Since the presentation of the first Nicholas Appert Award in 1942, the annual awards presentation has been one of the highlights of IFT’s Annual Meeting. This year’s awards were presented during the Opening Event of IFT’s 1999 Annual Meeting held in Chicago, Ill., on July 24, 1999. Twelve 1999 Achievement Award winners are shown on this and following pages.
1999 Nicholas Appert Award Robert G. Cassens
ROBERT G. CASSENS, Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, received the 1999 Appert Medal. IFT’s highest honor was given to Cassens for advancing the field of food science through his research on the use of nitrite as a meat-curing agent and for his defense of the safety of cured meat.
As a trainer and mentor of students, a researcher, and an objective scientist, Cassens has had great impact, encouraging his students to think out laboratory problems and providing one-on-one exchanges with each student in his courses. His courses attracted students from other departments across campus, and he supervised 23 Ph.D. candidates and 35 postdoctorates. As a researcher and a scientist, his objective viewpoint in research, student training, and as an advocate for the importance of sound science as a component of policymaking has been unwavering.
Cassens’ 33-year career was characterized by pioneering efforts to open new channels of knowledge and the conviction that work be directed at understanding principles so that technological advancements could take place at the industrial/production level. His early work dealt with the biochemical mechanisms of meat quality, and the results led to an understanding of how postmortem conditions could be used to control final quality of the meat. He then turned his attention to studies of how muscle growth took place, the safety of nitrite cured meat, and the importance of preservation activity. He worked on the team which discovered and explained how vitamin E fed to beef cattle dramatically extends the shelf life of the resulting beef.
He is particularly well known for his work on the use of nitrite as a meat-curing agent. During the 1970s, his efforts permitted the meat industry to retain and continue to use nitrite as a preservative agent when concern was first expressed about the possible formation of nitrosamines together with the presence of residual nitrite. He began his defense of cured meats in 1971 by initiating a program of investigation to clarify the mechanism of reaction of nitrite in cured meat. With this information, regulatory agencies could make informed decisions about the safety of cured meats. During the early 1990s, he again rose to the cause when cured meat was linked to childhood cancer based on epidemiological studies. His survey of the new generation of cured meats established an 80% reduction in residual nitrite from the 1970s, and his 1990 landmark publication, Nitrite-Cured Meat: A Food Safety Issue in Perspective, recorded the entire story so that people could easily study what happened and thereby avoid repeating similar problems in the future.
Cassens received his Ph.D. in biochemistry, meat, and animal science from the University of Wisconsin in 1963. A member of IFT since 1964, he was named an IFT Fellow in 1981.
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1999 Babcock-Hart Award John W. Erdman Jr.
JOHN W. ERDMAN JR., Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition, and Director of the Division of Nutritional Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana, receives the 1999 Babcock-Hart Award honoring an IFT member for improving public health through nutrition research.
Erdman’s work in the fields of mineral bioavailability from soy products, the influence of soy protein-based foods on circulating cholesterol levels, and the dependence of carotenoid absorption on food processing all merit high recognition. His contributions can be grouped into two major themes—the effects of food processing conditions upon mineral and carotenoid bioavailability; and the effects of consumption of soy protein on serum lipids and bone health. Both the trace elements, iron and zinc, and vitamin A derived from the carotenoids, are worldwide deficiency problems, while elevated serum lipids and osteoporosis are major chronic diseases in western society.
In his work on soy products, he clearly demonstrated that the presence of phytic acid in soy protein-based infant formulas may inhibit the absorption of zinc, thus putting an infant whose sole source of nutrition is soy formula at risk of specific mineral deficiency. By working with formula manufacturers, he has ensured that adequate zinc is present in soy formulas. He has also examined new products with reduced phytate levels with the same objective in mind.
The results of his research in carotenoid and vitamin A bioavailability has important implications for the U.S. food supply and the preparation of foods high in carotenoids. He has developed useful animal models for the study of carotenoid digestion and metabolism. His research group has demonstrated that certain food processing techniques, such as mild heating of carotenoid-containing green leafy vegetables and tubers increase while some dietary patterns decrease carotenoid bioavailability. This work should assist in reducing vitamin A deficiency worldwide, the major cause of blindness in children.
With a colleague, Erdman also examined the beneficial effect of soy products on circulating lipoprotein cholesterol levels by developing foods using high levels of soy protein. When these novel products are incorporated into a normal diet, favorable responses in LDL and HDL cholesterol levels have been documented. These studies have the potential to introduce an important dietary-mediated means of cholesterol reduction in the general population.
