Friday, September 24, 2021

Member Spotlight: Matthew J. Fhaner

Matt Fhaner
Dr. Matthew J. Fhaner is the chair of the Department of Natural Sciences at the University of Michigan – Flint (UM-Flint). He is an Associate Professor of Analytical Chemistry and involved in teaching both lecture and laboratory classes in general chemistry and analytical chemistry focusing on quantitative and instrumental analyses. Dr. Fhaner’s research program focuses on identifying applications of electrochemical methods to the study of natural antioxidants and edible oil.

Dr. Fhaner has been a faculty member at UM-Flint for 7 years. His teaching responsibilities include general and analytical chemistry lectures and labs, including quantitative and instrumental analysis. 

He is a member of the AOCS Professional Educator Common Interest Group (PC CIG).

Why did you join AOCS and how long have you been a member?

I joined AOCS after being awarded the Edwin N. Frankel Award for Best Paper in Lipid Oxidation and Quality and being invited to the 2018 AOCS Annual Meeting. I have been a member of AOCS ever since and have continued to find ways to become involved.

How has your involvement with the AOCS influenced your career?

Being a member of AOCS has greatly expanded my professional network. I have had the privilege of meeting colleagues from industry, government labs, and academia and engaging in open conversations about diverse topics from research, to teaching, to work-life balance. By investing my time in AOCS, I have unintentionally found that I am also investing in myself.

Why did you decide to join the PE CIG?

Coming from a more traditional R1 graduate school experience in analytical chemistry there was little intersection with edible oil research and the work being done within my circle of peers. As I entered the world of academia, it was difficult for me to find peers that could act as a mentorship network for my scholarship and teaching. I was thrilled when I learned AOCS had a common interest group dedicated towards professional educators like myself and immediately decided to join and learn more.

What led you to where you are now? Talk about previous jobs, school, other life journey that led you to where you are.

My journey to where I am now feels like it just fell into place when looking back. Initially, my undergraduate studies were centered on criminal justice in order to go into forensic science. After speaking with the head of the forensic science master’s program I realized I needed to enter a natural science. With no previous experience in the subject, I picked chemistry somewhat on a whim. In my final year of undergraduate studies, I was fortunate enough to work in the research lab of Dr. Borhan. Dr. Borhan suggested I apply to the chemistry graduate program. Up until that time, I was only considering forensic science programs. I applied to the chemistry program and was accepted. In graduate school, I studied electrochemical analysis of neurotransmission. As I approached graduation, I applied for a post-doctoral research position at the United States Department of Agriculture. 

It was in my post-doctoral work where I was introduced to functional food research, specifically the analysis of omega-3 fatty acids. After leaving my post-doctoral position for my new faculty position, I needed a research area that was feasible at a primarily undergraduate institution (PUI) where laboratory work happened more sporadically than the previous institutions I worked in. I combined my electrochemical background from graduate school with the antioxidant and omega-3 fatty acids studies I performed in my post-doctoral work to create a research program focused on identifying applications of electrochemical methods to the study of natural antioxidants and edible oils.

What do you love most about your position?

The best part about being a faculty member at a (PUI) is working with students to help them reach their professional goals. Each year I get the bittersweet experience of sending one of my students off to begin the next phase of their career while welcoming in new ones. The ability to be part of their life’s journey is the most rewarding part of my job.

How do you define success?

Everyone will have a different definition of success. I believe that success is the ability to demonstrate flexibility, persistence and self-reflection in the pursuit of a goal.

Who inspires you? Or Who has been the most influential person in your career?

It would be impossible and unfair of my to pick a single person. When I was in my undergraduate studies, Dr. Borhan was the single reason that I pursued a Ph.D. in chemistry. Without him I would have never gone into a chemistry graduate program. The other two individuals are AOCS members, Hong-Sik Hwang and Jill Winkler-Moser. Hong-Sik and Jill have been invaluable mentors, collaborators and friends as I transitioned into my academic career. I firmly believe I would not have been successful without their support.

