Monday, June 29, 2020

AOCS Fellow Award Feature – Fred Eller

Q&A with Fred Eller, one of two recipients of the 2020 AOCS Fellow Award

A brief bio: Fred J. Eller, III is a Research Chemist in the Functional Foods Research Unit at the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, (USDA-ARS) in Peoria, Illinois.  Dr. Eller is a native of Saint Paul, Minnesota and received his BSc and MSc degrees from the University of Minnesota and his PhD from the University of Florida.  He joined ARS in 1990, initially investigating insect chemical attractants (e.g., the isolation and identification of the aggregation pheromone of the pepper weevil).  He subsequently redirected his research efforts and focused on the utilization of supercritical fluids for the extraction and analysis of lipids under the tutelage and mentorship of Drs. Jerry W. King and Gary R. List.

Dr. Eller has been an active member of the American Oil Chemists' Society since 1996 and has organized symposia at AOCS Annual Meetings, held leadership roles in the Analytical Division, served on a variety of AOCS committees and currently serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society (2007-present).  Dr. Eller was awarded the AOCS Herbert J. Dutton Award in 2013.  Dr. Eller has authored or co-authored 90 publications and is first inventor on two United States Patents.  Dr. Eller has made 46 presentations at national and international meetings.  His current research interests include the utilization of critical fluids for the extraction, counter-current fractionation and processing of agricultural materials, as well as the isolation and identification of bioactive natural products He is especially interested in cedarwood oil extraction, bioactivity and utilization.

1) What was your reaction when you learned you had won the award?     

When I learned that I had been selected to receive the 2020 AOCS Fellow Award, I felt both honored and humbled, considering the list of renowned researchers who have preceded me in receiving this award.  When I first began my career as a Research Entomologist at the USDA Northern Regional Research Center (currently the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research), I would have never imagined ever being involved with the American Oil Chemists' Society, let alone receiving this prestigious award.  Interestingly, the first insect pheromone I isolated and identified was ethyl palmitoleate, so maybe fatty acids were always in my future!  I am very thankful for all the opportunities and success that have come my way through my association with the AOCS and its members. 

2) How did you get started in the field that you are studying or working in?

My formal training is in entomology. My interest in insect chemical ecology began after I started working as an undergraduate technician for Dr. Robert Bartelt who was investigating sawfly pheromones at the University of Minnesota.  I subsequently began my master’s research there and discovered that ethyl palmitoleate served as an attractant for an insect parasitoid.  After completing my Ph.D. at the University of Florida, I took a post-doctoral position the Northern Regional Research Lab (now the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research) where I studied the aggregation pheromones of the pepper weevil and plum curculio.  I eventually took a permanent position with Dr. Jerry King utilizing critical fluids for extraction and fractionation of lipids.  This position led to studies of the extraction and analysis of cedarwood oil using carbon dioxide. This research has grown into studies on the use of cedarwood oil as an insect repellent, insecticide and for protecting wood from termites and wood-decay fungi which continues today. 

3) Can you tell us about your current research?

Currently, I am studying essential oils from several species of trees.  I am especially interested in Eastern red cedar and related species.  I am investigating different extraction methods to determine the most efficient means to remove the essential oils from wood.  The extracted essential oils are then chemically characterized, formulated and tested for their biological activity.  The essential oils are used to pressure treat wood and subsequently the treated wood is tested for resistance against wood-destroying species like termites and decay fungi.  In addition, the essential oils are evaluated for their repellency against ants and toxicity against insect pests such as mosquitoes, biting flies as well as ticks.  It is my goal to find expanded uses for abundant underutilized natural resources.

4) What challenges have you overcome during your course of study or your career?

The biggest challenge I have faced in my career was securing a permanent full-time position as an independent scientist.  Attaining that goal has made my life much less stressful.

5) What advice can you share on how you have achieved success thus far in your career, whether that be entering a graduate program or a lengthy career in a prestigious position?

There are countless factors that can affect one’s career.  One needs to focus on those you can control yourself.  Working hard, getting along with others, having a good attitude and patience are all things you can control.  I believe, if you focus on these things, you will have a successful career wherever it might take you.

6) Why did you decide to volunteer with AOCS in so many capacities including on the Smalley Committee, LPP Committee, the Uniform Methods Committee, and on the Forum Organizing Committee for the AOCS Pulse Science and Technology forum?

