Melanie Zanoza Bartelme

IFT is pleased to announce that Symrise has made a $10,000 contribution to Feeding Tomorrow to support its Food4Thought program. Food4Thought positions food science as a key science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) field and encourages high school students to pursue careers in food science. Symrise’s donation will specifically support a delegation of students from Girls Inc. to attend IFT15 in Chicago this summer. This will be the third group of students from Girls Inc. to attend the event, where they meet with food science professionals, tour the expo floor, and visit local food businesses.

If your organization is interested in supporting Feeding Tomorrow or the Food4Thought program, please visit or email Amanda Perl at [email protected].

PLT promotes Davis
Barbara Davis recently became vice-president, medical and scientific affairs, for PLT Health Solutions. In this role, she will continue to lead the company’s scientific and regulatory efforts related to both existing ingredients and ingredient development. 

“Barbara Davis is an accomplished nutrition scientist who plays a vital role at PLT by bringing her deep scientific expertise to connect science with commercial opportunities,” says Paul Flowerman, president and CEO of PLT. “Her considerable leadership is evident not only with new product development but also in supporting our sales and marketing initiatives. Barbara’s outstanding CPG and R&D experience, professional network, and reputation best position PLT to deliver upon our core brand promise that high-quality science sets the foundation for high-quality ingredients.”

Davis, an IFT member, brings more than 15 years of experience to her new position. Prior to joining PLT, she served as vice-president of science and technology for HealthFocus International; other positions include director of innovations, nutrition and claims, for Dannon and senior research scientist and principal research scientist at Wyeth Nutrition. She earned her PhD in nutritional sciences from the University of Florida and is a registered dietitian. 

Booren becomes NAMIF president
The North American Meat Institute Foundation recently appointed Betsy Booren as its president. In this role, Booren—who also serves as vice-president of scientific affairs within the institute—will oversee the research and technical functions of the foundation. Booren, an IFT member, is also a member of the National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection and serves as the liaison to the North American Meat Institute’s Scientific Affairs Committee. She received her PhD in food science from Texas A&M University. 

McEntire joins GMA
The Grocery Manufacturers Assoc. hired Jennifer Cleveland McEntire as vice-president of science operations. “Product safety is the number one priority for GMA and its member companies, and Jennifer’s appointment is part of our continued commitment to strengthen our world class food safety practice,” says Leon Bruner, GMA’s chief science officer. “Her considerable expertise and experience will no doubt strengthen our scientific and technical capabilities as well.”

McEntire previously served as vice-president and chief science officer at The Acheson Group, where she helped food industry clients understand supply chain risks. Before that, she was the senior staff scientist and director of science and technology projects for IFT, and she is currently a professional member. She received her PhD from Rutgers University as a USDA National Needs Fellow in Food Safety and earned a BS in food science from the University of Delaware.

Rutgers team investigates food dyes
A team of researchers at Rutgers University that includes several IFT members recently investigated the potential some common food dyes may have in acting as quality sensors for liquid-containing products such as yogurt and flavored milk. 

In a poster presented at the Biophysical Society Annual Meeting, the researchers—who included IFT professional member Richard Ludescher, IFT member Maria G. Corradini, and student member Sarah M. Waxman—discussed the role that fluorescence may have in predicting changes in food quality. As the viscosity of a product increases, so too does the dye’s fluorescence. The team believes that measuring the increased fluorescence could offer an alternative to relying on a viscometer to test the thickness of food, which Waxman notes requires testers to separate and discard a large sample size. “Using food dyes, which are already present in many food products, as probes could be a less invasive and more accurate way to test food’s physical properties,” she says.

QualiTech promotes Hodgens
QualiTech recently promoted Mike Hodgens from chief operating officer to president. Hodgens, an IFT member, is responsible for all day-to-day activities and overall company performance, and the divisional general managers and the director of human resources will now report to him.

“Mike has done an exceptional job in his position as COO and we have complete confidence in his capability to excel in this expanded role,” says Cory Ploen, CEO of QualiTech. “His unique combination of operations, strategic, and business experience paired with his strong leadership will serve our customers very well.”

Ford wins Dannon grant
Amanda Ford, a PhD student at the University of Florida, received the 2014–2015 Dannon Yogurt and Probiotics Fellowship Grant, which is given to a student who excels in science and shows strong interest in advancing research on the functional benefits of yogurt and probiotics.

Since beginning her PhD in 2012, Ford, a student member of IFT, has studied the characterizing effects of probiotics and their modulation of protein fermentation; the Dannon grant will allow her to delve into the effects of protein fermentation on the human microbiota and on measures of digestive health. She holds a master’s degree in management and a bachelor’s degree in nutrition sciences from the University of Florida.