Erdman received his Ph.D. in food science from Rutgers University in 1975. An IFT member since 1971, he was named an IFT Fellow in 1992.
1999 Stephen S. Chang Award for Lipid or Flavor Science W. James Harper
W. JAMES HARPER, Endowed Chair and Professor of Food Science and Technology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, is winner of the 1999 Stephen S. Chang Award, given in recognition of a food scientist or technologist who has made significant contributions to lipid science or flavor science.
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Harper’s reputation as an international scholar in protein, cheese, whey, and dairy research is unsurpassed. His career spans five decades and has touched upon every major aspect of food science and technology, including helping the dairy industry improve dairy product flavor. Such achievements include the identification of three key acids responsible for desirable cheese flavor and research that dramatically improved the taste and texture of low-fat cheese. He has made considerable headway in the area of milk quality through his research on the link between soybean feed and off-flavor milk production in dairy cows. He also conducted fundamental flavor science research in the areas of snack foods, whey protein, and baked goods.
His current research involves the use of the electronic nose, a device that combines bio-sensors with artificial intelligence to mimic the human sense of smell. Electronic nose research has shown that instruments can differentiate aromas in a wide range of products and can also determine chemical compositions and fluctuations, valuable for determining the maximum time that products can be stored without loss of flavor before final packing. He uses the electronic nose in combination with gas chromatography and mass spectroscopy to gain an understanding of the chemical basis upon which the electronic nose differentiates the aroma in cheese and other food products. Harper’s electronic nose data pinpointed five fatty acids responsible for flavor and was, for example, able to differentiate between 13 Swiss cheeses shown to be different in flavor by sensory evaluation. This technology has the potential to revolutionize flavor science.
His fascination with cheese flavor research has spanned 50 years, starting with his discovery of the role of amino acids in the flavor of Cheddar cheese in the late 1940’s. He was instrumental in determining the importance of lipases in the flavor development of hard Italian cheeses. Determination of a way to make more intense, longer-lasting cheese flavor in crackers, and development of cheese slurries to introduce quick-ripening cheese flavor for cheese-flavored snacks are all part of Harper’s outstanding accomplishments.
Harper received his Ph.D. in dairy manufacturing from the University of Wisconsin in 1949. He has been an IFT member since 1964.
1999 William V. Cruess Award Karen M. Schaich
KAREN M. SCHAICH, Associate Professor, Dept. of Food Science, Cook College of Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J., receives the 1999 William V. Cruess Award for excellence in teaching food science and/or technology
Schaich’s teaching is described as “extraordinary” because of her dynamic, creative approach to active and interactive learning that taps into multiple learning styles, integrating all five senses and personal experiences with classroom materials. She makes connections between fundamental concepts and real-life applications, and places emphasis on learning (instead of memorizing), higher-order thinking, and problem-solving to help her students develop the skills they will need. Her theme, “Foods are not Black Boxes” but behave according to fundamental laws of chemistry and physics, is impressive to her students, as is her personal enthusiasm for food science, her extensive knowledge of the field, her respect for students, and her commitment to their potential. She is known across campus for mentoring Teaching Assistants in “how to teach” skills, and TAs flock to her for this help.
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Her students choose her classes over others, and have recommended her for this award in great numbers with letters of high praise. They unanimously cite her ability to teach creatively, her development of human potential, her role as a mentor, and her willingness to help out wherever needed. One example was her attention to the problems of a deaf student. Where other teachers had advised him to leave school, Karen Schaich took the time to figure out that this student’s problems stemmed not from an inability to learn, but from interpreter inexperience, and she devised a solution which enabled him to achieve his goals. As a result of this experience, Schaich now gives survival tips at orientation to disabled students. She is also active as a Visiting Scientist in introducing middle-school students to the science in foods, supports high school students in research projects, and shows high school teachers how to use food in applied chemistry courses. She recently introduced a proposal for development of a food science high school curriculum with advanced placement standing.
A powerful role model, Schaich has three times been awarded Rutgers’ Endel Karmas Award for excellence in teaching. Last year, her students gave her a special award for her commitment in building the Product Development and College Bowl teams into nationally competitive forces.
The 1999 Cruess award recognizes a teacher with a deep love of learning and excitement about her field who supports, mentors, guides, coaches, and builds in her students professionalism and confidence in their abilities to achieve their goals.
Schaich received her Ph.D. in food science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1974. She has been an IFT member since 1972.
