Monday, November 30, 2020

Innovations in Protein Extrusion: a spotlight on Soybean 360 moderator Scott Bloomer, Ph.D.

 Meet Scott Bloomer, Ph.D. 

Soybean 360 is an international symposium organized by the Soybean Innovation Lab in partnership with AOCS. The symposium's vision is to share better practices and innovations with processors in Sub Saharan Africa and elsewhere, for efficient processing of food in the soybean value chain that meet DINES criteria: Delicious, Inexpensive, Nutritious, Environmentally and culturally sustainable, and Safe. Processors for both human and animal foods can benefit from the research and industry innovations, and networking opportunities available in this symposium.  The symposium will occur November 30–December 11 from 8-11 a.m. CST (UTC-06/Chicago, USA). Registration is free for all, including nonmembers.

Leading up to the symposium, AOCS is spotlighting AOCS members participating in the event. This week we are featuring Scott Bloomer, an AOCS member since 1995. Dr. Bloomer has been very involved with AOCS through its journals, writing a patents column for INFORM magazine and more.

Read on to learn more about the session Scott Bloomer is involved with, how he got involved with AOCS, and what most excites him about his work.

The Soybean 360 session Scott Bloomer, Ph.D. will moderate

Innovations in Protein Extrusion will occur on Friday, December 4, 2020. The process of extrusion-aided screw pressing and the different products that can result will be reviewed in this session. Researchers and industry executives will review applications, technical advice for efficiency and effectiveness and frameworks for the development of DINES criteria extruded foods.  View presentations and speaker information.

Meet Scott Bloomer, Ph.D. 

Scott Bloomer started his research career in 1973 in the laboratories of Honeywell, Incorporated doing research in humidity sensors. Since then he has been privileged to do research on smoke detectors, biosensors, enzymatic interesterification of lipids, basic oilseed processing and the application of enzymes to milk compounds. He has written a dozen peer-reviewed papers and is a contributing editor for the AOCS trade magazine, INFORM.  Bloomer managed the fats and oils patent portfolio of ADM for several years, drafting and defending patents. He is currently the Director of Technical Services at the American Oil Chemists’ Society.

1) How does your work intersection with Soybean 360 as a whole, or how does it intersect with the specific session with which you are involved?

The Symposium’s focus intersects with the work of the AOCS Technical Department in that we have a large number of methods and many of them are directly related to proteins and co-products and oil, which is central to our many members. Soy protein has a number of methods and we are the keeper and developer of these methods.

In addition, we have programs for laboratory professionals to test protein samples and compare their results with other laboratories in the world. Through this Laboratory Proficiency Program we find AOCS Approved Chemists, which are the very best of the best. We play a central role in certifying laboratories for NOPA (National Oilseed Producers Association).for legal disputes over soy protein levels.

This session with which I am involved has to do with the extrusion of soy. Soybeans have anti-institutional factors that may not be completely neutralized in the desolventizer-toaster step of soybean processing. In order to increase the soy digestibility and ensure that anti-nutritional factors are neutralized, the extrusion step is really important. This, in fact, is the way textured vegetable proteins are made, soy burgers were originally made this way, and many puffed products are made using this method.

So, among AOCS members, there are many experts in this technology.

2) How did you get involved with AOCS?

When I was doing my graduate research, the first place that my professor identified as the best place for me to submit my first paper was the Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society (JAOCS), with which I was already familiar because I read a large number of articles and I kept tabs on what was coming out each month, because there so many interesting papers about fats and oils.

I eventually became a reviewer and Associate Editor for the journal. I also organized sessions of the annual meeting and attended those meetings as well

After I became a registered patent agent, I decided that the INFORM trade magazine most needed more information about patents of interest to AOCS members.

3) How has AOCS contributed to your work?

One of the sore points of being a research scientist that when you are working on a project, you become the specialist on that project. At your company or institution, there are few colleagues that you can talk about your project, where they can come to on an informed level and help you design experiments or frame the questions. AOCS provides a community of experts to turn to and interact with to help advance one’s research. And the meetings are an essential place where you meet them, correspond with them and, maybe, you get one of their papers to review. AOCS courses are taught by very high-level scientists. In AOCS the collegial atmosphere is very strong. There was always a sense of being welcomed by the veteran scientists, that you are part of the AOCS community and that your research is respected. That is something that you normally do not get in a laboratory work setting, but you do get through AOCS – this sense of belonging, a sense of recognition, the sense of people respecting your research.

4) What excites you most about your work?

The opportunity to work with members, to interact with bright people, to bring the methods of these bright scientists into published reality, to help analytical chemists succeed in the Laboratory Proficiency Program and become certified Approved Chemists.

I also relish the chance that I get to represent the interests of AOCS members and stakeholders before the international standardization organization and Codex Alimentarius because these are the world level organizations. 

5) What do you like to do when you are not at work or participating in meetings?

I have been training martial arts for over 40 years and continue to practice Kung Fu every morning. I also train in Japanese martial arts with nostalgic weapons like swords. I have an old British sports car that usually requires some tinkering with. 

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