BETSY BAIRD

Call for 2001 Symposia Proposals . . . Electronic submission available . . . Proposals due September 1, 2000
A total of 48 symposia were accepted by the IFT Divisions and the Technical Presentations Subcommittee for the 2000 Annual Meeting. These symposia were well attended and are considered by attendees as a cornerstone of the technical program. Although most symposia are organized by IFT’s Technical Divisions, anyone can submit a symposium proposal. 

Symposia represent an important collection of current knowledge on a given subject. IFT’s criteria for these programs include: (1) the identified topic addresses a uniform theme on which all speakers focus; (2) the topic is timely and relevant to a large number of IFT members; and (3) proposed speakers are among the best qualified to present up-to-date information on the topics.

Electronic submission . . . IFT will accept 2001 Symposium Proposals via the Internet. By calling up IFT’s Web Page at www.ift.org and checking the Annual Meeting section, you can electronically submit your entire proposed program and receive an instantaneous receipt. This system will save you time and eliminate the diskette and multiple paper copies required under the previous submission procedure (which is still available for those who cannot use the electronic system). For information about either method of submission, and about the entire procedure and deadlines for review, acceptance, or rejection, request a copy of the “2001 Guidelines for Symposia Organizers,” instantly available on the IFT e-XPRESS faxback service at 1-800-234-0270 (within the U.S. or Canada) or 1-650-556-9176 (elsewhere). Ask for Document 2210. This faxback document includes the names of the Division Chairs to whom symposia proposals should be addressed.

September 1 is the deadline for all Symposium Proposals. Throughout September, Division organizers of preliminary symposium proposals must submit their proposals to the appropriate Division Chair. The Division review includes acceptance or rejection, suggestions for modification, and ranking for final submission to the Technical Presentations Subcommittee (TPS) Chair by September 1, 2000. Planned cosponsorship with other Divisions must be coordinated prior to the deadline. 

Organizers of symposia not seeking Division sponsorship must submit their proposals directly to the TPS Chair, LeeAnne Jackson, also by September 1, 2000. The role of the TPS is to coordinate the review of proposals to avoid duplication of symposia topics among the Divisions. The TPS Chair will notify the organizers of symposia proposals of acceptance, rejection, or suggested combination with another symposia by October 1, 2000. 

The same point system for Divisions will be used again this year. Each Division is allotted a total of two points for symposia sponsorship, with an individual symposium counting as one point. Symposia cosponsored with another IFT Division count as one-half point. Cosponsorship with an outside organization, however, is counted as one full point. Divisions are not required to use their full two-point allotment, and TPS will consider and review symposia in excess of the two-point limit. 

If you have questions, contact TPS Chair LeeAnne Jackson, CFSAN, Food and Drug Administration, 200 C Street S.W., Washington, DC 20204 (phone 202-205-2248; fax 202-205-5025; E-mail: [email protected]). 

Stephanie Smith joins IFT as Director of Science and Government Relations 
IFT warmly welcomes Stephanie Smith to its staff as Director of Science and Government Relations. She will be located in the new Washington, D.C., satellite office, effective August 1, 2000. 

Stephanie comes with an excellent background to champion IFT’s position of bringing sound science to food issues with regulatory agencies and policy leaders. She is well known to our readers as one of IFT’s Congressional Science Fellows (1997–98). During her year on Capitol Hill on the staff of Senator Susan M. Collins (R–Maine), she coordinated an investigation of and planned hearings on the safety of food imports, then developed legislation on the “Improved Food Safety Improvement Act” and testified before the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the U.S. Senate. 

Stephanie’s most recent experience is with the National Confectioners Association and the Food and Drug Administration. During her tenure with the FDA, she coordinated the interagency Egg Safety Action Plan. She has also been a Product Development Technologist with Wendy’s International, where she developed new promotional products and coordinated consumer research for concurrent testing of numerous products. Prior to her experience with Wendy’s, she was with Nestlé USA, Inc., where she initially served as a Chemistry Group Leader. In this capacity, she supervised laboratory personnel in performing elemental analyses for nutritional label claims and heavy metal contamination assessments. She advanced to the position of Total Quality and Quality Assurance Coordinator, where she facilitated problem-solving teams, trained employees in Total Quality Awareness, and coordinated Nestec’s performance sample program for the North American laboratories.

