Friday, July 11, 2014

Biodiesel hits a double with two significant advances in production

The July/August issue of AOCS' member magazine Inform features two articles on advances in biodiesel technology that we have opened up to the public.

First, a new lipase makes it possible to produce biodiesel from oils of widely varying quality regardless of their free fatty acid content. It has already been used in full-scale production at a traditional and a greenfield plant, and the enzymatic biodiesel application is expected to be commercially available later this year.

The second free article looks at how innovative solid catalysts are opening new opportunities in the biodiesel market. Among other advantages, solid catalysts enable the blending of feedstocks to achieve optimal cold-flow properties in the final product at a low raw material cost. The scientists who developed the advances recently shared the details with AOCS’ Inform magazine. We hope you enjoy these two articles, which also include process schematics, testing data, and graphics of catalyst performance.

Women in Agribusiness Summit

Empowering female executives:
New exclusive offerings at the Women in Agribusiness Summit

DANVERS, MASS., July 10, 2014 – Unique executive level offerings, including a pre-conference short course on succeeding in international business, round out a comprehensive agenda designed for those across the ag value chain at the third annual Women in Agribusiness Summit, which will take place this October 6-8 in New Orleans, La., at the Hyatt Regency.
New this year to the event is a half-day course on Monday, October 6, “Succeeding in International Business: Challenges and Solutions for Senior Executives,” designed to provide executive and senior level women with the tools they need to succeed in international business. Directed by Paul Almeida, senior associate dean of executive education and professor of strategy and international business at McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, the seminar will:
  • Analyze the elements of successful business approaches in light of an internationally competitive landscape
  • Offer participants key solutions for dealing with, managing and leading change in cross-cultural contexts
  • Address the challenges in implementing international business strategies
  • Identify and use case studies to illustrate some best practices in global management  
These goals will be presented in two sessions: Key Factors Linked to International Business Success and Formulating and Implementing Successful Strategies Internationally.
The short course, which will be followed by a private networking lunch, will provide examples, tools and frameworks to help executives gain success when dealing with the emerging challenges associated with international competition in agribusiness.  
“Thirty-three percent of attendees at the 2013 Summit were senior vice president executive level or higher,” said Joy O’Shaughnessy, event director from HighQuest Group, the globally recognized strategic consulting, events and media company serving the ag sector that hosts the Summit. “We listened to their requests for more concentrated programming that spoke to their distinct needs and as a result, created these new sessions.”
This year’s Summit also includes a new executive track on day two, which offers sessions that cover Getting the Most Out of Your Team, Landing a Board Position and Preparing for Your Next Position. Additionally, much insight can be gained from the Executive Roundtable discussion, moderated by a panel of outstanding women in ag from Syngenta, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP and CHS Inc.  This closing Summit session includes an intimate conversation about these executives’ unique pathways to leadership, providing concrete and inspiring advice to all Summit delegates.
Registration for the Executive Short Course, which is open only to those in senior or executive level positions, is now open at  The cost is $250 (use code: PR4WIA-14 for a 10% discount) and Summit registration is not required to attend this short course.
More than 500 attendees are expected at this year’s Women in Agribusiness Summit, whose goal is twofold: to make the agriculture and food sectors career destinations for today's talented women, and to provide tools for women to become more informed leaders in the sector. Visit for detailed event information.

Follow us @Womeninagri, like us on Facebook, join our Linkedin Group.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Four AOCS Leaders Named IFT Fellows

This week during the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting & Food Expo in New Orleans, IFT named 15 new fellows and the list included four prominent AOCS members. Learn more about all the awardees and congratulate these AOCS members who are now IFT Fellows: Eric Decker, Keshun Liu, Suk Hoo Yoon, and Pamela White.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Request for volunteers

What if you had a chance to design the AOCS membership survey?

I am seeking volunteers to review and critique this year's survey. To be the focus group whose goal is refining the survey questions and responses.