I believe that what you get out of a professional society is related to what you put into the society.  Over the years, I been offered opportunities to serve in many areas.  I have always tried to volunteer my time and abilities as best I could.  I enjoy working on the committees and I have met many colleagues through this service.  I like to think I have made some positive contributions to AOCS.

7) How has AOCS helped you in your career?

I have formed many professional connections which have furthered my career.  I learned a great deal about the peer-review publication process through my associate editor position which has definitely helped me in my personal publication process.  The Annual Meeting is always a great source of ideas and inspiration for my research.  The contacts I have made through the society are a valuable source of information and research collaborations.

8) What are some fond memories or experiences you’ve had from your AOCS service?

My fondest memories are undoubtedly those of informal gatherings with my colleagues and friends where we can talk, laugh, share food and drink, and maybe even discuss lipids!

Check out the AOCS Awards video featuring him:

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

AOCS Fellow Award Feature – Lars Reimann

Q&A with Lars Reimann, one of two recipients of the 2020 AOCS Fellow Award

A brief biography: Dr. Lars Reimann, of Eurofins Scientific Inc, USA, has an educational background in biochemistry and analytical chemistry. He has worked in the food, feed and agricultural related areas for over 20 years. 

1) What was your reaction when you learned you were named an AOCS Fellow?
I was very surprised and honored, considering the past recipients of the award.

2) How did you get started in the field that you are studying or working in?

I received my degree in biochemistry (thesis focusing on enzymology), spent three years in enzymology research and then went into commercial lab business focusing on food, agriculture and environment related issues. I got involved with AOCS around 1980 due to its strong presence in the agricultural commodities area.

3) Can you tell us more about your work and/or research?

My work is generally not research focused but more along the line of troubleshooting analytical issues and assessing the suitability for purpose of methods used for the generation of data.

4) What challenges have you overcome during your course of study or your career?

I have been blessed with a pretty easy career path. Being somewhat of an introvert people management, public speaking etc. have been among my challenges.

5) What advice can you share on how you have achieved success thus far in your career, whether that be entering a graduate program or a lengthy career in a prestigious position?

What I think has been contributing most to further my career has been the fact that to me my work is also my hobby – I enjoy trying to understand how things are connected and read and attend activities that are outside of my area.  I especially enjoy asking the question “why?”, to understand the commercial drivers behind the need for technical information as well as the inherent assumptions behind the data provided.

6) How has AOCS helped you in your career?

Through networking with other AOCS colleagues I have been able to get a better understanding of the industry drivers as well as the strengths and weaknesses of analytical methods. (using AOCS connections as the wet stone on which to sharpen my mind).

7) What are some fond memories or experiences you have had from working with AOCS?

I truly enjoyed working with Gina Clapper and Richard Cantrill.  I am especially fond of the interactions the INFORM technical writing staff in the early days of the MCPD crisis debating how best to handle. I have never before or after encountered the same high level of transparency and focus on the ”common good”.

Check out the AOCS Awards video featuring him:

Virtual 2020 AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo Live Presentation Schedule Now Available

During the Virtual 2020 AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo, registered attendees have access to livestream presentations as well as live question and answer sessions with the presenting authors.

Tip: Don’t miss a live session - Registered attendees can create a schedule and export to their calendar

Maximize your experience of the Virtual 2020 AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo with tutorials from AOCS
Tip: Complete your profile as completely as possible, including a photo, so that you can better connect with presenters and other attendees.

Registered attendees have access to all presentations, posters and recordings on demand for one year starting June 29, 2020. Not a registered attendee? Register for free to access all content.

Participate in the #FatsPeoplesFunRun at the Virtual 2020 AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo

While we can’t run together in person this year, we are hoping you’ll join us for a virtual 5k #FatsPeoplesFunRun as part of the Virtual 2020 AOCS Annual Meeting.  We hope that by sharing our race times and photos we can continue to build and foster our community in this new virtual world!

We’re grateful to Larodan for making this possible and for providing awesome souvenir t-shirts for participating in the run. Find out more about their range of research grade lipids for use as analytical standards and reagents at or show them some love using #larodan on social.

Interested in participating? Fill out this form to receive your FREE t-shirt courtesy of Larodan and then download your race bib.

Run anytime between now and July 3, 2020 (the last day of the live events with the Virtual 2020 AOCS Annual Meeting) and then take some finish line photos!