Smith received her undergraduate degree from The Ohio State University, Columbus, in food science and nutrition, and her Ph.D. in food science from Michigan State University, East Lansing. She joined IFT as a student member in 1987.

Weaver named Distinguished Professor at Purdue University
Connie M. Weaver, Head of the Department of Food and Nutrition, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind., in June was named Distinguished Professor of Purdue University for outstanding contributions in her field. In announcing the appointment, the president of the university’s Board of Trustees, Timothy McGinley, said, “There are few things more rewarding than recognizing . . . the superstars who lead the faculty . . . the heart and soul of this university.” 

Weaver earned her doctorate from Florida State University after obtaining both her B.S. and M.S. from Oregon State University. She joined the faculty of Purdue’s Department of Foods and Nutrition in 1978, becoming Head in 1991. Her research efforts have established her as an internationally recognized expert on calcium nutrition and bone health, specifically in mineral bioavailability and function, including calcium bioavailability, calcium metabolism in adolescents, and exercise and bone mass in young women. Camp Calcium, a continuing human nutrition metabolic study with adolescent girls first held in 1990, has made significant advances in understanding calcium metabolism and requirements. 

For her contributions in teaching food chemistry, Weaver was awarded Purdue University’s Outstanding Teaching Award and the school’s Mary L. Mathews Teaching Award. In 1993, she was honored with the Purdue University Health Promotion Award for Women, and in 1997 she received IFT’s Babcock-Hart Award for the achievement of improved public health through nutrition.

Weaver was a member of the National Academy of Sciences Food and Nutrition Board Panel to develop new recommendations for requirements for calcium and related minerals. She has served as president of the American Society for Nutritional Sciences and as scientific advisor to NASA, is on the Board of Trustees of the International Life Sciences Institute, and was named an IFT Fellow in 1996. Currently, she serves on the Nutrition Study Section of the National Institutes of Health.

Keith Ito named Harold Macy Award Winner
Keith A. Ito, Senior Vice President of the National Food Processors Association, Dublin, Calif., and Director of the University of California Laboratory for Research in Food Preservation, was named recipient of the 2000 Harold Macy Food Science and Technology Award presented at the April 17, 2000, meeting of the Minnesota Section. 

Since 1981, the award, which is sponsored by the Minnesota Section, has recognized examples of outstanding food technology transfer between academia, government, and/or private industry. It honors Dr. Harold Macy, former Dean Emeritus of the University of Minnesota and founding member of IFT. Ito clearly exemplifies the ideals of Dr. Macy. 

He received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1961. While in college he worked as a Research Assistant with the National Canners Association (NCA), joining the NCA staff after graduation. Throughout his career he has worked with many processors, including such luminaries as K.F. Meyer, Charles Townsend, C. Olin Ball, and Walter Mercer, and also found time to publish dozens of articles targeted at advancing the canning and food processing industry. These publications included work on thermal and chlorine resistance of Clostridium botulinum Types A, B, and E; thermal and germicidal resistance of botulinum spores; and control of Byssochlamys sp. and other heat-resistant molds in food and aseptic processing, among others. 

He was a prime mover in the development of methods and protocols for new-generation aseptic systems to comply with the FDA’s low-acid food regulations, which allowed their introduction into the U.S. He and his associates are credited with saving the Alaskan salmon canning industry following two botulism outbreaks in 1982, and he has published dozens of articles on Clostridium botulinum spores. 

As the Hazard Analysis Critical Concept Points program (HACCP) has gained greater acceptance by the food industry and international regulatory agencies, Ito and the National Food Processors Association have been actively working with the food industry to assure its proper implementation. His proficiency as a scientist, teacher, and facilitator lies not only in his extensive technical knowledge in the areas of food processing and food microbiology, but also in his ability to work with the various industries, including canning, meat, and fresh produce processors. 

Ito has served as member of the Editorial Committee for the 3rd edition of the book, Compendium of Methods for the Microbiological Examination of Foods, and as Cochair of the Editorial Committee for the 4th edition of the same publication. 

In accepting the Macy award, he presented an excellent and timely overview dealing with “Food Safety for the New Millennium.”

