Monday, April 12, 2021

Thank you for helping AOCS to grow!

The Refer-a-Friend program is a great way to share the positive impact of AOCS and help expand our professional community! We would like to give a shout-out to 42 members who have taken the time to help us grow through this program over the last 6 months. 

As our membership grows every new member contributes to the diversity of backgrounds and geographical locations. Their voice, experiences and expertise add to our technical discussions. They enrich the membership experience for us all.  

Take the initiative to help your peers experience the many benefits and connections that you know AOCS offers. Not only will you change the course of their careers, but you will gain visibility as a leader who is growing the Society — plus, choose to receive a $20 gift card or make a donation to the AOCS Foundation for every new member you recruit in 2021, up to US $100.

Recruiters of Active Members September 1, 2020 – March 31, 2021

  • Juan Andrade
  • Jade Archer
  • Chafik Baghdadi
  • Gerard M. Baillely
  • W. Craig Byrdwell
  • Mark W. Collison
  • Fabiola Dionisi (2 members)
  • Timothy P. Durrett
  • Supratim Ghosh
  • Monoj K. Gupta
  • Clifford A. Hall, III
  • Sharon Hannigan
  • Ernesto Hernandez
  • Prof. James D. House
  • Afia Karikari
  • Phillip S. Kerr (2 members)
  • Alexandra Kicenik Devarenne
  • Carole E. Koch
  • Lijuan Li
  • Megan Lowery
  • Emilee Malone
  • Derek Mikesell
  • Dove E. Mullins
  • Amanda Self
  • Elizabeth Stensrud
  • Christopher J. Tucker
  • Michael J. Williams
  • Tong Wong
  • Bryan V. Yeh

Recruiters of students

  • Nuria Cristina Acevedo (3 students)
  • Douglas M. Bibus
  • Eric A. Decker (3 students)
  • Levente L. Diosady
  • Timothy P. Durrett
  • Supratim Ghosh (2 students)
  • James D. House (4 students)
  • Xiao Qiu
  • Derick Rousseau
  • Andres G. Rumayor Rodriguez
  • Eric Theiner
  • Chibuike C. Udenigwe

We appreciate your willingness to promote AOCS membership!  

Invitation to participate: edible oil analysis expert panel committee meetings


Are you interested in edible oil analysis?

The members of the Process Contaminants Expert Panel, the Olive Oil Expert Panel and the newly formed Avocado Oil Expert Panel welcome you to attend their committee meetings.

Panel members, including many of the leading experts in edible oil analysis, will discuss topics including standards and new method developments, regulatory issues, and challenges with industrial characterization and analysis. 

  • Process Contaminants Expert Panel, April 26, 8 a.m. CDT (Chicago, USA; UTC-5)
  • Olive Oil Expert Panel, April 26, 10 a.m. CDT (Chicago, USA; UTC-5)
  • Avocado Oil Expert Panel, April 30, 9:30 a.m. CDT (Chicago, USA; UTC-5)

Please contact Denise Williams,, for more information, agendas, and zoom links. 

Friday, April 9, 2021

Midweek Mixer: The art of presenting posters and communicating science

 Congratulations! Your poster or talk has been accepted to present! Now what?

Join us for a Midweek Mixer to discuss strategies and learn how to present your research in a clear and compelling manner. The main focus will be on e-poster presentations at the AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo (which include a short recorded presentation/pitch), but the ideas and techniques will be valuable for oral presentations, and for any situation in which you share your research. 

We will discuss the importance of communicating our work, how to grab audience attention (and keep it!) and how to transform technical data into a language that everyone understands. This will be an interactive session with games and anecdotes as we delve into science communication in this new online reality. Can we convey our enthusiasm during online presentations? Does practice make perfect? How do we make a poster presentation and pitch appealing to people in other fields? We will touch on these questions and more.

Join host, Marnie Newell and moderator, Sarah Willett, Co-chair of the AOCS Young Professional Common Interest Group, April 15, 2021, 12 p.m. noon, CDT (Chicago, USA; UTC -5).

Registration is free for all, including those that are not AOCS members. 

AOCS Midweek Mixers provide an excellent opportunity for networking and learning with your peers.

About the host: Marnie Newell

Marnie Newell is a recent PhD graduate from the University of Alberta, Canada, who loves to chat about her research to anyone who will listen. Her thesis work focused on the role of docosahexaenoic acid and the treatment of breast cancer. Marnie has presented at 3 AOCS conferences (2 in person and one online), and as a student received the AOCS Honored Student Award, the Peter and Clare Kalustian Award and the Lipid Chemistry and Nutrition Award. She has presented to the public, industry and academia, was a finalist in the 3MT speaking competition and winner of other speaking competitions.

About the moderator: Sarah Willett

Sarah is an RD&A Scientist on the Process Innovation Team at Kerry in Beloit, WI. Her role focuses on improving current processes and investigating novel processes for our Taste Portfolio, with specific research focus in the areas of coffee extracts, encapsulation of flavors and bioactives, lipid systems, and enzyme processes. She completed her PhD at the University of Georgia in 2019 under the direction of Dr. Casimir C. Akoh. Her PhD research focused on production of structured lipids containing menhaden fish oil, oleogels, and the potential for addition of these health beneficial lipids into food products. Sarah is the incoming Co-Chair of the AOCS Young Professional Common Interest Group. 

Register to reserve your spot to network and connect with your hosts and gain insights into how to improve your science communication skills. This event will occur Thursday, April 15 at 12 noon CDT (Chicago, USA UTC-05).

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

New method for assessing trypsin inhibitor activity in plant-based food materials including soybeans, pulses, beans, cereals and their processed products.

 AOCS is the leading provider of methods and recommended practices critical to running a quality lab in the fats, oils and plant-protein industries, and recently approved a new method, Method Ba 12a-2020, for assaying trypsin inhibitor activity in plant-based food materials including soybeans, pulses, beans, cereals and their processed products.

Crystallographic structure of a Kunitz-type
trypsin inhibitor from Erythrina caffra seeds.
Trypsin inhibitors are found in a wide range of plants including pulses, beans and cereals. These proteins are thought to have evolved as part of the plants’ strategies to deter consumption by animals and irreversibly bind to enzymes involved in protein digestion. High levels of trypsin inhibitor activity in animal feed leads to decreased weight and has been linked to metabolic and digestive diseases. Humans have developed a range of approaches to disarm this defense, including denaturing by heating (processing or cooking), and selective breeding of plants. The ability to reduce, and, most critically, to accurately quantify, the trypsin inhibitor activity in plant material has been key to the development and production of new plant-protein based foods for animal and human consumption.

