Monday, February 28, 2022

Spotlight on 2022 AOCS Fellow Award Winners

The AOCS Fellow Award recognizes achievements in science and/or extraordinary service to the Society. We are delighted to recognize this year's newly minted AOCS Fellows! Get to know the 2022 AOCS Fellows in the spotlights below:

Navam Hettiarachchy

Navam Hettiarachchy

Dr. Navam Hettiarachchy is a professor in the Department of Food Science at the University of Arkansas. She earned a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Madras, India; an M.S. in biochemistry, University of Edinburgh Medical School, Scotland; and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Hull, England, U.K. She is internationally recognized for her research in maximizing the use of oilseed crops, particularly soy and rice.

Dr. Hettiarachchy served as chair of the Protein and Co-Products Division as well as moderator and chair of numerous technical sessions at the AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo. In her role as chair, she recruited world-class speakers. She collaborated with other AOCS Divisions to host technical sessions that attracted numerous attendees.

Dr. Hettiarachchy has published 164 journal articles and chapters, in which she provided innovative and creative approaches in fundamental protein chemistry. She pioneered work revealing the structural requirements necessary for peptides to inhibit cancer cell proliferation.

In 1999, Dr. Hettiarachchy and her co-authors received the ADM Award for Best Paper in Protein and Co-Products in the category of Chemistry/Nutrition from AOCS for their article “Hydrophobicity, Solubility, and Emulsifying Properties of Soy Protein Peptides Prepared by Papain Modification and Ultrafiltration.” She is a fellow of IFT and the International Union of Food Science and Technology. She has been inducted into the National Academy of Inventors (2015) and won the Spitze Land-Grant Professorial Career Excellence Award for excellence in teaching, research and service.

In addition to her research, she has developed and taught six outcome-based courses. Her mentorship in product development and the IFT College Bowl Competition, as well as other competitions, led to student cash awards amounting to $98,550.

Can you tell us about your current research?

My current research is focused on developed and implemented strategies for diversified, integrated and unique structure-function properties of food proteins and food safety with exceptional productivity. We are presently moving onto additive manufacturing of 3D ink printing of plant proteins with enriched edible films and healthy food products. 

My work in elucidating the structural requirements of peptides with inhibitory activities against anticancer cells proliferation and the apoptotic pathways in human breast cancer are exemplary models and patented. The arrangement of amino acids on a peptide chain for strong effect on human health was extended to investigating the potency of a unique penta-peptide to obesity and Alzheimer’s, leading to application in food products and investigation of other peptides from soybean protein for chronic diseases. This important peptide technology will have the potential use as a therapeutic agent in the management of human chronic diseases.

I have graduated 51 M.S and Ph.D. students. My patents, peer-reviewed publications, books edited, book chapters, presentations and reports number over 620. The intellectual properties in proteins led to patenting and commercialization of innovative products by DSM, Switzerland. My web of science citations are 12,583 with an h-index of 63 and an i-index of 152. I thank my research team for their dedication and support for all these accomplishments, and AOCS for recognizing me as an AOCS Fellow.

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

I was very excited about the recognition by AOCS and shared the good news with the Head of Food Science Department as well as my research team and family. I am thankful for all the opportunities provided by AOCS. I am passionate to pass on what I have acquired through all my associations with AOCS to the community.

How has AOCS helped develop your career?

Since becoming a member in 2000, AOCS has provided me with an opportunity to be actively involved in the Protein and Co-Products Division, including co-organizing and co-moderating many scientific sessions and recruiting expert speakers. I have also organized and chaired poster competitions, serving as a judge for student oral presentations, and coaching students at AOCS meetings to develop their careers. Most significantly, I served as the Chair of the Proteins and Co-Products Division (2013–2015) and provided leadership to the Division. Networking with experts and exchanging ideas in my area of research contributed to a great learning experience. 

All these experiences immensely benefited and helped me to creatively advance in research, teaching, and service activities in my profession, contributing to promotions and recognition. These further enhanced my competitive skills that she practiced in mentoring students to win international, national and regional scholarly awards that are tremendously satisfying and rewarding.

Charlotte Jacobsen

Charlotte Jacobsen

Dr. Charlotte Jacobsen is a professor and leader of the Research Group for Bioactives – Analysis and Applications at the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark. She is internationally renowned for her research in lipid oxidation of omega-3 rich foods.

She has served on the AOCS European Section Leadership Team as president and vice president. As chair of the Lipid Oxidation and Quality Division, Dr. Jacobsen fostered a collaborative and supportive culture for students, academics and industry professionals. She also served as an associate editor of the Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society and is a member of the AOCS Journal Advisory Board.

She was appointed by European Food Safety Authority as an expert in the Fish Oil Working Group under the Biohazard Panel to evaluate the potential hazard associated with human intake of refined fish oil. Her recent research also concerns the use of side-streams from plant and marine food production as new ingredients (e.g., antioxidants) for the food industry. She has led several large national and international projects, including the on-going EU BBI JU project WaSeaBi. Most of her projects involve collaboration with industry partners, such as Royal Greenland, Kalsec, Nestlé and Novozymes. Dr. Jacobsen has over 200 publications and 6,500 citations. She has authored 31 book chapters, co-edited four books and has one granted patent and four pending.

