BETSY BAIRD

IFT to review safety issues of cold smoked fish and fresh produce for FDA
IFT has assembled two scientific and technical panels to help the Food and Drug Administration address safety issues associated with fresh produce and cold-smoked fish.

The Fish Panel will review processing parameters needed to control pathogens in cold smoked fish, and submit a final report to the agency by March 30, 2001. The Produce Panel is to conduct an analysis and evaluation of preventive control measures for the control and reduction/elimination of microbial hazards on fresh and fresh-cut produce. The final produce report is due June 30, 2001.

These two projects are the second and third tasks FDA has assigned IFT through the IFT/FDA five-year contract for review and analysis of issues in food safety, food processing, and human health. The first task, “How to Quantify the Destruction Kinetics of Alternative Processing Technologies,” will be submitted to FDA by March 29, 2000, and published as a supplement to the Journal of Food Science.

The fish panel will address the following issues: time and temperature practices, pathogens of concern, processing parameters that may contribute to contamination, microbial control options other than time and temperature, recommended levels of heat or preservatives, validation and verification of the effectiveness of control measures, packaging options, and control of Listeria monocytogenes on fish coming into a processing plant.

Members of the Fish Panel are George J. Flick Jr., Distinguished Professor/Extension Food Scientist, Department of Food Science & Technology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (Virginia Tech); Lone Gram, Senior Scientist (Microbiology), Department of Seafood Research, Danish Institute for Fisheries Research; Daniel Herman, Director of Regulatory Affairs, National Fisheries Institute; Michael L. Jahncke, Associate Professor, Dept. of Food Science and Technology, Virginia Tech, and Director, Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center; and Donn R. Ward, Professor and Associate Head, Food Science Dept., Dept. Extension Leader, North Carolina State University.

The Produce Panel will address production parameters, including state and local requirements, that may contribute to pathogen contamination, pathogens of concern, antimicrobial properties of produce, environmental conditions conducive to pathogen growth and survival, treatment technologies (including chlorine, organic acids, phosphates, irradiation, essential oils, plant pigments, detergents, physical removal, steam, and disinfectants), packaging technologies (including modified or controlled atmosphere packaging), and indicator organisms to validate the effectiveness of treatments.

Members of the Produce Panel are Larry R. Beuchat, Research Professor, Center for Food Safety and Quality Enhancement, Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Georgia; Jeffrey M. Farber, Head of Microbiology Research Division, Health Canada; Edith Garrett, President, International Fresh-cut Produce Association; Linda J. Harris, Extension Specialist in Microbial Food Safety, Department of Food Science and Technology, University of California, Davis; Mickey E. Parish, Professor of Food Microbiology, Citrus Research and Education Center, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida; and Trevor Suslow, Extension Postharvest Specialist, Department of Vegetable Crops–Mann Lab, University of California, Davis.

Neither panel will be conducting new research; rather, they will review and evaluate available information. Individuals interested in sharing information, including published and unpublished research data as well as industry practices, are encouraged to contact any of the panel members; IFT Senior Science Adviser Frank F. Busta, professor emeritus, Dept. of Food Science and Nutrition, Univ. of Minnesota; or Ellen J. Sullivan, Director, IFT Dept. of Science and Technology Projects (phone 312-782-8424; e-mail [email protected]).

CNN to honor Appert
Immediately after the successful commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Nicolas Appert, “the father of canning,” held at the IFT Annual Meeting in Chicago last July, the editors of the book series, Pioneers in Food Science, were contacted by CNN-TV and asked to assist its Special Project Staff in preparing a special short story on Appert’s contributions to food preservation. The resulting Millennium Series shorts, including the Appert story, was aired on CNN during the week of December 31, 1999, to January 4, 2000.

Pioneers in Food Science supplied CNN with the information presented in the paper entitled “The Life and Work of Nicolas Appert, 1749–1841,” by Guy Livingston and Jean-Paul Barbier, and arranged for the filming by a CNN crew of historical sites related to Appert’s life in his native city of Chalons en Champagne, France.

“IFT and the IFT Appert commemoration sponsors can be proud that the world will now recognize Nicolas Appert as a great inventor, whose thermal food processing method—developed 60 years before Louis Pasteur—contributed so effectively to the safety of the world’s food supply,” Livingston said.

SCIFTS to offer Bates Scholarships for 2000–2001
The Southern California Section of IFT (SCIFTS) is offering Philip Bates scholarships for the 2000–2001 academic year. The awards will provide financial assistance to students who are academically involved with the food industry and who are attending a college or university in the SCIFTS geographical area (Southern California).

