ABC Research Corp. launched an on-line Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) that provides clients with direct access to food test results as they are completed. The company submitting food or beverage samples for testing can get results as the tests are completed and posted, without waiting for fax, phone, or e-mail notification. Quality control and quality assurance directors at food production facilities will know sooner that their product is free of pathogens and safe to ship. The system can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The status of a particular sample can also be checked. Companies using this system, which is protected by a firewall with a login procedure, will need no additional software. Reports can be saved in a Microsoft Word format. ABC Research is based in Gainesville, Fla.
Chiquita Brands International sold its Progressive Produce Corp. to a group led by Progressive Produce’s management for approximately $7 million in January. Progressive Produce was founded in 1967 and specializes in potatoes and onions that are distributed within California and other western states. The sale is part of Chiquita’s efforts to focus on its core business. Chiquita is based in Newport Beach, Calif., and Progressive Produce is based in Commerce, Calif.
FMC FoodTech Inc. has upgraded the freezer and refrigeration capabilities at its Food Processing Technology and Training Center located in Sandusky, Ohio. The $2 million expansion includes the addition of Frigoscandia Equipment freezers to the already existing Stein•DSI product lineup. Based in Chicago, Ill., FMC FoodTech supplies technology solutions for the global food industry.
Harvest States, the grains and foods division of CHS Cooperatives, opened a Brazil-based grain marketing office in January. The wholly owned subsidiary, Harvest States do Brasil Ltda, originates and markets primarily soybeans for export to Pacific Rim and European buyers and is based in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Harvest States, based in St. Paul, Minn., markets soybeans, wheat, corn, barley, oats, and milo, along with specialty crops such as sunflowers, flax, and canola.
ICV Capital Partners, a New York-based private-equity investment firm focused on minority and inner-city companies, acquired Asian appetizer and entree provider Chung’s Foods Inc. from Yellowstone Capital Inc., both based in Houston, Tex. Chung’s has a 50% market share of all egg rolls sold in the self-service deli category, a fast-growing area in supermarkets. The company’s product focus is on fresh and frozen egg rolls and entrees marketed primarily to supermarkets, wholesalers, and convenience store chains. Yellowstone Capital is a private-equity investment firm.
Candy maker Just Born Inc. plans to acquire Goldenberg Candy Co., best known for its Peanut Chews® and Chew-ets®. Based in Bethlehem, Pa., Just Born is know for its Marshmallow Peeps®, Hot Tamales®, MiKE and IKE® and ZOURS® confections. Goldenberg Candy is based in Philadelphia, Pa.
McClancy Seasoning is celebrating 55 years of creating flavor-packed seasonings, spices, and mixes. McClancy, a food development company, promotes turnkey solutions for the food industry with hands-on research and development, a variety of custom blending capabilities, and economical and convenient co-packing services for clients of all sizes. The company specializes in desserts and salads; gravies, sauces and soups; meat seasonings and marinades; batters, breadings, and bakery; snack foods; dairy blends; drink mixes; and whole and ground spices. The company is headquartered in Fort Mill, S.C.
Plaza Belmont LLC, a private equity fund specializing in acquiring and operating food manufacturing companies, acquired the mixing business of Cereal Food Processors Inc., based in Bonner Springs, Kans. Plaza Belmont acquired the business through its subsidiary Premier Blending Inc. All acquired operations will be transferred to Premier Blending’s Wichita, Kans., facility. Premier Blending formulates and manufactures dry blended food products.
Procter & Gamble Co. donated novel snack food technology in January to the Mid-America Commercialization Corp. (MACC), an entrepreneurial technology development and commercialization facilitator affiliated with Kansas State University. P&G’s Nutrition Science Institute has developed several innovations, collectively referred to as Rainbow Technology, which have the potential to permit the manufacture of a wide array of snack foods that taste good and conform to the USDA’s recommended “Food Guide Pyramid.” Rainbow Technology is a proprietary methodology of increasing the nutritional value of portable snack foods. All servings of snack foods made with Rainbow Technology will meet the following nutritional criteria: Less than 3 grams of fat; 2.5 grams or more of fiber; more than 5 grams of protein; about 15 grams of carbohydrates; and a variety of essential vitamins. MACC will continue to develop Rainbow Technology so that it may one day improve the nutritional quality of foods. P&G is based in Cincinnati, Ohio, and MACC is based in Manhattan, Kans.
