Ed Hirschberg passed away on January 9, at the age of 96. A member of IFT for over 50 years, he was the recipient of IFT’s 2016 Babcock-Hart Award for his numerous contributions to food processing, especially his innovations in freeze-drying and dehydration of fruits and vegetables, which led to increased consumption of them around the world.
A leader and creative pioneer in the food industry, Hirschberg filed more than 15 patent applications; invented more than 50 novel, healthy food products; and tested, invented, and perfected new processes, as well as designed and built new machines to perform them.
In 1963, he launched E. Hirschberg Freeze Drying, later incorporating the business into Innovative Foods, Inc., with the dual focus of producing freeze-dried ingredients as well as cutting-edge R&D in the field of dehydration. Hirschberg also invented many products and processes for the U.S. military and most major dried soup and snack companies worldwide.
In his book, A Food Designing Life, released in 2018, he took a look back at more than 60 years in the field of food science, recalling his search for “an industry worthy of my industry,” and recounting the lessons he learned along the way about the value of perseverance, collaboration, imagination, resilience, integrity, and more.
IFT also notes the passing of the following members: Dennis Lee Grubel, Tom Imbordino, Thomas E. Luallen, Toni Ruth Manning, and Mark J. Moisey.
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