Qualified students who are attending any college or university and are working toward a degree in food technology, food science, nutrition, or a related field, may apply for the grants ($1,000 miminum). Scholarship awards will be given to graduate and undergraduate students attending both IFT and non-IFT approved programs.

The deadline for application is March 1, 2000. Grants will be paid in two equal installments—the first installment after the awardee submits verification of satisfactory completion of the 1999–2000 academic year’s work and registration for the Fall 2000 term. The second installment is to be paid after the awardee submits verification of completion of the Fall 2000 term and registration for the Winter/Spring 2001 term.

To qualify, applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better (on a 4-point scale) and submit the following to the SCIFTS Scholarship Committee for consideration: (1) an official transcript of all undergraduate two-year and four-year institutions, and/or graduate academic records as applicable; (2) three copies of current resumé; (3) three copies of a personal statement to include (a) study plan, (b) financial need, (c) involvement with the food industry, (d) professional organizations, (e) future goals; and (4) two letters of recommendation (in triplicate) from academic or food industry professionals, sealed in an envelope, to be separately mailed to and received by the SCIFT Scholarship Committee before the application deadline.

Applications must be postmarked no later than March 1, 2000, and sent to Deirdre M. Larkin, Chair, SCIFTS Scholarship Committee, Dept. of Family Environmental Sciences, California State University at Northridge, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge, CA 91330–8308.

IFT student members attend IUFoST Congress
Thirteen IFT student members attended the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST) Congress held in October 1999 in Sydney, Australia, under a program newly initiated by IFT which funded the trip. All who attended are active in IFT’s Student Association (IFTSA) or won special awards in competitions at the 1999 IFT Annual Meeting in Chicago.

Craig Sherwin, IFTSA Past President, presented a paper, “A Student Perspective on Teaching Food Science Outside the Box,” at a plenary session. At other technical sessions, Vineet Gill, 1999 Graduate Paper Competition winner, presented his paper on “Effect of Packaging Atmosphere, Irradiation Dose, and Irradiation Temperature on Residual Microbial Populations, Vitamin Retention, and Color Attributes of Ground Beef Patties.” Shonodeep Modak,1999 Undergraduate Paper Competition winner, presented his paper on “Aroma Impact Components of Blueberry Juice.”

IFTSA Past President Arnie Sair chaired a session on “Professional Development of Students in the 21st Century.” The objectives of this presentation were to increase awareness among students about opportunities available to them, to provide a stimulus for establishing similar programs in other countries, and to highlight some of the competitions. Erica Balmer, President of the North Carolina State Food Science Club, which won the 1999 Chapter of the Year Award, gave a presentation on how food science club programs promote academic and personal excellence for student members.

Prize-winning products from the 1999 Product Development Competition were presented by Jonathan Gray for Purdue University team’s “Soy-Pro,” the first-place winner; Tracy Luckow for Cornell University’s “Sweet Spots,” second-place winner; and Cynthia Zook for the University of Minnesota’s “Sunrise Dippin’ Duos,” the third-place winner.

Jeannette Quinn, IFTSA Secretary; Sheryl Yamamoto, Newsletter Editor; Irene Luna Guzman, Membership Chair; Justin Shimik, President; and Russell Hazen, President-Elect, also participated and helped students prepare their talks. All of the presentations were well-received, and delegates from many countries sought out the students with questions during the Congress.

Comments from this group on their return included:
• “Experiencing the unique opportunity of being in a diverse, international setting changed the way I view food science. Learning of the disease and the starvation affecting millions across the world from actual students who live in these conditions forced me to abandon my Western ideals, and to re-evaluate the reasons I entered the food science profession.”

• “Meeting people from around the world who are in my field gave me a broader understanding of what other people study and how they approach problems.”

• “All of us, including myself, realized that we deserved to be here. We accomplished what we set out to do. We made this journey a great success. In essence, meaningful friendships were forged, a new sense of responsibility has imbued us. Even though the past has become easier, our future has become more challenging.”

The students also expressed their appreciation to Margot Campbell, Fiona Manchip, and Professor Ken Buckle, who served as hosts to the student group, advised them on Australian customs, and made their visit so enjoyable; and to the IFT Executive Committee for providing funding for this special journey.

Schmidl elected to CSSP board
Mary K. Schmidl, President-Elect of IFT, was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents (CSSP). The Council is an organization of presidents, presidents-elect, and recent past presidents of about 60 scientific federations and societies whose combined membership numbers well over 1.5 million scientists and science educators.

Since 1973, CSSP has served as a strong national voice in fostering wise science policy, in support of science and science education, as the premier national science leadership development institute, and as a forum for open, substantive exchanges on current scientific issues.

Schmidl has been a member of the organization since its inception in 1973.

