John J. Powers, ed.

Volume 1 of this series on Samuel Cate Prescott by the late Samuel A. Goldblith was reviewed in Food Technology (January 1994). In Volume 2, John J. Powers has assembled sections written by outstanding food scientists who have had either first-hand knowledge of or access to extensive information on their subjects. Each of the sections has references to key publications and photographs of each of the subjects taken during various phases of their lives.

Section 1 by John Powers covers the life and professional contributions of Carl R. Fellers (1893–1960). The chapters in this section present the broad range of Fellers’ well-known contributions to the science and technology of processed fishery products and the processing of fruit and vegetable products, including the pioneering work on ascorbic acid as an antioxidant.

Fellers played a major role as a Founding Member in establishing the Institute of Food Technologists, serving as Secretary-Treasurer and subsequently as President in 1949–50. His influence as an outstanding teacher and mentor is the subject of numerous tributes by former students and associates that the author includes in these chapters.

Section 2 by Richard F. Stier covers the life and professional contributions of C. Olin Ball (1893–1982). Included in the references section is Ball’s 1923 pioneering publication on the calculation of thermal process times for canned foods that established the Ball Formula method. The author points out that Ball’s background in applied mathematics was probably one of a kind among food scientists in the early years of the profession. As a result, he became an internationally recognized authority on thermal process time calculation methods.

Ball was a Founding Member of IFT, the first editor of Food Technology (1947), and IFT President in 1963–64. He received many honors, including IFT’s Nicholas Appert Award.

Section 3 by F.J. Francis covers the life and professional contributions of Walter W. Chenoweth (1871–1946), a pioneer in food science for whom the Chenoweth Laboratory of the Dept. of Food Science at the University of Massachusetts is named. His major contributions were as a teacher and lecturer on food preservation and as an author of textbooks and bulletins on food preservation, particularly home canning.

The author devotes a chapter to Chenoweth’s humanitarian service in 1929–30 that contributed to the success of the Wilfred Grenfell Missions in Newfoundland and Labrador, where he introduced thermal processing for the canning of salmon and fishery products.

Section 4 by Samuel A. Goldblith discusses Bernard E. Proctor (1901–59), who co-authored the book Food Technology with Samuel Cate Prescott and played a major role in the IFT Committee on Education’s 1958 Allerton House conference on educational programs in food technology, which led to the subsequent development of the first IFT model undergraduate curriculum in the field. Proctor’s research covered a wide range of topics, including his early studies on microbiology of the upper air, and on food dehydration and refrigeration. During World War II, as a civilian, he served as Director of Subsistence Research for the U.S Army Quartermaster Corps in Washington, D.C. He played a major role in initiating research on the radiation preservation of foods.

I recommend the reading of this book to all IFT members and students of food science and technology as a historical record of key contributors to the founding and development of our profession.

John J. Powers, ed.
Food & Nutrition Press Inc., 6527 Main St., Trumbull, CT 06611. Call 203-261-9724. ISBN: 0-917678-56-7. 2004 158 pp. (Vols. 1 and 2 are available from the Dept. of Food Science & Technology, University of Calif., One Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616 at $36 each.)

Reviewed by John H. Litchfi eld, IFT Fellow and Past President, Batelle Memorial Inst., Columbus, Ohio.