AOCS has had an official Method for measuring trypsin inhibitor activity since 1975. As part of the ongoing process of method revision, a new Method Ba 12a-2020 has recently been approved by the AOCS Uniform Methods Committee. Keshun Liu, a Research Chemist with United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), has led this effort. 

“The new method is easier to learn, requires smaller amounts of reagents and gives results with greater precision,” he says.

Keshun Liu

Method Ba 12a-2020 assesses inhibitor activity from the increase in light absorbance at 410 nm using Nα‐benzoyl‐DL‐arginine‐ρ‐nitroanilide as a synthetic trypsin substrate. It has an expanded scope, addressing the need for analytical methods for non-soy plant proteins. It also provides results using more meaningful units of measurement.

“Using AOCS Ba 12a-2020 analysts can now express results as the amount of trypsin inhibited, instead of using an arbitrary unit,” says Liu. “The new unit is standardized against a reference trypsin with a fixed value of specific enzyme activity.  If other methods adapt this new concept of standardization against the same reference trypsin, results will become comparable among reports.”

“The creation and validation of methods that encourage comparison of measurements from different laboratories is central to AOCS’s mission,” says Scott Bloomer, ‎Technical Services Director at AOCS. “The genesis of our society in 1909 was a collaborative effort among cottonseed producers to standardize analytical results.”

An international collaborative study of the new AOCS Ba 12a-2020 Method was recently conducted. Results are reported in a recent JAOCS article. You can purchase the Method at the AOCS Store.

A new AOCS Laboratory Proficiency Program (LPP) series will be launched in conjunction to AOCS Ba 12a-2020. For more information please contact Dawn Shepard

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Celebrating the California Olive Oil Council - Laboratory Proficiency Program Winners!

AOCS is proud to recognize the top performers in the AOCS Laboratory Proficiency Program (LPP). The California Olive Oil Council’s Taste Panel achieved the top score in last year’s Proficiency Program for olive oil sensory laboratories. 

During the 1990s (the early days of California’s olive oil renaissance and the Council), the California Olive Oil Council (COOC) hosted several taster trainings and informal meetings prior to establishing its Taste Panel in 1998, which was then led by 2 IOC-trained Panel Supervisors dedicated to growing a high-quality industry in California. Today there are 19 members of the panel, all of whom have demonstrated their sensory expertise during multi-year apprentice programs. The Taste Panel spends 6 months each year certifying oils for the COOC Extra Virgin Seal Certification program, with the remainder of the year devoted to educational activities focused on increasing all tasters’ skill levels. 

"The COOC Taste Panel has participated in the Proficiency Program since its inception, and appreciates the recognition it has received from the AOCS," says Patricia King, Executive Director, California Olive Oil Council.

AOCS would like to congratulate the COOC taste panel on their excellent performance in the LPP,  and to commend them for their dedication to conducting rigorous analyses in the lab.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Welcome to our newest members - February 2021

Thirty-seven individuals (26 professionals, 11 students) from 11 countries joined AOCS in February 2021. We now have members in 73 countries around the world – close to our goal of 80 countries. 

View the complete listing in the member-only Premium Content Library on inform|connect. Please contact Janet Cheney,, for details on how to connect with a new member. 

We have PhD students and professors from places familiar and also new to AOCS, including: Aarhus University, University of California,Davis, University of Toronto, Rutgers University, Kuban State Technological University and Universidad Nacional De Colombia - Sede Bogota

 We also welcome new professionals from these companies: 

Al Ghurair Resources

ANKOM Technology

C.I. Sigra S.A.

Cargill Agricultural Supply Chain, NA



Fuji Oil Europe

Grains Research and Development Corporation

ITW Global Brands

Mary Kay

Natec Network

Natural Plant Products, Inc.



Procter & Gamble

The Annex by Ardent Mills

Watts S.A.

Zeeland Farm Services 

Vermote Consulting 

These new members represent a broad range of job titles and responsibilities including CEOs, R&D directors, refinery managers, engineers, associate scientists, sales managers and directors of food safety and regulatory.  

View and download the list and consider colleagues that would benefit from our wonderful community of specialists and encourage them to join


Celebrating Kinuko Miyazaki, 2021 JSBBA Award for Women Corporate Researchers

Dr. Kinuko Miyazaki was awarded the 2021 JSBBA Award for Women Corporate Researchers at the recent meeting of the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Japan Society for Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Agrochemistry (JSBBA). 

Dr. Miyazaki is recognized for her pioneering research in the detection of MCPD esters and glycidol esters in oil using an enzymatic approach. She is the co-developer of a joint JOCS/AOCS Method that AOCS adopted in 2019, Joint JOCS/AOCS Official Method Cd 29d-19, “2-/3-MCPD Fatty Acid Esters and Glycidyl Fatty Acid Esters in Edible Oils and Fats by Enzymatic Hydrolysis”. 

She is also the co-developer of Joint JOCS/AOCS Recommended Practice Cd 29e-19, “2-/3-MCPD Fatty Acid Esters and Glycidyl Fatty Acid Esters in Fish Oils by Enzymatic Hydrolysis”. 

In addition, Dr. Miyazaki has developed methods for detecting these process contaminants in finished foods; the method is currently being translated and will be submitted for approval as an AOCS method when the paper in English has published.

In the photo Scott Bloomer, AOCS Technical Services Director, is presenting her with official copies of her two Joint JOCS/AOCS methods in the lobby of the House Foods Research Center in Japan.

JSBBA is a participating member of the Japan Inter-Society Liaison Association Committee for Promoting Equal Participation of Men and Women in Science and Engineering (EPMEWSE), and through its Diversity Promotion Committee is actively engaged in activities to overcome the gender gaps in the research field of JSBBA.

Congratulations Dr. Miyazaki!

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Welcome to our newest Corporate Members

Every year over 100 companies renew or join as an AOCS Corporate Member. Corporate Membership is available at four levels and each offers a package of benefits including individual membership(s), complimentary meeting registration(s), discounts on exhibiting fees, advertising and AOCS Methods downloads or online access. Customization is available at the Silver, Gold and Platinum levels.     

We are excited to announce three new Bronze Corporate Members: 

CGA Limited (Coconut Growers Association)

Contact: Gabrielle Agostini, Trinidad and Tobago

CGA Limited is proud to be the only indigenous manufacture of soaps, edible oils, margarines and shortenings for over 80 years. CGA joined AOCS to gain access to technical information and to provide opportunities for employees to gain a broader understanding of analytical methodology and processing technologies for fats and oils. Learn more

Natec Network

Contact: Seth Pulsfus, Wisconsin, USA

Natec Network is part of Hochland Natec, a company prominently known for its equipment for the production, processing and packaging of processed cheese. In recent years, Natec Network has introduced Magnet for Emulsion (M4E) technology, an innovative method of making emulsions and dispersions and highly applicable to the fats and oils industries. Learn more.