Have fun with it! Share your photos on social media using #AOCS2020 or #fatspeoplefunrun or email photos Janet Brown.

Walk, jog or run! We cannot wait to see your photos – invite colleagues, family and friends to join the fun.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

AOCS Corporate Member Spotlight - Solex Thermal

Sterling Bollman, the head of Advertising and Sponsorship Sales at AOCS, talked with Stan Pala, the Global Director of Solex Thermal Science, based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. In this conversation, AOCS learned about innovations Solex Thermal has developed and what really sets them apart from their competitors. So, please enjoy our next installment in the Corporate Member Spotlight series and learn more about Solex Thermal Science.

Hi Stan! Thanks for taking the time to talk to us and teach us more about Solex Thermal Science! How would you describe the products or services your company provides?

Solex Thermal Science specializes in applying proven thermal science to the heating, cooling and drying of free-flowing bulk solids. Over the past 30 years, we have helped industries across the world change the way they bring their products to market through patented industrial heat exchange technology. Our customized solutions are featured in more than 600 installations and 50-plus countries, with applications including oilseeds, fertilizer, sugar, minerals/sands, chemicals, bio solids, coffee, cocoa and even olive pits. For the AOCS membership, we would like to highlight that we have decades of experience working with products such as soybean, rapeseed, canola, sunflower, linseed and corn germ.
But we are more than what we build. We impact daily life behind the scenes – whether that is helping to produce better-quality fertilizer that results in higher crop yields, reducing emissions during oilseeds processing, creating safer plastic water bottles or producing a better coffee bean. We are committed to finding better, more efficient solutions to challenges both known and new has led to ground-breaking work in what is possible for energy recovery and efficiency. It’s not far-fetched to see how this will contribute to the inevitable transformation of how tomorrow’s plants are powered.

I’m sure you have competitors that do similar work in your field. What would you say differentiates Solex Thermal Science from those competitors? 

Innovation is at the heart of what we do, and innovation is overlaid on our passion for understanding the processes for heating, cooling and drying bulk solids such as oilseeds. This is represented by an elegant and efficient solution for bulk solids thermal exchange. We are showing how conventional tube technology in the oilseeds industry can be limiting to allow for productivity increases, to reduce energy consumption, to reduce emissions and to minimize maintenance costs. Our patented plate technology controls product flow by passing free-flowing bulk solids slowly downward between a series of vertical hollow heat exchanger plates. Steam, hot water or thermal oil flows through the plates to heat bulk solids, while a mass flow discharge feeder creates uniform product velocity and regulates product flow rate.

The result is a solution that’s simple in its design yet sophisticated with its results, producing near-zero emissions, using energy more efficiently than tube technology and producing a superior end product at a cost savings for our customers. In addition, the plate-based design and modular configuration that forms the foundation of the technology allows customers to seamlessly increase production capacity and undergo retrofits with minimal CAPEX. The plates also typically last the lifetime of the exchanger, which can range upward of 30 years.

Wow that sounds incredible! Speaking of innovation, what are some recent innovations or new things that Solex is proudest of? 

One of the things we are proudest of here at Solex is our longevity, particularly within the oilseeds industry. We sold our first oilseeds unit in Canada nearly 20 years ago. Today, there are more than 50 installations worldwide, including ones in North America, Europe, South America and, most recently, Asia-Pacific.

In the last few years, we have advanced our vertical plate conditioning technology so that oilseed processors have the unique ability to recover waste energy from elsewhere in the plant. Most of the waste process heat that is available in oilseed processing plants has generally been useable because the temperature is too low. Yet plate technology has a design and configuration that allows it to use low-temperature heat. By doing so, we can use it to prepare oilseeds for high-efficiency oil extraction with drastically less steam consumption than conventional conditioning technology. In fact, we’ve seen steam consumption in some cases decrease by more than 20 kilograms per tonne of soybean or 50 kilograms per tonne of canola processed. At $20 US per tonne, that’s more than $600,000 US per year in savings for a large processing plant.

Now, we know this year has brought some unknowns amongst many companies. How has the COVID19 situation affected your company?

We have worked hard to minimize the impact of Covid-19 on our business as we recognize the importance of our contribution to keeping the economy working, for our employees, customers and suppliers. We have taken the necessary steps to protect Solex team members, our customers and our community by arranging for our employees to work from home and by suspending all travel. Our fabrication partners and suppliers have taken similarly appropriate measures – like social distancing, alternative shift scheduling, etc. – that has allowed them to continue working while protecting their employees and communities.

