Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Why is the AOCS LPP and Approved Chemist status important to Stratas Foods?

Derek Gum (Stratas Foods RDI Center Analytical Scientist), Eddie L. Baldwin (Stratas Foods RDI Center Analytical Laboratories and Facility Service Manager), and Helen Cianciolo (Stratas Foods RDI Center Analytical Scientist)

The Stratas Foods’ R&D Innovation Center and  Packaging Plants’ Quality Teams have been active participants in the AOCS Laboratory Proficiency Program since 2008. I, Eddie Baldwin, Manager of the Stratas Foods RDI Center’s Analytical Laboratories, have been an active member of the AOCS and participant in the LPP program for over 25 years. So when asked why is the AOCS LPP and Approved Chemist status important to me and the Stratas Quality Teams, I would sum it up as follows:

Participation in the AOCS Laboratory Proficiency Program provides the Stratas Foods’ RDI Center and Quality Teams throughout the USA opportunities to compare our results to the statistical data-set of a larger group of participating laboratories. This in addition to our internal collaboratives and quality programs ensures that our laboratories are performing at or above the industry standards for quality and accuracy.

By adhering to a higher level of quality testing and reporting as required by the AOCS LPP program,  I am proud to say that the Stratas RDI Center and Quality Teams have maintained Approved Chemist Status for several years and won a few awards along the way.

In short, participation in the AOCS LPP and Approved Chemist program helps to ensure that our RDI Center and Quality Teams are providing quality results that our customers can trust. By staying focused on achieving what is possible via. accurate and quality driven product deliverables to our customers we help them to thrive.

Eddie Baldwin | Analytical Laboratories and Facilities Services Manager – RDIC | Stratas Foods LLC

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Member Spotlight: Saoussane Khalifa

Saoussane Khalifa
Saoussane Khalifa is a Ph.D. student at the Laboratory of Food and Biodynamic Chemistry, Graduate School of Agricultural Science at Tohoku University, Japan. In her current research, she studies in-depth lipid oxidation mechanisms and their products both in vivo and in vitro. She mainly focuses on the structural elucidation of novel lipid primary and secondary oxidation products using LC-MS/MS, NMR, derivatization reactions (and sometimes chemical calculations), the exact mechanism of their formation, and their presence and effect on healthy organisms as well as their relation to altered health conditions. 

She participated in the 2021 AOCS Annual Meeting and was awarded first place in the LOQ Student ePoster Pitch Competition on her finding of novel squalene cyclic peroxides on the human skin and their effect on skin cells. She is a member of the AOCS Lipid Oxidation and Quality (LOQ) Division.

Can you tell us about your research?

Currently, I am working on skin lipid oxidation and its relation to skin disease. The identification of novel oxidation products through classic and new methods is a crucial part of my study. In addition, the determination of the oxidation mechanism involved in their formation is essential, as it is the key to finding suitable methods to stop and reverse the health adverse effects that these products might cause. 

Previously, I demonstrated the formation and existence of novel squalene cyclic peroxides on the human skin and their harmful effect on skin cells. Currently, I’m continuing on the elucidation of other novel oxidation products on the human skin and their analysis and relation to patients with skin abnormalities. I am also working on lipid oxidation in edible oils and supplements with a focus on identifying primary and secondary oxidation products and the mechanism leading to the formation of each class of oxidation products.

How did you react to winning first place at the LOQ Student ePoster Pitch Competition?

As I have been working on the project that I presented for nearly three years, the news felt like a reward not only for a world-renowned conference, but also for very long and hard work that closed the first chapter of my project. I was deeply honored and grateful. It also gave me the push and encouragement that I needed to follow up and start on the second chapter of my project. The award made me realize that hard work will always achieve good results and will be at the end recognized by a well-qualified scientific community.

What are you hoping to get from LOQ in the future?

Although I enjoyed all of the content presented in the LOQ sessions at the 2021 AOCS Annual Meeting, I hope to see more reports on novel oxidation products. I also hope to see more involvement of physical chemistry in the field as it will allow us to better understand the underlying mechanisms involved in the appearance of specific lipid oxidation products.

What are your hobbies and how did Covid-19 change your (work)life?

I enjoy reading books in general and science fiction/mystery books in particular, philosophy books once in a while. One of my passions is learning new languages. Aside from learning Japanese, I recently started learning Korean. It helped a lot during the lockdown!

I enjoy outdoor activities, working out, meeting new people, listening to music, watching movies and cooking.

Covid-19 has taken a toll on everyone, but I think that the research/educational sector was one of the most affected areas. Thanks to virtual communication, researchers (including me!) still had a chance to communicate, for example at AOCS events. But it definitely put on hold and regressed a lot of my work, especially during the lockdown, which made me appreciate even more the chance I have now to do research .

Friday, September 24, 2021

Member Spotlight: Matthew J. Fhaner

Matt Fhaner
Dr. Matthew J. Fhaner is the chair of the Department of Natural Sciences at the University of Michigan – Flint (UM-Flint). He is an Associate Professor of Analytical Chemistry and involved in teaching both lecture and laboratory classes in general chemistry and analytical chemistry focusing on quantitative and instrumental analyses. Dr. Fhaner’s research program focuses on identifying applications of electrochemical methods to the study of natural antioxidants and edible oil.

Dr. Fhaner has been a faculty member at UM-Flint for 7 years. His teaching responsibilities include general and analytical chemistry lectures and labs, including quantitative and instrumental analysis. 

He is a member of the AOCS Professional Educator Common Interest Group (PC CIG).