GOED (Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s)

Contact: Gerard Bannenberg, Utah, USA

GOED represents the worldwide EPA and DHA omega-3 industry. The organization’s mission is to increase consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3s, regardless of the source, and ensure that their members produce quality products that consumers can trust. AOCS and GOED leaders are already working to build a closer connection between the two organizations. More details will be available in the next few months.  Learn more

Interested in adding your company to the list of Corporate Members? Contact Felipe Reyes to customize a Corporate Membership to meet your needs.   

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Spotlight on Eileen Bailey Hall, Health & Nutrition Division member and leader

Eileen Bailey Hall is the Clinical Project Manager, NIC R&D HN Segment Pharma and Medical Nutrition, for DSM Nutritional Products, Maryland, USA. 

Eileen was recently interviewed by Kacie Ho, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Newsletter Editor and Secretary/Treasurer of the AOCS Health & Nutrition (H&N) Division. 

Tell us more about what you do and your career path? 

I began my career at Martek Biosciences right after graduation from UMBC (University of Maryland, Baltimore County) with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. I’ve stayed with them for 26 years (when I find something I like, I stick with it!) and have held various roles with both Martek and DSM (which acquired Martek in 2011) including QA/QC analyst, sensory panel leader , analytical chemist, and clinical lab manager. 

In my current position as Clinical Project Manager, I get the most satisfaction from interacting with researchers who are using our products in their clinical trials. I am inspired by these scientists working tirelessly to combat disease and improve the quality of our lives. I’m also amazed by the speed of the science. We are only a year into the COVID pandemic, and we already have a vaccine(!), understand transmission routes, and realize the importance of nutrients in immune function. Many of these nutrients (I am proud to say) are in DSM’s portfolio including Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins C and D. 

Why did you get involved with the Health & Nutrition Division?

My AOCS journey began when I met Doug Bibus (current AOCS president) at my first AOCS meeting in San Diego in 2000. Health and nutrition are my passions, and I was there presenting a poster on blood fatty acid analysis. Doug encouraged me to join the H&N Division and become engaged in AOCS activities. The next year, he asked me to chair a session at the annual meeting. I was terrified (especially after my co-chair was a no show) but I persevered. Over my 21 years as a member of AOCS, I have presented my research, chaired and organized H&N sessions, organized a Hot Topic session, served as Secretary/Treasurer and Vice Chair of the H&N Division and been a member of the AOCS Networking Value Center. In every one of these situations, I thought to myself “I can’t do that” but each time the old motto “Just Do It” echoed in my head. As a result, I saw huge growth in my leadership skills and in the connections and scientific knowledge I could offer to DSM.

How has AOCS made a difference in your career? 

In my time with AOCS, I have developed an incredible network of researchers. Doug Bibus has continually challenged me to step outside my comfort zone and is a great resource to bounce ideas off of and answer questions around Omega 3 fatty acid analysis and mechanisms. Carol Lammi-Keefe and Holiday Durham Zanetti have inspired me in their dedication to maternal health and served on the H&N leadership team with me – I am proud of the work our all-female team accomplished! And so many AOCS staff have so much energy and were always there to motivate and assist me in all my AOCS needs. I would not be where I am without the AOCS community.

Do you have any advice for students and young professionals? 

I have a lot of advice for H&N members and students who may be starting off their careers. Immerse yourself in AOCS activities. By doing so you will build your scientific knowledge, your network, your skill set and your confidence. Join a Toastmaster’s group. If you cannot effectively communicate it, no one will ever know it. Many great opportunities are found in lateral career moves that may increase your exposure and knowledge base. And lastly, never say “no” to an opportunity.  I have found the more reasons I find to resist doing something the more reasons there are for actually doing it.

What do you like to do outside of work?  

I am not all business though. I love to be in the great outdoors whether it be skiing, running, or hiking. It is in doing these activities that I do my best problem solving and innovating!  Fresh air, fresh thoughts.  

Thank you Eileen for your service, inspiration and enthusiam for AOCS and life! 

Monday, March 22, 2021

Celebrating Hefei Zhao, Analytical Division Student Awardee

The Analytical Division Student Award recognizes graduate students presenting an outstanding oral or poster presentations within the Analytical technical program at the AOCS Annual Meeting. We are delighted to announce that the 2021 award will be presented to Hefei Zhao who will be presenting his paper on "Insights of Impact of Acetic Acid on Antioxidant Activities of Natural Phenolic Compounds at Low pH Range in Tween 20 O/W Emulsion and Mayonnaise" on Friday, May 7, 2021 8:25 – 8:45 a.m. CDT as one of the highlights of our session on Antioxidant Applications. 

In January 2021 Hefei Zhao successfully defended his doctoral thesis and completed his Ph.D. program in Food Science Department at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln (UNL). He will officially receive his doctoral degree in May 2021. He has a bachelors and a masters degree in Food Science and Technology from Jiangnan University, China. He started his Ph.D. program at UNL in 2016, advised by Dr. Changmou Xu.

Hefei's work focuses on developing functional ingredients of under-utilized agricultural commodities and applying natural antioxidants and polyphenols derived from grapes in fatty foods. His areas of interest also include evaluating the functional properties of proteins (plant base and egg white proteins) for an appropriate application in food products and developing rapid analytical methods (Machine-Learning-Driven Raman Spectroscopy) to detect food quality and compositions such as edibles oils, lipid oxidation, and proteins. He is also endeavoring to apply intelligent algorithms and mathematic models, such as Genetic Algorithm (GA) and Machine/ Deep learning to solve technique and engineering problems in the field of food nutrition, science, and technology.

Can you tell us about you current research?

My researches at UNL focus on applying polyphenols in fatty food as natural antioxidants which aim at organic and natural foods, also using rapid and non-destructive methods coupling with machine-learning algorithms to detect oil quality in fatty foods. Those topics are consumer-driven and cutting-edge in the current Food Science community. The goal and its significance enable me to gain commitment and enthusiasm for tackling difficulties during my research and achieving new accomplishments.

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

I was excited and very happy. I also felt satisfied that my contributions to Food Science and Oil Chemistry have been recognized by the AOCS authority and community.

How has AOCS helped develop your career?

AOCS mainly focuses on edible oil chemistry, which is a specific aspect of Food Science, and interactively provides information and communications among its members. AOCS helps me to build up academic 'bridges and connections' for frequently exchanging ideas with scholars in the community. It also provides excellent platforms such as annual meetings and webinars for me to quickly disseminate my research outcomes. Those are very crucial and important for my career development in the area of Food Science and Technology.

