Tuesday, December 17, 2019

AAOCS member spotlight: Amy Logan

Amy Logan is the group leader for Food Quality and Safety within the Food Program of CSIRO Agriculture and Food, based at the Food Innovation Centre in Werribee, Victoria. Her group is spread across Werribee, North Ryde in New South Wales and Coopers Plains in Queensland and consists of 30 innovative individuals working in the areas of food analysis, materials, microbiology, and sensory and consumer science. Additionally, the group routinely hosts a number of national and international short-term (5–10mth) student internships and longer-term PhD students.

Amy’s background is in lipid chemistry. She conducted her Ph.D. jointly with the University of Melbourne and the Victorian Department of Natural Resources and Environment, examining the influence of genetics and environment on the chemical composition of selected canola cultivars (2002–2006). More recently, her expertise has focused on the dairy industry, working across lipid-protein and protein-protein structure function interactions. She has been an active member of the AOCS Australasian Section committee for many years and is an associate editor for the Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society (JAOCS).

Thanks to Amy for sharing a little bit about yourself!

A typical day for me … is quite varied! It can involve discussions around research strategy and capability needs within the Food Program, working together with clients to add value to the AgriFood industry, and leading an innovative science program, “Personalised Fabrication of Smart Food Systems”, within one of CSIRO’s Future Science Platforms.

My favourite part of my job is … collaborating on a national and international level to solve some really exciting scientific questions. A recent example is a successful collaboration between ourselves and four organisations across Australia and France (INRA, CNEIL, Université de Toulouse, The University of Melbourne and CSIRO): Lazzaro et al. (2020) Food Hydrocolloids, 101, 105414.

L to R: Amy Logan, Roderick Williams (CSIRO) and Fanny Lazzaro (Ph.D. student from INRA, France) loading samples on the Quokka small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) instrument at ANSTO.
The Australian arm of the work revolved around a three month visit by (then) student Fanny Lazzaro to work on both the small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) beamline at the Australian Synchrotron in Melbourne and the small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) Beamline at ANSTO in Lucas Heights.

Away from work, I like to … find new places for craft cider and beer. With my husband being a retired wrestler, we also like to catch up with friends at local wrestling shows. The scene is growing fast here in Australia, with a number of stand-out promotions across the country, including Melbourne City Wrestling who we are most involved.

If I could go anywhere, it would be… I would love to see more of Japan. I was fortunate enough to visit Tokyo for a week last January and was completely blown away by how great the place was, including the rich culture and fabulous food.

When listening to the radio, I listen to…  mostly songs from the 80s. I love a good sing along in the car!

2020 World Congress on Oils and Fats (WCOF2020) Conference Workshops

The countdown for the 2020 World Congress on Oils and Fats (WCOF2020) is on so if you haven’t already, register today! The program features some truly fantastic research. We have included a preview of some of the conference workshops below. Learn more about the conference here.

Optimum Frying

Hosted by Christian Gertz and Bertrand Matthaeus

If you are working in or interested in hearing updates from the frying industry, then this is a workshop not to be missed! This workshop is intended for food producers, scientists, commercial laboratories, those involved in marketing, and any consumers. The workshop will present marketing perspectives and regulatory issues, the latest research in frying technologies, and research in new developments that aim to improve overall quality and heat stability of frying oils.

See the full program and workshop details here (PDF)!

Infant Nutrition 

Hosted by the AAOCS and NuMega Ingredients

For those working in infant nutrition research, dietetics, the infant formula industry or any parents out there, this workshop will present the latest perspectives and research conducted in the infant nutrition space. Particular focus areas will include the role of lipids in the manufacturing of infant formula and nutritional implications for infants. The workshop also features presentations on regulatory compliance and current industry standards.

See the full program and workshop details here (PDF)!

Mediterranean Diet Symposium

Hosted by AAOCS, Karen Murphy, Cintia Dias and Catherine Itsiopoulos

This workshop should be on the radar for everyone! Come and hear about the latest research on the Mediterranean diet. This workshop has a particular focus on strategies to implement the diet patterns and culture in Western populations. Any registered nutritionists and dieticians have an additional incentive with the opportunity to include this event in your CPD activity portfolio!

Review the program information here (PDF). 

Olive Masterclass

Hosted by Australian Olive Association (AOA)

This workshop has an informative yet relaxed format. Hear from experts in the olive industry on the most current olive research. Hear about the health benefits of olives and the new Olive Wellness Institute — an independent, evidence-based science repository. The workshop concludes with a technical tasting experience. Join other researchers and industry professionals and learn how to taste and recognize high-quality olive oil.

