Friday, March 27, 2020

AOCS is here for you! Explore some of these online resources

Like many of you, AOCS staff has moved from working out of our headquarters building in Central Illinois to working in our homes. Many of us have created new workspaces in various places in our homes.  In my case, my dining room table has never realized such usage until this quarantine.

While we all get used to this new environment, one thing I have enjoyed is finding more time to watch video tutorials, read blog posts, write more individual notes to members, and spend time experimenting with virtual meeting tools like GoToMeeting, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams. Several members have shared similar stories with me, especially our young professional group within AOCS. Leann Barden, Research Manager, Chicago Bar Company, and AOCS Young Professional Common Interest Group Co-Chair wrote:

All of my company's meetings are now done by video chat. It truly does force you to be more engaged than a simple phone call, and it's a great way to feel connected. Our president's kids made an appearance in his last state-of-the-business video to emphasize the need to empathize with parents who are now parenting full time.”

Hari Kiran Kotapati, Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Washington State University, also shared his experiences and thoughts:  

“If you are in an academic research lab, I think this is the ideal time to sit down and write up the research paper or maybe that review article that you have been planning to write, for a long time. This is what I have been doing so far working from home. It is hard to focus on one thing while writing, so I usually choose to split time between each of those things. You can also come up with some research ideas for grant applications.”

What resources, software, videos, and learning are you exploring while working remotely?

If you need some suggestions, I have selected a few from the AOCS archives. Please view, share with others, and send me your comments.

·         #WebinarWednesday: Visit the webinar archive. Here are a few of my favorites:
o   Fat transitions in ice cream, presented by UW-Madison Professor and former editor-in-chief of JAOCS Rich Hartel, an expert on online-learning and presenting.
o   A walk through your home–Discovering the surfactant science for cleaning it, presented by 2018 Samuel Rosen Memorial Award winner David R. Scheuing.
o   What is vegetable oil and where does it come?, presented by Alan Paine, Desmet Ballestra, a regular on the inform|connect Open Forum. This webinar is an excellent refresher course on edible oil refining.

·         Explore the AOCS YouTube Channel and view:  
o   Career development presentations hosted by the AOCS Young Professional Common Interest Group.
o   Plant-based proteins collection of webinars.
o   Statistical design of experiments training for AOCS journal editors, a great resource for editors, reviewers, and authors.
·        Already missing the AOCS Annual Meeting like I am? View these recordings from the 2019 AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo.

·         Read up on the history of AOCS Award winners, found on the AOCS Lipid Library.

Wow, this is already a long list and yet there is so much more to offer. I hope you find some of these online resources of interest to you.

Thank you and #staysafe!

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Lipids article: Enhancement of Fat Oxidation during Submaximal Exercise in Sedentary Persons: Variation by Medium-Chain Fatty Acid Composition and Age Group

AOCS 2019 Corporate Achievement Award winner Nisshin OilliO Group Ltd. has published the results of a study on the effects of consuming structured medium chain triglyceride (MCT) oil on fat oxidation during exercise (Lipids, Volume 55, Issue 2, Page 173-183). Diets containing MCT comprised of octanoic acid and decanoic acid led to an increase in fatty acid oxidation during submaximal exercise, and aerobic exercise capacity in sedentary participants was increased. In addition, differences in the effects of the two MCT oils were observed. Consuming octanoic acid-rich MCT (C8 : C10 = 75% : 25%) resulted in enhanced ventilation efficiency and consuming decanoic acid-rich MCT (C10 : C8 = 70% : 30%) increased oxygen uptake, both relative to control.”

Nosaka, N., Tsujino, S., Honda, K., Suemitsu, H. and Kato, K. (2020), Enhancement of Fat Oxidation during Submaximal Exercise in Sedentary Persons: Variations by Medium‐Chain Fatty Acid Composition and Age Group. Lipids, 55: 173-183. doi:10.1002/lipd.12222 

*AOCS members have access to all articles in LipidsPlease login to your AOCS account to read the full text.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Cancellation of the 2020 AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo

Due to rapidly escalating health concerns relating to the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the 2020 AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo in Montréal, Canada, has been cancelled.

AOCS leadership has been closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19, as well as advice from the World Health Organization (WHO), U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC), and the Public Health Agency of Canada regarding risks associated with international conferences and other large gatherings in enclosed spaces. The decision to cancel the meeting was based on deep concern for the health and well-being of our registrants, staff, vendors, and the Montréal community guests. As this situation continues to evolve, AOCS leadership cannot, in good conscience, move forward with the 2020 AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo. Simply put, it has become abundantly clear that it is impossible to hold the Annual Meeting & Expo in a manner in which we could reasonably ensure the health and safety of all participants and the surrounding community.