Riviana Foods Inc. acquired ACH Food Companies Inc.’s Rice Specialties business for approximately $24 million in February. The Rice Specialties business manufactures and sells a variety of rice products for the U.S. food manufacturing, retail, and foodservice industry. The company’s brands include China Doll®, Fiesta® and Southern Charm®. The acquisition includes three of ACH’s operating divisions: Brinkley Dryer and Storage and Brinkley Food Technology, both based in Brinkley, Ark., and China Doll, based in Mobile, Ala. Riviana Foods, based in Houston, Tex., processes, markets, and distributes branded and private-label rice products in the United States, including Mahatma®, Carolina ®, and Success®.
rtech laboratories unveiled a new food research and library service for its customers in January. Services include patent and scientific literature searching, document delivery, current awareness updates, and news alerts. The library services team has more than 12 years of experience in technical and scientific libraries. Based in Arden Hills, Minn., rtech laboratories is a comprehensive food science and technology research facility and business unit of Land O’Lakes Inc.
Ottens Flavors named Ralph Anzano Manager of Regulatory Affairs and Robert Maxwell Director of Quality Control/ Quality Assurance. Anzano has been with Ottens for 13 years in quality assurance and regulatory affairs positions. In his new role, he will focus on and oversee all regulatory affairs issues for Ottens. Maxwell will be in charge of flavor quality control and assurance. He brings to Ottens more than 26 years of experience, most recently with Virginia Dare and H.K. Kohnstamm Co. Universal Flavors. Ottens, based in Philadelphia, Pa., develops and produces flavors and food additives for manufacturers worldwide.
Pall Corporation appointed of Wolfgang Platz Corporate Vice President, responsible for the company’s global food and beverage business. The division provides filtration and separations technologies for processing of wine, beer, soft drinks, juice, bottled water, food, and dairy products. Platz was previously the company’s President of Global Food and Beverage Operations and also managed the company’s water processing business in Europe. He also served as Senior Director for Pall’s European operations leading various divisions in Pall’s Industrial market segment. The company, headquartered in East Hills, N.Y., is involved in filtration, separations, and purification.
Silliker Inc. named Dena Light Laboratory Director of its Stone Mountain, Ga., testing facility. She previously served the company as Technical Sales Manager. She holds a masters degree in microbiology from Georgia State University. Silliker is based in Homewood, Ill.
TruFoods Corp. promoted Leonard Spier to Vice President of Procurement. He joined the company in 1999 and previously served as Director of Purchasing for the company’s national quick-service restaurant chains. He has more than 20 years of experience in the restaurant industry, specifically in the food and paper areas of the business. TruFoods, based in Lake Success, N.Y., is the parent company of Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips, Pudgie’s Famous Chicken, and the Wall Street Deli.
The University of Illinois announced a number of new faculty members. Elvira de Mejia was named Assistant Professor of Food Chemistry and Food Toxicology. She received a Ph.D. in plant biotechnology from the National Polytechnic Institute in Mexico in collaboration with the University of California, Riverside. Her current research deals with bioactive proteins in different legume genotypes. She is also studying the health benefits of tea. Hao Feng was named Assistant Professor of Food Engineering. He received a Ph.D. from Washington State University and is a recipient of the Skellerup Award from the Institution of Professional Engineers in New Zealand. His research interests include high-intensity ultrasound and its application in food preservation, scale-free heating technique for heating of viscous products, preservation of fresh produce, dielectric heating and its application in food processing, and novel drying technologies. Soo-Yeun Lee was named Assistant Professor of Sensory Science. She received a Ph. D. in food chemistry from University of California, Davis. She won First Prize in the Sensory Evaluation Division Graduate Student Paper Competition at the 2000 IFT Annual Meeting and First Prize in the Food Packaging Division Graduate Student Poster Competition at the 2001 meeting. Her research interests include applying aqueous- based edible coatings on various food systems and evaluating the quality enhancement by these coatings using sensory and instrumental analyses, as well as conducting accelerated shelf-life testing using various instrumental parameters which correlate well with sensory measurements to model the actual shelf-life of foods.
SOCIETIES & ASSOCIATIONS
Dickinson to lead CRN
The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) has elevated its Vice President, Scientific and Regulatory Affairs, Annette Dickinson, to the position of Acting President in January.
Dickinson has been with CRN since its founding in 1973. She succeeds John Cordaro, who led the trade association for 20 years.