What’s one thing — either academy/industry-related or not — you learned in the last month?

In the last month (July 1, 2021), I transitioned into the role of department chair for the newly formed Department of Natural Sciences, which contains physics, biology and chemistry. The most impactful thing I have learned is how little I know!

If you could give advice to young AOCS members, what would it be?

Everyone is still learning. The fastest way to impact your own knowledge base is to get involved with your professional society and learn from those around you.

What’s something about you (a fun fact) that not many people know?

I played goalie on an in-line roller hockey team in high school, and I was pretty good!

What’s your favorite thing to do outside of work?

I have four children and a wonderful wife. My favorite thing to do outside of work is spending unstructured time with them where everyone can have a voice in what the family does.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

How and why to become a journal reviewer

Have you always wanted to be a peer-reviewer, but are not sure you have what it takes or you don’t know where to start? Are you a recent graduate or post-doctoral student eager to learn about peer-reviewing? Attend this midweek mixer hosted by Dr. Silvana Martini, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society (JAOCS), to learn more.

This panel-style event will consist of a short presentation explaining the review process and the important role of reviewers. Senior associate editors of JAOCS will provide advice and suggestions on how to be an outstanding reviewer. This will be an interactive event where the editor-in-chief and the senior associate editors will be available to answer any questions that you might have. Don’t miss this opportunity to meet the editorial board of JAOCS and get involved in the review process.

When: Tuesday, October 19, 2021, 1 p.m. CDT (Chicago, USA; UTC-5)

Register for free. 


Host (JAOCS Editor-in-Chief)

Silvana Martini is a professor in the Department of Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences at Utah State University. Dr. Martini’s research interests are related to the physicochemical and sensorial characterization of food materials, lipids in particular. She studies how the quality of food materials is affected by their nano-, micro- and macroscopic characteristics. Dr. Martini has published more than 110 papers in peer-reviewed journals, participated in more than 180 conferences, and 11 book chapters. Dr. Martini won the Timothy L. Mounts Award (2019) and Fellow Award (2021) from AOCS. She is a member of the AOCS Governing Board. Dr. Silvana Martini obtained her B.Sc. in biochemistry (1997) and Ph.D. in chemistry (2003) from the University of La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Panelists (JAOCS Senior Associate Editors)

Rick Ashby has 32 years of research experience in the areas of microbial biopolymer and biosurfactant synthesis. As a research microbiologist in the Sustainable Biofuels and Coproducts Research Unit (SBCP) at the USDA, ARS, Eastern Regional Research Center (ERRC), Dr Ashby has demonstrated expertise in the fermentative biosynthesis of microbial products and in their chemical and physical characterization. He has been primarily involved in the microbial production and post-synthetic modification of polyhydroxyalkanoate biopolymers and glycolipid biosurfactants derived from inexpensive carbon feedstocks. He has spearheaded research on reducing the economics of fermentative synthesis of these products by utilizing inexpensive coproduct materials such as crude glycerol, soy molasses, lignocellulosic biomass, levulinic acid etc. In 2019, Dr. Ashby was elected an AOCS Fellow. He earned a Ph.D. (1994) in microbiology from Louisiana State University.


Tim Durrett is an associate professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at Kansas State University. Dr. Durrett's current research interests revolve around manipulating lipid metabolism in seeds to improve the quantity and quality of the oil that is produced. Some of this work involves trying to better understand the role of different enzymes in controlling the flux of different types of fatty acids, as well as how carbon is allocated between oil and other seed components (e.g., protein and carbohydrates). Other projects employ synthetic biology strategies to maximize the production of unusual lipids with enhanced properties in oil seed crops. He received his Ph.D. (2006) from the University of Missouri-Columbia.