For further updates, please visit the 2020 AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo website.

Why was the meeting cancelled?
Due to rapidly escalating health concerns relating to the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), it became impossible to hold the 2020 AOCS Annual Meeting and Expo in a manner in which we could reasonably ensure the safety of all participants and the surrounding community. 

Will my registration fee for the meeting and/or pre-meeting short courses be refunded?
Yes, your registration fee for the meeting and/or pre-meeting short courses will be refunded. Refunds will be issued in the order in which registration payments were received. If you previously cancelled your registration, you will be refunded any cancellation fees previously charged to you. Please allow at least 30 days for us to process your refund.

Will AOCS help with refunds related to travel and hotel expenses?
For those who booked through official AOCS housing (Orchid Events), AOCS will cancel and no action needs to be taken on your part. You will receive a cancellation notice through Orchid. For questions, please contact Orchid Events at 877-505-0688 or by email at

AOCS cannot assist with hotel reservations booked outside of official AOCS housing. Please contact the provider directly.

Most transportation providers have implemented special provisions in response to COVID-19. Please contact the transportation provider directly.

I am an exhibitor. How do I request a refund or transfer my booth to a future AOCS meeting?
We will contact you concerning next steps to request a refund or transfer your booth to a future AOCS meeting. Please allow at least 30 days for us to contact you with options and information.

I am a presenter (oral, poster, or award winner). Are there alternative presentation options to share my research?
We are developing ways for members to disseminate their research despite the circumstances. Please complete this form to let us know how we can help you share your research.

As a reminder, AOCS hosts webinars for members and non-members to share their research. All Annual Meeting presenters are pre-qualified to present an AOCS webinar. Please complete this form to begin the process.

For AOCS members, you receive a 25% discount off of open-access fees when publishing in AOCS journals. Please visit for more information.

I am a presenter that already cancelled. Can I also participate in alternative presentation options?
Yes! Please complete this form to let us know how we can help you share your research.

I am a committee member. What are the plans for our scheduled committee meeting?
You will be contacted by your staff liaison. Please allow at least 30 days for us to contact you.

I am an award winner. How will I receive my award?
You will be contacted by your staff liaison. Please allow at least 30 days for us to contact you.

Other questions or concerns?
Please see the contact list below.

Karen Kesler
Phone:  +1 217-693-4813

Ryan D. Reid, Manager, Meetings and Exhibits
Phone +1 217-693-4843

Exhibits & Sponsorships
Tisha Sarver, Meetings and Exhibits Specialist
Phone: +1 217-693-4831

Sterling Bollman, Advertising, Exhibit and Sponsorships Sales
Phone: +1 217-693-4901

Committee Meetings
Please contact your staff liaison.

Alternative Presentation Options
Amy Garren, Director, Brand and Digital Strategy
Phone: +1 217-693-4836

General Questions Related to the Cancellation of the 2020 AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo
Jeffry L. Newman, Senior Director, Programs
Phone: +1 217-693-4816

Friday, March 6, 2020

Introducing our newest AOCS members and thank you to our Member Refer-a-Friend participants!

At the end of February our new member (Active members) total reached 198 47% of our goal of 425. During this month, three Active members and four student members joined us thanks to our Member Refer-a-Friend program. Remember, this new initiative awards recruiters with a US $20 gift card for every referred new Active member that joins., When you recruit, make sure they list your name on the membership application to collect your reward.

We’re still looking for more referrers! We have ten members that will each receive a gift card in early April. Act now to get your name added to this list. Remember, recruiters can earn up to US $100 throughout the entire membership year. In addition, we will recognize all recruiters of Actives, students and Corporate Members online, as a way of saying THANK YOU!

Active Member Recruiters for Dues Year 2020, during February 2020

 Luis Espinoza, Project Manager, Technical Services, Ventura Foods, encouraged colleague Jacob Dupre, Food Technologist at Ventura Foods, to join. 

B.J. Bench, Senior Director of Food Safety & Quality Assurance at Tyson Foods invited Lili Towa, Laboratory Manager and Senior Application Specialist at Alpha MOS to become a member

Lingyun Chen, Associate Professor at the University of Alberta, encouraged Yixiang Wang, Assistant Professor at McGill University to join and attend the 2020 AOCS Annual Meeting.  

Student Member Recruiters for Dues Year 2020, during February 2020

Matthew Fhaner, University of Michigan, encouraged Abdur-Rahman Siddiqui to join.

Yixiang Wang, a new member from McGill University, invited two McGill University students to become members, Shutung Huang and Camelia Oliva.  

Michael Rogers, University of Guelph, encouraged student April Xu to become a member.