--- PAGE BREAK ---

Dandrea joins Robertet
Robertet Flavors recently hired Richard Dandrea as principal flavorist. In this role, he will be responsible for executing on commercial creative projects, providing leadership in long-term technical platforms, and mentoring members of the creative team.

Dandrea, a professional member of IFT, brings more than 26 years of flavor development experience to Robertet. He earned a bachelor’s degree in food science from Rutgers University and a master’s in business administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Graham joins Bell Flavors
Bell Flavors & Fragrances hired Aaron Graham as its new director of creative services – flavors. In this position, he will work closely with customers to lead the company’s creative development process.

Graham, an IFT member, has more than 20 years of experience in the industry, with previous roles at T. Hasegawa USA, Griffith, and Quest. He earned his bachelor’s degree in food science at Auckland University of Technology and a  master’s in food science at Kansas State University.

Corbion hires Muller
IFT member Andy Muller joined Corbion’s executive committee, where he will lead the Biobased Ingredients unit.

“With more than 30 years of extensive experience in the food ingredients and flavor and fragrances industry, the last decade in senior roles within DuPont Nutrition & Health, Andy has the background and credentials to successfully lead the Biobased Ingredients business and deliver the goals we set in our updated strategy Disciplined Value Creation,” says Tjerk de Ruiter, CEO of Corbion. 

KSU hires Smith
Gordon Smith recently became head of the Dept. of Grain Science and Industry in the College of Agriculture at Kansas State University. He comes to his new role from ConAgra Foods, where he spent nine years as vice-president and research fellow for the company’s research, quality, and innovation team. 

“My career has focused on translating science into meaningful products for consumers,” says Smith, a professional member of IFT. “I believe educational excellence is rooted in great teaching in conjunction with motivated students and faculty. Cutting-edge research can expose students to current science, and our students, faculty, and staff have an opportunity to impact the world through interacting with the industries we serve.” 

In the past, Smith served as adjunct professor, doctoral advisory committee member, program advisory board member, and guest lecturer for schools that include the University of Nebraska–Lincoln; Purdue University; Clemson University; Iowa State University; and the University of Minnesota. He holds a master’s degree in organic chemistry and a doctorate in food science from Texas A&M University, and he received bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and biology from the University of Tennessee at Martin.

Takasago taps Eckert
Markus Eckert joined Takasago International as its vice-president of flavor creation and technology. Eckert, a professional member of IFT, comes to this role with more than 25 years of experience in developing and commercializing new flavors, encapsulation systems, and process technologies. He has held previous management and executive positions with Kerry Ingredients & Flavors, Dragoco, Bush Boake Allen, International Flavors & Fragrances, and Danisco. He holds a PhD in natural sciences and a master’s degree in food engineering and nutrition, both from the University of Hohenheim in Germany.

Section & Division meetings

April 14: Suppliers’ night. Sandy, Utah. Contact Dave Preszler at 801-597-4546 or [email protected], or visit

April 7: Suppliers’ night. Phoenix, Ariz. Contact Holly Long at 801-334-1809 or [email protected], or visit

April 20: Dinner meeting. Elmhurst, Ill. Call 630-916-4960, email [email protected], or visit

New York
April 14: Suppliers’ day. Somerset, N.J. Contact Gerri Cristantiello at 201-905-0090 or [email protected], or visit

New York/Nutmeg
April 30: Joint meeting. Somers, N.Y. Contact Gerri Cristantiello at 201-905-0090 or [email protected], or visit

Ohio Valley
April 30: Suppliers’ expo. West Chester, Ohio. Contact Kelley Lowe at [email protected], or visit

St. Louis
April 9: Suppliers’ night. St. Louis, Mo. Email [email protected] or visit

In Memoriam
Fred Ross Shank II, former vice-president of science, communications, and government relations for IFT, passed away on Jan. 24, 2015. A professional member of IFT since 1972, Shank led the establishment of IFT’s Washington, D.C., office as part of an effort to increase the organization’s presence there. Before his tenure at IFT, Shank spent 22 years at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As director of the Center for Safety and Applied Nutrition, Shank led the FDA in developing policies and programs focused on consumer protection, including the implementation of the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990. After completing his undergraduate studies at the University of Kentucky, Shank earned his PhD in nutrition from the University of Maryland. He served in the U.S. Air Force in the School of Aerospace Medicine prior to beginning his career in government service.

IFT also notes the passing of the following members: Irvin N. Brown and Barbara Klein