The survey will take – maybe 30 minutes – to read through and make comments upon. Your responses will be used to improve the questionnaire before it is distributed to the full membership. Moreover your comments will ensure the survey results provide AOCS leaders with the information to know what our members value, expect and want from their professional society. 

So, do you have some time to help with the survey development? Please contact me directly by Wednesday, June 18th.

And in case you are curious, the full survey is scheduled to open to all AOCS members in mid-July. Look for the email message with link to the survey site to arrive next month.

Friday, May 23, 2014

AOCS Newsletter May 2014 Highlights

Snapshot of the 105th AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo
Thank you to everyone who joined us in San Antonio, Texas, USA, for the 105th AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo. We hope everyone enjoyed the technical sessions, networking events, and scenery of San Antonio!

Extended coverage of the Annual Meeting will appear in the July/August issue of Inform, but here is a quick snapshot:
  • More than 1,500 people attended the meeting, with 45 countries represented 
  • The Expo featured over 71 international companies
  • The 19th Annual AOCS FoundationSilent Auction raised nearly $7,000 for student programs
Don’t forget to check out our Facebook photo galleries.

We look forward to seeing you all in Orlando, Florida, USA next May for the 106th AOCS Annual Meeting and Industry Showcases.

Get More Recognition for your Annual Meeting Presentation
Now that you have presented at the AOCS Annual Meeting, submit your research to one of the three AOCS journals and reach thousands of scientists from around the world. Visit to learn more about publishing in the Journal of the American Oil Chemists Society (JAOCS), Lipids, or the Journal of Surfactants and Detergents (JSD).

Inform Free Features
In the first free article from the May issue of Inform, the laboratory director of a leading testing service for medical and non-medical-grade cannabis products describes current laboratory practices and considers the evolving need for uniform methodologies.

In our second free article, "Omics reveals subtle changes in carbon flux that lead to increased oil biosynthesis in oil palm," researchers describe how biochemical changes before, during, and after oil biosynthesis in fruit mesocarp were compared using transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics, and how these comparisons yielded clues to increasing palm oil biosynthesis.

Division Council News
Eric (Rick) Theiner, Air Products & Chemicals Inc., USA, was elected the Division Council Chairperson for 2014-2015.

Division officers were installed during the Annual Meeting. You can find the committee listings on their respective Division pages.

AOCS Seeks Candidates for Leadership Positions
Interested in pursuing a leadership position with AOCS? Take a moment to fill out our newly designed Prospective Leadership Questionnaire.

Serving in leadership positions with AOCS is your opportunity to be instrumental in the future direction of the Society. Positions include service on the AOCS Governing Board, AOCS Value Centers, the AOCS Foundation Board, and key committees.

For more information, contact Ben Harrison.

AOCS Biorenewable Resources
Biorenewables, also known as biomass, often form the basis of biobased products like oils, fats, detergents, and surfactants, and can be converted into forms of energy. Learn more about this topic by exploring AOCS books, Methods, and other resources.

Now through June 13, 2014, you can save on featured biorenewable titles. Use promo code BIO when checking out to save 15% and get free shipping on select AOCS Press titles.

AOCS Meeting Updates
Montreux14_97x120World Conference on Fabric and Home Care—Montreux 2014 | October 6–9, 2014 | Montreux, Switzerland
Online registration is open!

--> Register Nowbest rate offered through May 31.
--> Reserve Your Hotel
--> Interested in Exhibiting?


aocs_ccoa 2  
AOCS-CCOA Joint Symposium on Functional Lipids | November 19–20, 2014 | China
Call for Papers!

The organizing committee welcomes you to submit an abstract. The symposium will focus on contaminants in fats and oils, oil quality and remediation, value-added minor components of cereals and oils, and oils from new crops. The technical program will feature invited presentations by leading experts, as well as volunteer oral and poster presentations. For abstract submission guidelines contact Submission deadline is June 1, 2014.