What do you think will be the biggest challenge for Solex Thermal Science for the rest of this year?
The biggest challenge in the coming year will be to adapt our ways of working to the post-pandemic world while continuing to provide best-in-class solutions to our customers in the oilseeds processing industry. The needs for feeding an ever-growing global population is driving the demand for more effective and efficient solutions in our industry. As we are passionate about meeting these needs, we are learning to develop the solutions that our customers ask of us from our work-from-home offices and through digital networking tools.

We have also integrated our sales, design, fabrication and after sales support under one organization with the combination of Solex Thermal Science and Mosman Stainless Steel. We are challenging ourselves to bring the full benefits of our combined expertise to the solutions that we develop for our customers. 

Stan thank you so much for giving us your time! This was incredibly informative and I hope everyone has learned a bit more about what you all do at Solex Thermal Science. Before you go, I had one more question. Why is being an AOCS corporate member important to you? 

The AOCS membership provides a forum to enhance our network and connect with professionals from all walks of life – from plant managers to academia and process to production engineers. We especially appreciate the opportunity to contribute to that deep pool of knowledge sharing by having recently participated in the popular Webinar Wednesday series. While we, like many others, were looking forward to the 2020 Annual Meeting and Expo in Montreal this past spring before it was cancelled, we are excited about the virtual sessions available at the end of June. And we can’t wait to see everyone again at the 2021 meeting in Portland, Oregon!

Thanks for reading and again. Thank you to Stan Pala and his colleagues at Solex Thermal Science for taking part in our AOCS Corporate Member Spotlight Series. Make sure to visit their website, follow them on Twitter and connect with them on LinkedIn! Join us next time to see who we feature next! 

Monday, June 22, 2020

AOCS Award of Merit Winner Feature – Masaki Tsumadori

Q&A with Masaki Tsumadori, winner of the AOCS Award of Merit

A brief bio: Masaki Tsumadori retired from Kao Corporation in February 2016 as a Research Fellow in Strategy Research, R&D and as the director of the Kao Eco-Lab Museum. He is now a Senior R&D Advisor at Kao Corporation. He also runs his own global consulting business in the field of R&D planning. 

Masaki Tsumadori earned a master’s degree in Polymer Chemistry from the Nagoya Institute of Technology in 1977. Tsumadori began his career at Kao Corporation in 1977, working as a research chemist developing fabric and home care products. He subsequently held senior positions across Research & Development, including manager of hard surface cleaners from 1987 and director of fabric care products such as laundry detergents, fabric softeners and bleaches from 1997. During the years 1997 - 2002, he played key roles in the development and launch of powder and liquid laundry detergents in Japan and Asian countries, including the Attack brand. He was appointed Vice President of Global R&D, Fabric and Home Care of Kao Corporation in 2002. Tsumadori was a member of the governing board of AOCS from 2011 to 2016 and has been supporting the World Conference on Fabric and Home Care as a member of the Executive Committee since 2010. 

1) How did it feel to win the AOCS Award of Merit?

I am very honored and grateful. I think that in my future business activities, winning this award will give me a more positive evaluation.

2) How did you get started in the field that you are studying or working in?

After graduating from the graduate school, I joined Kao Corporation and was assigned to the Household Research Laboratories. At Kao, I started to engage in research on surfactants and formulation technologies.

3) Can you tell us more about your work and/or research?

When I was working for Kao, I oversaw the development of products for household and professional use detergents, finishing agents, cleaning agents, and also responding to environmental issues. Since retiring from Kao in 2016, I have been working as an advisor for several companies and academia, taking advantage of my experience at Kao.

4) What challenges have you overcome during your course of study or your career?

The development of new technology and products is a challenge itself, as is the development of new technology and products, both of which mean tackling unprecedented things (things not written in textbooks). Discussions with many people will give me ideas. It can be said that the challenge is to believe in my creativity and push forward.

5) What advice can you share on how you have achieved success thus far in your career, whether that be entering a graduate program or a lengthy career in a prestigious position?

The development of innovative technology requires the cooperation of many people. To do so, it is necessary to first create a wide network of contacts, and then create good relationships so that useful information can come in smoothly from that network of contacts. Needless to say, after gaining knowledge from a wide range of contacts, one's creativity is important at the end.

6) Why did you decide to volunteer with AOCS?