Supratim Ghosh is an associate professor in the Department of Food and Bioproduct Sciences of University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada. His research interest is in emulsion and colloid science, including food physical chemistry, structure-function relationship, food nanotechnology and complex colloidal chemistry. His team has been working on utilizing plant proteins to create structured food emulsions, oleogels and deliver bioactives via nanoemulsions for improved health benefits and sustainability in food production. Dr. Ghosh is a regular peer reviewer of many food science journals and national and international research grants. He received his Ph.D. from the Pennsylvania State University, USA, and did postdoctoral research at the Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada.


Amy Logan is a principle research scientist within Australia’s National Science Agency, CSIRO, and the Group Leader for Food Quality and Stability. Dr. Logan has many years’ experience understanding the effect of composition, processing and microstructure on the physicochemical properties of lipid and protein based food systems. She received her Ph.D. (2006) from The University of Melbourne in Australia.

Jill Moser is a research chemist and lead scientist at the USDA, ARS, National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research in Peoria, Illinois. Dr. Moser’s research focuses on development of natural antioxidants for oxidation prevention and shelf-life improvement. Dr. Moser also conducts research on the development of technologies to replace saturated and trans fatty acids in shortenings, margarines and processed foods with healthier oils. Dr. Moser has over 70 peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters and is the alternate delegate to the U.S. Codex Committee on Fats and Oils. Dr. Moser served as past chair, vice-chair, and secretary/treasurer for the LOQ Division. She received a Ph.D. (2002 ) in food science and human nutrition from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

2021-2022 NOPA/AOCS Certified Laboratories

The National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) advocates for an efficient global supply chain system, by providing leadership through education, information and market-based solutions to policymakers, trade negotiators and others.

The NOPA/AOCS Certified Laboratory Program, provided by AOCS Technical Services, certifies laboratories for the referee analysis of soybean meal according to NOPA trading rules. We are delighted to announce that the following laboratories have achieved this status for the 2021-2022 year:

ATC Scientific, North Little Rock, Arkansas USA
AOCS Approved Chemist: Scott Schuldt

Barrow Agee Laboratories, Inc., Memphis, Tennessee, USA
AOCS Approved Chemists: Michael Hawkins, Amanda Self

Carolina Analytical Services LLC, Bear Creek, North Carolina, USA
AOCS Approved Chemists: Jennie Stewart, Brad Beavers

Cotecna Inspection, Inc., Kenner, Louisiana, USA
AOCS Approved Chemist: Nikki Lassere

Eurofins Nutrition Analysis Center, Des Moines, Iowa, USA
AOCS Approved Chemists: Ardin Backous, Kent Karsjens. Anders Thomsen, Keith Persons

Hahn Laboratories, Inc., Columbia, South Carolina, USA
AOCS Approved Chemist: Frank M. Hahn

Thionville Laboratories, LLC, Harahan, Louisiana, USA
AOCS Approved Chemists: Paul Thionville, Andre Thionville, Kristopher Williams

Whitbeck Laboratories, Inc., Springdale, Arkansas, USA
AOCS Approved Chemist: Gordon Whitbeck

Congratulations to the analysts who have achieved this status. 

Learn more about the NOPA/AOCS Certified Labs program on our website.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Member Spotlight: Hongbing Fan

Hongbing Fan

Hongbing Fan earned a master’s degree in food science at China Agricultural University in 2015, working mainly on aquatic product processing and preservation. Afterward, Hongbing pursued a Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. Jianping Wu in the Department of Agricultural, Food & Nutritional Science, at the University of Alberta, Canada. His current research interests include protein chemistry, functional foods and bioactive peptides.

He won the 2021 Thomas H. Smouse Memorial Fellowship.

How long have you been an AOCS member and what types of activities have you participated in?

I have been an AOCS student member since 2018. Since then, I have participated in various academic and social activities in AOCS across the Divisions, such as webinars, midweek mixers, Division meetings, etc. I have also volunteered as the chair of Student Common Interest Group (2019–2021) and as co-chairs of Protein and Co-Product (PCP)/Health & Nutrition Division (H&N) technical or poster sessions during the 2020 and 2021 AOCS Annual Meetings. I have also been involved in the AOCS Canadian Section leadership team since 2019.