A recognized nutrition expert and author, Dickinson was recently named to serve a 3-year term on the United States Food and Drug Administration’s Food Advisory Committee. She was also appointed by President Clinton to the Commission on Dietary Supplement Labels and is a frequent witness before the U.S. Congress and at other public forums.
Her scientific background includes an expertise in vitamins and minerals, and her regulatory expertise covers the legal and technical aspects of marketing dietary supplements, including provisions relating to labeling, advertising, and good manufacturing practices. She earned her Ph.D. in nutritional sciences and her M.S. in food sciences from the University of Maryland. She is the author of two highly regarded industry reference books, The Benefits of Nutritional Supplements, a comprehensive compilation of information about the health benefits of vitamins and minerals, and Before and After DSHEA, a guide to FDA’s regulation of the dietary supplement industry.
CRN is based in Washington, D.C.
Joseph J. Warthesen, 54, Professional Member, died January 31, 2003.
Warthesen was Head of the Dept. of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota. He was also Director of the Minnesota-South Dakota Dairy Foods Research Center.
He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in food science from the University of Minnesota and his Ph.D. in food Science from Oregon State University. He began teaching at the University of Minnesota in 1974, where he was considered an outstanding teacher and administrator.
Throughout his career, he received numerous university teaching awards and taught more than 2,500 students the principles of food chemistry, analysis, processing, and related topics. Under his leadership, the department developed new on-line courses and increased student registration numbers. The department also recently upgraded its food processing facilities to provide new research tools for analyzing techniques for processing grains and producing cheese.
In addition to his duties as Dept. Head, he was Director of the Minnesota-South Dakota Dairy Foods Research Center since 1987. The Center conducts research and outreach activities to increase the viability and to ensure the future competitiveness of the U.S. dairy industry, as well as to develop expertise in dairy foods research.
He also served as a consultant to the USDA and worked on approximately 17 USDA projects during his career. An advocate of nutrition outreach efforts, Warthesen also worked with federal nutrition programs for poor children.
His research ranged from innovative methods of food analysis to ways to prevent bitter taste in cheddar cheese. He also worked at improving the nutritional quality of food and was known for his studies of Vitamin A and how the body absorbs it through eating raw or cooked foods. He also investigated nutrient changes in foods between processing, storage, and preparation.
Warthesen received many professional honors, including the university’s College of Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Sciences Distinguished Teaching Award and the College of Human Ecology Educational Leadership Award. He also taught numerous short courses and seminars for professionals in food science.
An active member of IFT, Warthesen served as Chair of the Career Guidance Committee and as IFT’s National Academy of Sciences Liaison. He also served on the Task Force on Advancing the Profession. An active member of the Minnesota Section, he served as Councilor and chaired the Section’s Awards Committee.
Matthew E. Highlands, 97, Emeritus Member and IFT Fellow, died January 21, 2002, in Orono, Maine.
Highlands was a founding member of IFT. He began his career as a Research Assistant in food technology at MIT and later worked for Frigidare Corp. During World War II, he was Head of the Dehydrated Products Division of the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps. He was in charge of research and development for all dehydrated foods for the Armed Forces, and under his supervision instant mashed potatoes and dehydrated orange juice were invented.
Following World War II, Highlands joined the faculty at the University of Maine and is credited with starting the Food Science and Technology Dept. there in the 1950s. He was recognized throughout Maine as the Father of Food Processing.
Throughout his career, Highlands was an active member of IFT and the former Downeast Section.
Richard G. Garner, 78, Emeritus Member, died December 21, 2001.
Garner was a retired scientist with the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. He conducted his under graduate and graduate work at the University of Tennessee and earned his Ph.D. at the University of Illinois, Urbana in 1953. Prior to that, he served in the U.S. Army Air Force.
His scientific career began at the Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station in Knoxville. He later worked in the Food Technology Dept. at the University of Illinois and in Central Laboratories at General Food Corp. In 1955, he and his family moved to Alexandria, Va., where he served the USDA for 35 years.
Garner achieved numerous accomplishments during his lifetime, including 3 patents and more than 30 publications. He belonged to a number of professional organizations in addition to IFT, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, where he was a Fellow; Council for Agricultural Science and Technology; Phi Tau Sigma, where he served as President; Sigma Xi; Phi Kappa Phi; Omicron Delta Kappa; New York Academy of Science; and American Men and Women of Science.
by SARA LANGEN