I have attended the AOCS Annual Meeting and the Fabric & Home Care World Conference for a long time. When I was invited to the AOCS Board and the World Conference Program Committee and was able to get the approval of Kao, I did not hesitate to participate. I would be incredibly happy if the activities at AOCS Board or the World Conference Program Committee, contributed to AOCS.

7) How has AOCS helped you in your career?

The fact that I was able to form an international network and network with people from different fields through AOCS has helped me a lot.

8) What are some fond memories or experiences you’ve had from AOCS service?

I have fond memories of presentations at AOCS conferences and symposia, which give me the opportunity to meet and discuss with top executives of industry and academia directly at the AOCS Board Conference and the Fabric & Home Care World Conference Program Committee.
Check out the AOCS Awards video featuring him:

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Health and Nutrition Division virtual round table

The Health and Nutrition Division recently hosted a virtual roundtable. In attendance were 16 members from all over the world, including the USA, Canada, Switzerland and New Zealand. In fact, this Division has the most global leadership team of all AOCS Divisions.

The results of the 2021 Technical Program Survey topics were discussed – the survey had a better response this year than ever before with 33 responses. Proposed topics included, Dietary cannabinoids, Neurological health issues and vegetable and marine oils, health benefits of food proteins and peptides, and controversial edible oils. Some other ideas included Sustainable innovations in lipids; Lipids from dairy sources; and Ketogenic diets, Lipids and Covid-19. After some discussion, the main topics of interest seemed to focus on proteins, cannabinoids and essential fatty acids.

The Division still needs to find session chairs for all these topics, please contact Matt Miller, if interested. Further, the Division is looking for feedback on Lipid School topics and presenters – who is the intended audience? Possible audiences include non-specialists, including technologists or analytical chemists. Please provide thoughts and feedback to chair, Fabiola Dionisi.

Kacie Ho, the newsletter editor is looking for fresh ideas for the Newsletter – who should she feature in the next newsletter. Please reach out with input and suggestions,

Follow the Division on twitter handle at @AOCSHN

Fabiola Dionisi, Nestlé Research Center, Switzerland

Vice Chair
Matthew (Matt) Miller, Cawthron Institute Nelson, New Zealand

Kacie Ho, University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA

***To contribute newsletter content and engage in upcoming networking events contact Kacie Ho,
***To participate in annual meeting technical programming,

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

A.R. Baldwin Distinguished Service Award Winner Feature – Sevim Erhan

Q&A with Dr. Sevim Erhan, winner of the A.R. Baldwin Distinguished Service Award

A brief bio: Dr. Sevim Z. Erhan has a B.S. and an M.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Istanbul, Turkey, 1980 and a Ph.D. in Organic-Polymer Chemistry from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan, 1987. She has been with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (ARS), since 1988. She was a Postdoctoral Associate, Research Scientist and Research Leader at the ARS National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research in Peoria, Illinois, from 1988-2008, and then became Center Director of the ARS Eastern Regional Research Center in Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania, 2008-present. Her research subjects are Vegetable Oil Based Industrial Products, including printing inks, paints, coatings, lubricants, biodiesel, hydraulic oils and composites. She has authored or coauthored over 250 scientific articles, including nine U.S. Patents, two books and 29 book chapters. 

1) How did it feel to win the A.R. Baldwin Distinguished Service Award?

I feel honored to be recognized with this award! 

2) How did you get started in the field that you are working in?

I completed a BA and a MS degree in Chemical Engineering, and a PhD in Organic-Polymer Chemistry. My master's thesis focused on the area of Physical and Surface Chemistry. When I joined the USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Northern Regional Research Center (later renamed as the National Center of Agricultural Utilization Research) in Peoria, IL, I  was assigned to work on a Congress Mandated project to increase the use of soybean oil in printing inks. My background was a perfect fit for the work and resulted in several patents and licensing. After that, I worked on the non-food uses of soybean oil and other vegetable oils in many different areas including paint and coatings, lubricants, hydraulic oils, engine oils, energy absorbing materials, hydro-gels and many more.

3) Can you tell us more about your work and the research you oversee?

For 20 years [1988-2008], I conducted research on non-food uses of vegetable oils as a Lead Scientist/Research Leader. In my current position, as the Center Director of the Eastern Regional Research Center, I oversee 20-24 large projects focused on: Food Safety, Sustainable Bioenergy Production, Dairy and Food Processing Innovations, Health Promoting - Functional Foods, Food  Ingredients and Consumer Products and Biobased Products.