What big problem is your research trying to solve?

My Ph.D. thesis project is to develop antihypertensive peptides from spent hen muscle proteins. Spent hens are the birds reaching the end of their egg-laying cycle and are the major byproduct in the egg industry. Every year, more than 400 million spent hens are produced in North America. Processing them for food/feed uses is of little economic value; they are instead mostly disposed by burial, composting, and incineration, which cause environmental and animal welfare issues. 

Food protein-derived antihypertensive peptides are an emerging treatment for hypertension, a global public health concern. Previous research demonstrated the possible presence of antihypertensive peptides in spent hen muscle proteins, including peptides targeting angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) and ACE2, two key enzymes regulating high blood pressure. This project aims to identify and characterize these two types of antihypertensive peptides from spent hen muscle proteins, followed by evaluating their efficacy in various cell and animal models of hypertension. 

Characterization of peptides targeting ACE2 will broaden the research of antihypertensive peptides beyond that of ACE, the conventional target of antihypertension. The valorized use of spent hens adds new values to the egg industry and may produce inexpensive functional food ingredients as alternatives to synthetic drugs for the treatment of hypertension.

Can you tell us about your new role with the AOCS H&N Division?

It has been such a pleasure to serve as the membership liaison for the H&N Division and get more interactions with Division members. As the membership liaison, I help engage members of the Division, through reviewing lapsed membership, reaching out to new members with a welcome and organizing gatherings like midweek mixers within H&N or across AOCS Divisions.

Do you have any words of wisdom or suggestions for other AOCS H&N members or students who are aspiring towards their future careers?

Work hard and play harder; work independently while collaborating with others. As I recently graduated from my Ph.D. studies, I highly encourage student members to present their research work at AOCS Annual Meetings and apply for AOCS Awards. I also encourage student members to participate and volunteer more in academic and social activities organized by our Division and AOCS. Volunteering enhances your communication skills, builds your network and provides leadership training.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Processing Division Mixer: Measurement in Science and Industry

How did a nuclear reprocessing plant lose 30 kg of plutonium and how can you use careful measurement to get the most out of an edible oil refinery? Alan Paine, Consultant, UK, will provide answers to these questions as well as insight into achieving precise measurement in science and industry. 

This presentation will be followed by a discussion about the Processing Division's needs for the upcoming 2022 AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo, May 1–4, 2022.

When: Thursday, October 7, 2021, 12 p.m. CDT (Chicago, USA; UTC-5)

Register for free.


Alan Paine
Alan Paine retired in 2020 after a long career with Desmet Ballestra and is now working as a part time consultant. His work has mainly been in the field of edible oil refining. He has been involved with sales, process engineering, project management, commissioning, trouble shooting and plant audits.  

He is an active member of AOCS, regularly posting on the Inform|Connect Open Forum, and is vice chair for the Processing Division. He is helping to organize the processing program for the 2022 Annual Meeting & Expo in Atlanta.

Away from work he enjoys, amateur theater and writing among other diversions. He has had several short stories published. In 2020, he completed the NaNoWriMo challenge by writing a short novel of 51,000 words entirely within the month of November.

He lives in Horncastle UK with his wife Jane. They have have three children and three grandchildren.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Member Spotlight: Samaneh Fard

Samaneh Fard
Dr. Samaneh Fard is a registered nutritionist advocating nutrition and actively promoting a healthy lifestyle. A R&D technologist for Nu-Mega Ingredients, her research interest involves the improvement of nutritional status in women, infants and the elderly with the aim of introducing essential fatty acids (EPA and DHA).

A typical day for me includes… 

A great many things: engaging in clinical investigation, research and development, project management, writing and proofreading reports, carrying out literature searches, data analysis, organizing seminars and workshops, developing evidence-based technical materials and content to support marketing team members, attending meetings, talking to my line colleagues daily about our work …the list goes on.