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

I joined AOCS after being awarded the Edwin N. Frankel Award for Best Paper in Lipid Oxidation and Quality and being invited to the 2018 AOCS Annual Meeting. I have been a member of AOCS ever since and have continued to find ways to become involved.

How has your involvement with the AOCS influenced your career?

Being a member of AOCS has greatly expanded my professional network. I have had the privilege of meeting colleagues from industry, government labs, and academia and engaging in open conversations about diverse topics from research, to teaching, to work-life balance. By investing my time in AOCS, I have unintentionally found that I am also investing in myself.

Why did you decide to join the PE CIG?

Coming from a more traditional R1 graduate school experience in analytical chemistry there was little intersection with edible oil research and the work being done within my circle of peers. As I entered the world of academia, it was difficult for me to find peers that could act as a mentorship network for my scholarship and teaching. I was thrilled when I learned AOCS had a common interest group dedicated towards professional educators like myself and immediately decided to join and learn more.

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

My journey to where I am now feels like it just fell into place when looking back. Initially, my undergraduate studies were centered on criminal justice in order to go into forensic science. After speaking with the head of the forensic science master’s program I realized I needed to enter a natural science. With no previous experience in the subject, I picked chemistry somewhat on a whim. In my final year of undergraduate studies, I was fortunate enough to work in the research lab of Dr. Borhan. Dr. Borhan suggested I apply to the chemistry graduate program. Up until that time, I was only considering forensic science programs. I applied to the chemistry program and was accepted. In graduate school, I studied electrochemical analysis of neurotransmission. As I approached graduation, I applied for a post-doctoral research position at the United States Department of Agriculture. 

It was in my post-doctoral work where I was introduced to functional food research, specifically the analysis of omega-3 fatty acids. After leaving my post-doctoral position for my new faculty position, I needed a research area that was feasible at a primarily undergraduate institution (PUI) where laboratory work happened more sporadically than the previous institutions I worked in. I combined my electrochemical background from graduate school with the antioxidant and omega-3 fatty acids studies I performed in my post-doctoral work to create a research program focused on identifying applications of electrochemical methods to the study of natural antioxidants and edible oils.

What do you love most about your position?

The best part about being a faculty member at a (PUI) is working with students to help them reach their professional goals. Each year I get the bittersweet experience of sending one of my students off to begin the next phase of their career while welcoming in new ones. The ability to be part of their life’s journey is the most rewarding part of my job.

How do you define success?

Everyone will have a different definition of success. I believe that success is the ability to demonstrate flexibility, persistence and self-reflection in the pursuit of a goal.

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

It would be impossible and unfair of my to pick a single person. When I was in my undergraduate studies, Dr. Borhan was the single reason that I pursued a Ph.D. in chemistry. Without him I would have never gone into a chemistry graduate program. The other two individuals are AOCS members, Hong-Sik Hwang and Jill Winkler-Moser. Hong-Sik and Jill have been invaluable mentors, collaborators and friends as I transitioned into my academic career. I firmly believe I would not have been successful without their support.

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

In the last month (July 1, 2021), I transitioned into the role of department chair for the newly formed Department of Natural Sciences, which contains physics, biology and chemistry. The most impactful thing I have learned is how little I know!

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

Everyone is still learning. The fastest way to impact your own knowledge base is to get involved with your professional society and learn from those around you.

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

I played goalie on an in-line roller hockey team in high school, and I was pretty good!

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

I have four children and a wonderful wife. My favorite thing to do outside of work is spending unstructured time with them where everyone can have a voice in what the family does.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

How and why to become a journal reviewer

Have you always wanted to be a peer-reviewer, but are not sure you have what it takes or you don’t know where to start? Are you a recent graduate or post-doctoral student eager to learn about peer-reviewing? Attend this midweek mixer hosted by Dr. Silvana Martini, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society (JAOCS), to learn more.

This panel-style event will consist of a short presentation explaining the review process and the important role of reviewers. Senior associate editors of JAOCS will provide advice and suggestions on how to be an outstanding reviewer. This will be an interactive event where the editor-in-chief and the senior associate editors will be available to answer any questions that you might have. Don’t miss this opportunity to meet the editorial board of JAOCS and get involved in the review process.

When: Tuesday, October 19, 2021, 1 p.m. CDT (Chicago, USA; UTC-5)

Register for free. 


Host (JAOCS Editor-in-Chief)

Silvana Martini is a professor in the Department of Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences at Utah State University. Dr. Martini’s research interests are related to the physicochemical and sensorial characterization of food materials, lipids in particular. She studies how the quality of food materials is affected by their nano-, micro- and macroscopic characteristics. Dr. Martini has published more than 110 papers in peer-reviewed journals, participated in more than 180 conferences, and 11 book chapters. Dr. Martini won the Timothy L. Mounts Award (2019) and Fellow Award (2021) from AOCS. She is a member of the AOCS Governing Board. Dr. Silvana Martini obtained her B.Sc. in biochemistry (1997) and Ph.D. in chemistry (2003) from the University of La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Panelists (JAOCS Senior Associate Editors)

Rick Ashby has 32 years of research experience in the areas of microbial biopolymer and biosurfactant synthesis. As a research microbiologist in the Sustainable Biofuels and Coproducts Research Unit (SBCP) at the USDA, ARS, Eastern Regional Research Center (ERRC), Dr Ashby has demonstrated expertise in the fermentative biosynthesis of microbial products and in their chemical and physical characterization. He has been primarily involved in the microbial production and post-synthetic modification of polyhydroxyalkanoate biopolymers and glycolipid biosurfactants derived from inexpensive carbon feedstocks. He has spearheaded research on reducing the economics of fermentative synthesis of these products by utilizing inexpensive coproduct materials such as crude glycerol, soy molasses, lignocellulosic biomass, levulinic acid etc. In 2019, Dr. Ashby was elected an AOCS Fellow. He earned a Ph.D. (1994) in microbiology from Louisiana State University.