4) What challenges have you overcome during your course of study or your career?

When I came to the United States with the intention to pursue a PhD, I did not yet know any English. As a student in Turkey I had studied German as a second language. Once I overcame this initial hurdle, everything moved along much more smoothly with the help of great mentors and colleagues. 

5) What advice can you share on how you have achieved success thus far in your career, whether that be entering a graduate program or a lengthy career in a prestigious position?

I am known to advise all young people to help them pursue a career path they genuinely enjoy and the highest-level degree in their field. Your work plays a large role in your life, and for better or worse it quickly becomes one of your hobbies. It is worthwhile to invest that time early on! 

6) Why did you decide to volunteer with AOCS?

I attended my first AOCS meeting in 1989. As I became more familiar with the functions and opportunities AOCS offers to its members, I decided to become more actively involved and help others appreciate the role AOCS could play in their own careers. I am constantly encouraging young scientists to engage in as many ways as they can with AOCS or any other scientific society in their field. 

7) How has AOCS helped you in your career?

AOCS has helped me tremendously in connecting with scientists from all over the world. I consider myself very lucky to have collaborated, and become great friends, with experts in my field and related areas. 

8) What are some fond memories or experiences you’ve had from AOCS service?

I greatly value the relationships that I have formed with my fellow AOCS Team Members. Over decades of conferences, we have watched each other’s children grow and shared wonderful memories dining, shopping and sightseeing all over the world. In particular, it was a great pleasure to help organize the conference in my home country, Turkey. 

Check out the AOCS Awards video featuring her:

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Phospholipid Division virtual round table recap

The Phospholipid Division recently held a virtual round table to discuss Division business. In total, the meeting had 10 attendees from the USA and Canada. At the meeting, attendees considered the Division’s scope and its uniqueness as the only Division that has focused on one specific class of lipid, which explains why the Division is smaller than the others. There was conversation on developing and updating guidelines for the Phospholipid Division Best Paper Award.

Proposed topics for the 2021 Technical Program included Sustainable processing and fractionation for novel phospholipids; Polar lipids, including phospholipids; Novel phospholipid and Health: their role in chemoprevention; and New sources and applications of modified phospholipids.

Vice Chair Ozan Cifci will be finalizing the topics for the 2021 Technical program soon and is also looking for session chairs. Ernesto Hernandez, Chair, is also in need of a volunteer to serve as newsletter editor.

Finally, birthday celebrations were in order for Wendy and Toni Wang, happy birthday, birthday twins!

Ernesto Hernandez, Advanced Lipid Consultants, USA
To participate in annual meeting technical programming, contact:

Vice Chair
Ozan Ciftci, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA

To engage in upcoming networking events, contact:
Swapnil Jadhav, Archer Daniels Midland Co., USA

Monday, June 15, 2020

2021 AOCS Awards are NOW OPEN

Call for Nominations

Help spotlight the individuals and companies that make a difference in the oils, fats, proteins, surfactants and detergents industries! AOCS awards celebrate the individuals and companies that make outstanding contributions to science, technology, industry and our Society.

Your nominations recognize contributions from your peers to help build a more supportive community and generally better the fields relevant to you by raising the standards of excellence for all.

Who will you nominate for outstanding contributions?

How to nominate:
1. Read the full award descriptions and eligibility requirements at
2. Complete the Professional Awards Nomination Form or the Student Awards Application Form, and then submit the form and supporting materials as PDF or Word Document files to There is no application form for Travel Grants - please continue to submit these application materials to
3. Email Victoria Santo at, if you have any questions.

Deadlines for nomination submissions:
  • Professional Awards – August 1, 2020
  • Student Awards – October 1, 2020
  • Travel Grants – December 18, 2020
Read more on the AOCS Awards webpage.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Virtual AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo Debuts

Katherine Gaffney                                                                For Immediate Release 6/12/2020

Virtual AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo Debuts 
AOCS launches its first virtual conference with 200+ Presentations and Complimentary Registration

URBANA, Ill., USA, June 9, 2020 — The American Oil Chemists’ Society (AOCS), an international professional organization that advances the science and technology of oils, fats, proteins, surfactants and related materials, is hosting its first ever virtual annual meeting.

