First given in 1970, the IFT Fellow designation recognizes exemplary contributions to the field of food science and technology. Fellowship honors recipients’ accomplishments in the areas of scholarly advancement, service to the profession, inspiration of others to excel in the food science and technology field, primary responsibility for the success of a new food product, and/or improvement of the human condition via food science and technology. Whether working in industry, academia, or the regulatory area, IFT Fellows have shaped the science of food in immeasurably valuable ways.
IFT Fellows belong to an elite group. Nominees must have been members of IFT for at least 15 years. All IFT members may nominate candidates, and a group of IFT Fellows serves on a jury to elect the new class of Fellows. A complete list of Fellows can be found on ift.org. Congratulations to the 2017 IFT Fellows:
Rotimi Emmanuel Aluko, PhD, CFS
Professor, University of Manitoba, Canada
As a full professor at the University of Manitoba, Rotimi Emmanuel Aluko continues to make exemplary contributions to food science and technology through his globally recognized research program in protein chemistry and especially bioactive peptides. Aluko uses statistical modeling in combination with in vitro and in vivo analytical methods to establish the relationships between peptide structure (especially amino acid sequence) and function. His work has enabled significant advances in the use of plant proteins as high-quality food ingredients. Likewise, his scientific innovations have made significant contributions in the production, refining, composition, and therapeutic utilization of food protein–derived bioactive peptides.
MaryAnne Drake, PhD
Professor, North Carolina State University
MaryAnne is a William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor in the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences, North Carolina State University where she has conducted research on the flavor and flavor chemistry of foods for more than fifteen years. Her research is focused on understanding how processing steps influence flavor and consumer perception of foods. MaryAnne has published more than 230 peer-reviewed manuscripts and given more than 300 invited industry presentations. MaryAnne is the Past President of the American Dairy Science Association and the Director of the Southeast Dairy Foods Research Center.
Bo Jiang, PhD
Professor, Jiangnan University, Wuxi, China
Bo Jiang, a professor at Jiangnan University in China, is a distinguished researcher and prominent international scholar in the field of food science and technology. His career contributions to the profession include 30 years of innovative research and stellar leadership in the field of food enzymes for functional ingredients. He has successfully integrated the highly selective molecular construction of food grade enzymes and enzymology resulting in the industrialization of functional ingredients, including rare sugars, prebiotics, and bioactive amino acids. Jiang has played a pivotal role in transforming the global stature of Chinese food science higher education and helping establish the first ever IFT Higher Education Review Board (HERB) approved food science undergraduate program in China.
Tara McHugh, PhD
Research Leader, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Western Regional Research Center
Tara McHugh is an exemplary research leader for the Healthy Processed Foods Research Unit of the USDA Agricultural Research Service. She is an internationally recognized expert in innovative food processing, edible films, and nanoscience and a leader in high-impact technology transfer. Her cutting-edge science and that of her team have positively impacted the food industry and rural economies, adding value to specialty crops and coproducts, while creating jobs and improving human health. The novel food products she and her team have developed, including 100% fruit bars, edible fruit and vegetable films, and vitamin D–enhanced mushrooms, are increasing specialty crop consumption while benefiting human nutrition.
Claire Koelsch Sand, PhD
President, Packaging Technology and Research; Adjunct Professor, Michigan State University
Claire Sand is a dynamic industry leader and educator focused on decreasing food waste by connecting packaging, food engineering, and food science. Sand’s experience working simultaneously in industry in academia grant her a unique perspective that has fueled food packaging research. Sand’s industry experience encompasses basic research, research and development, market research, and marketing. She integrates material science, active and intelligent packaging, ingredient innovations, and food processing strategies to launch new products, extend shelf life, and develop strategic technology platforms. In academia, Sand’s focus on critical thinking extends into her classrooms—physical and virtual.
Gordon Smith, PhD
Professor & Department Head, Kansas State University
Gordon Smith currently leads a talented group of professors in the unique department of Grain Science and Industry at Kansas State University. Prior to his transition to academia in 2015, Smith acquired more than 20 years of industry experience working for the Sara Lee Corp. and ConAgra Foods. Smith has been a leader at Kansas State in bridging the industry-academic gap through engaged research, teaching, and outreach. In the private sector he has been recognized for business critical patents, consumer and business impact, product development, and innovation and leadership excellence.
Geoffrey Smithers, PhD, CFS
GWS Food Industry Consulting Services, Inc.
Geoffrey Smithers is a recognized world leader in dairy and food processing and ingredients. He is a food scientist with vision, drive, and enthusiasm and adds an entrepreneurial flair to successfully translate his research outcomes into marketplace realities. Smithers’s innovations in food and dairy processing and ingredients have transformed and modernized the global food landscape. Notable contributions include his market-driven research into novel food ingredients and their applications, commercialization of this research, highlighted by new functional dairy ingredients, and development of novel food processing technologies, highlighted by clever adaptation of continuous chromatography for isolation of ingredients from food by-product streams.
Beverly Tepper, PhD
Professor, Rutgers University
As an accomplished professor at Rutgers University, Beverly Tepper has made important and sustained contributions to the field of sensory science. Her crosscutting work uses techniques in sensory science, taste genetics, psychology, and nutrition to better understand the role of taste in food choice, health, and wellness. Her innovative research linking taste genetics with eating behavior transformed the concept of personalized nutrition. She shows exemplary leadership in promoting the understanding of sensory science through her various roles as a researcher, educator, and mentor. She is deeply committed to professional service and educating the next generation of sensory professionals.