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Multiple NIFA Grantees Inducted to the 2023 Institute of Food Technologists Fellows

Nifa Authors
Rachel Dotson, Public Affairs Specialist (Social Media)

Recently, the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) named this year’s 10 IFT Fellow honorees. The IFT Fellow award is bestowed upon an IFT member by their peers to recognize career excellence and significant service, leadership, and contributions to IFT and the profession. 

This year’s honorees include six current and former awardees of Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) and other competitive grant programs of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). They have been continually supported by various NIFA programs throughout their successful careers in scientific discoveries, technology and product development, student and workforce training, and knowledge deliveries to industry and consumers.

“These outstanding scholars have collectively made tremendous contributions to advance the sciences of food for improving sustainable food and nutrition security, ensuring food safety, creating innovative products and processing technologies, and strengthening the national economy,” said Dr. Suzanne Stluka, deputy director of food safety and nutrition. “We are exceedingly proud of their professional recognitions. Their efforts are an integral part of the nationwide food science community supported by NIFA programs.”

Get to know this year’s honorees: 

  • Xuetong Fan, Lead Scientist and Research Food Technologist, USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS): Xuetong Fan has worked in the field of postharvest biology and technology, ionizing irradiation and other nonthermal food technologies, as well as in food quality and the microbial and chemical safety of foods. His research on the use of 1-Methylcyclopropene to extend the storage life of fruits and vegetables has led to its commercial application around the world. His studies on food irradiation have helped regulatory agencies make science-based decisions on the approval of irradiation use for lettuce, spinach and other products. Over the past 30 years, his work has appeared in more than 450 publications, including 200 peer-reviewed articles.
  • M. Mónica Giusti, Distinguished Professor, Department of Food Science and Technology, The Ohio State University: M. Mónica Giusti leads the Giusti Phytochemicals Laboratory in the study of the chemistry and functionality of flavonoids and potent plant antioxidants, with an emphasis on anthocyanins and their application as natural food colorants. Dr. Giusti’s research has generated 130 peer-reviewed journal articles, 30 book chapters, four edited books and nine patents. Born in Lima, Peru, Dr. Giusti earned a food engineering degree from the Universidad Nacional Agraria and graduate degrees in food science from Oregon State University. She is a member of the American Chemical Society and AOAC International and is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.
  • Julie M. Goddard, Professor, Cornell University: Julie M. Goddard worked in industry as a research engineer before returning to academia to establish a program on biomaterials and biointerfaces in food and agriculture. Her work with graduate and undergraduate students to develop new biocatalytic systems, active food packaging materials and functional coatings has been reported in more than 100 publications and awarded several patents. She holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and a doctoral degree in food science, both from Cornell University.
  • Brendan Niemira, Research Leader, Food Safety and Intervention Technologies Research Unit, USDA ARS: Brendan Niemira earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago and his doctorate from Michigan State University. Dr. Niemira joined the USDA ARS in 1999 as a research microbiologist and now leads a team of more than 20 scientists and engineers developing tools to kill food pathogens on produce, meats, eggs and other foods. His research has focused on the development and validation of cold plasma, irradiation and other nonthermal food processing technologies. He has published more than 180 peer-reviewed research articles, book chapters and critical reviews. Additionally, he is the coeditor of a well-regarded reference text and holds one patent. 
  • Dojin Ryu, Professor, University of Idaho: Dojin Ryu is director of the Division of Food, Nutrition and Exercise Sciences in the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR), and chair of the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology in CAFNR and the School of Medicine. He has been working on chemical food safety since completing his doctorate in food science and technology with an emphasis on environmental toxicology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. With two decades of continuous funding from USDA NIFA, Dr. Ryu’s research focuses on molds and mycotoxins in foods and their chemical and toxicological fate during food processing. He is also developing food safety education for hard-to-reach populations, such as the deaf and hard of hearing, with an integrative approach.
  • Qixin Zhong, Professor, University of Tennessee: Qixin Zhong specializes in food ingredient science and technology. He earned his doctorate with double majors in food science and chemical engineering from North Carolina State University in 2003 and has been a faculty member in the Department of Food Science at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, since 2005. Dr. Zhong applies materials science and engineering principles to understand, improve and design multi-length scale structures that enable functions of food ingredients to improve food quality, safety and healthfulness. He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed research papers and more than 200 meeting abstracts. He has taught undergraduate courses in food chemistry and food analysis and graduate courses in food colloids, physical properties of food biopolymers, and food rheology.

Learn more about the IFT Fellows recognition here.

Farm Bill Priority Areas
Food Safety, Nutrition, and Health

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