During the week of June 29, at the virtual annual meeting, participants will be able to access posters and oral presentations on-demand on the virtual annual meeting platform and sessions will cover all ten of AOCS' interest areas and will include research from leading experts in industry and academia.

Presenters will be available to interact and chat with attendees during specified times. The schedule will be available on the AOCS website at

AOCS is committed to ensuring our community has access to the resources they need during these uncertain times. In consideration of the current circumstances, registration for the annual meeting is free to all attendees, including nonmembers.
Remember, there is no cost to attend, so mark your calendars for the week of June 29!

About AOCS: The American Oil Chemists’ Society is an international professional organization based in Urbana, IL. Founded in 1909, AOCS is dedicated to disseminating current and emerging information and research regarding oils, fats, lipids, proteins, surfactants and related materials. In helping forward these sciences, AOCS develops and upholds methods of analysis for global trade and research, conducts proficiency testing and provides reference materials. The society also seeks to facilitate and strengthen interactions among professional through meetings, specialized interest groups and other networking opportunities as well as collaborating with other related societies and organizations to promote the advancement of science.

Media Contact: Katherine Gaffney, Communication Specialist, 


Thursday, June 11, 2020

Lipid Oxidation and Quality Division Virtual Round Table

This week the Lipid Oxidation and Quality Division held a virtual round table where attendees from all over the world, including Austria, Uruguay, Canada and the USA, converged for a wonderful meeting.

The group got to know one another better with some ice breaker questions. One of the favorites was, “If you could time travel, would you go to the past or the future?” Many attendees chose the future to help find a vaccine to combat COVID-19.

One order of business was introducing the leadership: Karen Schaich, Vice Chair, who has been an AOCS member for 40 years; Xiaoqing (Nora) Yang, Chair of the Division, who is a former student of Dr. Schaich and served as  Vice Chair for the past two years; and David Johnson, Kalsec, who has been involved with AOCS since his student days.

Attendees discussed the results of the LOQ Division Survey to help determine topics for the 2021 Annual Meeting sessions. Top topics include: New analytical techniques to track oxidation; Oxidation in specific food matrices – oxidation patterns, analytical method, differences in antioxidant strategies; New thinking in lipid oxidation mechanisms and catalysis; Effect of lipid oxidation on digestibility, nutrient availability and toxicity; and Lipid oxidation and shelf life of new fats (natural and interesterified).

The Division also expressed interest in offering interactive, general educational tutorials likely in an online format. Therefore, there is the need to identify presenters and topics possibly through a survey of Division members and possibly AOCS members more broadly.

All in all, there was good conversation, wonderful collaboration and lots of laughter!

Xiaoqing (Nora) Yang, Kalsec, Inc., USA

To participate in annual meeting technical programming, contact:
Vice Chair
Karen Schaich, Rutgers University, USA

To engage in upcoming networking events, contact:
David Johnson, Kalsec, USA

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

AOCS Online Technical Committee Meetings

AOCS needs your technical expertise! Learn how technical committees
and expert panels work. Mark your calendars so you can join us at one (or a few) of these meetings.

Uniform Methods Committee Round Table Meeting
In this meeting, attendees will discuss the Uniform Methods Committee and Uniform Methods Committee subcommittee projects and proposals.
From 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm CDT (Chicago, USA) on Wednesday, June 17

Olive Oil Expert Panel Meeting
This meeting will help advise and direct AOCS’ technical activities and services related to olive oil.
From 8:00 am to 9:00 am CDT (Chicago, USA) on Wednesday, June 17

Process Contaminants Expert Panel Meeting
In this meeting, attendees will discuss AOCS projects and general developments related to the analysis and mitigation of processing contaminants in edible oils.
From 9:00 am to 10:30 am CDT (Chicago, USA) on Monday, June 22

Technical Leadership Committee Meeting
This meeting will help advise and direct AOCS on analytical services, laboratory services and liaisons with international agencies such as ISO and Codex Alimentarius.
From 9:00 am to 10:00 am CDT (Chicago, USA) on Tuesday, July 7

Uniform Methods Committee Meeting 
In this meeting, attendees will help develop and maintain the Official Methods and Recommended Practices of AOCS.
From 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. CDT (Chicago, USA) on Wednesday, July 8

To join the meeting, please contact to request a more detailed meeting agenda and for links to join the meetings virtually.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