To learn more, follow the link here (PDF).

Monday, December 16, 2019

Welcome to new Journal of Surfactants and Detergents Editor-in-Chief, Doug Hayes!

Welcome to the new Journal of Surfactants and Detergents Editor-in-Chief, Doug Hayes! Doug is a member of AOCS and a Professor at the University of Tennessee. He has served as an editor for AOCS journals for nearly twenty years and is currently a member-at-large on the AOCS Governing Board. Learn more about him, why he decided to volunteer and what he hopes to accomplish as Editor-in-Chief in the below Q&A.

Provide a brief biography of 250 words or less.
I am a Professor of Biosystems Engineering at the University of Tennessee (UT). I also serve as an Adjunct Professor for Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at UT, a Guest Professor at Wuhan Polytechnic University and Jinan University (Guangzhou, China), and a UT-Oak Ridge National Laboratory Joint Faculty member. I received a B.S. and Ph.D. at Iowa State University (1986) and University of Michigan (1991), respectively, both in chemical engineering. I served as a Postdoctoral Research Chemist at the USDA/ARS/NCAUR from 1991 to 1994, and as an Assistant and Associate Professor at UAH (Chemical and Materials Engineering, 1991–1994) before joining UT.

I will begin serving as Editor-in-Chief (EIC) of the Journal of Surfactants and Detergents (JSD) in January and currently serve as Senior Associate Editor for the Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society. I received the Impact Award (2017) and the John J. and Dorothy G. McDow Faculty Excellence Award (2019) from the UT Institute of Agriculture. I have over 80 publications in peer-reviewed journals, over 20 book chapters and three co-edited books. My research interests include surfactant self-assembly systems, biobased products, bioplastics and applied enzymology.

Why did you decide to volunteer as a member of a Steering Committee?
My passion for and dedication to serve as EIC of JSD started when I served as Associate Technical Editor (ATE) under EIC Jean Louis-Salager. Jean-Louis exemplified passion to me as an editor and advocate of the journal. He reviewed each and every manuscript before assigning to the ATEs and provided useful comments on his assessment of the manuscript to the ATEs. He worked hard during the Annual Meetings to procure new manuscripts from prospective authors through engagement. In 2014, I served as Chair of the search committee that ultimately hired George Smith as EIC. I learned from this role that JSD has a unique mission in the colloids/interfaces publishing space due to (1) its emphasis on the surfactants themselves (their synthesis, characterization and application), (2) the heavy involvement of the industrial sector in authorship and (3) a deep affiliation with a passionate professional society and dedicated professional staff.

What do you hope to accomplish in your role?
As EIC, my major goal will be to increase the Impact Factor of JSD to 2.0 or above, in order to be competitive with other journals in the colloids/surfactants space. A secondary goal would be to increase recognition of the technical editors, ATEs and reviewers, who play such a key role in the success of the journal. A third goal would be to enhance, broaden and integrate the JSD editor and reviewer communities.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a father of three children: Tim (Sophomore at UT, studying music education), Phil (Tim's twin, studying Animal Sciences at UT) and Hope (age 14). My wife, Dawn, and I have been married for 23 wonderful years. On the weekend, I like to work outside around our house. I also like to travel and am a history buff.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Howard Sprecher, known for the “Sprecher Pathway” passes

Howard Sprecher, an AOCS member from 1996–2015, passed away on December 6, 2020, at the age of 83. Dr. Sprecher was the recipient of the Supelco Award in 2000 and was very involved with Lipids, serving as an Associate Editor from 1992–1998 and on the Editorial Advisory Board from 1999–2019.     

His work influenced hundreds of others, including many researchers from the Lipids editorial board. Editor-in-Chief Eric Murphy wrote:

“I just taught the Sprecher pathway last week and related to the students that when I sat in their seats, Howard taught us that pathway and noted that delta-4 desaturase doesn’t exist. Period, no questions. Then he came up in lecture on last Friday as well. He was an awesome faculty member and I loved his lectures.”

