Jean-François Meullenet, PhD

Jean Francois MeullenetDr. Meullenet served on the faculty in the department of Food Science at the University of Arkansas from 1996-2009. Dr. Meullenet was named Head of the same department and Director of the Institute of Food Science and Engineering in 2010. Dr. Meullenet is a native of France and a Professor of Sensory and Consumer Science. Dr. Meullenet earned an

MS degrees in Food Engineering from a French institution and a PhD in Food Science and Technology from the University of Georgia in 1996.   Dr. Meullenet is the author of over 100 refereed publications in sensory science, 150 abstracts, and published a book in 2007 entitled “Multivariate and Probabilistic Analyses of Sensory Science Problems”.  His research focuses of consumer research including test methodologies and sensometrics. Dr. Meullenet serves as Associate Editor for the Journal of Food Science and on the editorial board of several other peer reviewed journals, including the Journal of Sensory Studies and Food Quality and Preference. Dr. Meullenet has served IFT in a variety of roles including chairing the Ozark section of IFT, serving as an officer of the Sensory and Consumer Science Division of IFT and serving as chair of the Council of Food Science Administrator among others.

What do you feel you can contribute to the growth and advancement of IFT?
I believe that as the leader of a Food Science department in academia, I can help strengthen the voice of academia on IFT’s Board of Directors. Currently, the Board of Directors has only one current member of academia out of 13 members.  I am interested in promoting the need for food-related research and in increasing funding opportunities for such research. In its 2007 strategic plan, IFT identified food-related research funding as one of its goals. I believe that I could contribute positively to this effort. I also have particular interests in strengthening the scientific agenda at IFT meetings and I believe I could bring new perspectives to the board in that respect.

What are the three most important strategic issues facing the profession and the industry that align with IFT’s goals and how would you address these as a member of the Board of Directors?
I believe that there are several issues facing our profession that need our attention in the next decade. First, the distrust of consumers for the food industry has grown over the past few years with a variety of issues ranging from food safety issues to the misperception of food additives and processed foods and the perceived lack of transparency of the food industry. I strongly believe that IFT can serve the food industry by engaging consumers on these topics. Second, we have experienced severe financial pressures which have resulted in the weakening to some extent of the food industry and to a large extent of academia. I believe that IFT can be a great coalescing force in articulating the importance of the food system and the need for resources for food-related research. Third, is the enormous challenge the global food industry faces in doubling the amount of food it makes available to consumers by 2050. I believe that IFT has the capacity to influence the political process and unable this inevitable transformation.

Why do you want to serve on the Board of Directors and how has your work and volunteer experiences prepared you to be a strategic board member?
First, I have great respect for the work IFT does as the premier professional society for food scientists and technologists. I have served IFT in a variety of roles and I feel confident that I understand the workings of IFT well enough to be effective as a board member. I also believe that I have grown as a leader in the past few years through leadership training and my role as a food science department head. As a result, I feel ready to make a contribution to IFT and would love the opportunity to serve on the board.

What defines a successful board?
Effective boards are made up of diverse individuals who have the ability to work harmoniously together to advance the organization they represent. I believe that my international background, my close connections to the food industry and my leadership experience with academia would bring additional diversity to the Board of Directors. I am a level headed individual but would not be afraid to sharing my views. I also would not have issues with rallying around the consensus view of the board.

Formal Education 
PhD, 1996, Food Science and Technology, University of Georgia
MS, 1992, Food Engineering, National Superior School of Agronomy and Food Sciences

Career History

University of Arkansas Department Head 2010-Present
University of Arkansas Director, Institute of Food Science and Engineering 2009-Present
University of Arkansas Professor 2008-Present
University of Arkansas Associate Professor 2002-2008
University of Arkansas Assistant Professor 1996-2002

Leadership Experience

  • Council of Food Science Administrators Chair 2012
  • Early Access Online Communities Participants Member 2010
  • Open Feedback On 2011 Guidelines Draft Member 2010
  • SFO Invite List Member 2010-2011
  • Sensory and Consumer Sciences Division Leader Workgroup Membership Chair 2008-2009
  • Journal of Food Science Editorial Board Journal of Food Science Editorial Board 2008-Present
  • Council of Food Science Administrators Member 2008-Present
  • AMSPAP Scientific Program Sub Panel Member 2007-2008
  • Peer-Reviewed Communications Committee Member 2006-2008
  • University of Arkansas Student Chapter Advisor 2004-2005
  • Ozark Section Leadership Past Chair 2003-2004
  • Ozark Section Leadership Chair-Elect 2001-2002
  • Sensory and Consumer Sciences Division Leader Workgroup Member-at-Large 2001-2003
  • Ozark Section Leadership Treasurer 1998-2001
  • University of Arkansas Student Chapter Advisor 1997-2004
Professional and Community Recognition
  • Tyson Foods Endowed Distinguished Professorship in Sensory Science, 2006-present
  • Department of Food Science outstanding faculty member, 2006
  • Department of Food Science outstanding teaching award, 2004, 2007, 2008
  • University of Arkansas John White Team Research Award, 2000
  • Department of Food Science outstanding research award, 1998
  • Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society of Agriculture, 1996