IFT’s Knowledge & Learning Center will host an educational Webcast, "The Childhood Obesity Dilemma and How Food Science Can Impact Its Future," on February 13. The Webcast will address the best ways to understand early prevention of childhood obesity; the ways the industry is addressing the issues of childhood obesity through food product development and marketing; the role genetics plays in the childhood obesity equation vs environmental factors; and the important consumer issues, including diet behavior, moderation, food habits and eating occasions, weight loss triggers, portion control, and more.

The Webcast will be held on February 13, 2007, from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. Central Time.

For more information about these sessions and to register, visit www.ift.org/knowledge.

Deadline nears for scholarship applications
IFT encourages students studying food science and technology to apply for undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships for the 2007–08 academic year. This support is administered by IFT and sponsored by companies in the food industry, organizations, IFT Divisions, IFT Sections, and the IFT Foundation.

Applications must be turned in to the student’s department head by February 1, 2007 (graduate, senior, and junior students), February 15, 2007 (freshman students), and March 1, 2007 (sophomore students).

Applications and instructions can be obtained at www.ift.org under "Education." For more information, contact Elizabeth J. Plummer, Manager of Foundation Development, 525 W. Van Buren St., Ste. 1000, Chicago, IL 60607 (phone 312-782- 8424, e-mail [email protected]).

Hall receives founder’s certificate
Richard L. Hall received a World Food Prize Founders Certificate for his role as a member of the original Council of Advisors for the World Food Prize. The prize, first awarded in 1987, recognizes individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity, or availability of food around the world. Hall is a Fellow, Professional Member, and Past President of IFT.

Lawler, Josephson receive alumni awards
Two alumni of Penn State University have received awards from the university’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

Patrick J. Lawler, senior scientist in charge of ingredients, commercialization, and flavor stability at McCormick & Co., won the Outstanding Recent Alumnus Award. The award recognizes outstanding alumni who have graduated during the past 10 years. He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in food science from the university, where he studied lipid ingredients. He is a Professional Member of IFT.

Ronald V. Josephson received the Outstanding Alumnus Award, which recognizes alumni achievements. Josephson, Professor Emeritus at San Diego State University, earned his B.S. degree with distinction in agricultural science and industry. His research throughout his career has focused on cow’s milk and dairy products, human milk, goat milk, fish and shellfish, soybean products, and medical foods. He is an Emeritus Member of IFT.

MFPC celebrates 25-year anniversary
In recognition of the 25th anniversary of the Midwest Food Processing Conference (MFPC), the organizers of the event chose the theme "Innovations in Food Systems: How to Take Silver Ideas and Turn Them into Golden Opportunities." The event, which took place November 7, 2006, in Rosemont, Ill., was sponsored by the Chicago, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin IFT Sections.

Two presentations—one focused on ingredients and the other on processing technology—addressed food safety. Larry

Steenson, Technical Applications Director, Danisco USA, discussed the role of antimicrobials in food safety hurdle technology. Hurdle technology is a combination of treatments and/or ingredients used to enhance shelf stability, safety, and quality of foods, said Steenson. Antimicrobials, such as organic acids, bacteriocins, antimycotics, and essential oils, can eliminate microorganisms or inhibit their growth.

Steenson focused his presentation on two antimicrobials—nisin and natamysin. Nisin is a peptide that is active against Gram-positive bacteria and spore formers. It is considered GRAS in more than 50 countries. The antimicrobial works by disrupting vegetative cells. In meat applications, nisin is encapsulated to protect against proteolytic enzymes in the raw meat. Natamycin is effective against yeasts and molds at low concentrations (1–20 ppm) over a pH range of 3–9. One major application is shredded cheese. In a suspension, the antimicrobial is sprayed onto the cheese. The antimicrobial’s low solubility prevents migration into the food.

Sudhir Sastry, Professor at The Ohio State University, discussed ohmic and moderate electric field (MEF) processing. Ohmic heating works by passing an electric current through the food. Heating is rapid and uniform, with about 96% energy efficiency transfer. Current commercial applications of the technology around the globe include fruit products in Mexico, mushrooms in Europe, and fruit and surimi products in Japan. Emerging applications include continuous flow sterilization of solid-liquid mixtures, on-demand heating for vending, and blanching.

MEF processing employs electrical fields typically under 1,000 V/cm with or without heat to disrupt cellular tissue, said Sastry. It can be used for vegetable extraction, peeling, and drying.

The afternoon session of the conference featured the 5th annual MFPC/RCA Culinology® Challenge, which consisted of four teams—two of which were made up entirely of students, with the exception of their coaches. Each team was assigned a specific food category— appetizer, entrée, side dish, or dessert.

In keeping with the conference’s 25-year anniversary theme, the teams were given three criteria to choose from—use 25 ingredients, reduce fat or sodium by 25%, or increase fiber by 25%. Since the teams did not have a "gold" standard for reference or comparison, they all chose to use 25 ingredients.

The appetizer team created Shrimp Paella-style Risotto Croquettes, the entrée team developed White Chicken Chili, the side dish group formulated Southwest Cornbread Pudding, and the dessert team prepared Chocolate Pasta with Vanilla-Orange Sauce and Berry Compote. All of the products were available for sampling by conference attendees.

For more information on the Midwest Food Processing Conference, visit www.mfpc.info.

Death notices received
Yaacov J. Aronowicz, Paul L. Beach, Robert E. Horrobin, William Horwitz, Willis V. Huth, David Kritchevsky, Boris Miller, H. Karl Robe.