Dr. Jacobsen has received several awards, including the Danish Danisco prize (2003), the French La Médaille Chevreul (2010) awarded by Association Francaise pour l’étude des Corps Gras, the German DGF Normann Medaille (2020), AOCS Stephen S. Chang award (2021) and two best paper awards from AOCS.

Can you tell us about your current research?

I have four areas of current research:

  1. Prevention of lipid oxidation in shell-on-prawns and lump fish roe with particular emphasis on the use of antioxidants. This research also concerns obtaining a better understanding of lipid oxidation reactions occurring in these raw materials during storage under different conditions.
  2. Developing and implementing better methods for investigating metal chelating properties of antioxidant compounds. The overall aim is to identify antioxidants that can prevent lipid oxidation in mayonnaise and dressing. The antioxidants should replace the metal chelator EDTA.
  3. Developing new ingredients from plant and marine biomasses, including side-streams obtained from current food production with the aim of using these ingredients in food products. Examples include developing (1) savory ingredients from cod and shrimp side-streams; (2) emulsifiers and antioxidants from seaweed, potato, spent grain and single cell proteins; and (3) extraction of omega-3 oils from starfish. We also work on multiextraction of bioactive compounds from seaweed (polysaccharides and antioxidants) and shrimp side-streams (e.g., astaxanthin and omega-3 oils). The research on emulsifying and antioxidant peptides also includes the use of advanced methods to characterize behavior of these compounds at oil-water interfaces and in emulsions.
  4. Microalgae as a new source of omega-3 fatty acids, proteins and vitamins. This includes development of more productive strains with higher bio-accessibility of the bioactive compounds.

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

I was very happy and proud when I received the message about the award. I was also surprised because I did not expect to be selected for the award so short time after receiving the AOCS Stephen S. Chang award, which I received in 2021.

How has AOCS helped develop your career?

AOCS has provided a very important opportunity to network with and learn from some of the best scientists in the area of lipid oxidation and antioxidants - both from academia and industry. This has led to new collaborations with research institutions and companies from all over the world, which has been extremely important for not only myself but also for younger scientists in my research group. 

AOCS has also given me the opportunity to develop my leadership skills through the role as head of a division and president of the European Section. From this, I have also learned about different ways of steering meetings, which has been useful when collaborating with scientists from different parts of the world. AOCS' dissemination channels (e.g., INFORM magazine, Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society and the AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo) have been important tools for me and my group in terms of publishing and presenting our research results for a relevant audience

Janitha P. D. Wanasundara

Janitha P. D. Wanasundara

Dr. Janitha P. D. Wanasundara is a senior research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). Her research program is in protein chemistry and bioproducts focusing on oilseeds and pulses produced in Canadian prairies. She has a B.Sc. (agriculture with honors, 1986) and a M.Phil (food science and technology) from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, and an M.Sc. and Ph.D. in food Science (1996) from Memorial University, Canada.

As a member of the Protein and Co-Products Division, she established a Lifetime Achievement Award for the Division and streamlined its student poster competition and awards, which increased student participation. In 2019, Dr. Wanasundara helped to establish the AOCS Pulse Science and Technology Forum, serving as a steering committee member. She contributed to program development, along with session organizing and chairing. This forum, now called the Sustainable Protein Forum, continues to gather leaders from a wide range of food science applications. She also served as co-editor of a special issue of the Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society on satisfying protein demand through plant and alternative proteins.

Dr. Wanasundara’s research furthers understanding of the relationship between a seed protein’s genetics and its structure, function, and physical properties. Her research also identifies the macromolecular function of these proteins when used in complex food systems. In the area of plant protein chemistry, her research focuses on understanding the chemistry and structure of seed storage proteins for legumes and dicot crops of Brassica to improve application in the plant protein industry.

Her scholarly contributions include 59 peer-reviewed journal articles and 25 book chapters, nearly 100 presentations, one book, and one patent.

Can you tell us about your current research?

My research is on storage proteins of oil-rich and starch-rich dicotyledonous seeds of commercially cultivated crops. A main component of my research is on understanding structural characteristics and physico-chemical properties of seed storage proteins and linking them to improve their nutritional and functional value. Currently, I work with proteins of crucifer oilseeds (canola, camelina and mustards), particularly on the diversity of structural and related properties and how they response to various processing conditions of oilseed processing and also after recovering from seeds. 

The purpose of my research on proteins of the starch-rich pulses (faba bean and lentil) is to understand how protein structure relates to the differences in physico-chemical and functional properties they provide in complex systems of foods and the effect of minor seed constituents on protein properties. Information and knowledge revealed from such studies are key to develop optimum uses and applications for seed storage proteins of these crops. I have been researching plant proteins and bioactive compounds of plant sources throughout my research career. Research I carry out aligns with the current demand for increased use of plant proteins in human food since the major plant protein sources are seeds of cultivated crops.

