Nielsen succeeds Nelson at Purdue
Veteran researcher and educator S. Suzanne Nielsen is the new Head of the Dept. of Food Science at Purdue University.

She took over the position vacated by Philip Nelson in June. Nelson, current IFT President, headed the department since its founding in 1983.

Purdue School of Agriculture Dean Victor Lechtenberg applauded Nielsen’s appointment. “Suzanne has an outstanding record in both research and teaching, and brings an excellent understanding of the food industry and its potential for growth in Indiana,” he said. “We are thrilled to have her on board as the new head of the department.”

Nielsen joined the Purdue faculty in 1983. Part of her research has focused on proteins that affect the quality of food. She has worked on investigating the plasmin enzyme system in milk that affects the cheese-ripening process. She also has worked to find ways for people in developing countries to make better use of dry beans, which are inexpensive sources of protein.

An active member of IFT, Nielsen has served as Chair of the Indiana Section and on the IFT Constitution & By-Laws Committee, Expert Panel, Research Committee, and Executive Committee. She has also served on and chaired several task forces. She was elected an IFT Fellow in 2000 and received the William V. Cruess Award for excellence in teaching in 2002.

Clydesdale named Distinguished Professor
Fergus M. Clydesdale, Head of the Dept. of Food Science at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, was appointed Distinguished Professor by University President William M. Bulger in May.

The appointment was made following a vote of approval by the University’s Board of Trustees. Clydesdale was recommended for the honor by University Chancellor John V. Lombardi, Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost Charlena Seymour, and College of Natural Resources and the Environment Dean Cleve Willis. In their letter of recommendation, Lombardi and Seymour stated that the quality of Clydesdale’s work has made him one of the world’s experts on food policy. Clydesdale has authored 360 scientific articles and either co-authored or edited 20 books.

Although Clydesdale’s academic accomplishments are numerous, he also received the award in recognition of his outstanding teaching accomplishments, for which he previously received the university’s Distinguished Teaching Award for teaching large general education classes and smaller, upper-level graduate offerings.

Clydesdale has received a number of other honors and awards, including IFT’s William Cruess Award for teaching, Babcock Hart Award for research, Donald K. Tressler Award, and Nicholas Appert Award, IFT’s highest honor. He was elected a Fellow of IFT in 1979.

Chapman students win NASA contest
A bite-sized pizza snack product developed by a student team from Chapman University received the top prize in the Product Development Competition sponsored by the NASA Food Technology Commercial Space Center.

The competition was established in 2001 to increase awareness among food science and technology students about foods and food-processing techniques required for space travel. Student teams are challenged to design food products or processing systems that could be used on missions to the moon or planetary outposts. The products must be based on crops grown in space, be easily prepared, nutritious, and safe to eat, have few crumbs, and taste good.

Students Gerrie Adams, Pei-Chen Chen, Wan-Lin Chou, Akua Kwakwa, and Heather Pe developed the winning entry with their adviser, Chapman Associate Professor of Food Science and Nutrition Anuradha Prakash. The product, called Pizza Poppers, comes in three flavors—original pizza flavor, garlic, and hot and spicy. The snacks include tomatoes, wheat, onions, and herbs, all crops that could potentially be grown on a moon or Mars outpost. The Pizza Poppers dough recipe utilizes okara and wastewater, both byproducts of soymilk processing in space. The product is vacuum packaged and has a minimum shelf life of one year.

The Chapman team earned a trip to IFT’s 2003 Annual Meeting & Food Expo®, in Chicago, Ill., July 12–16, to showcase its product.

The NASA Food Technology Commercial Space Center was established in 1999 at Iowa State University to develop foods and food-processing technologies that enhance space missions and advance commercial food products.