Tim Durrett is an associate professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at Kansas State University. Dr. Durrett's current research interests revolve around manipulating lipid metabolism in seeds to improve the quantity and quality of the oil that is produced. Some of this work involves trying to better understand the role of different enzymes in controlling the flux of different types of fatty acids, as well as how carbon is allocated between oil and other seed components (e.g., protein and carbohydrates). Other projects employ synthetic biology strategies to maximize the production of unusual lipids with enhanced properties in oil seed crops. He received his Ph.D. (2006) from the University of Missouri-Columbia.


Supratim Ghosh is an associate professor in the Department of Food and Bioproduct Sciences of University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada. His research interest is in emulsion and colloid science, including food physical chemistry, structure-function relationship, food nanotechnology and complex colloidal chemistry. His team has been working on utilizing plant proteins to create structured food emulsions, oleogels and deliver bioactives via nanoemulsions for improved health benefits and sustainability in food production. Dr. Ghosh is a regular peer reviewer of many food science journals and national and international research grants. He received his Ph.D. from the Pennsylvania State University, USA, and did postdoctoral research at the Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada.


Amy Logan is a principle research scientist within Australia’s National Science Agency, CSIRO, and the Group Leader for Food Quality and Stability. Dr. Logan has many years’ experience understanding the effect of composition, processing and microstructure on the physicochemical properties of lipid and protein based food systems. She received her Ph.D. (2006) from The University of Melbourne in Australia.

Jill Moser is a research chemist and lead scientist at the USDA, ARS, National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research in Peoria, Illinois. Dr. Moser’s research focuses on development of natural antioxidants for oxidation prevention and shelf-life improvement. Dr. Moser also conducts research on the development of technologies to replace saturated and trans fatty acids in shortenings, margarines and processed foods with healthier oils. Dr. Moser has over 70 peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters and is the alternate delegate to the U.S. Codex Committee on Fats and Oils. Dr. Moser served as past chair, vice-chair, and secretary/treasurer for the LOQ Division. She received a Ph.D. (2002 ) in food science and human nutrition from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

2021-2022 NOPA/AOCS Certified Laboratories

The National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) advocates for an efficient global supply chain system, by providing leadership through education, information and market-based solutions to policymakers, trade negotiators and others.

The NOPA/AOCS Certified Laboratory Program, provided by AOCS Technical Services, certifies laboratories for the referee analysis of soybean meal according to NOPA trading rules. We are delighted to announce that the following laboratories have achieved this status for the 2021-2022 year:

ATC Scientific, North Little Rock, Arkansas USA
AOCS Approved Chemist: Scott Schuldt

Barrow Agee Laboratories, Inc., Memphis, Tennessee, USA
AOCS Approved Chemists: Michael Hawkins, Amanda Self

Carolina Analytical Services LLC, Bear Creek, North Carolina, USA
AOCS Approved Chemists: Jennie Stewart, Brad Beavers

Cotecna Inspection, Inc., Kenner, Louisiana, USA
AOCS Approved Chemist: Nikki Lassere

Eurofins Nutrition Analysis Center, Des Moines, Iowa, USA
AOCS Approved Chemists: Ardin Backous, Kent Karsjens. Anders Thomsen, Keith Persons

Hahn Laboratories, Inc., Columbia, South Carolina, USA
AOCS Approved Chemist: Frank M. Hahn

Thionville Laboratories, LLC, Harahan, Louisiana, USA
AOCS Approved Chemists: Paul Thionville, Andre Thionville, Kristopher Williams

Whitbeck Laboratories, Inc., Springdale, Arkansas, USA
AOCS Approved Chemist: Gordon Whitbeck

Congratulations to the analysts who have achieved this status. 

Learn more about the NOPA/AOCS Certified Labs program on our website.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Member Spotlight: Hongbing Fan

Hongbing Fan

Hongbing Fan earned a master’s degree in food science at China Agricultural University in 2015, working mainly on aquatic product processing and preservation. Afterward, Hongbing pursued a Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. Jianping Wu in the Department of Agricultural, Food & Nutritional Science, at the University of Alberta, Canada. His current research interests include protein chemistry, functional foods and bioactive peptides.

He won the 2021 Thomas H. Smouse Memorial Fellowship.

How long have you been an AOCS member and what types of activities have you participated in?

I have been an AOCS student member since 2018. Since then, I have participated in various academic and social activities in AOCS across the Divisions, such as webinars, midweek mixers, Division meetings, etc. I have also volunteered as the chair of Student Common Interest Group (2019–2021) and as co-chairs of Protein and Co-Product (PCP)/Health & Nutrition Division (H&N) technical or poster sessions during the 2020 and 2021 AOCS Annual Meetings. I have also been involved in the AOCS Canadian Section leadership team since 2019.

What big problem is your research trying to solve?

My Ph.D. thesis project is to develop antihypertensive peptides from spent hen muscle proteins. Spent hens are the birds reaching the end of their egg-laying cycle and are the major byproduct in the egg industry. Every year, more than 400 million spent hens are produced in North America. Processing them for food/feed uses is of little economic value; they are instead mostly disposed by burial, composting, and incineration, which cause environmental and animal welfare issues. 