IFT representatives attend ICOP ‘99 in Beijing
Immediately following the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST) meeting in Sydney, Australia, a delegate of IFT representatives attended ICOF ‘99, the International Conference on Oriental Foods, held October 11–14 in Beijing, China.

The theme of the conference was “Oriental Foods Gears to the 21st Century.” It was sponsored by the Chinese Institute of Food Science and Technology (CIFST) and IUFoST, and cosponsored by a number of other food scientific societies including IFT. Technical sessions were quite comprehensive, from Oriental dietary culture and nutrition, through development of beverages, nutraceuticals, and legume foods, to food safety, marketing, and regulatory aspects of international trade.

Fung named inaugural Fellow of IUFoST’s academy
Daniel Y.C. Fung, Professor of Food Science and Animal Sciences and Industry at Kansas State University, Manhattan, was one of 30 scientists named members of the inaugural group of Fellows of the International Academy of Food Science and Technology of the International Union of Food Science and Technology. The honor was conferred at IUFoST’s Congress in Sydney Australia, in October 1999.

Fung was recognized for his untiring efforts in promoting food safety around the world through research, teaching, and presentation of seminars and workshops related to the improvement of applied microbiological methods in rapid methods and automation in microbiology. Besides his pioneer works on miniaturization of microbiological techniques, he has been working on improved methods in detection, enumeration, identification, and characterization of major foodborne pathogens; control of foodborne pathogens by microwave treatment; antioxidants; and organic acids and microbiology of fermented Oriental foods.

He received three U.S. patents related to the role of bacterial membrane fraction in rapid detection of pathogens and food fermentation. He is best known for his presentation of the International Workshop on Rapid Methods and Automation in Microbiology, held each summer at Kansas State University. This year’s workshop, scheduled for July 6–14, is the 20th Gala Anniversary of the popular event.

The Academy was formed in 1998 to recognize individuals distinguished by their scientific and professional contributions to food science and technology, and to stimulate international education and training in food science and technology.

JFS editors appointed
The IFT Publications Committee in October appointed five IFT members as Scientific Editors for sections of the Journal of Food Science. The Scientific Editors will ensure their section’s high level of scientific credibility, screen manuscripts, recommend potential referees, and determine manuscript acceptance. Owen Fennema, University of Wisconsin, continues as Editor-in-Chief, overseeing policy and direction at the journal.

Scientific Editors are: Tung-Ching Lee, Rutgers University, for JFS—Sensory and Nutritive Qualities of Food; Elliot Ryser, Michigan State University, for JFS—Food Microbiology and Safety; Stephen L. Taylor, University of Nebraska, for JFS—Food Chemistry and Toxicology; Romeo T. Toledo, University of Georgia, for JFS—Food Engineering and Physical Properties; and Fennema for JFS—Concise Reviews in Food Science.

In addition, David Lineback was appointed Scientific Editor for the new online journal, Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science/Food Safety, to debut in 2001.

Conley joins IFT as Assistant Internet Editor
IFT welcomed its newest editorial staff member with the addition in December 1999 of Lori Conley as Assistant Internet Editor of IFT’s online publications. Conley was an Internet editor and Web designer for the Anderson, Ind., Herald Bulletin, a Thomson Newspapers publication. She has a B.S. in journalism and political science from Ball State University, Muncie, Ind.

Conley will be assisting Internet Editor and Webmaster James Giese in maintaining IFT’s current online endeavors, as well as helping with the development of IFT’s electronic International Food Science and Technology magazine.


Regional Section and Division News
Minnesota
Purnendu C. Vasavada, Professor of Food Science at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls, and Food Safety and Microbiologist Specialist with the UW Extension, received the 1999 Chair’s Award from the Minnesota Section of IFT. The honor was bestowed upon Vasavada because of his longstanding and dedicated service to the Minnesota Section.

Vasavada received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in microbiology from India; an M.S. in microbiology from the University of Southern Louisiana, Lafayette; and his Ph.D. in food science and dairy manufacturing from the University of Georgia, Athens.

Southern California
Certificates were presented in October 1999 to the 1999–2000 recipients of the Philip Bates Scholarship Awards sponsored by the Section. Each year, SCIFTS presents these scholarships to selected college and university students who are in high academic standing and are involved with the food industry (see IFT News, this issue, for information on how to apply for the 2000–2001 awards).

Graduate scholarship recipients for 1999 are Winnie Bi, Suresh DeCosta, Beth Fryksdale, Magda Mansour, and Sofia Taufiq. The undergraduate recipients include Linda Goetz, Phuong Ngoc Nguyen, Stella Reardon-Puentes, Jessica Zeigler, Amy Kreutzen, Rene Pisciotti, and Tammy Davison.

by BETSY BAIRD
Assistant Editor