Congratulations, and we are looking forward to hearing your talk!

Spotlight on Albert J. Dijkstra, longtime member of the Processing Division

Dr. Dijkstra gained his doctorate at the Rijksuniversiteit Leiden in 1965.  He worked in Research & Development for most of his career including almost 20 years with Vandemoortele Group where he was involved in Oil Milling, Refining, and Modification.

His contributions and achievements to our industry are indicated by the awards he has received including these awards from AOCS: Alton E. Bailey Award, PRO Division Distinguished Service Award, Stephen S. Chang Award and the Timothy L Mounts Award. In addition, he was named an AOCS Fellow in 2010 and Emeritus member in 2020. He continues to support AOCS as a frequent contributor to inform|connect. He wrote the processing chapters in The Lipid Handbook, 3rd Edition (2007), and his book, Edible Oil Processing from a Patent Perspective, is available through Amazon. The bulk of this book dissects our processes and applicable patents and provides a unique perspective into the industry particularly post-1990.

Dr. Dijkstra, now retired, recently took the time to answer questions from the Processing Division Newsletter Editor, Brent German: 

What do you wish you had known when you first started? 

Like most people, I have always learned on the job. I had not a clue about oils and fats when I joined Vandemoortele. I did not have much of a clue about process technology when I became chief chemist for two ICI polymer plants in 1968 either. I was outside of R&D while at ICI and missed the development of NMR and MS as working tools rather than specialists' affairs. Because of that, I continued to consider them as expensive and exclusive. 

What has been the most challenging technical issue that you personally ran into regarding oilseeds?

Designing an improved mechanism for the partial hydrogenation reaction has been my biggest challenge, followed closely by chemically catalyzed interesterification. In both instances, suggestions were made a long time ago and people took those assumptions for granted although subsequent observations disagreed. It was necessary to study the literature and observations critically and with an open mind to identify patterns and solutions. For hydrogenation, this was the notion that the hydrogen concentration in the oil is not constant but starts at a low level and gradually increases. For interesterification, this was the introduction of the enolate anion that enabled all observations to be explained. How did I solve them? Many sleepless nights!

What is the biggest technical challenge in oilseeds today? 

Modern plants are big to profit from economy of scale. Nobody wants to risk that a novel process for fear it will not live up to its expectations. Many companies seem to say "as long as the others don't innovate, I don't need to either". Overcoming this barrier against process innovation could be the biggest challenge. For example, in my paper Neutral oil loss during alkali refining (JAOCS, 89:175-177, 2012), I suggest washing crude oil with a solution of caustic soda in a mixture of water and isopropanol. The isopropanol will not cause any transesterification, when mixed with water as oil does not dissolve in aqueous isopropanol but soap and phosphatides do. This should make a better separation with lower loss. The equipment exists but the process continues without evaluation despite the potential. 

What are you enjoying now?

Apart from spending time with my wife – the lockdown in Belgium certainly helped with that – I certainly enjoy my freedom since retirement. I do not have to justify how or on what problem I spend my time and I have hardly any deadline to meet. I also enjoy embroidery. When on holiday in Portugal, my wife and I saw a kind of tapestry we could not place. It turned out to be the plaited stitch as practiced for centuries in Arraiolos. Now I gather and sort out my thoughts by embroidering Arraiolos carpets and after having sorted them out, I go back to my computer. I have invented novel ways of carrying out the stitches and am working on a book about it.

Anything else?

I am quite pleased that the use of plasma emission spectrometry to determine phosphorus and other trace elements, which I pioneered and published in JAOCS in 1982 has now become an AOCS Official Method. I am also glad that inform|connect is doing well. I regard this as my baby, and it is nice to see this platform grow up and do well.

Thank you Dr. Dijkstra for your service and contributions to AOCS and the oilseeds industry. 

Friday, March 19, 2021

Bingjing Zheng, AOCS Lipid Chemistry and Nutrition Award

 The AOCS Lipid Chemistry and Nutrition Award recognizes outstanding performance and achievement of graduate students conducting research in lipid chemistry and nutrition. The award is sponsored by Seawit Co., Inc.,  Qingdao, China.

We are delighted to announce that the 2021 Lipid Chemistry and Nutrition Award has been won by Bingjing Zheng, a Ph.D. candidate in the Biopolymer & Colloids Research Laboratory at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. This spotlight will introduce you to Bingjing. You can learn more about her work by attending her poster presentation on "Loading natural emulsions with nutraceuticals using the pH-driven method: Formation & stability of curcumin-loaded soybean oils bodies" at the 2021 AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo.

I started work in this lab as an undergraduate research assistant in my junior year of my bachelors degree My pI, Prof. David Julian McClements provided me with opportunities to study a broad range of analytical and innovative technologies. I found my passion and a target for my life: to be a Food Scientist. I continued my education with him and started on my own project on the development and design food-grade lipid delivery system to enhance the performance of the bioactive agents. I have published 15 manuscripts in well-respected scientific journals and received over 450 citations from other researchers.

 I have also had the opportunity to teach in graduate-level courses. My future work will focus on enhancing the commercial application of bioactive hydrophobic ingredients, and designing clean label delivery systems for their encapsulation and delivery. I anticipate these will find application in foods, supplements, and pharmaceutical industries to enhance human health and wellbeing.

Can you tell us more about your current research?

My thesis research work is focused on the the solubility, chemical stability and bioavailability of  healthy and beneficial  hydrophobic bioactive ingredients; and on using food-grade delivery system to drive these to target sites in the human body. The edible carrier could be oils, proteins, phospholipids, hydrogel beads; or natural emulsion, including plant-based and dairy milk. The challenge is that most bioactive compounds are highly hydrophobic, and have low biological availability. They also degrade quickly during processing, storage, and digestion. These factors limit their application in food products and their potential in disease prevention and treatment.  In my research I am trying to design and improve the commercial application of beneficial natural ingredients and to enhance their bioavailability for health improvement and disease prevention from daily food intake.

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

It is my honor to receive recognition from the American Oil Chemists' Society!

Thank you Bingjing Zheng we are pleased to recognize you with this prestigious award.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Celebrating LPP award winners AAK in Louisville, KY

AOCS is proud to recognize the top performers of the Laboratory Proficiency Program (LPP). LPP Award Winners are among the top 10% of analysts in their LPP series. We commend them for their dedication to conducting rigorous analyses in the lab. 

AAK in Louisville, KY, specializes in plant-based oils that are the value-adding ingredients in many of the products people love to consume. They are this months featured LPP awardees. James Houghton, Research Chemist at AAK, is an AOCS Approved Chemist in the edible fats category.

