Through its 2006 honorary awards, the association acknowledged the contributions of five individuals in the grains industry, and also named two new members of its fellows program.
The awards were presented at the World Grains Summit in San Francisco last month, to an audience of food manufacturers and grain scientists who had convened for four days of exploration of the latest developments in grain-based science and technology.
The AACC International's Edith Christensen Award, which recognizes scientific and technical contributions that have advanced the grain science field, was this year presented to Philip Williams, retired in 2002 from the Canadian Grain Commission.
Williams, who had a career-long interest in wheat kernel texture, spent time in charge of the Commission's Protein Segregation Program for hard red spring wheat. He spent the last six years of his professional career in the development of an electronic system for simultaneously testing and establishing grades of grains and seeds on the basis of texture and functionality.
He also helped establish a 50-laboratory complex of the International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas at Tel Hadya in Syria. He is currently an educator and consultant in near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), grain technology and cereal chemistry.
The AACC presented its Excellence in Teaching award this year to Jan Delcour, professor of food chemistry at Katholieke University Leuven in Belgium, where he heads the Laboratory of Food Chemistry.
His research focuses on basic aspects of starch, nonstarch polysaccharides, and storage and physiologically active protein constituents of cereals. Through his work, he aims to improve cereal processing and final product quality.
Elizabeth Knight of spice company McCormick received the association's Geddes Memorial Award, which recognizes the importance of an individual's unselfish contributions to the industry.
Two division awards were also presented this year. A biotechnology award was received by young investigator David Johnston, a research food technologist and lead scientist for the Crop Conversion Science and Engineering Research Unit at the USDA's Agricultural Research Service. The Protein Division award was received by Kansas State University's Baninder Sroan for the best student paper.
Ravi Chibbar and Domenico Lafiandra were named AACC International Fellows, a distinction given in recognition of a member's outstanding contribution to cereal science and technology. The award honors achievements in research, industry, leadership, education, administration, communication, or regulatory affairs. Chibbar is a professor and Canada research chair in crop quality at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada. Lafiandra is a full professor and head of the Department of Agrobiology and Agrochemistry at the University of Tuscia, Italy.
The World Grains Summit was the first jointly hosted event by the AACC and the Master Brewers Association of the Americas (MBAA). It featured a rich program of track sessions, with each track offering technical presentations and symposia with invited speakers from around the globe. Topics within tracks addressed processing and raw materials, nutritional aspects, analytical aspects and functional properties, and safety and quality.
Tracks were: beer and other beverages; breads; breakfast foods; grain exchange; pasta/noodles; professional development; and sweet/salty foods.
The summit also had an open exhibition floor, populated by ingredients manufacturers and firms offering technical expertise to the food and beverage industries. Exhibitors included major players such as ADM, Cargill, BASF, Danisco and DSM.