AOCS stands against racism and prejudice

AOCS is deeply saddened and disturbed by recent events that have brought to light the dangers of racism and prejudice. All scientists, and all people, should be able to live their lives and pursue their livelihood in safe environments that welcome a myriad of perspectives and reject violence as a solution. AOCS is dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion for all people, regardless of race, gender, orientation, or affiliation. We believe that bias and intolerance are not only unethical, but weaken our social fabric. We firmly believe that diversity strengthens the scientific enterprise and society as a whole. As an organization, we stand with those who promote inclusivity and seek to enable all of us to make valued contributions enriching the lives of people everywhere.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

BIO Division Virtual Round Table

Recently, the Biotechnology Division hosted its inaugural virtual round table. In attendance were 18 members, including one student and one postdoc, from all over the world, including Denmark, Japan, Canada, the USA and Chile.

Long (Joe) Zou, Division chairperson, led the meeting, joined by newsletter editor, Sarah Willet and two new members of the Executive Steering Committee (ESC), Todd Underiner and Yomi Watanbe, who joined from Japan, even though it was midnight! Joe joked that Yomi deserved the service award for dedication despite the late hour.

The meeting kicked off with some icebreakers where attendees shared something personal about themselves – like Joe sharing that he was in a band in college and played guitar and Todd sharing his plans to write a book.

In terms of Division business, Todd discussed the 2021 Technical Program Survey and then invited feedback from the group. Proposed topics included circular economy/sustainable solutions, including bioplastics, green chemistry and biopolymers; production of nutraceutic fatty acids in higher plants, algae, and micro-organisms; antimicrobial and antiviral protein and lipid using fermentation technology; and oleochemicals and biocatalysis. Attendees also suggested hosting a general session or Hot Topic on CRISPR Technology. From this meeting, Todd felt prepared to develop the Biotechnology Division sessions, but invited attendees to continue to provide ideas and feedback.

The Division also discussed the ever-evolving nature of science and how it is difficult to classify science anymore in one section or another. Science crosses these boundaries and is increasingly more interdisciplinary.

The Division also needs volunteers, including session chairs, award nominators, award evaluators and other positions. Contact Long (Joe) Zou for more details.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Learn how to showcase your business at the Virtual 2020 AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo

June 3, 2020 at 10:00 am CT (Chicago, USA)

Join us to learn about opportunities to feature your business at the 2020 Virtual AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo during this information session. We will preview the platform, discuss options and offer tips on how to maximize your presence and exposure.

We look forward to helping you develop an experience that will replicate the information exchange that normally occurs during in-person meetings and exhibitions. AOCS staff will be available throughout the session to answer any questions and to help you generate ideas to develop an engaging virtual presence for your company.

PCP Division Round Table Recap

Last week, the Proteins and Co-Products Division Round Table held its first ever Virtual Round Table & Happy Hour. Over 30 attendees, including students and members from industry, government, and universities, joined from all over the world, including Argentina, Canada and the USA.

Phil Kerr, the current AOCS Vice President and Deland Myers, a past AOCS President, were both in attendance. The representation of the PCP leadership in the AOCS leadership was a genuine point of pride for the Division.

In terms of Division business, Chibuike Udenigwe started the meeting by thanking the outgoing leadership and honoring the 2020 PCP Award Winners, including Keshun Liu, and the Best Paper Award Winners. Lamia L’Hocine then discussed the results of the PCP Division survey regarding the 2021 Annual Meeting Technical Program. The committee had a robust discussion that vetted topics, considered potential missing topics and which topics deserved serious consideration.

The topics discussed included protein biofunctions (allergenicity, bioactivities, anti-microbial and anti-viral functions), emerging sources of protein (high protein content, nutritional quality, health promoting properties, allergenic risks, by-product utilization, processing and applications); application of advanced, novel and clean-tech processing for the preparation and utilization of plant proteins for foods (including bioprocessing). 

Other topics included non-food applications of proteins (pet foods, aquafeed, animal feed and bio-products); protein-based hydrocolloids for food and biomaterial applications; the functionality of proteins in food and the interaction with other food components (protein-carbohydrate, protein-lipid, etc.); and emerging edible applications of food proteins (e.g. plant-based meat, edible packaging materials, etc.). 

Finally, there was a call for volunteers for Session Chairs, Award Evaluators, Webinar Moderators, Mentors and more. If interested, please contact Chairperson Chibuike Udenigwe at

All in all, it was a wonderful meeting with lots of laughs and well wishes.