“Having the ability to compare LPP results with our industry peers has been a long-term asset for our lab'" he says.  "Internally, the LPP results help to confirm our process and externally we are able to better show our customers our Commitment to producing the most accurate and consistent results possible.”

Congratulations to James, and to AAK.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Natalia Castejón - A young scientist to watch

 The AOCS Journals Young Scientist to Watch initiative is directed at scientists in the early stages of their career (younger than 36 years old or have earned their highest degree within the last 10 years) who are conducting transformative research in the area of fats, oils, oilseed proteins, and related materials. The recognition is given to feature scientists whose research “has significantly advanced scientific understanding within their discipline or holds substantial promise for such an impact in the near future.” Featured scientists publish their work in AOCS Journals.

We are delighted to announce that Natalia Castejón, University of Pau and the Adour Region, has joined this esteemed list. 

Natalia Castejón holds a Ph.D. in Food Chemistry from the Autonomous University of Madrid (2018). Her PhD thesis primarily focused on the extraction and enzymatic modification of omega-3 oils from novel plants and microalgae using green techniques and environmentally friendly solvents. Afterwards, she worked for one year as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Iceland (2019), where her research dealt with the development of eco-friendly methods to produce natural extracts from seaweeds to be used in cosmetics products.

Currently, she is doing a postdoctoral stay at the University of Pau and the Adour Region (Anglet, France). Her research aims to develop alternative greener and efficient extraction approaches for obtaining bioactive molecules and biomacromolecules from red seaweed. She is co-author of nine scientific articles in SCI international journals, a patent and numerous contributions to international scientific symposiums. In 2020, she was awarded the H.P. Kaufmann Award granted by the German Society for Fat Science (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Fettwissenschaft, DGF). Recently, she has received a 3-year postdoctoral fellowship (2021-2024) from the REinforcing Women In Research (REWIRE) Programme, a Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions co-funded by the University of Vienna and the European Commission.

Her paper on Integrated Green and Enzymatic Process to Produce Omega‐3 Acylglycerols from Echium plantagineum Using Immobilized Lipases is published in the Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society (JAOCS)

Congratulations Dr. Castejón!

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Spotlight on Abbey Thiel, a member of the Young Professional Common Interest Group

Abbey Thiel is a lecturer at the University Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) where she teaches junior and senior-level classes. She helps instruct food functionality, food manufacturing, food chemistry and senior-level classes. She completed both her Bachelors and PhD in food science at UW-Madison. After the 2020-21 school year she will be leaving UW-Madison for a postdoc position in the dairy group at Wageningen University and Research, the Netherlands. Abbey is a member of the AOCS Young Professional Common Interest Group (YP CIG) and recently was a panelist for the AOCS Midweek Mixer: Habits and Rituals. 

Abbey was intereviewed by the newsletter editor of the YP CIG, Jing Zhou, Ingredion, Inc., USA. 

What excites you about your work? 

I’ve always really enjoyed working with students. I served as a teaching assistant for three years of graduate school and interacting with the students was always the highlight of my day. 

With the pandemic, it’s been quite isolating working from home several times a week. I’m used to seeing a building full of food scientists every day! I’ve noticed that during classes is when I feel energized and excited. 

It’s also been really fun to work with the seniors for the whole school year and see how much they’ve grown. It’s has been a really rewarding year even with all the challenges due to COVID-19.

How are you involved with AOCS? 

I first got involved with AOCS as a PhD student. My advisor encouraged me to join the community and it’s been a wonderful place to present my research into the fat systems within ice creams and whipped toppings. I have sporadically volunteered for opportunities like Midweek Mixers and writing for the student common interest group newsletter. I have always found the AOCS community to be very inviting.

How do you hope or how has AOCS helped in solving challenges you encounter in your work and/or career?

The experts in the fats and oil field that make up the membership of AOCS have been indispensable to my growth as a scientist. I remember being surprised as a PhD student to see how approachable people were and their willingness to share their expertise. The network I’ve cultivated has helped me with anything from research challenges to finding new opportunities like internships and jobs.

Could you describe the focus of your blog and YouTube Channel? What inspired you to create them? 

As soon as people find out I’m a food scientist I’m usually bombarded with questions. Is oat milk good for you? How long can meat sit out? Why is Champagne bubbly?

This has been the case ever since I was an undergraduate in food science. I became the contact person for any friends, family, and friends of friends who had food-related queries. 

After many years of answering these individual emails, texts, and calls someone suggested I start compiling my answers for everyone to see. I’ve learned that people really want information about their food but are unsure how to find it or have trouble interpreting technical documents.

At first, I started with written content on Medium since that’s what I was most comfortable with. It was 2018 and I figured I’d been writing articles all of graduate school, so this was a natural extension. My goal was to translate complex food science topics into content that allowed anyone, regardless of their background, to understand the science behind their food. Two years later I decided to build my own website to host the blog. 

My jump to YouTube came a couple years later in early 2020 when Wisconsin was in lockdown due to COVID-19. I was writing my PhD dissertation while being stuck alone in my tiny house. I craved some type of creative outlet and this was just the push I needed to start another project. 

I began translating the written content on my blog into videos. This was much more nerve-wracking since my audience would see me and I have no media or video training. There’s been a big learning curve with script writing, recording and editing videos among other things. 

As I started accumulating more and more videos, I took the plunge and started my own YouTube Channel named Abbey the Food Scientist. I’ve gotten lots of helpful feedback and encouragement, which keeps me motivated to continue making content amid an already busy schedule. I’ve also noticed that the skills I’ve gained while blogging or YouTubing are useful in other areas of my career. These side projects have absolutely helped me become a better speaker and lecturer as well as improved my writing skills.

Do you have any words of wisdom for other AOCS YP CIG members?

A recent piece of advice that was given to me was that “not making a choice is itself making a choice.” I was having a difficult time deciding where to take my next opportunity when one of my mentors emailed me that phrase. 

Thank you Abbey for your involvement with AOCS!

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Spotlight on Roger Nahas, a leader in the AOCS Lipid Oxidation and Quality Division

This spotlight is on Dr. Roger Nahas, a longtime Lipid Oxidation and Quality Division (LOQ) member, former LOQ Vice-Chair and Chair, and Senior Vice President of Global R&D for Kalsec. 

He was interviewed by the LOQ Secretary/Treasurer, Dr. David Johnson:

Would you mind giving us a little background about your company and how it aligns with AOCS? 

Kalsec started as the Kalamazoo Spice Extraction Company, and today we are a global producer and leader in natural food ingredients. Our mission aligns with AOCS because of our shared passion for the science, and the invaluable resources AOCS offers to our food and lipid chemists. AOCS also offers us a unique platform for networking, collaboration, and knowledge exchange.