Food protein-derived antihypertensive peptides are an emerging treatment for hypertension, a global public health concern. Previous research demonstrated the possible presence of antihypertensive peptides in spent hen muscle proteins, including peptides targeting angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) and ACE2, two key enzymes regulating high blood pressure. This project aims to identify and characterize these two types of antihypertensive peptides from spent hen muscle proteins, followed by evaluating their efficacy in various cell and animal models of hypertension. 

Characterization of peptides targeting ACE2 will broaden the research of antihypertensive peptides beyond that of ACE, the conventional target of antihypertension. The valorized use of spent hens adds new values to the egg industry and may produce inexpensive functional food ingredients as alternatives to synthetic drugs for the treatment of hypertension.

Can you tell us about your new role with the AOCS H&N Division?

It has been such a pleasure to serve as the membership liaison for the H&N Division and get more interactions with Division members. As the membership liaison, I help engage members of the Division, through reviewing lapsed membership, reaching out to new members with a welcome and organizing gatherings like midweek mixers within H&N or across AOCS Divisions.

Do you have any words of wisdom or suggestions for other AOCS H&N members or students who are aspiring towards their future careers?

Work hard and play harder; work independently while collaborating with others. As I recently graduated from my Ph.D. studies, I highly encourage student members to present their research work at AOCS Annual Meetings and apply for AOCS Awards. I also encourage student members to participate and volunteer more in academic and social activities organized by our Division and AOCS. Volunteering enhances your communication skills, builds your network and provides leadership training.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Processing Division Mixer: Measurement in Science and Industry

How did a nuclear reprocessing plant lose 30 kg of plutonium and how can you use careful measurement to get the most out of an edible oil refinery? Alan Paine, Consultant, UK, will provide answers to these questions as well as insight into achieving precise measurement in science and industry. 

This presentation will be followed by a discussion about the Processing Division's needs for the upcoming 2022 AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo, May 1–4, 2022.

When: Thursday, October 7, 2021, 12 p.m. CDT (Chicago, USA; UTC-5)

Register for free.


Alan Paine
Alan Paine retired in 2020 after a long career with Desmet Ballestra and is now working as a part time consultant. His work has mainly been in the field of edible oil refining. He has been involved with sales, process engineering, project management, commissioning, trouble shooting and plant audits.  

He is an active member of AOCS, regularly posting on the Inform|Connect Open Forum, and is vice chair for the Processing Division. He is helping to organize the processing program for the 2022 Annual Meeting & Expo in Atlanta.

Away from work he enjoys, amateur theater and writing among other diversions. He has had several short stories published. In 2020, he completed the NaNoWriMo challenge by writing a short novel of 51,000 words entirely within the month of November.

He lives in Horncastle UK with his wife Jane. They have have three children and three grandchildren.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Member Spotlight: Samaneh Fard

Samaneh Fard
Dr. Samaneh Fard is a registered nutritionist advocating nutrition and actively promoting a healthy lifestyle. A R&D technologist for Nu-Mega Ingredients, her research interest involves the improvement of nutritional status in women, infants and the elderly with the aim of introducing essential fatty acids (EPA and DHA).

A typical day for me includes… 

A great many things: engaging in clinical investigation, research and development, project management, writing and proofreading reports, carrying out literature searches, data analysis, organizing seminars and workshops, developing evidence-based technical materials and content to support marketing team members, attending meetings, talking to my line colleagues daily about our work …the list goes on.

My favorite part of my job is…

I rather enjoy the research aspect and enjoy the idea of science being central to discovering new concepts/products. Nu-Mega Ingredients is an exciting organization to be involved with as the mission of the company is in line with my area of interest and that is optimizing nutritional status in adults, elderly and infants with the aim of introducing essential nutrients for overall health.

Away from work, I like to… 

Spend time with family and my friends. Every weekend I try to organize one day activity with them from a picnic to hiking to shopping. I am Iranian born and bred and really enjoying cooking and having parties.

If I could meet anyone, it would be… 

Professor Jørn Dyerberg, one of the pioneers behind the discovery of the health effects of polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids in our foods.

When listening to the radio I listen to…

Podcasts. Every day I like to get outside and go for a walk and listen to Persian Podcasts. I love Masty & Rasty, Navcast, and Paragraph … I feel like I learn something new with each episode.

Thanks for sharing your valuable research and your life outside of work with us, Samaneh!  

Lipid Oxidation and Quality Division Mixer: LOQ and your Career

Want some helpful career insights from leaders in the lipids world, as well as a chance to win a free 2022 membership in the Lipid Oxidation and Quality (LOQ) Division? Join us for the LOQ Fall Midweek Mixer on Wednesday, October 6, 2021, at 11 a.m. CDT (Chicago, USA; UTC-5).

Register for free.

Prof. Eric Decker (University of Massachusetts Amherst), Dr. Jill Moser (USDA-ARS) and Dr. Roger Nahas (Kalsec) will share the twists and turns of their careers in academe, government, and industry. What decisions made the greatest differences in their careers? How did they take advantage of external events? Would they have done anything differently, in hindsight? How did membership in LOQ influence their careers? 

Learn from these members on how they utilized Division involvement to grow their careers.


