Caffeine is not what makes chocolate popular
The article, “Fran’s Indulgences vs Don’s” by James Giese (July, p. 62) was brought to our attention by one of our members. We very much appreciate the attention given to chocolate as an indulgent food.

However, we have to disagree with your statement that it is the caffeine in chocolate that makes chocolate so popular. Balderdash! A typical 1.4-oz bar of milk chocolate (preferred by about 75% of Americans) contains only 3–10 mg of caffeine, which is equivalent to about one cup of decaffeinated coffee, according to the American Dietetic Association. While the caffeine content of a serving of dark chocolate is somewhat higher, it is still less than a 12-oz can of cola and considerably less than a cup of brewed coffee.

We also disagree with your statement that the boost from sugar (and caffeine) in chocolate is a “major part of the appeal of chocolate.” No matter what the source of the sweetener, the effect on the human body is the same. You don’t mention that the natural sweeteners in fruits give people any “boost,” nor the sugar in ice cream or cheesecake. Why should chocolate be any different?

You quite clearly stated the major reason for chocolate’s appeal—the unique flavor, mouthfeel, and textural properties. After all, it melts at body temperature.

Susan S. Smith, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, Chocolate Manufactureres Association, McLean, Va.

1990 paper first on high-pressure preservation
Once again, there is a very informative and useful report provided by Neil H. Mermelstein on high-pressure processing (“High-Pressure Pasteurization of Juice,” April 1999, p. 86). It does not make me feel younger to start referring to work done years ago, but you may want to use the article, “Application of High-Pressure Homogenization for Food Preservation” by Lutz Popper and Dietrich Knorr (Food Technology, July 1990, p. 84) for future references, since it was likely the first one introducing high-pressure homogenization for food preservation purposes.

Dietrich Knorr, Technical University of Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Flag inadvertently reversed
Let’s get it straight: When Old Glory is displayed in the vertical position, the field of blue goes on the left! You can get information on flag etiquette from the U.S. Government Printing Office.

Ron Gabel, Sunland, Calif.

Editor’s note: Ron Gabel is referring to the incorrect displaying of the American flag as an illustration in the article, “Consumer Acceptance of Biotechnology in the United States and Japan” by Thomas J. Hoban (May 1999, p. 50).  

2000-2001 Institute of Food Technologists Congressional Science Fellowship Program
An Invitation to Apply Deadline: January 28, 2000
The IFT Congressional Science Fellow will spend one year—September 2000 through August 2001—working for a member of Congress, Congressional committee or office. The Fellow has the opportunity to share scientific perspective on food and agricultural issues with Congressional members and staff directly responsible for science and food policy.

IFT provides a $45,000 stipend and $2,500 relocation allowance. Additional support from other sources, such as a present employer, is permitted.

The fellowship is administered by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) as part of its Congressional Science and Engineering Fellowship Program.

At the time of application, applicants must:
• have either a doctoral degree in food science, food technology, or a related field, or a master’s degree and five years post-graduate professional experience

• be an IFT member

• be a U.S. citizen

Qualities Sought
The ideal candidate will:
• demonstrate excellent achievement or exceptional promise in food science, food technology, or a closely related discipline

• be articulate and able to work effectively with a variety of people

• demonstrate exceptional ability to explain, in speaking and writing, scientific concepts to nontechnical audiences

• be familiar with current food policy issues

• demonstrate a respect for differing points of view and the nonscientific aspects of food policy

• have experience in working on government, social, or policy issues

For more information, contact
IFT Science Communications
Institute of Food Technologists
221 N. LaSalle Street, Ste. 300
Chicago, Ill. 60601-1291
Tel.: 312/782-8424, Fax: 312/782-8348