How did you first get involved in AOCS and how has the organization helped your career?

 My first involvement with AOCS started at the 2008 annual meeting in Seattle, WA. Since then, AOCS helped me tremendously in my learning journey within lipid oxidation, through all the resources it offers and all the renowned experts, talented professionals and gifted students that I got to know and work with. I had the opportunity to present some of my works AOCS, in addition to collaborating with academic professors, developing mutual innovation opportunities with members from other companies, as well as hiring students that ultimately became leaders in my organization.


You were recently on the ballot for a position at the AOCS Governing Board, what motivated you to run and what would you hope to accomplish on the Board? 

I ran because of my passion for AOCS and desire to share my expertise with the community that benefited my early career. My professional values are centered around innovation, diversity, alignment and sustainability: AOCS is an excellent platform to put these values to good use, along with a team of highly talented and dedicated professionals.

Where do you see the benefits of AOCS for newer members of your team at Kalsec, and in particular Lipid Oxidation and Quality (LOQ)? 

We highly encourage all our new hires and veteran antioxidant scientists to be engaged with AOCS to the fullest. It gives them the outside perspective of the lipid oxidation needs, challenges, advances while keeping them informed on the latest scientific methods and discoveries. There is also an intangible, but highly impactful benefit with the networking opportunities offered through AOCS at many levels.

What piece of advice would you have for new members of LOQ? 

LOQ is a special division with a diverse mix of members from both academia and industry at various levels and stages of their careers. My advice for new members if to take advantage of this richness and get involved: volunteer, network, and of course: don’t miss the annual meeting!

Ok, now for some pandemic related questions:

The pandemic has forced companies to innovate how they communicate and operate, what positive aspects of this ‘new normal’ do you hope to carry over in your leadership role? 

The virtual world can be beneficial in shortening the distance and enhancing the frequency of touching base and collaborating between partners of an innovation ecosystem. I hope this will stay. How do you think LOQ (and AOCS) can leverage this shift to get members more engaged? I believe AOCS has done well on this front already and benefited from the infrastructure they already had in place, as evident by the participation and engagement we all witnessed so far. This will never substitute the need to meet in person when it is safe, which we all look forward to.

Outside of work, what have you been doing during this pandemic to stay busy or reduce stress? 

I built a gym in my basement and has been working out for 365 consecutive days now, it’s nice to start the day with an “accomplishment” in the form of a workout. More importantly, I got to spend more time and play with my kids. Although I cannot advise that kids always help with reducing stress.

Thank you Dr. Nahas for your service and your inspiration!

Friday, March 12, 2021

The American Cleaning Institute (ACI) Distinguished Paper Award

The American Cleaning Institute (ACI) Distinguished Paper Award of the AOCS Surfactants and Detergents Division recognizes an outstanding paper published in the area of surfactants and detergents.

We are delighted to announce that the 2021 winning paper is Probe Molecules for Pulsed‐Field‐Gradient Diffusion Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Experiments on Micelles (JSD 23(2):319-325), written by Mark D. Lingwood, Benjamin J. Schepergerdes, Deja‐Monae T. Hermosillo, Jalissa N. Delgado and Kaya P. Sanders.

This spotlight will introduce you to lead author, Dr. Mark Lingwood, Saint Mary's College of California.

Mark Lingwood first discovered his interest in magnetic resonance when he joined Prof. Song-I Han's research group at U.C. Santa Barbara. He earned his Ph.D. in 2010, utilizing Overhauser dynamic nuclear polarization (ODNP) techniques to enhance magnetic resonance detection and imaging. Seeking to apply magnetic resonance to supramolecular assemblies and other self-assembled systems, he joined Prof. Louis Madsen's group at Virginia Tech in 2011 and focused on using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) techniques to measure molecular self-diffusion. Prof. Lingwood joined the Chemistry Department at Saint Mary's College of California in 2012, and was promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure in 2018. His current research program continues both of his previous research trajectories, applying ODNP to magnetic resonance imaging and using diffusion NMR to study molecular self-assembly. Prof. Lingwood is proud to perform his research solely with undergraduate students, as Saint Mary's has no graduate programs in the sciences.

Can you tell us about current research?

I am continuing to investigate surfactant aggregates with NMR diffusion and relaxation measurements, and I am currently exploring the relationship between NMR and electrochemical methods for measuring diffusion and determining the size of surfactant aggregates.

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

I was pleasantly surprised! I am proud of the paper we published, however I was unsure whether it would have an impact or even be noticed. I am grateful for this award and the recognition it brings.

How has AOCS helped develop your career?

AOCS, through the Journal of Surfactants and Detergents, has provided an ideal forum for the publication of my research.

Congratulations to Dr. Lingwood and his co-authors on an excellent paper.

The Edwin N. Frankel Award for Best Paper in Lipid Oxidation and Quality

The Edwin N. Frankel Award for Best Paper in Lipid Oxidation and Quality, Sponsored by Kalsec, recognizes an outstanding paper in the area of lipid oxidation or quality. This award is presented by the Lipid Oxidation and Quality Division in recognition of Edwin Frankel's 50 years of lipid oxidation research. 

We are delighted to announce the 2021 Award will be presented to lead author Paul Angers, Université Laval, Canada, for his paper on Formation Kinetics of Monomeric Cyclic Fatty Acid Methyl Esters of Alpha-Linolenic Acid: Effects of Mono cis/trans Isomers, published in the Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society (JAOCS 97(6):615-624). 

Cyclic fatty acid monomers (CFAM) are formed at low levels in edible oils during thermal processing operations such as frying or refining, and inevitably become part of the diet. These proatherogenic agents may increase the levels of oxidative stress markers, and induce hepatomegaly and steatosis. In this paper Dr. Angers and his coauthors study the kinetics of CFAM formation from α‐linolenic acid (ALA) at high temperatures using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. Their results indicate that mono‐trans isomers from ALA accelerate the formation of CFAM from heat‐treated ALA. Paradoxically the use of oils that are generally considered to be healthier leads to oxidation and thermal degradation products that are of concern - if the oils are used for frying. They also confirm a previous hypothesis that CFAM will likely form at an accelerated rate during high temperature processes of fats and vegetable oils high in trans fatty acids, such as partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, compared to low/no trans regular oils. 

Co-authors with Dr. Angers on this papers are Amélie Desmarais, Université Laval, Canada;  Jean‐Louis Sébédio, Unité de Nutrition Humaine, INRA, France;  Khaled Belkacemi, Université Laval, Canada; and Joseph Arul, Université Laval, Canada. 