Eric Decker
Eric Decker is a professor and head of the Department of Food Science at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  Dr. Decker is actively conducting research to characterize mechanisms of lipid oxidation, antioxidant protection of foods and the health implications of bioactive lipids. Dr. Decker has over 400 publications and he is listed as one of the most highly cited scientists in agriculture. Dr. Decker has served on numerous committees for institutions such as the FDA, National Academy of Science, Institute of Food Technologist, USDA and the American Heart Association. He has received numerous recognition for his research from the American Oil Chemists' Society, Agriculture and Food Chemistry Division of ACS, International Life Science Institute, and Institute of Food Technologists.

Jill Moser is a research chemist and lead scientist at the USDA, ARS, National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research in Peoria, Illinois. She received a Ph.D. in food science and human nutrition from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Moser’s research focuses on development of natural antioxidants for oxidation prevention and shelf-life improvement. Dr. Moser also conducts research on the development of technologies to replace saturated and trans fatty acids in shortenings, margarines and processed foods with healthier oils. Dr. Moser has over 70 peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters and is the alternate delegate to the U.S. Codex Committee on Fats and Oils. Dr. Moser served as past chair, vice-chair, and secretary/treasurer for the LOQ Division.

Roger Nahas
Roger Nahas is the senior vice president of Global R&D at Kalsec® and has been with the company since 2007. Kalsec is the leading global producer of natural herb and spice extracts, colors, antioxidants and hop products. Before his current position, Dr. Nahas held various roles, including director of R&D and acting product management director for natural antioxidants. Dr. Nahas obtained his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Missouri in 2007, his M.Sc. in chemistry of natural products from the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute in Crete (Greece) in 2003 and B.S. in chemistry from the Lebanese University in Beirut (Lebanon) in 2001. In his current role, Dr. Nahas leads a technical team of about 80 members across the world. This diverse team has specialized degrees in multiple scientific disciplines (>25 Ph.D.s on staff) and are tasked with developing innovative solutions for the food and beverage industry.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Re-envisioning the future for the Professional Educator Common Interest Group — from surviving to thriving

What do you need to advance your career as an educator or mentor? We are seeking to improve our service to current members of the Professional Educator Common Interest Group (PE CIG) while expanding our impact to a broader section of the AOCS members. The feedback we collect from participants will be used to tailor future webinars, events, and articles or other resources hosted by the PE CIG.

Join us on Monday, October 4, 2021, at 1 p.m. CDT (Chicago, USA; UTC-5) for an open discussion on what events and resources the PE CIG can create to help you in your career. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Register for free.

The mixer will be hosted by the PE CIG Leadership Team:

Nuria Acevedo
Griffith Foods, USA

Co-Chair and Newsletter Editor
Vermont P. Dia
University of Tennessee, USA

Toni Wang
University of Tennessee, USA

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Member Spotlight: Natalie Oswell

Natalie Oswell
Natalie Oswell is a senior scientist in the Discovery and Open Innovation group at Kalsec in Kalamazoo, MI. She recently completed a Ph.D. in food science at the University of Georgia, where she also received a bachelor’s in food science. Her Ph.D. dissertation investigated how phosphate replacers are evaluated in meat products, but she actually gained the experience she needed for her current role outside of her dissertation work. She was working in an analytical chemistry lab performing a variety of analyses measuring food composition, quantifying specific analytes, and measuring antioxidant activity of foods and various ingredients. 

Her research experience combined with exposure and mastery of various techniques as a teaching assistant in a food analysis course enabled her to build a diverse skillset that she uses regularly in her day-to-day work. 

She is fairly new to AOCS. She got involved when she started her role at Kalsec in 2020. She has since served as a session co-chair for a joint Lipid Oxidation and Quality/Analytical session at the 2021 AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo and participated in a Young Professional Common Interest Group (YP CIG) mixer. She is excited to continue pursuing involvement with both AOCS and the YP CIG!

What excites you about your work?

As a member of our Discovery team at Kalsec, I have the opportunity to explore current research and novel compounds, technologies, and applications so I’m always learning and absorbing new things. One of the reasons I wanted to work at Kalsec is because of the people.We have a lot of experts that span across many disciplines and not only do I enjoy working with a lot of people I have a great amount of respect for, I also find it really inspiring to be surrounded by people who have the characteristics and skillsets I’m striving to develop in myself.

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

AOCS does a really nice job with curating and disseminating educational materials. I’ve gotten a lot out of webinars and short courses they offer year-round. When I encounter issues at work where I have questions I can’t answer (especially if it has to do with fats or oils), AOCS is a go-to resource. I’m also looking forward to more networking with other young professionals and industry members at future AOCS meetings and events.  

Which year were you the national champion for the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) college bowl? Could you share that experience?

I got involved with IFT College Bowl as a Sophomore in college at UGA in 2013/2014. I found participating in the team to be super intimidating. I was “practicing” (answer technical food science questions) with graduate students in front of a professor. I felt like I was taking an oral exam once a week in a group setting. I was also the youngest/least educated member of the team. 

Over the years we really found a groove together, and I transitioned from undergrad to grad school. I was on the team in some capacity, starting out as a participant, slowly taking on more responsibility, and eventually running the team over a 6-year period. In 2018, our team (of which Sarah Willett, another YP CIG and AOCS member, was also a member!) was very successful, winning the national championship at the IFT annual meeting. Hands down, College Bowl was the best extracurricular I participated in during undergrad and grad school and helped me learn a ton about food science.

Natalie Oswell (center) and team at the IFT College Bowl. Sarah Willet, fellow AOCS and YP CIG member, is third from right.

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

Know your worth and ask for what you want. I think confidence comes easier to some than others, but I think ultimately speaking up, sharing our opinions and letting people know what we want is only going to benefit everyone in the long run.   

