About the International Food Science Certification Commission

International Food Science Certification Commission

The International Food Science Certification Commission (IFSCC) oversees the governance and policy-making for our credentialing activities. The members of the IFSCC are committed to ensuring our credentialing programs strive to meet the international standards established by the International Standards Organization (ISO) and are conducted in a fair and transparent manner. Members of the IFSCC represent stakeholders from diverse groups such as the academic community, industry practitioners and human resources professionals, international governments and non-government organizations.

For questions or comments regarding the Certified Food Scientist (CFS) credentialing, please contact us at ifscc@ift.org.

IFSCC Commissioners

Commissioner Organization Position Email
Brenda Knapp-Polzin, CFS Cargill Chair brenda_knapp-polzin@cargill.com
Norma L. Dawkins, PhD, CFS Tuskegee University Vice Chair ndawkins@mytu.tuskegee.edu
Dawn Merrill Kerr Concentrates Board Liaison dawn.merrill@kerrconcentrates
Gaurav Ghai, CFS FDA Member ghai.gaurav@gmail.com
Bronwyn Graham AIFST Member bronwyn@aifst.com.au
Sanjay Gummalla, PhD, CFS American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) Member sgummalla@affi.com
Moira McGrath OPUS Int’l Inc. Member moira@foodscience.com
Lynne McLandsborough, PhD University of Massachussetts Member lm@foodsci.umass.edu
Katherine Helena Oliveira SENAI Member katherine@sc.senai.br
Neal Ricks BYU-Idaho Member ricksn@byui.edu
Deirdre Schlunegger STOP Foodborne Illness Member dschlunegger@STOPfoodborneillness.org
Janis Wentzell, CFS Nestlé Canada Member janis.wentzell@ca.nestle.com


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Brenda Knapp Polzin

Brenda Knapp-Polzin, CFS

Brenda Knapp-Polzin is currently Director and Go to Market Technical Manager of Cargill Food Ingredients.   In this role she is responsible for developing and implementing technical support programs for Corporate Customers, in alignment with Cargill Food Ingredients strategy, to drive growth for Customers and Cargill.

Prior to Cargill, she held a variety of positions in the technical communities of General Mills and Pillsbury, where she was responsible for a wide portfolio of products.   Brenda hales from Nebraska and attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she received her B.S. and M.S. in Food Science and Technology.  She is passionate about the blending of food science and culinary art.  She is a Certified Foods Scientist and is active in IFT, having recently served on the IFT Board of Directors, 2011-2014.  Brenda has held numerous positions in Minnesota Section IFT, including Chair, Long Range Planning Chair, and Membership Chair.

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Norma L. Dawkins, PhD, CFS

Norma L. Dawkins

Norma Dawkins, a native of Jamaica earned her B.S., Food Science and, M.S., Food Science & Nutrition, Tuskegee University, AL. and Ph.D. degree in Food Science &Nutrition from Wayne State University Detroit, Michigan. She has been actively involved in teaching and research in academic institutions at national and international level. She worked as a senior scientist in the food industry.  Her most recent work involves basic and applied research in the prevention and reduction of risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease and cancer among African Americans.  Other research activities focus on utilization of non-traditional vegetable sources and other agricultural raw materials in the development of innovative value-added products. Dr. Dawkins has numerous publications covering foods, nutrition and community-based intervention to her credit.

She believes that the concept of learning should be focused around four areas: independent thought process, critical thinking and problem solving skills, group interaction, and utilization of learned ideas.  Her primary role as a professor is to create an environment that supports the concept of active and interactive of learning.

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Gaurav Ghai

Gaurav Ghai, CFS

Gaurav is a Food Engineer by profession, and currently working as a Regulatory Analyst with the Low-Acid and Acidified Foods team at CFSAN, U.S. Food and Drug Administration for 5 years now. Under this role, he reviews product filings that the industry files with FDA; besides reviewing and evaluating toxicological data, scientific studies, and new technology to ensure public food safety. Prior to that he worked for Nestle Nutrition and Campbell Soup Company as a Process R&D Engineer. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Food Engineering from Guru Nanak Dev University, INDIA and Master’s in Food & Agriculture Engineering from University of Florida. His research was focused on analyzing and predicting internal pressure profiles of model food systems inside flexible retortable packages. He received the Institute For Thermal Processing Specialists (IFTPS) Student Paper Award for this research.

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Bronwyn Graham

Bronwyn Graham

Bronwyn’s qualifications are a Bachelor of Science, Nutrition and Food, Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and a Graduate Diploma of Education (Secondary). She has had a number of roles within the food industry as a research and development officer, research and development chemist, project officer and in education in the food industry as a teacher/trainer and lecturer. Bronwyn’s current role is as the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Coordinator for the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology.

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S Gummalla

Sanjay Gummalla, PhD, CFS

Sanjay Gummalla is currently the Vice President, Regulatory and Technical Affairs at the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI). He is a food industry professional who recently transitioned to a role in food policy and advocacy with the intent of contributing to and informing science-based food safety and regulatory policies for the broader food and beverage community.

His professional career began at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a post-doctoral scientist where he contributed to FDA’s early foray in to nanotechnology-based applications for pathogen detection.

