Standards, United States Pharmacopoeia, has received the 2012 Bernard L. Oser Food Ingredient Safety Award for his contributions to the scientific knowledge of food ingredient safety and leadership in establishing principles for food ingredient safety evaluation or regulations.

Griffiths is board certified in toxicology and a fellow of the Society of Biology. Currently he is Chair of the IFT Toxicology and Safety Evaluation Division and Chair of the Society of Toxicology Food Safety Specialty Section (FS3). His contributions to food safety research have added to the understanding of functional food safety, adulteration or deliberate contamination of food ingredients, and the toxicity of several food ingredients, additives, and contaminants including D-ribose, spirulina, polydextrose, high-selenium yeast, solvents, and arsenic. His research about and writing on quality standards and the deliberate contamination of food ingredients are particularly important in the post-9/11 world as governments face the challenges of potential food terrorism.

Gilbert A. Leveille Award and Lectureship: Jonathan C. Allen
$3,000 and a plaque

Jonathan AllenJonathan C. Allen, received the 2012 Gilbert A. Leveille Award for outstanding research and/or public service at the interface between the disciplines of nutrition and food science, over a period of five years or more, which has contributed to improved health and well-being.

Allen is a professor in the Dept. of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences, North Carolina State University, and Director in Graduate Programs for Food Science and the Interdepartmental Nutrition Program. Allen’s research is varied and uses human, animal, and in vitro model systems to test the nutritional quality and bioavailability of nutrients. His recent research on the utilization of whey permeate as a salt replacer and the extraction of edible and bioactive protein from sweet potato peel show how food industry by-products can improve the nutritional value of foods. Through his teaching, administration, and program development activities, Allen has contributed to the understanding and potential amelioration of such chronic diseases as infant growth retardation, metabolic bone disease, diabetes, and hypertension.

Stephen S. Chang Award for Lipid or Flavor Science: Michael Eskin
$3,000 honorarium and a Steuben crystal sculpture from the Stephen S. Chang Endowment Trust Fund supported by the Taiwan Food Industries

Michael EskinMichael Eskin, Professor and Associate Dean, University of Manitoba, has received the 2012 Stephen S. Chang Award for Lipid or Flavor Science for significant contributions to lipid or flavor science.

Eskin has made significant contributions to the understanding of the quality and stability of edible oils. His work has helped to establish canola oil as an important oil in the world market. He has made significant accomplishments in basic and applied research in lipid science useful to the food industry. He has published extensively in the area of lipid science, made major breakthroughs in research on lipids, and holds two patents. Eskin’s contributions to the edible oils market has been recognized by professional associations and the oil industry. He is the co-author and co-editor of 13 books. Eskin was recently selected as the new co-editor of Lipid Technology.

Marcel Loncin Research Prize: Wade Yang
$50,000 paid in two annual installments and a plaque

Wade YangWeihua Wade Yang, Assistant Professor, Food Processing & Engineering, University of Florida, has received the 2012 Marcel Loncin Research Prize, which provides research funding to a scientist or engineer conducting basic chemistry, physics, or engineering research applied to food processing and the improvement of food quality.

Yang’s proposed research will focus on developing pulsed ultraviolet light technology for producing hypoallergenic peanut butter. The successful completion of this multi-disciplinary project, which is supported by the food industry (Kellogg’s) and government organizations (U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service-Southern Regional Research Center), will yield technology for producing allergenic peanut butter as well as to generate optimal processing conditions for future scale-up.

W.K. Kellogg International Food Security Award and Lectureship: Bruce Hamaker
$3,500 honorarium and a plaque from IFT

Bruce HamakerBruce Hamaker, Professor of Food Science, Purdue University, is Director of the Whistler Center for Carbohydrate Research and co-Director of the newly formed International Food Technology Center at Purdue. He has over three decades of experience working in developing countries.

Hamaker has an established research and publication record in the food science and nutrition areas, as well as noted achievement in applying such principles to agricultural and food science development work in Africa. He and his colleagues push toward transforming locally grown crops in Africa into competitive processed food products that can compete with imported products. New work has the potential to improve energy delivery from local foods to benefit marginally malnourished children. His group has made notable advances in understanding how to improve sorghum protein and energy availability. Collaborating with scientists and technologists in the West African Sahelian region, his team implemented or improved existing cereal processing technologies in a way that empowers local entrepreneurs to become more competitive in the marketplace. “Incubation Centers” were formed in Niger, Senegal, and Mali, whereby the food science units of the national agricultural research systems act as technology transfer and entrepreneur-nurturing centers. Hamaker has been an IFT member since 1985, has served as Chair of the Carbohydrate Division, and as a member of the Science Reports and Emerging Issues Committee of the Global Strategy Advisory Panel.

One Response to “Casimir Akoh Receives Appert Award”

  1. Eyisi Philip says:

    Congratulations to my dear uncle, Distinguished Prof. Casimir Akoh and the other receipients for their strides in science.
    Keep it up.