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Outgoing Chair's Message

After a successful IFT meeting and the display of such great leadership, it was a pleasure to see what we’ve accomplished this year and what we’ve lined up for next. Thank you for the opportunity to serve the RFFD division. My gratitude to the leadership team for their contribution to the division. Our next chair is William Adams. I am excited to transfer the baton to him, as I am sure RFFD will be in good hands.


Incoming Chair's Message


I wish to welcome you all to a new and exciting year within the Refrigerated and Frozen Foods Division. I hope you were fortunate enough to attend the IFT18 event last month in Chicago. There were a number of very interesting presentations as well as the always impressive exhibit hall. Our division leaders met on Sunday morning for a different approach to planning for this coming year's activities, followed by the judging of the Graduate Research Paper Poster Competition. I am happy to announce Aishwarya Badiger, from Ohio State University, was this year's champion  and would also like to extend a special thank you to Pavitra Krishna Kumar, Jeffrey Caminiti, and Taiyoung Kang for participating in this year's competition program. I encourage you to begin recruiting now for next year's competitions, as we would like to build upon this year's success. During our planning session a number of items were discussed including the newsletter, member spotlight, and symposia, to touch on a few. I would like to encourage each of you to read the newsletter for updates and would sincerely appreciate your support and encourage your participation in our division.  Throughout the year, there will be opportunities to participate and help to lead your division, so I would appreciate as much time and activity as possible. I look forward to hearing from each of you on suggestions which will help to improve the division, and working with all of you on a number of projects through the year.

Bill Adams

RFFD Graduate Students Poster Competition Awards


Aishwarya Badiger: The Ohio State University - First Place

Pavitra Krishna Kumar: Washington State University - Second Place


Jeffrey Caminiti:  The Ohio State University

Taiyoung Kang: University of Hawaii

Joint Social Luncheon

The Refrigerated & Frozen Foods and Product Development Divisions held a joint luncheon at IFT18. Susan Mayer from RTI International elaborated on the Best Practices in Food Innovation.

The presentation looked at a framework to re-think product design and how development teams could define what truly is the challenge and how to approach it. Examples provided reinforced the steps and benefits of design thinking in food product development, including the difference between understanding consumer needs and product testing, and how technical and economic feasibility just as critical to product design.

Division Networking Reception

RFFD division provided professionals and students with an exceptional opening to connect and network with refrigerated and frozen foods division. An appreciable number of attendees stopped by the division table and showed their interest in linking with RFFD.

Awards and Honors

Outstanding Volunteer Award

Gabriela John Swamy, South Dakota State University

Outstanding Service Award

Sanjay Gummalla, American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI)

Bor S. Luh International Award

Professor Kumar Mallikarjunan, an RFFD member-at-large, was recently honored by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) at IFT18 for his leadership and innovation in promoting the science of food as the recipient of the Bor S. Luh International Award.

Dr. Mallikarjunan distinguished himself internationally in research, teaching, and outreach, and is recognized by his peers as an example of success in international programs. His contributions have been largely focused on enhancing the processing and storage of cereals, nuts, fruits, and vegetables, and the development of appropriately scaled technologies for developing countries, especially sub-Saharan African countries (Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Ghana). His accomplishments show a balance among technology transfer, understanding issues, and the international exchange of ideas.

Let Your Achievement Speak

RFFD Poster Competition First place - Aishwarya Badiger, Ohio State University

What motivates you to be part of IFT?
IFT is one of the most renowned organizations in food science field, and I always dreamed of being a part of it. When I got into my Masters program, I learned more about the huge impact that IFT has on the food science community. My advisor, Dr. Dennis Heldman, being one of the past presidents of IFT, also played a role in me wanting to participate in IFT.

As a graduate student, what is your greatest achievement?
I would say discovering how passionate I am about reducing food waste and being able to work with one of the greatest professors in the field of sustainable food science research.

How important has this award been in your career?
Being the recipient of this award has certainly put me in the spotlight among my colleagues and this is very exciting since it was my first time ever attending IFT. This is the most prestigious award I have ever received, and it has definitely motivated me to work harder and smarter in future research endeavors. Even being an attendee at IFT was extremely rewarding and gave me an opportunity to interact with a lot of professionals with similar interests.