Honor a special person with a Memorial Gift to the IFT Foundation.
IFT Career Guidance Honors Student Scientists

IFT participated in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Detroit, Mich., May 7–13, 2000. The ISEF is sponsored by Intel and has been administered by Science Services, Inc., since its inception in 1950. 

IFT regularly participates in ISEF to encourage interest in science and engineering among high school students. Judging the event on behalf of IFT were Denise Smith and Mark Uebersax, both of Michigan State University, and Beverly Friend, Friend Consulting Service, Inc., and a member of IFT’s Career Guidance Committee. 

IFT participates, through its Career Guidance Committee, to encourage interest in food science and engineering. Cash Awards of $1,000, $600, and $400, respectively, and a subscription to Food Technology magazine were given to the top three food-related projects at the Fair. Additional awards of the Journal of Food Science reference CD-ROM were given to the two fourth-place winners. All award winners also received a Certificate of Achievement from IFT. 

In first place was Gregory Striemer, Lake Park/Audobon High School, Lake Park, Minn. His project was entitled “Enhanced Gel Barrier on French Fry Oil Absorption During Deep Fat Frying: Four-Year Study.” Jennica Slattery, Minnehaha Academy, Minneapolis, Minn., won second place with “Adherence of E. coli 0157:H7 to Alfalfa Sprouts: Two-Year Study,” and Hannah Kaufman, Newberry Junior-Senior High School, Newberry, Fla., took third place with “Survival of Bacteria on Waxed Vesus Unwaxed Tomatoes.” The fourth place winners were Krista Taake, Waterloo Senior High School, Waterloo, Iowa, with “Can Coffee Bean Origin Be Identified By Molecular Characterization? Three-Year Study,” and Jessica Burtness, Coon Rapids Senior High School, Coon Rapids, Minn., with “Searching for Antimicrobial Substances Produced by Microorganisms Isolated From Natural Food Sources.” 

The Fair is the pinnacle event in a yearlong process of local, regional, and national science fairs in which more than 1,000 students from the United States, its territories, and more than 25 other countries participated. Winners were chosen from students competing in 14 disciplinary categories and a Team Projects category. 

The ISEF takes place annually in May in a different city. The May 2001 ISEF will be held in San Jose, California.

Microbiology Division Presents Service Awards
In celebration of its 25th anniversary, the Food Microbiology Division has established a Distinguished Service Award. The recipients of this year’s awards are Michael Davidson, University of Tennessee; Peggy Foegeding, retired from North Carolina State University; and Samuel Palumbo, USDA-ARS-ERRC, who were recognized during the Division’s oral technical presentation at the IFT Annual Meeting in Dallas last June. 

The award was developed to honor outstanding division members who have made substantial contributions to IFT, the Division, and the field of food microbiology. Davidson has contributed to the Food Microbiology Division in almost every facet of the division. He has been Chair, Past Chair, Co-editor of the division newsletter, and was Associate Editor of the Journal of Food Science for microbiology-related papers. Foegeding has been Division Chair, Secretary-Treasurer, Awards Chair, and 1999 Division Lecturer, and Palumbo is a former Chair of the Food Microbiology Division, a Division Lecturer, and has contributed to the Division and IFT in numerous other ways.

IFT announces 2000 Food Science Journalism Awards
Four journalists were honored for excellent food science reporting at IFT’s 2000 Annual Meeting in Dallas, Tex., in June. One winning story from 1999 in each category (newspaper, consumer magazine, and television) was selected by a panel of judges based on compelling interest, sound science, effective communication, and objectivity. Each judging panel included two food scientists, a journalist, and a communications professional. 

Barbara Durbin, food writer for FOODday, a weekly section of The Oregonian, won the newspaper category with her story, “A New Hit on Caffeine,” published June 15 and 22, 1999. The in-depth look at the scientific research on caffeine reported that coffee’s been given a clean bill of health by the federal government and every major health and food group, if drunk in moderation. In addition to caffeine’s stimulant effect, research has identified potential cancer-fighting properties attributed to caffeine and other substances such as polyphenols and catechins, found in coffee, tea and chocolate. Durbin, who received her B.S. degree in home economics/journalism from Iowa State University, has been writing about food for 28 years. A past president of the Association of Food Journalists, she has won numerous awards, including an IFT award in 1977 for her story on whether to wash poultry before cooking. 