Read his obituary and a summary written in 2000 when he won the 2000 Supelco Award: 

Howard Sprecher (Born 1936). The 2000 recipient was born in Wisconsin and, in 1958, received his BA in Chemistry from North Central College in Naperville, IL. He received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin in 1963. Sprecher was a post-doctoral fellow with Ralph Holman at the Hormel Institute from 1963–1964. The next step in his academic career was at Ohio State University as an Assistant Professor in 1964 and he was promoted to Associate and finally full Professor in 1972. In 1995, he held the Chair of the Medicinal Biochemistry Department. Upon retirement in 2000, Sprecher became Professor Emeritus in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology and currently holds this position. Sprecher is internationally known as an authority on fatty acid metabolism, synthesis of complex lipids, and prostaglandins and other eicosanoids. A key feature of much of his work has been the total synthesis of labeled fatty acids for metabolic studies. He is also well known for his elucidation of DHA formation in mammals (known as the “Sprecher Pathway”).

He has presented 45 invited lectures in many countries, and in 1982 he was a guest lecturer in Stockholm at the Nobel ceremony honoring Bergstrom, Samuelsson, and Vane for their research on prostaglandins. He was responsible for organizing four international meetings on essential fatty acids and prostaglandins. He has served on the editorial boards of numerous important journals, including Lipids, Progress in Lipid Research, the Journal of Biological Chemistry, and Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Sprecher is the author of over 200 publications in important journals.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Welcome to the new Canadian Section Leadership Team!

The Canadian Section of AOCS (CAOCS) elected five new members to serve on its 2020–2021 Leadership Team:
  • Chairperson: Xiao Qiu, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan
  • Vice Chairperson:  Apollinaire Tsopmo, Carleton University, Ontario
  • Secretary/Treasurer: Andrew Gravelle, University of Guelph, Ontario
  • Student Affairs: Elisa Di Stefano, University of Ottawa, Ontario, and Hongbing Fan, University of Alberta, Alberta
The Leadership Team will organize events in Canada, encourage students and young professionals to participate in the 2020 Annual Meeting, and facilitate networking in the region. Assisting these new leaders will be the Section's Advisory Board:
  • Dérick Rousseau, Ryerson University, Ontario
  • Chibuike Udenigwe, University of Ottawa, Ontario
Learn more about some of the new members in the below Q&As!

Andrew Gravelle
Research Assistant, University of Guelph

Andrew Gravelle
Provide a brief biography of 250 words or less.
Andrew completed his M.Sc. in biophysics in 2010, after which he began his professional career as a research associate in the Department of Food Science at the University of Guelph. In this role, Andrew led numerous projects broadly focusing on two main topics: characterizing and improving the functionality of edible oleogels structured using the polymer ethylcellulose and investigating the use of particulate fillers as a means of modulating functionality in food protein gels. The overarching theme of this work has been to identify methods of recovering or enhancing food structure via non-traditional routes. Andrew has been a major contributing author to numerous peer-reviewed publications and book chapters in the field of food structure, and has presented his work at a variety of international conferences.

In 2018, Andrew shifted to a full-time Ph.D. program, while continuing part-time as a senior researcher in the Food, Health, and Aging Laboratory under Professor Alejandro Marangoni (University of Guelph). The topic of his thesis is to improve and expand on existing theoretical approaches for describing the mechanical and rheological properties of various fat-filled food gels.

His research focuses on elucidating the contribution of a dispersed fat phase in modulating the physical properties of fat-filled foods in a predictive manner. This work also has further implications with respect to the oral processing and associated sensory attributes of such products.

Why did you decide to volunteer as a member of a Steering Committee?
I decided to volunteer as a member of the steering committee for the Canadian Section because there are a considerable number of Canadian researchers within AOCS, and I feel it is important to ensure we retain a distinct identity and sense of community within the greater AOCS organization.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
In my free time, I enjoy running, cycling and rock climbing.

Hongbing Fan
Ph.D. candidate, University of Alberta

Hongbing FanProvide a brief biography of 250 words or less.
After obtaining my master's degree in food science at the China Agricultural University, I came to Canada and continued my Ph.D. study in food science in the Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science at the University of Alberta. My research interests are mainly on functional foods and bioactive peptides. My thesis research is to develop food-derived antihypertensive peptides as functional food ingredients against hypertension. My story with the AOCS started with my supervisor Dr. Jianping Wu and my lab colleagues as many of them are active AOCS members. This initiated my interaction with AOCS, and in January 2018, I have become an AOCS student member. In 2019, I was honored with the Honored Student Award and was the first-place winner in the Health & Nutrition Division poster competition.

Why did you decide to volunteer as a member of a Steering Committee?
I hope to take more roles in such a professional organization, which I think is one of the best ways to become a professional. This would allow me to improve quickly and then, in turn, to provide better services to the members and the society. I have been working as the chair in my department's graduate student's association from 2017 to 2019 and am now the chair of the AOCS Student Common Interest Group (SCIG). I joined AOCS in my third year within my Ph.D. program, which was late compared to many other student members; I cannot wait any longer to be involved in more activities and events. I hope that my previous experience can let me better serve student members in the CAOCS.