My favorite part of my job is…

I rather enjoy the research aspect and enjoy the idea of science being central to discovering new concepts/products. Nu-Mega Ingredients is an exciting organization to be involved with as the mission of the company is in line with my area of interest and that is optimizing nutritional status in adults, elderly and infants with the aim of introducing essential nutrients for overall health.

Away from work, I like to… 

Spend time with family and my friends. Every weekend I try to organize one day activity with them from a picnic to hiking to shopping. I am Iranian born and bred and really enjoying cooking and having parties.

If I could meet anyone, it would be… 

Professor Jørn Dyerberg, one of the pioneers behind the discovery of the health effects of polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids in our foods.

When listening to the radio I listen to…

Podcasts. Every day I like to get outside and go for a walk and listen to Persian Podcasts. I love Masty & Rasty, Navcast, and Paragraph … I feel like I learn something new with each episode.

Thanks for sharing your valuable research and your life outside of work with us, Samaneh!  

Lipid Oxidation and Quality Division Mixer: LOQ and your Career

Want some helpful career insights from leaders in the lipids world, as well as a chance to win a free 2022 membership in the Lipid Oxidation and Quality (LOQ) Division? Join us for the LOQ Fall Midweek Mixer on Wednesday, October 6, 2021, at 11 a.m. CDT (Chicago, USA; UTC-5).

Register for free.

Prof. Eric Decker (University of Massachusetts Amherst), Dr. Jill Moser (USDA-ARS) and Dr. Roger Nahas (Kalsec) will share the twists and turns of their careers in academe, government, and industry. What decisions made the greatest differences in their careers? How did they take advantage of external events? Would they have done anything differently, in hindsight? How did membership in LOQ influence their careers? 

Learn from these members on how they utilized Division involvement to grow their careers.


Eric Decker
Eric Decker is a professor and head of the Department of Food Science at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  Dr. Decker is actively conducting research to characterize mechanisms of lipid oxidation, antioxidant protection of foods and the health implications of bioactive lipids. Dr. Decker has over 400 publications and he is listed as one of the most highly cited scientists in agriculture. Dr. Decker has served on numerous committees for institutions such as the FDA, National Academy of Science, Institute of Food Technologist, USDA and the American Heart Association. He has received numerous recognition for his research from the American Oil Chemists' Society, Agriculture and Food Chemistry Division of ACS, International Life Science Institute, and Institute of Food Technologists.

Jill Moser is a research chemist and lead scientist at the USDA, ARS, National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research in Peoria, Illinois. She received a Ph.D. in food science and human nutrition from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Moser’s research focuses on development of natural antioxidants for oxidation prevention and shelf-life improvement. Dr. Moser also conducts research on the development of technologies to replace saturated and trans fatty acids in shortenings, margarines and processed foods with healthier oils. Dr. Moser has over 70 peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters and is the alternate delegate to the U.S. Codex Committee on Fats and Oils. Dr. Moser served as past chair, vice-chair, and secretary/treasurer for the LOQ Division.

Roger Nahas
Roger Nahas is the senior vice president of Global R&D at Kalsec® and has been with the company since 2007. Kalsec is the leading global producer of natural herb and spice extracts, colors, antioxidants and hop products. Before his current position, Dr. Nahas held various roles, including director of R&D and acting product management director for natural antioxidants. Dr. Nahas obtained his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Missouri in 2007, his M.Sc. in chemistry of natural products from the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute in Crete (Greece) in 2003 and B.S. in chemistry from the Lebanese University in Beirut (Lebanon) in 2001. In his current role, Dr. Nahas leads a technical team of about 80 members across the world. This diverse team has specialized degrees in multiple scientific disciplines (>25 Ph.D.s on staff) and are tasked with developing innovative solutions for the food and beverage industry.