Sue Ellin Browder, a freelance writer, won the consumer magazine category for her story, “The Best Fruits & Vegetables for Your Health,” published in the May 1999 issue of Reader’s Digest New Choices. She summarized “the most reliable phytochemical research to date” for broccoli and other related vegetables, citrus fruits, garlic, grapes and their juices, spinach and other dark green-leaved vegetables, tomatoes, and yellow-orange produce. A side bar to the article discussed other natural disease-fighters such as tea, soy, and oats, and she noted in the article that readers should be wary of popping pills that claim to contain the requisite amounts of particular phytochemicals since “. . . nobody knows for sure which ones truly prevent disease, or even which might be toxic in high doses.” Browder is a prize-winning investigative journalist with specialties in psychology, parenting, and health. 

Jeanne Antol, producer, and Diana Gonzalez, news reporter, NBC 6, WTVJ in Miami, Fla., won the television category for “Cancer Fighting Foods,” which aired Chair, Co-editor of the division newsletter, and was Associate Editor of the Journal of Food Science for microbiology-related papers. Foegeding has been Division Chair, Secretary-Treasurer, Awards Chair, and 1999 Division Lecturer, and Palumbo is a former Chair of the Food Microbiology Division, a Division Lecturer, and has contributed to the Division and IFT in numerous other ways. l February 17, 1999, on the Miami Television Network. Food is at the center of cutting-edge cancer research, they reported, with diet playing a role in about 35% of cancers. Food such as green tea, tomatoes, soy, and cruciferous vegetables are currently being researched. Although the evidence is not entirely definitive, Antol and Gonzalez reported that there are steps people should be taking now to reduce their risk of getting cancer: do not overeat, cut fat intake to no more than 20% of necessary calories, include seven to nine fruits and vegetables in the diet, and include fiber in the diet. Antol is a graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia, Pa., with a B.A. in radio-TV-film. She has worked as a television producer in a number of markets around the country, including 16 years in Miami, where for the last four years she has been a health and medical producer for WTVJ-TV. Gonzalez, who has a B.S. degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Florida, began working at WTVJ in 1978 as a news reporter and for the weekly news magazine, Montage. She has received numerous awards for her work, including the 1996 National Emmy Award for her coverage of Hurricane Opal.

Blakistone receives 2000 Riester-Davis Award
Barbara A. Blakistone of the National Food Processors Association (NFPA) in Washington, D.C., has been named the winner of the IFT Food Packaging Division’s Riester-Davis Award for 2000. 

The Riester-Davis Award recognizes lifetime achievement in food packaging technology. It was established in 1986 to memorialize Don Riester of American Can Co. and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Rees Davis of Continental Can Co. and FDA, who helped found the IFT Food Packaging Division. 

Blakistone, Senior Scientist in NFPA’s Food Chemistry and Packaging Dept., has contributed to notable advancements in container integrity testing, flexible packaging applications, safety of minimally processed fruits and vegetables, microbial contamination of packaging materials, and aseptic processing. She has also actively promoted food packaging technology through direct technology transfer, as well as numerous presentations at professional and technical association meetings. 

A graduate of the University of North Texas, Blakistone completed her graduate studies at North Carolina State University. She worked at the International Paper Co., Mead Corp., and the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board before joining NFPA. 

The award was presented in June during the Food Packaging Division’s business meeting at the IFT Annual Meeting in Dallas, Tex., following the division’s symposium on “Factors Influencing the Successful Implementation of Centralized Packaging of Meat and Poultry.”

IFT Foundation
The IFT Foundation extends a grateful thank you for recently received contributions and generous gifts to the Foundation, as follows:

Nabisco, Inc.–Three-year pledge of $30,000 Owen Fennema–$15,000

McNeil Consumer Healthcare–$5,000

McNeil Specialty Products–$5,000

Southern California Section–$5,000

Pierson Associates–$1,000 in the name of Rick Stier

Joe Regenstein–$500

Marilyn Swanson–$500

A special thanks goes out to those who helped the Foundation build its wall at the Annual Meeting. We received gifts from the Nutrition Division and the Gay and Lesbian Caucus, as well as many individuals who contributed their dollars so generously to our efforts.

by BETSY BAIRD
Assistant Editor