IFTSA encourages innovation
The availability of a safe, high-quality food supply is of great concern to government leaders in developing nations. As a way to encourage food science students to address critical issues in the development, safety, and distribution of food, the IFT Student Association has launched a new competition called "Developing Solutions for Developing Countries."

Students will be challenged to develop products to improve the quality of life for people in developing nations.

Proposals are being accepted through Jan. 9, 2009. For more information, visit www.iftsa.org/competitions/dsdc or e-mail [email protected].

Decker chosen department head
Eric A. Decker has been appointed Head of the Food Science Department in the College of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He succeeds Fergus M. Clydesdale, who retired in June after leading the department for 19 years.

A graduate of the university, where he received a Ph.D. degree in food science, Decker joined the faculty in 1993 after teaching for five years at the University of Kentucky. Most recently, he directed the department’s Culinary Science Concentration and held the Fergus M. Clydesdale Endowed Chair from 2002–07. He is also a member of the Food and Drug Administration’s Food Advisory Committee.

Decker has conducted research and lectured at universities in the United States, China, and Japan; has served as an industry consultant in the U.S. and abroad; and holds nine patents for work in lipid systems and emulsion procedures. He has received numerous awards from IFT and other institutions for his research and publications and has been recognized by the College of Natural Resources and the Environment for both outstanding teaching and advising.

A Professional Member of IFT, Decker is also the former chair of the IFT Food Chemistry Division.

Stewart named GM
Cynthia Stewart has joined the Silliker Food Science Center, South Holland, Ill., as General Manager. With more than a decade of industry experience, Stewart most recently served as Director of Scientific Affairs at the National Center for Food Safety and Technology. She is a Professional Member of IFT.

Scholarship deadlines approach
Applications for undergraduate and graduate scholarships for the 2009–10 academic year are being accepted. The scholarships are sponsored by companies in the food industry, organizations, IFT Divisions, IFT Sections, and the IFT Foundation. The deadlines to submit applications to the student’s department head are Feb. 1, 2009 (graduate, senior, and junior students); Feb. 15, 2009 (freshman students); and March 1, 2009 (sophomore students). Applications and instructions are available at www.ift.org under "Awards." For more information, contact Anna K. Proctor, IFT Foundation Coordinator, at [email protected].

Belk joins Food Safety Net
Food Safety Net Services, San Antonio, Texas, has hired Keith Belk as Director of Scientific Affairs. He will be responsible for providing technical troubleshooting to customers, performing facility audits, and conducting industry research.

Belk, a Professional Member of IFT, is also a professor in the Dept. of Animal Sciences at Colorado State University, where he received his B.S. degree in animal science and M.S. degree in meat science. He received his Ph.D. in meat science from Texas A&M University.

Fontaine fills Paradise R&D spot
Whitney Fontaine has joined Paradise Tomato Kitchens Inc., Louisville, Ky., as an R&D Scientist. She will support the company’s chain account customers with new custom sauce development.

Prior to joining Paradise, Fontaine, a Member of IFT, worked for General Mills as a quality engineer, focusing on product quality and safety, strategic initiatives, and continuous improvement and cost-saving efforts.

Urbanski wins Jordan Award
John Urbanski, Vice President of Technical Sales and Services, Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate, Lititz, Pa., received the Stroud Jordan Award from the American Association of Candy Technologists for his contributions to the field of confectionery technology.

The Stroud Jordan Award is named for the late Stroud Jordan, a pioneer candy technologist. The award recognizes individuals who have provided exceptional and outstanding service to the confectionery industry.

Urbanski, a Professional Member of IFT, has worked in the confectionery industry for 44 years and for Cargill since 1978.  

Food Technology Presents conference to address health and wellness issues
Are you involved in the development, regulation, packaging, or marketing of foods that contribute to health and wellness? Food industry professionals realize that as more and more Americans amend their diets to improve health, food manufacturers must keep current with the issues and new technologies that are shaping the landscape of the wellness marketplace.

IFT’s Food Technology Presents conference, "Wellness 09: At the Forefront of Food and Health," will help you explore and discover new marketplace opportunities, gain sound insight on key issues, and learn about techniques that reduce costs.

This multidisciplinary food science and technology conference will provide practical, actionable information that you can immediately apply to your own product portfolio of health and wellness product initiatives. Choose from among the many timely, provocative topics to be covered by industry experts and discover how organizations are breaking new ground in the rapidly growing health and wellness sector. Each of the conference’s three tracks will cover a topic related to product developer and consumer needs: consumer lifestyles and demographics; health issues; and legal, regulatory, and standardization issues.

The General Session panelists scheduled to speak are David Allison, Professor, Head of the Section on Statistical Genetics, and Director of the NIH-funded Clinical Nutrition Research Center, University of Alabama–Birmingham; Roger A. Clemens, Professor, University of Southern California School of Pharmacy, and Contributing Editor, Food Technology magazine; Johanna Dwyer, Professor, Tufts New England Medical Center; Jim Hill, Professor, University of Colorado–Denver; Gilbert A. Leveille, Executive Director, Wrigley Science Institute; and Brian Wansink, Executive Director, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Center for Nutrition Policy & Promotion.

The conference will be held on March 25–26, 2009, in Rosemont, Ill. Register by March 1 and save $100. For more information about registration and exhibiting and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.ift.org/ftpc.

In Memoriam
James M. Jay was elected a Fellow of IFT in 1996 and was also a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, American Public Health Association, and International Association for Food Protection. Designated by the American Society for Microbiology as one of the "Heroes of Microbiology" and honorably referred to as the "Father of Black Microbiologists," Jay was the first African-American elected Chair of ASM’s Food Microbiology Division and a mentor for many.

A professional member of IFT since 1958, Jay served as President of the Great Lakes Section (1975–76), a member of the Expert Panel on Food Safety and Nutrition (1991–96), and Chair of the Food Microbiology Division (1990–91).

Jay devoted considerable time to the study of microorganisms in ground beef and drew upon his research findings and insights to educate and inform a variety of audiences, from the classroom to public policy and regulatory arenas.

He taught at Southern University in Baton Rouge, La., was Professor Emeritus of biological science at Wayne State University, and Adjunct Professor of the University of Nevada Las Vegas. His well-known book, Modern Food Microbiology (Van Nostrand Reinhold, 2005), is in its seventh revision and published in Spanish, Malaysian, Hindi, and Chinese translations. He served on the editorial boards of several journals and was an ad hoc reviewer for Food Technology and Journal of Food Science.

If you would like to make a memorial gift in honor of someone special, please contact the development staff at IFT Foundation at 312-782-8424, or visit IFT Foundation at www.ift.org/foundation.