Friday, September 10, 2021

Did you know that AOCS Laboratory Proficiency Program (LPP) has a Nutritional Labeling and a Cholesterol series?

Does your laboratory offer Nutritional labeling testing services? Demonstrating your proficiency through the AOCS Laboratory Proficiency Program (LPP) provides assurance to your stakeholders, customers and regulators – and gains you the international recognition that you deserve.

Both the Nutritional Labeling and the Cholesterol series offer two samples per quarter for the entire LPP program year. Analysts in the Nutritional Labeling series test for fatty acid composition, total fat and total protein with optional tests for minerals and for Vitamins A, D and E by AOCS, AOAC or user-specified methods on sample products such as infant formula, chocolate pudding, egg powder and salad dressing. Participants in the Cholesterol series use the AOAC 994.10 Method to test for cholesterol on sample products such as egg yolk powder and powdered chicken, turkey and beef.

Deadline to enroll in the 3rd and 4th quarter for the 2021-2022 LPP year is November 20, 2021.

Analysts who participate in all 4 quarters of the series can apply to be an Approved Chemist. Approval is earned by superior performance during the previous LPP year. Labs with Approved Chemists for the 2020-2021 Nutritional Labeling and Cholesterol series include: Eurofins Nutrition Analysis Center, Trouw Nutrition Canada Laboratory, and AESCL Office of the Missouri State Chemist at the University of Missouri. To learn more about the Approved Chemist Program, visit our website.

Labs with Approved Chemists are featured in the AOCS Recommended Lab Directory.

If you have questions about this program, please contact Dawn Shepard, Laboratory Proficiency Program Manager at dawns@aocs.org.

Member Spotlight: Kunal Kadiya

Kunal Kadiya

Kunal Kadiya is a Ph.D. candidate in food science at the University of Saskatchewan. His research areas include developing food-grade nanoemulsions, exploring the use of protein and biopolymers in making bilayer emulsion gels, and studying their rheology and digestion behaviour. He obtained his Master's degree in dairy science from National Dairy Research Institute (India) and also worked both in industry and academia in India before pursuing a Ph.D. at Saskatchewan. 

Kunal was the 1st place winner of the inaugural Student ePoster Pitch Competition for the EAT Division. Watch a recording of the competition to see his pitch.

What is the main focus of your Ph.D. project?

The main focus of my project is to induce the gelation of liquid nanoemulsions by creating the close-packed structure of nanodroplets (akin to mayonnaise), but with a lower oil content. This can be achieved by altering the interfacial composition for oil-in-water nanoemulsion to increase the contribution of the interfacial thickness in elevating the effective volume fraction of the nanodroplets. For example, low molecular weight versus protein-stabilized emulsion nanodroplets can be coated with the polysaccharide of choice by a layer-by-layer (LbL) deposition technique to increase the interfacial thickness. 

This project also focuses on developing nanoemulsion gels (“nanogels”) with controlled lipid digestion by manipulating the interfacial properties. The fundamental knowledge gained through this research can be used in the food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries to develop nanoemulsion gels with controlled lipid digestibility or controlled delivery of bioactives.

With this work, what major challenge(s) are you trying to solve?

The technological challenges remain in creating food formulations with lower fat or saturated fat content. The reduction of fat and replacing saturated fat with unsaturated oils is quite often detrimental to the food texture and sensory properties. We want to solve this problem by creating food-grade emulsion gel structure induced by the repulsive nature of droplets, but with a reduced fat content.

What do you enjoy most about your research?

Through this project I have learned a lot and further developed my research skills, particularly in emulsion and surface science. I would say that the tiny world is beyond our imagination and many things are unexplored with a true sense of fundamental science. However, many research areas are still supported by the imagination, as we do not perceive them in our daily experiences.

Finally, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Spare time is rare when you are doing a Ph.D. and have a family life, but I love to enjoy any extra moments with my wife and daughter. Even simple things like watching a favorite TV show or movie together helps keep me grounded.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Member Spotlight: Juhee Lee

Juhee Lee
Juhee Lee is a Ph.D. candidate in nutrition and food science at Utah State University. She also holds her B.Sc. in food science from Utah State University. She joined Dr. Silvana Martini's lab as an undergraduate researcher in 2016 and currently works as a graduate researcher. Her research focuses on the effect of high-intensity ultrasound on the physical properties of edible lipids and oxidative stability and bubble dynamics during sonication. Juhee is also the recipient of the 2021 Edible Applications Technology Division Student Excellence Award.

What is the main focus of your Ph.D. project?

My Ph.D. research focuses on the effect of high-intensity ultrasound (HIU) on edible lipids, which includes shortening (palm-based and soybean-based), soybean oil and structured lipids. HIU is a potential processing tool that can be utilized to create a product with desirable functional and physical properties of lipids by using ultrasonic waves of high intensity and frequency. However, the use of HIU on lipid systems is a contentious topic, as lipids can have varying degrees of oxidative stabilities, which HIU may potentially affect. Therefore, it is important to evaluate the effect of HIU on bubble dynamics, oxidation and physical properties of edible fat if changes generated due to sonication are maintained during long-term storage with different storage temperatures.

With this work, what major challenge(s) are you trying to solve?