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

I was pleased and humbled. It was a moment of appreciation of all the mentors, collaborators and supporters of my life journey in scientific research. It is an honor to be recognized for my contribution to science and the AOCS community.

How has AOCS helped develop your career?

The first AOCS annual meeting I attended was to present my research findings as a graduate student. Since then, through AOCS community, I had the great opportunity to get acquainted with many active and talented individuals in various fields related to oils and proteins around the globe. AOCS has been instrumental in providing me several knowledge gaining, leadership, and networking opportunities, as well as the opportunity to establish collaborations and friendships. 

My involvement with the AOCS community strengthened my confidence to collaborate and work with experts at many levels. My experience with the Protein and Co-Products Division has been very encouraging and encouraged me to get more involved with the AOCS community. AOCS brings the science and technology community together, and it is a good place to give back to and share the experience I have gained.

Jill K. Winkler-Moser

Jill K. Winkler-Moser

Dr. Jill K. Winkler-Moser is a research chemist and lead scientist at the United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), in the Functional Foods Research Unit in Peoria, Illinois. She received a B.S. and an M.S. in food science from the University of Idaho and a Ph.D. in food science and human nutrition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is an authority on lipid oxidation and the chemical and phytochemical characterization of plant and seed oils. Her research has facilitated the development of oils with altered tocopherol compositions for increased oxidative stability.

She has served in several leadership roles with AOCS. She was on the AOCS Governing Board from 2019 to 2021. She also served as chair, vice-chair and secretary-treasurer for the Lipid Oxidation and Quality Division. As part of Division leadership, she coordinated well-attended events that connected members across the Society. She has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to the Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society, where she has served as associate editor and is currently a senior associate editor. She also served as chair of the Division Council from 2018 to 2020.

Her research has supported the development of new CODEX standards for oils, such as rice bran oil. She also developed a novel and simple method using tocopherol fingerprinting to detect adulteration of coffee by less valuable cereals. Dr. Winkler-Moser has published more than sixty peer-reviewed journal articles. In 2018, Dr. Winkler-Moser and co-authors won the AOCS Edwin N. Frankel Best Paper in Lipid Oxidation and Quality for their article “Application of Differential Pulse Voltammetry to Determine the Efficiency of Stripping Tocopherols from Commercial Fish Oil.”

Can you tell us about your current research?

The overall goal of our research project is to develop technologies to reduce saturated fats in foods, which contribute to heart disease and other chronic health problems. To achieve this goal, we have to be concerned about lipid oxidation if we replace saturated fats with oils with high levels of unsaturated fats, so one aspect of our research involves antioxidant research and development to improve oil stability. 

I'm currently interested in developing a better understanding of the factors that influence the activity of antioxidants in oils, including frying oils and fried foods, which should enable better prediction of the types of antioxidants or extracts that will work to prevent lipid oxidation and increase shelf-life and protect nutritional and bioactive components in various foods. In addition, we are also evaluating different types and mixtures of gelators for making oleogels as replacements for solid fats in margarines, shortenings and in foods that require a structured fat. Our research involves a good mixture of chemical and physical analysis as well as sensory evaluation.

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

I was incredibly honored to receive this award and at the same time humbled to be placed among the AOCS Fellows. I am also grateful for all of the AOCS members and USDA colleagues that have provided so much support through the years.

How has AOCS helped develop your career?

AOCS has been a large part of my career from the beginning. At my first AOCS annual meeting I attended the Lipid Oxidation Short Course and learned about the research that I would be embarking upon from all of the leading experts in the field. This has given me a strong base to start my research career. Attending the annual meetings has provided me with new knowledge and ideas for research as well as opportunities for networking and collaboration. 

Over the years, AOCS has provided numerous opportunities to contribute to the mission of the organization, to share my research and to develop leadership skills. Being a part of the Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society editorial team has provided great insight, has improved my own technical writing skills and has provided me with an opportunity to constructively help others to improve their science communication.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

AOCS Corporate Member Spotlight: La Tourangelle, Inc.

La Tourangelle, Inc.

Clara Chun, Customer Success Manager at AOCS, talked with Matthieu Kohlmeyer, Founder and CEO at La Tourangelle, Inc., a family-owned company and AOCS Bronze Corporate Member. They provide specialty and organic oils using traditional artisan processes.

Clara and Matthieu discussed how La Tourangelle's traditional processes help differentiate their product and how they are adding a new processing capability to remove harmful contaminants from fragile high omega-3 oils.

Check out La Tourangelle's Pinterest to find recipes using their artisan oils and salad dressings!

What type of products/services does your company provide?

La Tourangelle processes specialty and organic oils in our two oil mills located in Woodland, California, and Saumur, France. We currently roast, press, and process various nuts and seeds into oils. We also import specialty oils from all over the world that we pack and sell under our La Tourangelle brands and under private label. Our brand is available at most leading national supermarkets in the USA, Canada, France and more.