Edible Oil Refining: From the Fundamentals to New Technologies Short Course | November 17–18, 2014 | China
This one and a half day course will address chemistry of oils and fats and every step of unit operations as it relates to soybean, sunflower, corn, palm, and other tropical oils. In addition, attendees are updated on the current status of new developments, technologies, and methods in the edible-oils processing field. For more information contact

Upcoming Industry Meetings
IndustryEventBtn-eNewsILPS Lecithin Short Course 2014 | June 12–13, 2014 | Belgium
World-class experts will present papers on various lecithin sources, production and applications in the University Conference Building, Ghent University. Demonstrations of lecithin emulsion characterization and applications will be organized in the university laboratories.

International Soaps Detergents and Cosmetics Conference | December 7-9, 2014 | India
The International Soaps Detergents & Cosmetics Conference will focus on these rapidly evolving industries in Asia. The conference will provide an excellent opportunity for national and International players to share views and resources on sustainability, the dynamic marketplace, emerging technologies and innovations, and environmental and regulatory issues. Learn more.


If you would like to receive the AOCS Newsletter and read it in full you may opt-in here. 


Journal of Surfactants and Detergents seeks Editor-in-Chief

The American Oil Chemists’ Society (AOCS) seeks candidates for the Editor-in-Chief position of the Journal of Surfactants and Detergents (, a peer-reviewed, bimonthly (six issues per year) journal publishing research papers and reviews in the area of surfactants and detergents. Content includes the basic and applied science of petrochemical and oleochemical-based surfactants, the development and performance of surfactants in all applications, as well as the development and manufacturing of detergent ingredients and their formulation into finished products. In the past five years, JSD has grown considerably. It has gone from publishing four times to six times a year and has doubled the number of published articles and performance indices such as the impact factor (1.515) and the download number.

The Editor-in-Chief position requires a motivated individual with experience in the field of surfactants and detergents research who is interested in making a significant contribution to a global society that provides information about fats, oils, and related materials including surfactants and detergents. Strong leadership qualities are a must. According to AOCS policy, the term for this appointment is five years, with an option for one additional term. We are seeking someone to begin this position in January 2015. This is a volunteer position with the only compensation being travel reimbursement to assist in attending a limited number of conferences each year.

The Editor-in-Chief sets direction for the publication while overseeing the paper solicitation process and making final selections for publication. Duties include leading a team of Associate Editors; working with AOCS and the international publisher Springer to define editorial policies; communicating with peer reviewers, prominent international authors, and the AOCS leadership team; attending Society and industry events; and chairing a Journal meeting at the Society’s Annual Meeting & Expo.

For consideration, please submit the following documents by September 1, 2014: letter of intent (please include your interest in and vision for the position), vitae, and any other material that supports your candidacy. Send the documents to Janet Brown ( Finalists will be interviewed in September, and a final decision will be made by November. For further information, please contact Janet Brown, AOCS Director, Content Development (phone: +1 217-693-4897; Fax: +1 217-693-4898; email:

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Summary of the AM 2014 Session on trans Fat Reduction in Shortening and Oils

Gary List, co-chair of the Edible Applications Technology (EAT) 3 Session, provides a summary of the nine presentations by leaders in the field that focused on innovative technologies for trans fat reduction in shortening and oils. Gary also contributed two chapters in the recent AOCS Press title, Trans Fats Replacement Solutions. In one chapter, List offers specific information on trans fats replacement solutions for frying and baking applications, as well as solutions for shortenings, margarines, and spreads. In his second chapter, List provides an overview of replacement solutions in North America. Both chapters have an extensive list of references.

EAT 3: Innovative Technologies for trans Fat Reduction in Shortening and Oils
2014 AOCS Annual meeting San Antonio, TX
GR List and D. Nakhasi (Co-Chairs)

Over the past decade the industry made substantial progress in providing trans-fat replacements for the food industry in order to meet nutrition labeling requirements mandated by the Food and Drug   Administration. (FDA).  Among these are the reemergence of the trait modified oil industry which now furnish about 20% of domestic oil needs. This has occurred through the efforts of government industrial, and academic scientists over about a 25 year time frame.