1999 Carl R. Fellers Award Manfred Kroger
MANFRED KROGER, Professor of Food Science and Professor of Science, Technology and Society, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, was named 1999 recipient of the Carl R. Fellers Award as an IFT member who has brought honor and recognition to the profession of food science and technology through activities and achievements other than teaching, research, development, or technology transfer covered by other IFT awards.
Kroger’s accomplishments are too numerous to list in the space available here. He has a longstanding record of creative communications relative to many aspects of food, nutrition, health, food science and technology, and the legal regulations of these fields. Appointed IFT Regional Communicator (RC) in 1980, he was named Outstanding RC in 1987. He continues to serve, tirelessly cooperating with the media and gaining high national visibility through hundreds of TV and radio appearances. He also gives invited presentations to about two dozen groups per year.
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His writing skills are legion. Apart from more than 50 refereed research publications, he is author or coauthor of two dozen book chapters and six dozen articles in nonrefereed journals and five books, including the 1992 Encyclopedia of Fermented Fresh Milk Products which has solidified his position as an internationally recognized expert on yogurt and related products. As scientific advisor to the American Council on Science and Health, he coauthored three special reports and has contributed to more than 40 others. He is noted for writing book reviews, more than 150 for Food Technology alone. Since 1989, he has been an Associate Editor of the Journal of Food Science, dealing with about 80 manuscripts each year. He is also associate editor or editorial advisor to six other journals and two publishing companies, and has produced the annual alumni newsletter for the Food Science Department at Penn State.
Kroger helped charter IFT’s Food Laws and Regulations Division and the Dairy Technology Division, which he has served as secretary for 16 years. In 1970, he was among the first to create a college course dealing with food laws and regulations. He has testified before Congressional and state legislative committees, and since 1978 has been a member (three times Chair) of his hometown State College Board of Health. He also serves as advisor to a number of organizations such as the International Food Information Council, the Drinking Water Research Foundation, and the International Dairy Foods Association. At Penn State, Kroger has been very active outside his department, serving such entities as the Environmental Resource Management Undergraduate Program and the Faculty Senate.
Kroger received his Ph.D. in dairy science from Pennsylvania State University in 1966. An IFT member since 1962, he was named an IFT Fellow in 1996.
1999 Industrial Scientist Award Harry Levine and Louise Slade
HARRY LEVINE and LOUISE SLADE, Nabisco Research Fellows, Nabisco, Inc., East Hanover, N.J., are the 1999 winners of the Industrial Scientist Award, established to recognize an IFT-member industrial scientist who has made a major technical contribution to the advancement of the food industry.
Slade and Levine are the originators of the “food polymer science” approach to glassy and rubbery states in foods, initiating their development of this approach in 1980 while working together at General Foods. They have continued this partnership at Nabisco, where they moved in 1987, and are considered pioneers in this area of food research by others who work in the same field.
The underlying concepts of their polymer science approach to structure-function and water relationships in foods apply to such areas of industrial food technology as storage stabilization and moisture management in frozen foods.
Levine and Slade developed “cryostabilization technology,” which is based on the relationship between freezer-storage temperature and the glass transition temperature (Tg) of a product. They realized that, during freeze concentration, some components can reach their saturation point and precipitate out, while other components can form crystals. At Tg, the remaining unfrozen portion increases in viscosity and slows molecular movement, creating an amorphous “glassy state” in which slower chemical reaction rates inhibit undesirable product traits such as staling and ice crystal growth.
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They also applied the polymer science approach to the area of low-moisture and intermediate-moisture foods as an alternative means (but one complementary to the traditional concept of “water activity”) to assess product quality, safety, stability, and technological performance. New insights and advances in manufacturing, processing, and preservation have resulted from their applications of polymer science principles to various food polymer/plasticizer systems such as gelatin desserts, bread and higher-moisture baked goods, staling during shelf life, cereal-based products, and cookies and crackers in which Tg of the water-plasticized structural matrix controls the product in terms of its crispness and shelf life. Slade and Levine also used food polymer science as a basis for increased understanding of ingredient functionality, resulting in patented industrial technologies in such areas as carbohydrate glass-encapsulation of volatile flavors/aromas, and in recent years on flour functionality in baked goods. They hold a combined total of 21 U.S. patents for novel food products and processes based on this science.
Levine received his Ph.D. in polymer chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N.Y., in 1975; Slade earned her Ph.D. in chemistry from Columbia University, New York, in 1974. They have both been members of IFT since 1997.