What differentiates your company from companies in the same space?

Matthieu Kohlmeyer, Founder and CEO, La Tourangelle, Inc.
Matthieu Kohlmeyer, Founder and CEO, La Tourangelle, Inc.

La Tourangelle was born in the Loire Valley of France and initially focused on making high-quality flavored nut oils. We are proud of our heritage and have nurtured very unique processing methods to press high-quality specialty oils. 

We are unique because we vertically control our supply chains. We are actively promoting organic and regenerative farming, high-quality cold press extraction methods and have a robust give-back program to support our community.

What are some recent innovations your company is most proud of?

La Tourangelle is setting up a new molecular distillation unit at our oil mill in Woodland, California. This new processing capability will give us the unique ability to remove harmful contaminants from fragile high omega-3 oils and also extract and concentrate the valuable nutrients found in our specialty oils (walnut, almond, avocado, olive and so forth). This investment will open many new opportunities in 2022, and we look forward to leveraging the AOCS community to explore all the benefits of this technology.

I understand you are launching Kohlmeyer Labs as a sister company to La Tourangelle. Can you tell us more about this new company?

Kohlmeyer Labs

Kohlmeyer Labs will be our sister company in charge of pioneering and marketing the extraction of unsaponifiable and other valuable components from California specialty oils using our solar-powered molecular distillation unit. 

If La Tourangelle is focused on food and packaged goods, Kohlmeyer Labs will be more tech driven and ingredients focused, with an emphasis on partnering with leading manufacturers of supplements, cosmetics and functional foods.

What do you think will be the biggest challenges for your company next year?

Just like for everybody in the industry, inflation and the logistic challenges we are facing make operating our business challenging. It remains to be seen what will be the impact of all these price increases on consumption.

Why is AOCS Corporate Membership important to your organization?

La Tourangelle is passionate about making specialty oils. We started small and are continuously growing. It is important for us to connect with the AOCS community. We want to connect with folks sharing our passion, connect with researchers and learn. We strongly believe in the power of making good food to improve community, nutrition, fight global warming and reduce pollution.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Spotlight on Keshun Liu, recipient of the 2022 Alton E. Bailey Award

We are delighted to announce that Dr. Keshun Liu is the recipient of the 2022 Alton E. Bailey Award. This award recognizes outstanding research contributions and exceptional service in the fields of fats, oils, lipids and related disciplines. The award is sponsored by Archer Daniels Midland (ADM).

About Keshun Liu

Keshun Liu

Dr. Keshun Liu is a research chemist with the United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS). Born in rural China, he received a Ph.D. in food science from Michigan State University and did post-doctoral work at Coca-Cola Co. and University of Georgia. Before joining USDA in 2005, he was an employee at Monsanto Co. and University of Missouri-Columbia. He has been active with AOCS by organizing meeting symposia and contributing his time and knowledge in many other volunteer and committee roles. He served the Proteins and Co-Products Division at all levels of Division leadership.

Dr. Liu is well known for his expertise in chemistry, processing, and utilization of soybeans, cereals, and legumes. His seminal research has had significant impacts on food and feed industries and scientific communities. His books on soybeans have become a must-read for researchers in the soy industry; the fibrous meat analog he and colleagues developed at University of Missouri has been commercialized by Beyond Meat. His research on fuel ethanol co-products and their recovery benefits the biofuel industry. Dr. Liu authored or co-authored 139 publications.

His improved analytical methods have been used by laboratories around the world. In January 2021, his trypsin inhibitor assay was approved as AOCS Official Method Ba 12a-2020. His low-cost method for making soy protein concentrates is being evaluated by the Soybean Innovation Lab (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) for fighting protein shortage in Africa.

Dr. Liu was named an AOCS Fellow in 2011. He was awarded the Award of Merit in 2010 and Protein and Co-Products Division Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020.

Can you tell us about your current research?

As a research chemist with the USDA-ARS, my goal is to develop and expand plant-based proteins for food and feed uses. Our research involves basic chemistry, quantitative analysis, and development of innovative methods to evaluate new and existing protein products; to process oilseeds, grains, legumes into value-added protein ingredients; and to better incorporate these ingredients into food and feed products. 

One of my current research projects deals with developing a method for measuring chymotrypsin inhibitor activity. Like trypsin inhibitors, chymotrypsin inhibitors are naturally occurring proteinaceous substances. Together, they are considered antinutritional and/or bioactive. Yet, chymotrypsin inhibitors are less heat liable than trypsin inhibitors, but the former is not routinely measured. As increasing volumes of plant proteins are being used for human consumption in recent years, it is important to have a method that can measure chymotrypsin inhibitors with precision and sensitivity as well. 

Riding on my long-time experience on method development with trypsin inhibitor assay, I thought it would be easy work. Yet, due to the need to include an organic solvent (for dissolving a synthetic substrate), the project has turned out to be more challenging than originally thought.