This spotlight will introduce you to our 2021 Edwin N. Frankel Award winner.

Can you tell us about current research?

My current main research projects are on the following two topics:  - Oxidized cyclic fatty acid monomers from polyunsaturated oils: their formation, structures and potential biological activities  - Development of green processes for the production and concentration of plant and marine biomass extracts, and evaluation of their anti-microbial and anti-biofilm potential

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

I was surprised,  delighted and highly honored. Moreover since this paper was special to me because it was the last collaboration that I had with my dear friend and colleague, Prof. Khaled Belkacemi, before he was killed in the Mosque shooting of January 29th, 2017, in Quebec City.

How has AOCS helped develop your career?

AOCS has always been around in my career. I published my first paper on lipids in JAOCS, I regularly attend and have my graduate students attend AOCS meeting (Annual meeting, Canadian section meeting, etc.) for the quality of the presentation. My graduate student and I, we have learned a lot from those meeting and had the opportunity to discuss with many potential collaborators. In particular, I've had the opportunity to meet Dr. Jean-Louis Sébédio at the AOCS annual meeting, in  beautiful San Diego, in 2000. It was the start of a fruitful collaboration and a friendship.   Over the years, I published about half of my papers on fats and oil in AOCS journals.

Congratulations Dr. Angers

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

New Editor-in-Chief for Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society

On behalf of the AOCS Governing Board, the Executive Committee is pleased to announce the appointment of Silvana Martini as editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society (JAOCS), the flagship journal for original scientific research and technological advances on fats, oils, oilseed proteins, and related materials. She succeeds James Kenar, who is stepping down as editor-in-chief at the completion of his 5-year term in May.  

 Silvana Martini
Dr. Martini is a professor in the Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Sciences at Utah State University, where her research interests are in the physicochemical and sensory characterization of foods.  She has previously served as an associate editor, then senior associate editor for JAOCS. In 2019 she received the Timothy Mounts Award for her significant contributions to the science and technology of edible fats and oils in food products.  In 2021, Dr. Martini was made an AOCS Fellow and elected to Vice President of the Society.

 Jim Kenar
“I am pleased that Silvana is taking the helm of editor-in-chief,” says Jim Kenar. “Her leadership as senior associate editor for our edible applications and physicochemistry section has been outstanding.”

 “I am honored to succeed Jim as editor-in-chief,” says Silvana Martini, “to carry on the tradition and continue to build the Journal’s reputation in the research community.”

Silvana Martini will take over as editor-in-chief with the June issue of JAOCS, Volume 98, issue 6. She will present a lecture describing her groundbreaking work on the industrial applications potential for sonocrystallization of fats on April 23, 2021, from 12–1 p.m. CDT (Chicago, USA; UTC-5). You can join the free livestream event on our website on FaceBook Live, or on YouTube Live.

For more information about JAOCS and to submit a paper please visit the journal website.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Interview with Protein and Co-Products Division student member Ogadimma Desmond Okagu

Ogadimma Desmond Okagu is a PhD candidate in the Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada. He is a new member of AOCS and the PCP Division, joined the Society in 2020.

How did you get involve with AOCS and the PCP Division?

I was introduced to AOCS by my PhD supervisor, Dr. Udenigwe, and I joined the PCP Division, which is most related to my work.

How do you hope or how has AOCS helped in solving the challenges you encounter in your work and/or research?

I attended the 2020 AOCS virtual meeting and, it was very impactful, especially in addressing some key issues related to protein nanoparticle preparation, zeta potential analysis, TEM image acquisition and kinetic release.

What excites you the most about your present work?

The fact that food-based protein nano delivery vehicles could be engineered to behave the way we want for targeted delivery of biodegradable, insoluble, non-accessible, and non-bioavailable bioactive compounds.

Have you presented at an AOCS annual meeting before?

No, I was one of the four finalists for the student oral competition, which did not go as planned due to COVID-19. I am hoping that my work will be accepted for presentation in the coming 2021 AOCS annual meeting.  (editor note - it was!)

How has the present situation with COVID-19 changed your daily life

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted my daily life. Having to work from home means that hours for laboratory research have been considerably reduced. That impacts the pace of the project, which I would have loved to progress much faster. On the home front, however, the work-from-home routine has allowed me to enjoy quality family time with my partner and kids. I have channeled my energy into writing manuscripts and publishing my work. I have also been performing my teaching assistantship role virtually, and it has been quite a remarkable and impactful experience. I consider these to be something good that I have achieved amidst the precarious pandemic situation.

What is your career goal?

My career aspiration is to become a successful professor in food chemistry, specifically in the application of nanotechnology for protein-based delivery systems and bio-nano interaction.

Meet Ogadimma Desmond Okagu at the 2021 AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo

His presentation topics are:

'Impact of succinylation on pea protein-curcumin interaction, polyelectrolyte complexation with chitosan, and gastrointestinal release of curcumin in loaded-biopolymer nano-complexes'

'Influence of structural properties of pea globulin, albumin and glutelin on interaction and nanocomplexation with curcumin, formation of pepsin resistant and thermo-stabilized spherical bio-nanocomplexes for oral delivery'


Interview with Protein and Co-Products Division volunteer Dr. B. Pam Ismail

Dr. B. Pam Ismail is a Professor at the University of Minnesota and an active volunteer in the PCP Division. She joined AOCS in 2016 and since then serving the Society by chairing various technical sessions and disseminating scientific knowledge through technical presentations.

What does a typical day look like for you?

A typical workday is full of meetings with my research team, committees and industry. I squeeze in time to answer e-mails, work on reports, review theses, write grants, and work on manuscripts or perform activities related to serving my department and the profession.

Flashback to when you were 10 years old. What did you want to be when you grew up?

Medical doctor; influenced by my maternal grandfather.

What excites you the most about your present work?

I have many work-related passions: interacting with students and watching them grow in knowledge and taking part in training them to become our future scientists and professionals; building collaborative efforts to advance research discoveries, and the endless learnings from my colleagues and my students just the same.

Can you share a turning point or defining moment of your career as a scientist?

Taking a sabbatical year at an industry was definitely an important turning point in my career. This experience allowed me to redirect my research to relevant needs and trends. The knowledge gained allowed me to use my research tools better and build a collaborative platform between industry and researchers. This platform is the nation’s first Plant Protein Innovation Center.

Share an achievement or contribution that you are most proud of and why?

I consider establishing the Plant Protein Innovation Center (PPIC) as one of my main achievements and I am very proud of it. At its core, the PPIC is a collaborative entity that strives to bring together a diverse mindset to efficiently establish a fundamental knowledge base on plant proteins that will benefit the scientific community, the industry, the growing population, the environment, and provide economic revenue to farmers. Our industry members and many supporters are vital in moving this effort forward.