What do you hope to accomplish in your role?
I will advertise the CAOCS in various scenarios, recruit more student members to join the CAOCS, and speak for Canadian student members in AOCS.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I usually go to office and start daily work at 8:30–9:00 a.m. on weekdays. I am mainly working at three different places: my lab, cell culture unit and the university central animal facility. My project involves cell and rats models so I usually check them first and then start working in my own lab. I usually go back home around 5:30 p.m. so that I can have time to cook and then do some paperwork in the evening. On weekends, I spend half to one day for groceries and house cleaning, and may attend entertaining activities with friends such as bowling and karaoke. I like skiing in the winter. I previously went tor social dancing like salsa but currently am not since I want to spend more time on graduating. I also like singing; I won first place in the Public Category of the Edmonton Second Chinese Singing Contest in 2018 and have been invited a few times to perform at various Gala dinners by various associations at the University of Alberta and in Edmonton.

Apollinaire Tsopmo
Associate Professor, Carleton University

Apollinaire Tsopmo
Provide a brief biography of 250 words or less.
I am an Associate Professor of Food Science at Carleton University, Ottawa, ON. My research interests are in the area of food chemistry, nutritional analyses and biological activities of food molecules. I study the relationship between nutrition and health. I focus on analysis of vitamins in foods; on the search of novel molecules that can be used to prevent oxidative deterioration of foods; to reduce inflammation, oxidative stress and metal toxicity in various models.

Some areas of study are the following:
  • Bioactive peptides from cereals: preparation of protein isolates and their digestion with food-grade proteases. Separation of digested proteins into several fractions, functionalities, identification of peptides, structure-function relationships and evaluation of biological activity.
  • Effect of bioactive food peptides on the management of body weight, reduction of markers of oxidative stress and inflammation.
  • Reduction of the toxicity of metals such chromium and arsenic by hydrolyzed food proteins and peptides.
  • Biochemistry of human milk. Novel antioxidant compounds.
    Vitamins and phytochemical analysis in foods and their bioavailability in cell cultures.
  • Effect of processing on phenolic compounds in cereals.
Why did you decide to volunteer as a member of a Steering Committee?
I decided to volunteer because I would like to increase my network, which I sure will help advance my research. I believe other members will also benefits from the interaction we will have.

What do you hope to accomplish in your role?
I would like to get more research and students involve in AOCS. I would like to help grow the Canadian Section 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My typical day starts in the laboratory where I discuss experiments and planning with my students. Next, I spend some time in my offices, writing reports and reviewing and managing manuscripts. In between, I will go to class or talk to undergraduate students.

Xiao Qui
Professor, University of Saskatchewan

Provide a brief biography of 250 words or less.
I am currently a Professor in the Department of Food and Bioproduct Sciences, University of Saskatchewan. I obtained my doctorate from the University of Guelph, Canada, in 1995. After graduation, I spent two years as Research Associate in the National Research Council of Canada and seven years in nutritional oil industry first as Research Scientist and later as Research Director. In 2005, I moved to the University of Saskatchewan to set up an institutional lipid biotechnology program. Since 2009, I has also been an Adjunct Research Officer in the National Research Council of Canada, Saskatoon. My research is primarily focused on plant and microbial lipids and bioactive compounds and their biosynthesis and metabolic engineering in plants and microorganisms.

Why did you decide to volunteer as a member of a Steering Committee?
Last year I helped the Canadian Section of the American Oil Chemists’ Society (CAOCS) organize the 26th CAOCS Canadian Lipid & Bioresource Conference 2018 (CLBC2018) in Saskatoon. Through the event, I realize that there is quite a size of lipid research community in Canada with enthusiasm in retaining their identity and networking. The CAOCS is a wonderful platform for them to exchange ideas and promote business and scientific collaborations.

What do you hope to accomplish in your role?
What I hope to see is the enhanced sense of Canadian lipid community and increased participation of our members in CAOCS/AOCS activity.

CRMs available for several GMO lines approved for food and feed use in Europe

The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) announced that eight GMO lines have been evaluated, including EFSA evaluation, and approved for food and feed use in Europe:
AOCS provides Certified Reference Materials for several of them:
Details can be found here: European Commission Authorizes 8 GM Products for Food and Feed Uses