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

I felt surprised, overwhelmed and greatly honored. It is rather special to me for several reasons. 

First, this award commemorates Mr. Alton Bailey's outstanding contributions to the field of fats, oils, and related disciplines as a researcher, an author of several standard books, and as a leader in the Society. By reading Mr. Bailey's story on Lipid Library (written by AOCS member Mr. Gary List), I have a great respect for Mr. Bailey in terms of his outstanding contributions in research and service to AOCS. He certainly set a great example for all AOCS members. 

Second, the Alton E. Bailey Award was first established within AOCS as an achievement award in 1958, the year I was born. That was 64 years ago. 

Third, by looking at the list of past winners, most of them have outstanding contributions to the areas of fats and oils. I was among the very few receiving the award for research and service in related disciplines (in my case, the plant protein area). This provides encouragement to fellow members, whose major field is in related disciplines, to be nominated for the award in the future.

How has AOCS helped develop your career?

Since my graduate study at Michigan State University, my field of interest has mostly been related to chemistry, processing and value-added utilization of oilseeds, grains, legumes and other plant materials. AOCS is a natural fit for my work and research interests. So, I joined AOCS in 1992 and got actively involved with AOCS by attending annual meetings, organizing symposia, giving presentations, serving in a leadership role and volunteering in committee activities, etc. My membership and volunteer experiences at AOCS have enhanced my knowledge, broadened my connections and shaped my career in many ways.

For example, by attending AOCS annual meetings and interacting with AOCS colleagues, I learn what peers are with oilseeds and protein products relating to my research. This in turn helps me identify new research areas and use the most up-to-date research tools. The support and encouragement I received from AOCS colleagues over the years have also been very important for my career development. Furthermore, the awards I received over the years have brought much deserved recognition to my employer, USDA-ARS, for supporting scientists to succeed in their fields.

Monday, February 21, 2022

Spotlight on F. Xavier Malcata, recipient of the 2022 Stephen S. Chang Award

We are delighted to announce that Dr. F. Xavier Malcata is the recipient of the 2022 Stephen S. Chang Award. This award recognizes a scientist, technologist or engineer who has made distinguished accomplishments in research for the improvement or development of products related to lipids. This award is made possible by the Stephen and Lucy Chang Endowed Fund.

About F. Xavier Malcata

F. Xavier Malcata

Dr. F. Xavier Malcata is a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering of University of Porto and senior researcher at the Laboratory for Process Engineering, Environment, Biotechnology and Energy. He received his Ph.D. (1991) from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

His research on lipases in immobilized form has supported a number of industrial advances. Dr. Malcata’s various reviews on the subject have become classical references for anyone interested in enzymes for catalytic reactions of hydrolysis, ester synthesis, acidolysis, alcoholysis or transesterification. He pioneered immobilization of lipases for modifying oils and fats via hydrolysis and transesterification and developed nonconventional configurations of photobioreactors for producing polyunsaturated fats and high-added value metabolites by lipidogenic microalgae.

He has authored 470+ refereed papers that have received more than 17,500 cites by the peers, with an h-index of 65. He currently appears in the 0.5%-top tier of Stanford University ranking of the most influential researchers worldwide.

He has also edited five books and published 17 books, including the 11-volume treatise titled “Enzyme Reactor Engineering” by Wiley, and the three-volume collection titled “Food Process Engineering" published by CRC. In addition, he has supervised 30 Ph.D. dissertations, coordinated 37 research and development projects, and written 55 book chapters.

Dr. Malcata is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including the Ralph H. Potts Memorial Award (1991) and Young Scientist Research Award (2001) from AOCS; Foundation Scholar Award (1998), Danisco International Dairy Science Award (2007), Distinguished Service Award (2012) and Teaching Award in Dairy Manufacturing (2019) from the American Dairy Science Association; Samuel Cate Prescott Award (2008) and William V. Cruess Award (2014) from IFT; and International Leadership Award (2008) and Elmer Marth Educator Award (2011) by International Association for Food Protection. He was named an AOCS Fellow in 2014.

Can you tell us about your current research?

I am currently focusing on enhancement of production, and eventual secretion of oil by microalgae, using metabolic and genetic engineering tools, in attempts to bring down the production costs of biodiesel.

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

I felt proud to hear I had been selected for this award — not only because it recognizes the noteworthy advances in the biotechnology of lipids I gradually developed over the latest 30 years, but also for the opportunity to join the elite of professionals working with lipids who took Stephen Chang for a role model.

How has AOCS helped develop your career?

The Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society (JAOCS) still remains one of my major sources of state-of-the-art information of the (bio)technology of lipids. In addition, the awards I received from AOCS have contributed to my success as coordinator in earning project grants for research, as well as postgraduate fellowships for students to work under my guidance.

Friday, February 18, 2022

Spotlight on Penny M. Kris-Etherton, recipient of the 2022 Supelco AOCS Research Award

We are delighted to announce that Dr. Penny M. Kris-Etherton is the recipient of the 2022 Supelco AOCS Research Award. The Supelco AOCS Research Award recognizes outstanding, original research in fats, oils, lipid chemistry or biochemistry. Sponsored by MilliporeSigma. Get to know Dr. Kris-Etherton better in this Q&A!