Why did you join AOCS? How has AOCS impacted your career?

The protein related activities, in terms of scientific sessions and committees, attracted me to join AOCS. AOCS serves as a platform to share our knowledge and research findings, learn from renowned researchers as well as industry professionals, and establish new and key connections.

How do you relax after a hard day of work?

I cook a hearty meal and spend quality time with my family.

How the present situation with COVID-19 change your daily life?

I learned to communicate in creative ways, efficiently execute my work, respect others' safety, and work with others innovatively. Working from home was a new concept that I had to get used to. The situation, however, brought creativity to how we teach, connect, and communicate with others. Zoom became the new norm. The new way of communicating allowed for involvement in more conferences and meetings than I could ever be part of in a normal year. Teaching online, allowed me to gain technological skills that I will be able to utilize in the future regardless. I cooked more; eating out became a foreign concept. Finally, I spent more time with my teen daughter than I ever did during her entire high school years, and that is a blessing.   

What are you looking forward to in the coming months?

More of the same, discoveries, new connections, training my students, sharing the knowledge, continue learning, seeing my daughter go physically to college and enjoy the experience, and of course I look forward to the end of the pandemic! Finally, I am hoping for inclusivity and respect for our diverse community.

Thank you for your service Dr. Ismail!

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Vermont Dia joins the AOCS Professional Educator CIG leadership team

The AOCS Professional Educator Common Interest Group supports educators in all AOCS interest areas by creating connections which lead to collaboration, the sharing of information and resources throughout the year, and designing relevant sessions during the AOCS Annual Meeting.

This interview will introduce the new member of our leadership team – Dr. Vermont Dia

Dr. Vermont Dia currently holds an assistant professor position in the Department of Food Science at The University of Tennessee. His research work focuses on the evaluation of health-promoting properties of food-derived constituents. His research group is investigating the role of bioactive peptides and polyphenols in the prevention and management of non-communicable diseases with emphasis on inflammatory bowel diseases and cancer. His teaching/mentoring responsibilities includes the courses Food Chemistry Lab, Science of Foods. Dr. Dia also actively serves as advisor of the Food Science Club and major professor of undergraduate and graduate students. 

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

AOCS serves as our venue to showcase our research on the bioactive properties of food proteins as well as other co-products from oil processing. It is also a great place to interact with colleagues of varying expertise on the field of oils and co-products. I’ve been an AOCS member for a total of 6 years.

How has your involvement with the AOCS influenced your career? 

AOCS has given our research exposure, especially with a small tight group of scientists working on proteins and co-products, so it does positively impact and influence both mine and my students’ career.

Why did you decide to join the PE CIG? 

To learn and share techniques, skills, and tips on how to teach the science of oils and co-products more effectively.

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

My TA in General Chemistry during my undergrad years at the University of the Philippines Los Baños inspired me. She was just great and I told myself I wanted to be like her. During my career I have been in roles as a quality assurance analyst for Monde Nissin Corporation (Sta. Rosa, Laguna Philippines), a faculty member (University of the Philippines Los Baños), and a visiting teaching associate/Postdoc (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign).


What do you love most about your position? 

Interacting with students, it drives my day-to-day activities both in the research lab and in the classroom.

How do you define success? 

Being happy and always striving for betterment and advancement of oneself.

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

I would say my General Chemistry TA. She’s the one who made me think of a career in the academia. 

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

I have learned that teaching the Food Chemistry Lab during pandemic can be done efficiently without sacrificing educational quality. 

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

Always seek for opportunities, and don’t be shy to fight for it if you think you are qualified.

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

I like karaoke (but I don’t have a good singing voice)

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

I enjoy going to the gym regularly (most of the time in the early hours of the morning)

Monday, February 22, 2021

Spotlight on Hongbing Fan, recipient of the 2021 Thomas H. Smouse Memorial Fellowship

 The Thomas H. Smouse Memorial Fellowship is awarded to graduate students doing research in fats, oils, proteins, surfactants and related materials. The purpose of this graduate fellowship is to encourage, recognize and support outstanding research in a field of study consistent with the areas of interest to AOCS.

This spotlight will tell you more about Hongbing Fan, who was the recipient of the 2020 Health and Nutrition Division Student Award and has gone on to win the Thomas H. Smouse Memorial Fellowship in 2021. 

Provide a brief biography

I am a Ph.D. student under the supervision of Dr. Jianping Wu in the Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science at the University of Alberta in Canada. Prior to this, I graduated from China Agricultural University with my masters degree in Food Science. My current research interests include Protein Chemistry and Functional Foods, especially the health benefits of food-derived bioactive peptides. I joined AOCS in 2018 and since then, I have actively participated in various academic and social activities in AOCS. I volunteer as the Chair of the Student Common Interest Group (2019-2021), the student representative in the Canadian Section's AOCS leadership team (2019-2021), as well as the technical or poster session co-chair in the PCP and H&N Divisions of the 2020 and 2021 annual meetings.

Can you tell us about your current research?

My thesis project is to develop antihypertensive peptides from spent hen muscle proteins. Spent hens are laying hens that reach the end of their egg-laying cycle and are a major byproduct in the egg industry. Every year, more than 30 million spent hens are produced in Canada and ten times more of those produced in North America. Processing them for food/feed uses is of little economic value to the industry; they are mostly disposed by burial, composting and incineration, which raise environmental and animal welfare concerns. Hypertension is a global health concern and food protein-derived antihypertensive peptides are an emerging treatment for hypertension. Although being treated as a byproduct, spent hens are rich in various animal proteins which are a good source of antihypertensive peptides. This project aims to purify and identify novel antihypertensive peptides from spent hen muscle proteins, followed by validating their efficacies in various cell and animal models of hypertension.

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

It was very exciting when I knew that I was selected for this award. This is a true honor and inspired me to focus on my study and research work and gave me some flexibility to wrap up my project.

How has AOCS helped develop your career?

I have ever been recognized as the winner of the H&N division poster competition (2019), the H&N division award (2020), the Society Honored Student Award (2019), and the Thomas H. Smouse Memorial Fellowship (2020). I wanted to express my sincere thanks to AOCS for awarding me these honors. It further built up my confidence to showcase my research and connect myself with other professionals or colleagues, which inspired me, as a student, to further undertake more roles in the AOCS community. Many of the world's excellent scholars and researchers are present at AOCS Annual Meetings, therefore it is a great platform for networking and interaction with peers.

Meet our award winner

Hongbing Fan will be presenting his work on 'Spent hen-derived angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) upregulating peptide reduces blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rats' at the 2021 AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo, May 3-14, 2021