Sanjay brings over 15 years of industry experience in flavor development and food applications research. He has worked in global food and flavor research and commercial teams at Givaudan Flavors and previously led the global dairy flavors R & D group at Cargill Flavor systems. His career in the flavor industry exposed him to a diverse set of food and beverage companies across the globe and a multitude of food processing technologies and environments. Prior to joining AFFI, Sanjay was Vice President of Product Development at Zentis North America, a global fruit preparation manufacturer.

Sanjay also served as Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Cincinnati, where he taught food microbiology. He is an Institute of Food Technologists Certified Food Scientist (CFS) and Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance Lead Instructor.

Sanjay has a B.S. in Agriculture and earned his doctorate in Nutrition and Food Sciences from Utah State University.

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Lynne McLandsborough, PhD

Lynne A. McLandsborough, PhD, is an associate professor in the department of food science, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA. Dr. McLandsborough received her B.A. degree in microbiology from Miami University (Ohio) in 1986. She received her M.S. and PhD. Degrees in food science from the University of Minnesota in 1989 and 1993, respectively. She held a postdoctoral fellowship in the department of microbiology at the University of Minnesota before joining the department of food science at the University of Massachusetts in 1995. Her research interests include the mechanisms of microbial adhesion, the ecology of biofilm formation, and the methods of bacterial removal from processing surfaces. Dr. McLandsborough is a member of the American Society of Microbiology, the Institute of Food Technologists, the International Association for Food Protection, and the New England Society of Industrial Microbiology. She is currently an associate editor of the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture and is on the editorial board for Food Biotechnology and has served on numerous federal grant review panels. She teaches food microbiology (for food science majors) and hygienic handling of foods (to dietetic majors). In recognition of her teaching efforts, she recently received the University of Massachusetts College of Food and Natural Resources Outstanding Teaching Award.

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Moira McGrath

Coming soon!

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Dawn Merrill

Dawn Merrill

Dawn Merrill is the Technical Services Manager at Kerr Concentrates, Inc. in Salem, OR. She currently runs the Research and Development Department and consults with customers in a sales role in an effort to expand Kerr’s value-added product line.

In addition to Dawn’s fruit and vegetable processing experience, she has been a long time volunteer within IFT. As a member of the Oregon Section of the Institute of Food Technologists (OSIFT), she has taken on the role of Chair of the Section. During that time, Dawn managed an energetic group of volunteers and saw significant growth (specifically within the student membership) and witnessed some new efforts with regard to communicating with OSIFT’s member base. This experience led her to her current position on the IFT Board of Directors.

In her spare time, Dawn volunteers at the Oregon Food Bank and is a strong advocate within and for the food industry. Whether working for a company, volunteering, or spending time with her friends over a meal, Dawn remains an individual who cares about food, food science and the future of the industry.

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Katherine Helena Oliveira

Katherine is a Food Engineer with a degree from the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (Brazil). She got her Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Food Engineering from the same university in 2006 and 2013, respectively. Her PhD was focused on bacterial inactivation using supercritical carbon dioxide. She is Lead Assessor in ISO 22000:2005, consultant, auditor and trainer of the Food Safety Program (PAS – Brazilian program) for the Industrial Sector. She joined SENAIsc in 2004. She worked as an instructor and consultant for SENAIsc in Florianópolis for the implementation of Food Safety Management Systems. Faculty member of the MBA Postgraduate Course in Food Safety Management and the advisor in Undergraduate Thesis Work related to the management of food safety. She worked in the implementation and internal audits of Food Quality and Safety Management Systems in various industries within the segment. Since 2011 she is the Strategic Coordinator for the Implementation of SENAIsc Institute of Food Technology at SENAIsc. Her main areas of research are food safety and supercritical fluids for bacterial inactivation in food.

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Neal Ricks

Coming Soon...

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Deirdre Schlunegger

Deirdre Schlunegger

With over twenty years of nonprofit and leadership experience, Deirdre joined STOP in August 2010. She serves as an advisory member of the Joint Institute of Food Safety and Nutrition (JIFSAN) and of International Food Day, a celebration and movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food.

Before joining STOP, she held the position of President & CEO of Make-A-Wish Foundation of Oklahoma. Prior to this, she was Vice-President of Chapter Relations at Breast Cancer Network of Strength. Deirdre has served as the Executive Director of a Chicago nonprofit organization and a national foundation. She has been the Director of Child Life Programs in a number of Children’s Hospitals during which time she served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Georgia. Deirdre has also worked as a consultant for various organizations.

Deirdre graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelors of Science in Human Development and Family Studies, completed a Child Life Internship at Johns Hopkins Children’s Hospital, and completed a program in Nonprofit Management at the Kellogg School of Business. Numerous leadership courses she has attended include The Wharton School of Business and The University of Chicago. She has completed a certificate program in conflict resolution and she previously served on the Advisory Committee of the Chicago Mayor’s Office on Domestic Violence.

Additionally, she has participated as a member of the Illinois Juvenile Court Domestic Violence Committee, and was a Board Member of the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Deirdre is fluent in Spanish and has worked on multiple translation projects over the years.

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Janis Wentzell

Janis Wentzell, CFS

Janis Wentzell is a Technical Services Manager for Nestlé Canada Inc., part of a multi-disciplinary international team supporting frozen meals development and renovation for the Canadian marketplace. A passionate brand builder, her career with Nestlé has encompassed quality assurance, operational improvement and product development in numerous businesses including confectionery and culinary. Janis holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Human Nutrition from the University of Guelph.

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