Penny M. Kris-Etherton

Penny M. Kris-Etherton

Dr. Penny M. Kris-Etherton is the Evan Pugh University Professor of Nutritional Sciences in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at The Pennsylvania State University where she has served on the faculty since 1979. She earned her B.S. from the Rochester Institute of Technology, M.S. from Case Western Reserve University and Ph.D. from University of Minnesota.

Her clinical nutrition research focuses on understanding the effect of diet on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors. Dr. Kris-Etherton has served on committees that have issued dietary guidelines (the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans Advisory Committee and the 2002 National Academies Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Macronutrients and Cholesterol). She served on the 2nd Adult Treatment Panel of the National Cholesterol Education Program.

Dr. Kris-Etherton has co-authored numerous American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Statements and Advisories that have made lifestyle recommendations for the prevention and treatment of CVD. She also co-authored the National Lipid Association’s recommendations for Patient-Centered Management of Dyslipidemia. In addition, she served on the American College of Cardiology Expert Consensus Decision Panel that published a paper on the management of ASCVD risk reduction in patients with persistent hypertriglyceridemia.

Dr. Kris-Etherton is a former chair of both the AHA Council on Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health and the AHA Nutrition Committee. She is a Fellow of the AHA, the National Lipid Association (where she was president) and the American Society for Nutrition. She has published over 420 papers and has received numerous awards from the American Society for Nutrition, AOCS, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, International Nut & Dried Fruit Council and National Lipid Association for her scientific contributions.

In 2014, she received the AOCS Ralph Holman Lifetime Achievement Award.

Can you tell us about your current research?

Ongoing studies in my lab are being conducted to understand the role of dietary patterns and components of dietary patterns on established and emerging CVD risk factors. We are studying diet — induced changes in the microbiome and how these changes modulate CVD risk factors.

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

I was so surprised and very elated to learn that I had won the 2022 AOCS Supelco Award. It is a wonderful honor to be recognized by my AOCS colleagues as the recipient of this award. A special thank you goes to Gary List for nominating me.

How has AOCS helped develop your career?

AOCS has provided an important venue for networking and creating opportunities for many great collaborations over the years.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Spotlight on Casimir C. Akoh, recipient of the 2022 A.R. Baldwin Distinguished Service Award

We are delighted to announce that Dr. Casimir C. Akoh is the recipient of the 2022 A.R. Baldwin Distinguished Service Award. This award, sponsored by Cargill Inc., recognizes long-term, distinguished service to AOCS in a variety of positions of significant responsibility. This is the Society’s highest service award. Get to know Dr. Akoh better in this Q&A!

Casimir C. Akoh

Casimir C. Akoh

Dr. Casimir C. Akoh is a distinguished research professor at the University of Georgia. He earned a Ph.D. in food science and an M.S. in biochemistry from Washington State University and a B.Sc. in biochemistry from the University of Nigeria.

He served on the AOCS Governing Board as secretary, vice president, and president (2008–2009). He has also served on many committees — including the Recognition Program, Membership Steering and INFORM Editorial Advisory committees — and as an associate editor of the Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society.

Dr. Akoh’s research is mainly in lipid chemistry and phytochemicals. He is an internationally recognized expert on low calorie fat substitutes and structured lipids. He edited eight books and his “Food Lipids” book, now in its 4th Edition (2017), is used worldwide as a textbook for graduate instruction. Dr. Akoh’s research has resulted in over 850 publications and presentations, including up to 296 peer-reviewed refereed publications, 50 book chapters, eight edited books, four patents, 313 presentations and 187 invited presentations. He has received nearly $7.5 million in grants and gifts. He is an editorial board member or associate editor of six journals.

Dr. Akoh received two top research awards from international professional societies in 2012: the AOCS Supelco Research Award and Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Nicholas Appert Award. Dr. Akoh has received seven awards or honors from IFT and six from AOCS. He recently received the University of Nigeria Alumni Achievement Award (2015), IFT Babcock-Hart Award (2018) for food technology contributions that resulted in improved public health through nutrition or a more nutritious food, and AOCS Alton E. Bailey Award (2019). He is a fellow of the IFT, AOCS, American Chemical Society and ISBAB.

Can you tell us about your current research?

We use biocatalysts (enzymes) to modify lipids in general, especially fats and oils for better functionality in foods and potential healthful outcome. New phenolipids and glycerol-based phenolipids as antioxidants (both lipophilic and hydrophilic) are being synthesized, their structures confirmed, characterized, and tested in bulk oils and emulsions. We are also studying infant formula fat analogs and chocolate fats with improved heat stability.

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

Awesome! There you go! Volunteering and excellent service is being rewarded!

How has AOCS helped develop your career?