Lipids are essential food components because they provide desirable functional and organoleptic properties. For example, certain fats such as partially hydrogenated oil (PHO), when incorporated into baked goods, create a product that has desired texture, crispness, and more resistance at high temperatures. However, the incorporation of PHO as a food ingredient has brought about concern from health officials in its effect on human health, which led to removing its GRAS status. Thus, research on developing new lipids with low levels of saturated fatty acids but still containing the desirable functional properties of PHO has been ongoing. HIU has been used to induce crystallization of lipids and improve the physical properties of fats by generating a harder and more elastic crystalline material, and producing a greater number of smaller crystals. Therefore, HIU is one potential technology that can be used to develop alternative PHOs.

What do you enjoy most about your research?

As part of my research, I measure the physical properties of sonicated and non-sonicated lipids using different equipment. Among them, I especially enjoy using a polarized light microscope to observe the crystalline structure of lipids. It is fascinating to see that each type of crystalline lipid has its own unique shape and size.

Finally, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I enjoy cooking, baking and watching Netflix during my free time.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Member Spotlight: Aurore Cournoyer

Aurore Cournoyer
Aurore Cournoyer is a Ph.D. student in food science, Laval University, a recipient of the 2021 AOCS Canadian Section (CAOCS) Travel Grant and placed 2nd in the 2021 Biotechnology Division Student ePoster Pitch Competition.

Could you please introduce yourself?

I have been conducting my Ph.D. studies in food science since September 2020 in Dr. Laurent Bazinet’s team at Laval University, Quebec. Initially, I started my undergraduate studies at Laval University after holding a bachelor’s degree in food science and technology. During that time, I participated in two research internships at INRS-Institut Armand Frappier in Laval, Quebec, and at VetAgro-Sup in Lyon, France. I also completed my master’s degree at Laval University. It was these experiences that grew my enthusiasm in doing research in the fields of food by-products and finding solutions to improve impacts of my research on the environment and the society. I am currently working on my doctoral thesis research, which I plan to finish in 2023.

Could you tell us a bit about your research and what problems your work aims to solve?

My research aims to improve industrial waste management, particularly in slaughterhouses. A slaughterhouse generates several byproducts, such as blood, which has a high quality and quantity of proteins. The aim of this project is to apply value addition to blood. My work focuses on producing bioactive peptides from animal blood that can be used in the meat industry and contribute to a circular economy. Different aspects of production and separation of peptides as well as peptides’ mechanisms of action are deepened through this work.

How long have you been an AOCS member and what types of activities have you participated in?

I have been an AOCS member for one year. Thus far, I have attended the 2021 AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo and participated in the Biotechnology Division Student ePoster Pitch Competition.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I would say that a typical day always starts with coffee! But more seriously, I usually go to my office, check emails and then decide whether it will be a day of lab or written work. I will either stay in my office reading literature, preparing my future papers, analyzing my data or preparing for regular meetings. Otherwise, I will spend my day in the laboratory.

You won the 2021 CAOCS Student Support Grant and Biotechnology Division Student ePoster Pitch Competition! Could you share with us your feelings/wisdom?

It really made me happy and encouraged me to work hard and get involved in the events outside my university. It is very encouraging to see that my research subject is of interest to other researchers who want to hear and discuss it. If you are only focusing on your own research, you may get close-minded. Winning these awards reminded me that science is worldwide and underlined the importance of communicating and discussing research work with peers at scientific conferences.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Member Spotlight: Snigdha Guha

Snigdha Guha
Snigdha Guha is a student member and member of the Protein and Co-product (PCP) Division. She is currently a Graduate Research Assistant at the University of Nebraska.

How did you get involved with the Protein and Co-Products Division?

My research focuses on isolating and identifying bioactive peptides from dietary sources, particularly from the Nebraskan Great Northern beans. Therefore, the PCP Division was the most appropriate Division in AOCS for showcasing my interesting research among the PCP community.

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

AOCS has been a good platform for connecting with professionals in the same research field as I am. I learned a lot through the various showcases of research in the divisions, and it has helped me guide my research by keeping me updated with the various research trends in my field.

What excites you the most about your work?

I am very passionate about research, which makes work very exciting for me. Every day brings a new challenge and thus looking for solutions, getting to learn more, and finally getting good results at the end, which gives me immense satisfaction and happiness in what I am doing.

Have you presented in the AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo before? Share your experience?

I have presented in the AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo two times. The first one was in 2019, where I presented my research in the Health and Nutrition (H&N) Division. I was still very early on in my research, and it was the first conference I attended in my life, so it was memorable. The second time I presented in both PCP and H&N division in the 2021 conference, and this time around, by god’s grace, I received first position in both the divisions for my research. So, my overall experience of AOCS has been really good and fruitful.

Friday, September 3, 2021

Member Spotlight: Dr. Mila Hojilla-Evangelista

Dr. Mila Hojilla-Evangelista is a Research Chemist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research. She has been a member of AOCS for more than 20 years and a member of the Protein and Co-Products Division for more than 7 years.

She was recognized as an AOCS Fellow in 2019.

Can you tell us about yourself?

I was born and raised in the Philippines, where I received my B.S. in Food Technology (Cum laude) and M.S. in Food Science from the University of the Philippines at Los Baños. I earned my Ph.D. in Food Technology from Iowa State University. I have been a Research Chemist for 20+ years at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research in Peoria, Illinois.

What is your involvement in AOCS and in the Protein and Co-Products Division?

I am currently involved in a number of ways: Chair or member, various AOCS selection committees; Associate Editor, JAOCS; and Protein and Co-Products Division Poster Session Chairperson.

Previously, I was Governing Board member-at-large; Guest Editor for the JAOCS Special Issue on alternative proteins; Protein and Co-Products Division Officer (Secretary/Treasurer, Vice-chairperson, and Chairperson), Technical Session Chairperson, and Student Poster Competition Chairperson/Lead Judge.