1999 International Award B. Onuma Okezie
B. ONUMA OKEZIE, Professor of Food Science and Nutrition and Director of International Programs, Alabama A&M University, Normal, is 1999 recipient of the International Award, given for promoting better international understanding of food science and the practical transfer of technology to developing nations or to an economically depressed area in a developed nation.
Since 1971, Okezie has been effectively improving the understanding of the application of food technology as a vital component of food production in more than 25 third world countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Europe. He was instrumental in bringing awareness of the relevance of international dimensions to many of Alabama A&M’s academic programs and was the means of obtaining U.S. Agency for International Development grants to fund several programs. The university’s commitment to the program resulted in the establishment of a university-wide Office of International Programs and in Okezie’s appointment as Director in 1979. Since then, he has built a very successful international development and educational program that has provided more than $15,000,000 in grants and contracts in support of activities in many African countries such as Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Niger, Sierra Leone, and Sudan; and in Antigua, Belize, Columbia, Haiti, Jamaica, and Trinidad in Latin America and the Caribbean. In many of these overseas projects, he has focused on postharvest food technology and nutrition problems facing those developing countries. He has also served as a major advisor to many students from developing countries and supervised the research of more than 20 graduate students.
In recognition of the need for more direct involvement of IFT in world food problems, Okezie in 1986 spearheaded a petition to IFT for the establishment of an IFT International Division, which became a reality in 1990. He has held several positions in this Division, including that of 1992-93 Chair. He has organized several symposia and special forums on such subjects as biotechnology in developing countries, and the role of postharvest technology in world food availability and security. As National Program Leader at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, he coordinated a national task force on Globalization of Agricultural Science and Education Program for America (GASEPA) which developed a GASEPA agenda that resulted in congressional legislation to provide money for a competitive grant program to implement the GASEPA agenda in 2000. He has authored or coauthored more than 65 refereed journal articles and/or presentations, and published two books dealing with world food development problems and interventions. With these activities and many, many others, Okezie continues to contribute to a better understanding of world food development and technology worldwide.
He received his Ph.D. in food science from Cornell University in 1975. He has been an IFT member since 1966.
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1999 Samuel Cate Prescott Award David Julian McClements
DAVID JULIAN McCLEMENTS, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Food Science, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, receives the 1999 Samuel Cate Prescott Award for his research on understanding the molecular-colloidal basis of food properties, and the development of novel analytical techniques to characterize food properties. The award is given to an IFT member who is less than 36 years of age or has received his or her highest degree within the previous ten years and has demonstrated outstanding ability in food science research.
A scientist who is an innovative thinker in the application of science to real world problems, McClements has already achieved great productivity and key recognition as a leader in his field. His leadership qualities, his publication record (3 books, 70+ referred manuscripts, 6 book chapters, 9 chapters and 27 abstracts in conference proceedings, and numerous invited presentations here and abroad) have made him an outstanding teacher and a sought-after collaborator. A major emphasis of his research has been to improve understanding of the properties of food emulsions and to investigate the effects of ingredient interactions and processing conditions on those properties. He has taken an integrated approach that has focused on establishing the molecular-colloidal basis for the appearance, texture, and stability of food emulsions. Related investigations concerning droplet crystallization, mass transport phenomena, optical properties, lipid oxidation, and ultrasonic characterization of emulsions all have contributed novel and effective strategies in the development of a wider range of food products. He was one of the pioneers of the application of ultrasonic spectrometry to the characterization of emulsions, and his contributions in both the theoretical and experimental aspects of this subject are internationally recognized in the food science and physics communities. His laboratory recently developed new theories to describe the propagation of ultrasound in concentrated and flocculated emulsions that are regarded as one of the major advances in the field of physical acoustics. Ultrasonic techniques are suited for the analysis of food emulsions because they are nondestructive and directly applicable to concentrated, optically opaque systems without the need for sample preparation.
Much of McClements’ published work has been the basis for the recent development and popularization of commercial ultrasonic instruments designed to analyze emulsions. These instruments will enable food manufacturers to analyze the properties of many food products which could not be characterized using conventional methods.
McClements received his Ph.D. in food science from the University of Leeds, United Kingdom, in 1988. He has been an IFT member since 1993.
1999 Research and Development Award Bruce A. Watkins
BRUCE A. WATKINS, Professor of Food Science, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind., receives the 1999 Research and Development Award for contributing to the understanding of food chemistry through his research on the understanding of food lipids for improving bone health and human nutrition, thus demonstrating that n-3 fatty acids benefit bone metabolism and cartilage function.