Volunteering and being active in AOCS enriched my career in many ways. It helped me grow in research, expand my research horizon, learn how to be a good administrator, and allowed me to meet new and retain good friends. There are definitely benefits in networking with your colleagues in a similar profession. 

I had the opportunity to serve as an editorial board member or associate editor of several journals. I became a member of the AOCS Governing Board in 2001 and served as Biotechnology Division Chair (2001–2004) and AOCS Secretary (2004–2006). I had the honor of serving as AOCS Vice President in 2007 and AOCS President for 2008–2009 during the Society's 100-year anniversary.

Monday, February 14, 2022

Spotlight on 2022 AOCS Award of Merit winners: Robert A. Moreau and Lianzhou Jiang

The AOCS Award of Merit recognizes an AOCS Member who has displayed leadership in administrative activities, meritorious service on AOCS committees or performed an outstanding activity or service.

We are delighted to announce that Drs. Robert A. Moreau and Lianzhou Jiang are recipients of the 2022 AOCS Award of Merit. Read on to learn more about them, their research and how AOCS helped them develop their careers.

Robert A. Moreau

Robert A. Moreau

Dr. Robert A. Moreau grew up in Massachusetts and received a B.A. from Boston University and Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina. He also received a postdoctoral fellowship from the University of California at Davis.

Dr. Moreau was a member of the AOCS Governing Board for nearly 13 years, served as chair of the Publications Steering Committee and participated in numerous other committees. He also served as associate editor, contributing editor and member of the Editorial Advisory Committee for INFORM magazine as well as an associate editor of Lipids.

He was instrumental in leading AOCS journals into the modern era by transitioning them to a commercial publisher. This step has helped the journals remain leading publications in their areas. Likewise, he helped guide INFORM magazine as it transitioned from a publishing outlet for original research to a trade magazine. The magazine continues to be a timely source of information about critical issues and research news.

For 38 years, Dr. Moreau conducted research at the Eastern Regional Research Center, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), in Wyndmoor, PA. His research was mainly focused on the analysis of health-promoting lipids (phytosterols, tocopherols, tocotrienols and carotenoids) in plant oils and other plant materials. He published more than 172 peer-reviewed scientific research publications of which 33 appeared in either Lipids or the Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society.

Dr. Moreau was named an AOCS Fellow in 2009. He received the Herbert J. Dutton Award in 2006, Alton E. Bailey Award in 2015 and A.R. Baldwin Distinguished Service Award in 2021. He has been blessed with a wonderful wife, three great kids and three great grandkids.

Can you tell us about your current research?

I no longer conduct research, but I assist several colleagues in writing and publishing papers.

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

I was surprised and honored that some of my colleagues still remember me and value my contributions to AOCS.

How has AOCS helped develop your career?

AOCS helped me form connections with researchers from all over the world. These connections developed into valuable research collaborations and sincere friendships.

Lianzhou Jiang

Lianzhou Jiang

Dr. Lianzhou Jiang is a professor at Northeast Agricultural University (NEAU), China, and fellow of the International Academy of Food Science and Technology.

He led the formation and chaired the AOCS China Section in 2016. He was selected as a valid candidate for the academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE) in 2019. Dr. Jiang served as the dean of the College of Food Science at the NEAU, the director of the National Research Center of Soybean Engineering and Technology from 2005–2019. He also served as the committee member of the discipline evaluation group of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China and vice president of the China Soybean Industry Association.

For nearly 40 years, Dr. Jiang has been dedicated to the research of soybean processing theory and technology as well as the cultivation of talents, pioneering the theory of flexible processing of plant proteins and promoting the creation of a distinctive modern soybean processing industry technology system. He has served on, and chaired, more than 50 scientific and technological projects, including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the National High-tech R&D Program of China (“863” Program), the National Science and Technology Support Program, the National Nature Science Foundation of China. He has contributed to more than 400 peer-reviewed articles and edited 15 books, received more than 30 science and technology awards and obtained nearly 100 authorized invention patents. His research results have been widely promoted and applied, creating tens of billions of yuan of economic benefits and effectively promoting the scientific and technological progress of the global soybean industry.

Can you tell us about your current research?

At present, my research area focuses on the functional properties of plant proteins and the application and product development of plant proteins in food products, with a special focus on soy protein. In recent years, I have been mainly engaged in the research and development of new technologies and products in bio-dissociated plant proteins and plant-based meat products.

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

I am very honored, happy and grateful. I shared the news with my colleagues and family for the first time. AOCS is a high-end international scientific and technical organization that connects the world's scientists in fields that include oils and proteins. The awards from AOCS are the best way to acknowledge my achievement in these fields.

How has AOCS helped develop your career?

Through AOCS, I am able to connect with scholars around the world and broaden my horizons and gain insights. In particular, being the president of the AOCS China Section allows me to build good connections with colleagues and to be more passionate about my profession, all of these help me a lot.

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Thank you, AOCS members, who helped us grow during the 2021 4th quarter!