Who will be featured next month? Think of a colleague or research collaborator who would benefit from AOCS membership. Get more details online and do your part to help our Society grow!

Our newest members, found on this list that AOCS members can view, includes more than 50 individuals from ten countries.

Here are some highlights of this group:
  • Thirteen new students were welcomed into the Society, with the majority from Canada! Many of these new students joined as a result of a travel grant offered by the Canadian AOCS Section.
  • Some of our new members are from companies in Canada, including Sani Marc, Viterra, and Avmor Limited
  • Job functions include: R & D scientists/coordinators, chemists/lead chemists; Q & A Managers, product managers, chemical engineers, food technologists and market managers. 
  • 83% of the Actives are from industry; 17% from university and government
  • The new individuals from Corporate Member companies include: AAK, ADM, Ag Processing Inc., Artisan Inc., Bunge, Church & Dwight, Cargill, Kao Corporation, and Pompeian

Let’s continue to grow our Society! Read the full details on the new AOCS Refer-a-Friend program!

Have any questions or want to reach out to a new member? Say “Hi!” on inform|connect or plan to meet your fellow AOCS members at one of the networking events at the AOCS 2020 Annual Meeting.

Other questions? Please contact Janet Brown, Director of Membership,

Monday, March 2, 2020

Graham C. Burdge named new editor-in-chief of Lipids

University of Southampton Professor Graham C. Burdge succeeded Eric Murphy as Editor-in-Chief of Lipids on March 1. The April issue of INFORM magazine will contain “A Conversation with the Editor-in-Chief of Lipids” to help AOCS members get to know the new Editor-in-Chief.

Until the April issue arrives, you can preview the conversation in the excerpt below. Welcome, Graham!

A conversation with the new Editor-in-Chief of Lipids

Earlier this year, Graham Burdge, Professor of Nutritional Biochemistry in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton, UK, became the seventh Editor-in-Chief (EIC) of Lipids.
A look at the new EIC’s CV indicates that Lipids is in good hands. The journal’s EIC graduated in Cell and Immunobiology from Aberystwyth University, earned a PhD from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton, and did his postdoctoral work on phospholipid and polyunsaturated fatty acid metabolism. He was the first to show that men and women differ in their ability to synthesize longer chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and differ in docosahexaenoic acid status. More recently, he identified the role of polyunsaturated fatty acid biosynthesis in regulating T cell function and evaluated the effectiveness of a transgenic plant oil as a replacement for oily fish in the human diet.

Burdge’s research is funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the European Union, the Research Council of Norway, the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, and by industrial organizations. He has published over 200 peer reviewed articles well as chapters in academic books and briefing documents and reports to the UK government. He is an experienced editor, having as the Editor-In-Chief of the British Journal of Nutrition, the Journal of Nutritional Science, and Nutrition Research Reviews, and as an editor of books on epigenetics, nutrition and health, and polyunsaturated fatty acid metabolism. Since the new EIC is a new face for many members, Inform held the following conversation to learn more about him and his goals for the journal.

Q: In your early work as a postdoc, you were the first to show that men and women differ in their docosahexaenoic acid status as well as their ability to synthesize longer chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Where did you get the idea to explore metabolic differences between the sexes?

A: There is a tendency for nutritionists, and biochemists in particular (I am both), to exclude females from experiments on the basis that their hormonal cycles make generation of reproducible data too difficult. This may lead to important biological insights being missed.  At the time those experiments were carried out, it was known that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) concentration increased during pregnancy in women and rats, and that sex hormones could modify arachidonic acid concentration in rat liver.  We had shown already that men didn’t make much DHA from alpha-linolenic acid and so it seemed an obvious to ask the question, “Is polyunsaturated fatty acid metabolism different in women of reproductive age compared to men?”

Q: What major advances to you foresee in the field of lipid science during the next 10 years?

A: Interesting question. To have a sense of how the field might develop, it is important to identify the factors that may drive the evolution of lipid science. To give an example, I would not have predicted the explosion of research on epigenetics, which has changed from being a niche area of research a decade or so ago, to an area of intense activity.  I was privileged to be part of some of the early studies demonstrating that epigenetics could explain how the environment can induce persistent changes in phenotype. My prediction for the next phase in lipid science is that the biotechnologists will find ways to manipulate lipid metabolism in plants and animals, to improve their nutritional quality, to feed the increasing global population, and to ameliorate the effects of man-made climate collapse by developing crops that thrive in an increasingly hostile environment.  For example, the technology already exists to replace oily fish with seed oil from bioengineered plants that contain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and so potentially reduce the burden of wild capture on marine ecosystems. But, I suspect when we look back 10 years from now, we’ll see that the course of lipid science was surprising.

The full conversation will appear in the April issue of INFORM.