Watkins’ research is aimed at clarifying the beneficial effects of fatty acids and plant phytochemicals on bone biology and skeletal health. His pioneering work demonstrated that moderating the dietary intake of n-6 fatty acids with saturated or n-3 fatty acids stimulated bone formation rate in growing animals, and that there is a direct link between the dietary ratio of n-6/n-3 fatty acids and modulation of locally produced hormones in bone to control formation during bone modeling. His research provides a rationale to use n-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acids as nutraceuticals to modulate cyclooxygenase II activity for reducing inflammatory diseases, including osteoarthritis. Further, his work with vitamin E showed a stimulatory effect on bone formation and a protective effect on oxidative stress in chondrocytes.
Osteoporosis, a debilitating bone disease, is a $13 billion per year health problem afflicting primarily postmenopausal women. Watkins’ investigations demonstrated a new role for n-3 fatty acids in supporting bone formation that have the potential to reduce the risk for osteoporosis. His research findings are being used to improve infant formulas and modify foods that would reduce this risk. The type of fat consumed can significantly influence the metabolic and physiological processes controlling bone modeling in children and bone remodeling in adults. He is also involved in team efforts to evaluate how these fatty acids affect atherosclerosis, cancer, and immunological responses.
His research in food lipids and nutrition was conducted in three phases. The first phase characterized the extent that food lipids modify the fatty acid composition of bone and cartilage tissues to affect osteoblast and chondrocyte function. The second phase demonstrated that food lipids alter biochemical and hormonal factors that control bone metabolism, and the third phase showed that these fatty acids alter the functional attributes of bone and cartilage. His experiments revealed for the first time that food lipids and antioxidant nutrients can benefit bone growth in the young and improve bone health in the adult.
Watkins received his Ph.D. in nutrition from the University of California, Davis. He has been an IFT member since 1991.
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1999 Elizabeth Fleming Stier Award Arnold E. Denton
ARNOLD E. DENTON, Retired Senior Vice President of Campbell Soup Co., Moorestown, N.J., receives the 1999 Elizabeth Fleming Stier Award for unselfish dedication and pursuit of humanitarian ideals that have contributed to the well-being of the food industry, academia, students, and the public at large.
One-on-one personal mentoring is a critical link that is too often missing in today’s busy business life. Bud Denton is an exemplary example of a person who has helped others. For more than 40 years, he has mentored beginning students, employees (his own and others), and senior executives. He has helped individuals define their career goals and fulfill those goals by helping them plan their educational programs, arranging internships, introducing them to his colleagues, and providing them with encouragement throughout the process. His challenge to each has been to “work for continuous improvement,” while he has encouraged growth and development.
Denton has volunteered his services with government agencies on research issues and with SUSTAIN (Sharing U.S. Technology to Aid in the Improvement of Nutrition) to develop individual and corporate expertise and opportunity in developing countries. He has advised on technical issues and business development for small and midsize food producers in Central America and Africa, as well as providing assistance to SUSTAIN and the U.S. Agency for International Development in strategic planning.
Concerned with the next generation of food technology professionals in academia, government, and industry, he contributed both time and money at Purdue University, helping hundreds of students achieve. He has critiqued student resumés, spent time with them discussing their future, and provided scholarships, advice, and counsel. Not only was he the prime initiator of the Purdue program linking students with retired CEOs, thereby providing one-on-one interaction for the benefit of the students, but he has been a key promoter for other student-oriented programming needs as well. In particular, he worked to offer students more work-based learning opportunities via the IFT Leadership Through Education program. By serving as a role model for other industry personnel, he helped open doors to opportunities and contributed to students’ having more quality assignments within the industrial world. Denton’s enthusiasm and energy have promoted one of IFT’s most important objectives—that of promoting the careers and capabilities of its members.
Denton earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin in 1953. He has been an IFT member since 1959.
1999 Calvert L. Willey Distinguished Service Award Isabel D. Wolf
ISABEL D. WOLF, a Principal of Cibarius Corporation, Gainesville, Fla., and retired Director of Communications and Marketing, National Center for Food Safety and Technology (NCFST), Summit-Argo, Ill., receives the 1999 Calvert L. Willey Award in recognition of her meritorious and imaginative service to IFT.