We recognize the following AOCS members who recruited new Active (individual) Members and Students Members from September 1 to December 31, 2021. The AOCS Refer-a-Friend rewards program earns you a US $20 gift card for every member you recruit or you can donate the reward to the AOCS Foundation.

AOCS picnic basket

Also, for each new referral, you will be entered to win a deluxe AOCS picnic basket.

Start talking with colleagues and collaborators today about all that AOCS has to offer. Refer someone to AOCS today!   

Recruiters of Active Members

  • Jeffrey P. Addy
  • Douglas M. Bibus
  • Andrea Cisneros Estevez
  • Cathy Clark
  • Nancy A. Falk
  • Ece Gulkirpik
  • Cory S. Hammock
  • Swapnil R. Jadhav
  • Grant E. Mitchell
  • Mayamol Nichlavose
  • Betty Paulose
  • Keith A. Persons
  • Mehmet C. Tulbek
  • Raymond Ward
  • Long Zou (2 members)

Recruiters of Student Members

  • Casimir C. Akoh
  • Harold Aukema
  • Clare L. Flakelar
  • Supratim Ghosh
  • Ece Gulkirpik
  • Douglas G. Hayes
  • Guanghui Li
  • Silvana Martini
  • Aman Ullah

Friday, February 4, 2022

Congratulations to New Emeritus Members inducted for 2022!

AOCS is proud to recognize the 2022 class of Emeritus Members.

Each year the AOCS Governing Board has the honor of approving long-term members for Emeritus status. Emeritus Members are those members who either meet qualifications for Retired Member and have completed 35 years of membership in the Society or are Retired Members who have served as a past President, won the AOCS Award of Merit winner or A.R. Baldwin Distinguished Service Award winner, and have been accepted as an Emeritus Member with the approval of two-thirds of the Governing Board.

AOCS membership dues are free for the rest of Emeritus members' lives.

In 2022, 23 AOCS members achieved Emeritus membership, which serves as recognition of their hard work and dedication to AOCS. Congratulations to the following members for achieving Emeritus status:

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Congratulations to newly minted Emeritus AOCS member: Ismail Hassan Hussein Abdalnabi

Each year the AOCS Governing Board has the honor of approving long-term members for Emeritus status. Emeritus Members are those members who either meet qualifications for Retired Member and have completed 35 years of membership in the Society or are Retired Members who have served as a past President, won the AOCS Award of Merit winner or A.R. Baldwin Distinguished Service Award winner, and have been accepted as an Emeritus Member with the approval of two-thirds of the Governing Board.

AOCS membership dues are free for the rest of Emeritus members' lives.

In 2022, 23 AOCS members achieved Emeritus membership. We will be spotlighting many of them throughout January.

Meet Ismail Hassan Hussein Abdalnabi

In 1971, Dr. Ismail H. H. Abdalnabi graduated as a chemical engineer from the University of Khartoum and joined the local oils and soap industry. In 1974, he joined the Chemical Engineering Department at Aston University, Birmingham, England, where he earned his M.Sc. and Ph.D. in 1976 and 1982, respectively. In September 1982, Dr. Abdalnabi joined the Faculty of Science and Technology (FST) at the University of Gezira, Wad Medani, Sudan, for teaching and research and the National Oilseed Processing Research Institute (NOPRI) from 1982 to 2019. During his tenure, he served as Dean of the FST (1991–1994), Dean of NOPRI (1994–2006), and Vice Chancellor, University of Gezira (2001–2009). Dr. Abdalnabi has authored and co-authored over 50 research papers and more than 20 papers and presentations at conferences and seminars.

His research interests focus on new sources of industrial and edible oils and fats, improving oilseed processing technologies, especially for rural areas and small-scale processing, biofuel, aromatic, and medicinal plants. He maintains a special interest in glandless cotton breeding and processing.

NOPRI, his lifetime achievement, came as an idea when he attended the AOCS 2nd World Congress & Expo at the The Hague in October 1982. Further discussion with colleagues and AOCS members, especially Ed Lusas of Texas A&M, focused on the idea of establishing an oilseeds processing research facility. This eventually became NOPRI, which was launched in 1994.

How has your membership and involvement with AOCS influenced your career?

I have been an active AOCS member since 1983. During these 39 years, AOCS publications, books and journals, and methods of analysis enabled us to build a unique specialized library in the fields of oils, fats and related materials. This library had a significant impact on research and innovation at our institute and other faculties and research institutions in Sudan.

Personally, my AOCS membership gave me valuable access to continued education and to meet many distinguished scientists and researchers in the oils and fats industry.

What advice do you have for early-career scientists/researchers who are at the start of their careers?

Be sure to know what you want to achieve and always be part of a multidisciplinary team. Membership in AOCS and similar distinguished platforms of knowledge is your lifeline, so be sure to join and actively participate. Always make the service of your community as one of your top priorities, and keep a record of your achievements to monitor your progress.

Congratulations, Dr. Abdalnabi, and thank you for your contributions to AOCS and the scientific community! Learn more about the different types of AOCS membership.