What are your research interests?

My research is on the development of novel, marketable commodities that utilize co-products, particularly the proteins, from the industrial processing of established agricultural crops, like corn and soybeans, and alternative oilseed crops, such as pennycress and lesquerella. I devise practical ways to extract and recover the proteins, assess their properties, and determine their suitability for various applications, such as in emulsifiers, foams, films, fibers, thickeners, and adhesives.

What does a typical day look like for you?

In my current detail as Acting Research Leader, I respond to messages, follow up on issues affecting my Unit, approve purchase requests, review manuscripts, proposals, procurement packages, or funds status, check with my technician for updates about ongoing experiments, analyze research data, write sections of a manuscript, complete any mandatory online trainings, or attend virtual meetings and seminars.

What excites you the most about your work?

Talking about being a scientist and/or my research and how our findings/discoveries find their way into people’s lives.

Can you share a turning point or defining moment in your work as a scientist and/or industry professional?

In October 2018, I received distinguished alumni awards from both of my alma mater (University of the Philippines at Los Baños and Iowa State University), and then not long after, I was notified of being selected AOCS Fellow. This cluster of awards recognized 30 years of scientific research career and contributions to my field.

How has the present COVID-19 situation affected your work?

The Covid-19 pandemic caused a significant setback for our research projects. We have been on maximum telework status since the lockdown, but a limited number of researchers have been allowed to do on-site work for nearly a year now. Occupancy limits are enforced, so the scheduling of entries in the building is closely monitored. Research progress has been slow as would be expected, given that researchers were not able to carry out experiments in the lab effectively.

What is the one thing that you are missing the most during this COVID-19 situation?

Visiting my Papa and siblings in the Philippines.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Did you know that AOCS Laboratory Proficiency Program (LPP) has an NIOP Fats and Oils series?

The NIOP Fats and Oils series was originally developed as a support to the National Institute of Oilseed Products (NIOP). Participants who showed superior performance in the series were granted Approved Chemist status, and their names were listed on NIOP’s website. 

The program has grown and today laboratories around the world participate in this series to demonstrate their competency in analyzing a variety of oil products. Proficiency in the Laboratory Proficiency Program (LPPprovides assurance to your stakeholders, customers and regulators – and gains you the international recognition that you deserve. 

The NIOP Fats and Oils series offers four samples throughout the year (1 sample/quarter). Laboratories participating in this LPP series carry out tests including assessment of AOCS Color (red), Free Fatty Acids, Iodine Value, Mass/Unit Volume, and Saponification Value. The deadline to enroll in the 3rd and 4th quarter for the 2021-2022 LPP year is November 20, 2021. 

Analysts who participate in all 4 quarters of the series can apply to be an Approved Chemist. Approval is earned by superior performance during the previous LPP year. Labs with Approved Chemists for the 2020-2021 NIOP Fats and Oils series include: Amspec LLC., Certispec Services, Inc., Dallas Group of America, Eurofins Central Analytical Laboratory, Inc., Eurofins Nutrition Analysis Center, Intertek Agri Services, Isotek Laboratories, and Thionville Laboratories, LLC.

Labs with Approved Chemists are featured in the AOCS Recommended Lab Directory

If you have questions about this program, please contact Dawn Shepard, Laboratory Proficiency Program Manager at dawns@aocs.org.

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

AOCS Corporate Member Spotlight: ADF Engineering, Inc.

Matt Williamson and Alex Fishman, ADF Engineering, Inc.
Matt Williamson (left) and Alex Fishman (right), ADF Engineering, Inc., at the 2019 AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo.

In this conversation, Alex Fishman, President, ADF Engineering, Inc., shares what drives their engineers to be a "go-to source" in processing engineering. Fishman also shares what he sees as the biggest challenges as uncertainty continues due to the pandemic.

ADF Engineering, Inc., is a 2021 AOCS Bronze Corporate Member.

What type of products/services does ADF Engineering, Inc.?

We are a multidiscipline engineering firm providing design and project management services to oilseeds and similar processing plants. Most projects are connected to existing plant operations, their upgrades, capacity expansion, and environmental or safety compliance.

We also help our clients with new plant designs, from engineering to construction.  

What differentiates ADF Engineering, Inc. from companies in the same space?

Our agility and ability to pivot, and react fast to unforeseen changes gives our clients peace of mind, resulting in a high satisfaction rating. We believe our clients deserve more personal relationships and better customer service. Our clients value the technical expertise and field experience of our engineers and repeatedly consider ADF Engineering as the “go-to source” for their process and facility engineering.

In addition, it’s important to mention how our staff strives for leadership in the industry. Our engineers continuously address the industry “hot” topics and present papers at AOCS meetings and in AOCS INFORM magazine. Some recent presentations have included discussions on dust hazards, cleanability, and water recovery opportunities.

What are some recent innovations ADF Engineering, Inc. is most proud of?

As design engineers, it’s our calling to apply innovative and unique solutions to clients’ challenges. Recently, we successfully applied creative process solutions resulting in energy and water recovery and re-use at several of our clients’ plants, helping our client’s operation become more efficient while meeting their sustainability targets.

What do you think will be the biggest challenges for ADF Engineering, Inc. next year?

I think we are still in uncharted territory due to the global impact of the pandemic. Production demand fluctuations and labor shortages will put pressure on our clients' operations to stay flexible but efficient and forcing them to adjust fast. Equally, we need to continue polishing our staff's ability with rapid response to ensure we can meet any challenges that clients might face.