Wolf ’s service on numerous IFT committees, which has spanned nearly 25 years, has been characterized by her often rising to a leadership role, providing innovative and forward-thinking leadership, and leaving each committee better able to function after her departure. Beginning with her appointment in 1976 as a Regional Communicator (Chair 1979-81), she was instrumental in establishing the platform that spawned IFT’s move to become the preeminent source for scientific information about food. She continued her service to IFT communications as a member of the Committee on Public Information (1983-85) and a member of the Office of Scientific Public Affairs (now Department of Science Communications) Policy Board (1988-91), and again as Regional Communicator for metropolitan New York from 1985 to 1987.
In addition, she has served on the Executive Committee’s Subcommittee on Publications (1992-96), serving as Chair from 1994 to 1995. She was Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Publications (1995-96) and led the intensive review of the Journal of Food Science and Food Technology. The results of her service are apparent when one reads those magazines today. Her efforts in outreach activity led to her service as an IFT Scientific Lecturer on food safety (1990-94), and the organization of three successful Annual Food Safety Symposia sponsored by IFT and NCFST (1997-99).
Her contributions to IFT were recognized by her peers, who elected her to the 1984-87 Executive Committee and to the Nominations and Elections Committee (1995-99), which she served as 1998 Chair. In 1987, 1989, and 1991, she was selected as a candidate for IFT President-Elect, the only three-time nominee for President-Elect in IFT’s history. She also chaired the Awards Committee (1982-83), served on the 50th Anniversary Committee (1985-89), and on the Annual Planning Subcommittee (1992-94). She recently chaired the Ad Hoc Committee on Geographical Restrictions on Candidates for National Office and once again demonstrated her ability to move a “ticklish” issue forward to a timely conclusion. She was named an IFT Fellow in 1989.
Wolf, an IFT member since 1970, earned an M.S. in food and nutrition from the University of Minnesota in 1971.
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1999 Industrial Achievement Award “Sucralose” - McNeil Specialty Products Co.
McNEIL SPECIALTY PRODUCTS CO. is the recipient of the 1999 Industrial Achievement Award. This award recognizes and honors developers of an outstanding food process or product which represents a significant advance in the application of food technology to food production, and which has been successfully applied in actual commercial operation for at least six months prior to December 1 of the year in which the nomination is submitted. This year’s award is presented for the discovery and commercialization of sucralose, a low-calorie sweetener. Sucra-lose is the only low-calorie sweetener made from sugar. It is stable under extreme pH and temperature conditions and has zero calories.
McNeil Specialty Products Company is developing and manufacturing sucralose for commercial use in the United States and other countries around the world. On April 1, 1998, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved sucralose for use in 15 food and beverage categories, the broadest initial approval ever given to a low-calorie sweetener. Sucralose is available as an ingredient to food manufacturers in a concentrated liquid form, as well as a crystalline powder. It is marketed under the SPLENDA® brand name, and is available in a growing number of products in supermarkets and other consumer outlets nationwide. SPLENDA will also be available next year to consumers in a granular form that cooks, measures, and pours like sugar, as well as in convenient packets.
During the 1970s, Tate & Lyle and researchers in carbohydrate chemistry at Queen Elizabeth College, University of London, embarked on a project for developing value-added ingredients from sugar. This program led to the discovery of sweetness intensification by selective halogenation. After much research, 1,6-dichloro-1,6 dideoxy-β-D-fructofuranosyl-4-chloro-4-dexy-α-D-galactopyranoside (sucralose), was selected for commercialization as a nonnutritive sweetener. Sucralose is made from sucrose through a multistep process that selectively replaces three hydroxyl groups on the sucrose molecule with three chlorine atoms. The tightly bound chlorine atoms of the sucralose molecule create a structure that is stable under extreme pH and temperature conditions and is intensely sweet. Sucralose is not broken down and utilized for energy in the body, making it calorie free. Its heat stability makes it extremely versatile, and it can be used in pasteurization, canning, UHT processing, and baking. It is soluble in water and ethanol, and has been throughly tested for safety in more than 100 animal and human studies conducted and evaluated during a 20-year period.
In response to a petition filed by McNeil Specialty Products Co., the FDA announced on August 12, 1999, that it is amending the food additive regulations to provide for the safe use of sucralose as a general-purpose sweetener. The exact language in the regulation is “(c) The additive may be used as a sweetener in foods generally, in accordance with good manufacturing practices in an amount not to exceed that reasonably required to accomplish the intended effect.”
FDA approval has led to the gradual introduction of sucralose into new foods in the U.S. marketplace—a significant advance in the ingredients available for use in the development of new low-calorie food products.