What are the striking aspects of your research?
I think the topic of my research is very current. Food waste is becoming an increasingly pressing issue over the years and being able to use food science and technology is really interesting. Moreover, this research is multi-faceted with a very significant economic side, which makes it stand out.

Does your research have positive influence on your surroundings?
It most certainly does! Waste of any kind impacts the economy of a nation, in addition to having a serious environmental impact. With organizations such as ReFED (Rethink Food Waste through Economics and Data) being invested in our research, I think the work that I’m a part of could be a contributing step towards addressing the issue of food waste. This sense of satisfaction is one of factors that keeps me going through all the difficult phases of my research.

What are the challenges faced in your research?
There have been quite a few roadblocks during the completion of my program. One of the most difficult ones was learning to be patient while dealing with instruments. On a more serious note, trying to figure out the applicability and feasibility of my research has always been challenging. What I have learned is roadblocks are, most often than not, opportunities to learn.

What is your ultimate career goal?
I wish to be responsible for making major contributions towards the reduction of food losses and wastes in the food supply chain. The path I need to follow to achieve this goal is not defined yet.

If you were not Food Science student, what career would you have chosen?
I think I would pursue my hobby of painting, to become an artist.

RFFD Poster Competition Second Place - Pavitra Krishna Kumar, Washington State University

1. What inspired you to be part of IFT?
IFT connects food technology enthusiasts from across the world, and it is a wonderful networking and knowledge-sharing platform. This fact is a great inspiration.

2. What is your greatest accomplishment as a research student?
I have learned to receive both challenges and opportunities with a positive attitude. I derive my lessons out of failures. To have developed this attitude is my greatest accomplishment, and I am sure fellow research students would agree with me.

3. How would you use being the recipient of this award to influence others and how would it impact your career?
I thank the IFT Refrigerated and Frozen Foods Division for the opportunity to compete and present my poster at IFT18, and for the award. I would encourage my fellow graduate students to join the division, take active part as division leaders and volunteers, and use the opportunity to meet fellow scientists and
work closely with them. This award has given me the much needed confidence to take my research forward and more in the scientific community and at future opportunities. Besides, the feedback received from judges and audience has given me and my research committee more questions to be answered.

4. What could be the award winning feature of your research that distinguishes you from rest of the candidate?
Our work addresses the temperature fluctuation during frozen food handling and its impact upon select food properties. The results obtained from our work would help provide better design strategies for handling of frozen food on a commercial scale. The award winning feature of this work, in my opinion, is being able to offer practical, feasible solutions to the industry.

5. Do you feel your research has positive influence on food sector/humankind?
Yes! Our research is one of the many approaches to dealing with the issue of food quality loss, with the focus on temperature fluctuation of frozen food during its handling. The food sector would benefit from the output of this work – there can be improvement of existing strategies to handle frozen food, based on how susceptible the food is to the implications of temperature fluctuation.

6. What challenges have you had to deal with, if any, in continuing your research?
The present focus of this work has been the potato – a fresh produce that is processed into several par-cooked frozen products. Studying a fresh produce comes with its own challenges – the raw material heterogeneity is to be noted at each step and taken care of. This is a common aspect of any food science research, as the heterogeneity offers the twist to the tale, while trying to understand a food matrix. In addition, the fundamental aspect of frozen food research is temperature control. Although it may sound trivial, planning the freezing and thawing studies – heat transfer medium, time, temperature range, and measurement methods have been a good learning in itself. My thesis advisor, Dr. Shyam Sablani and our research committee and collaborators have been a great resource at all times in this research.

7. What is your ultimate career goal?
I wish to become a better food engineer tomorrow, than I am today!

8. If you were not Food Science student, what career would you have chosen?
I would have worked on becoming a lawyer – it surprises me that I am on a different career track altogether, now!

Volunteering with RFFD

Volunteering offers a great networking opportunity with professionals and students engaged in food safety and quality. The following positions are open:

Vice Chair: Takes notes of conference calls and represents the division on activities such as the networking reception.

Technical Research Paper (TRP) reviewer: Reviews and judges posters to be presented at IFT19.

Scientific session proposal organizer: Organizes and submits session proposals for IFT19.

Student Representative: Helps in collecting information for newsletter

For more information please contact gabrielafoodtech@gmail.com

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