The time honored oil processing methods have been modified to provide trans-fat replacements for the baking and food service sectors. Examples include enzymatic interesterfication, modified hydrogenation, fractionation, and blending. By 2005 most foods had been reformulated to meet FDA requirements and by 2012 a substantial number were reduced to 0.2 gms TFA/serving including food groups previously high in trans fats.

However in late 2013 the FDA announced plans to remove partially hydrogenated oils from the generally regarded as safe (GRAS) list. This leaves the future of catalytic hydrogenation as a fat modification tool in serious jeopardy despite a pronounced reduction in use.

Thus it seemed appropriate to review the progress made in trans-fat reduction in shortening and oils. Perhaps the biggest challenge in reducing trans-fats occurred in the baking industry. Roger Daniels described his research as “Form Follows Function”. Since baking shortenings perform many functions trans-fat replacements must perform as well as the product they are replacing.  Studies conducted on trans free palm based and interesterified shortenings confirmed that excellent performance in cookies, cakes and pie crusts were achieved.

Susan Knowlton described the performance of trait modified soybean oils in food applications. Trait modified soy oils have evolved from low linolenic to mid and high oleic lines. Through traditional plant breeding these oils are characterized   by reduced polyunsaturates and increased monounsaturated fatty acids. As such trait modified oils are much more stable than the parent commodity oil.  Trait modified oils serve well in deep fat frying operations. Other applications for trait modified soy oils include spray oils, pan and griddle frying as well as in snack foods.

Dietary fats continue to be of great interest because of potential adverse health and nutritional effects.  Ed Hunter reviewed recent studies on the role of stearic acid in blood lipids. A careful review showed that stearic acid is neutral in elevating LDL levels. This observation shows that the use of interesterified and full hydrogenated fats pose little risk in elevating LDL levels.

Modified hydrogenation represents a possible low-trans option for food use. Neil Higgins showed that the use of chemically modified nickel catalysts coupled with increased pressure and lower temperature resulted in a drastic reduction in trans-fat suitable for baking shortenings.

Although plant breeding has been useful in bringing trait modified oils to commercialization the use of biotechnology in combination with plant breeding has proven to be another option. Jerry Heise described applications of biotechnology for several soybean lines.  A low saturate high oleic oil is a no trans/low saturate (6%) product that performs well in deep fat frying and other food service applications. Omega -3 oils are of great interest because they are precursors to EPA and DHA needed for prostaglandin synthesis. Commodity soy contains about 7-8% omega 3 acids. Through biotechnology an enriched omega -3 oil was developed and in the final stages of commercialization.
Palm /palm kernel oils offer numerous possibilities for trans-fat replacements. Gerry McNeill described the latest in alternatives to hydrogenation through use of tropical oils. Through fractionation, interesterification, hydrogenation and blending tropical fats have proven to be versatile and functional in baking applications.

Algal oils offer a trans free solution as discussed by Risha Bond. A process was described based on fermentation as opposed to open ponds for algae production. The product is available commercially and meets the requirements and composition for an edible oil

Sunflower oil is an old crop that has undergone considerable improvement. Monoj Gupta traced the history and food uses of sunflower oil that culminated with NUSUN through the efforts of USDA Scientists and Archer Daniel Midland. NUSUN is a mid-oleic oil and is highly suitable in frying and snack foods. Other sunflower oils include the high linoleic and high oleic varieties. Supply and the higher costs have been factors in expansion of the sunflower oil industry.

The food service industry is a major user of fats and oils. David Booher described the performance of trait modified canola oil in food service applications. Canola oils commercially available   include low linolenic, high and mid oleic lines. The latter perform well in food service for frying, as spray oils and for pan /griddle use.

Although chemical interesterification is an old fat modification technology, the use of enzymes has only been commercialized in the past 10 years. Tom Tiffany reviewed the applications of the enzyme technology for production of baking fats along with performance data for cookies, cakes, and pies. These products were compared against hydrogenated shortenings and found to compare well.


Have a summary of a session you attended or chaired? Send AOCS an email to and we will post it!