IFT recognises leading innovators in food industry

By Anthony Fletcher

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Food Ift

The IFT's 2006 Fellows and Achievement Award winners were announced
at the opening of last week's IFT conference in Orlando, Florida.

The list included food scientists and researchers from all over the world who have made a critical difference in food innovation over the past 12 months.

"These award winners have achieved remarkable breakthroughs in our field,"​ said IFT president Margaret Lawson.

The Marcel Loncin Research Prize went to Jose Miguel Aguilera, a professor at the Pontifica Universidad Catolica de Chile.

As founder and director of the Food Biomaterials Laboratory at the university, he has undertaken research in areas such as structure-property relationships in food and biomaterials and modelling of microstructural changes in food.

Other achievement award winners included George Burdock, president of Burdock Group for contributions to the scientific knowledge of food ingredient safety, and Jairus David, director of global quality assurance operations at Mead Johnson Nutritionals for technical contributions to the advancement of the food industry.

US company Praxair won the 2006 industrial achievement award for its NatureWash ozonized water wash and dry system, which extends the shelf life of fresh-cut produce and reduces spoilage organisms.

IFT fellowships were also conferred to, among others, Douglas Archer, a professor at the University of Florida, for his work in helping to improve food safety and food safety worldwide.

Jacqueline Beckley, president and chief innovation officer of The Understanding & Insight Group, was honoured for her innovative work on the role of sensory and psychological factors in consumer perception. At Quaker Oats, Beckley developed new methodology and designs for experimentation, including separate methods for incorporating children's taste preferences into product development.

The ceremony, which kick started the IFT's annual conference, found the institute in confident mood.

"Publishing scientific research reports, participating in coalitions, collaborating with domestic and international organisations, and enhancing the technical programming at our Annual Meeting are only a few of the initiatives we have excelled at in this area,"​ said Lawson.

"Our goal is making the Institute of Food Technologists the essential community for current and future food science professionals while continuing to support the research and delivery of sound science to policy makers and industry."

The world's largest event on food ingredients, which took place June 24 to 28, was widely held to be a success by both organisers and attendees. A frequent comment was that this year's show, while perhaps a little quieter than last year's conference in New Orleans, had provided some excellent business leads.

In addition to over 1,000 exhibitors, this year's conference also featured four major themes: food defence and bioterrorism; functional foods; globalisation; and food allergens. The show also included a trend forecasting session.

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