Human Nutrition News & Views
Food Science For alumni, students, associates, andfriends of FSHN
Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
-N -Volume IV, Issue 1, Spring 2004
FSHN Leads the Way in Nutritional Sciences Research
FSHN faculty have always made exceptional contributions to research in their respective fields, and FSHN is back in the
headlines this year. Early in 2004, two of our faculty were featured in Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences news reports in
recognition of their novel research findings.
Dr. Jess Gregory (left) and Dr. Andrew Hanson. Photo by
Josh Wikham, courtesy of IFAS News.
Dr. Jess Gregory, FSHN Professor, along with Dr.
Andrew Hanson, Griffin Eminent Scholar from the UF
Department of Horticultural Sciences, guide an international
team of researchers that has begun untangling the genetic
code behind folate production in plants. The implications of
this discovery are very exciting: in the future, it may be
possible to develop food crops that are inherently rich in
folate, a vitamin that is essential for growth and
development. In developing nations, where folate deficiency
is a common problem, such crops could make an enormous
difference in the health of communities.
If their research team can manipulate the genes that help
produce folate in plants, then they can increase the amount of
folate the plant produces. This type of genetic engineering,
called "biofortification," results in crops that are fortified
with specific nutrients. Biofortification has already resulted
in the creation of a rice crop high in beta-carotene, a source
of vitamin A from plant-derived foods.
Here at the University of Florida, Drs. Hanson and
Gregory have focused on the tomato plant. Not only are
tomatoes consumed in many different cultures around the
world, they are also often eaten raw. And since folate is
unstable and can be lost when food is cooked, the tomato is
thus an ideal choice for this type of research. Many other
fruits and vegetables are also a good source of folate,
including spinach, broccoli, beans and peas, avocados,
oranges, and papayas.
(cont., page 3)
Dr. Bobbi Langkamp-Henken. Photo by Thomas Wright,
courtesy of IFAS News.
Dr. Bobbi Langkamp-Henken, FSHN Associate Professor,
Kelli Herlinger-Garcia, FSHN Senior Biological Scientist, and
multiple FSHN undergraduate volunteers are members of a UF
team that studied how nutrition can help increase immune
function in the elderly. Dr. Langkamp-Henken led a study on the
effect of an experimental nutritional supplement on the ability of
older persons to fight off influenza. Because flu shots are less
effective in the elderly, they are considered an especially at-risk
population during flu season.
Thirty-four participants with an average age of 83
participated in the study. One group was given the nutritional
supplement beverage (a combination of various vitamins,
minerals, antioxidants, fiber, protein and energy) as well as a low
dose vitamin supplement for six months; another group was
given a control
just protein and energy, In this issue:
and the low dose
vitamin supplement. Alumni Updates ..........................................2
All participants were Alumni Success Stories............................3
given the flu vaccine Biofortified Tomatoes, cont ..................3
after the study began.
te the std e Flu-Fighting Nutrition, cont......................3
that 87% of participants Supplier's Night..........................................3
who were given the New Faculty........................................... 3
nutritional supplement FSHN Achievements...................................4
and finished the study
(cont., page 3)
FSHN Alumni Newsletter
Food Science & Human Nutrition Dept.
College of Agricultural & Life Sciences
Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences
University of Florida
Editor: Janna L. Underhill
Coord., Academic Support Services
352/392-1991, ext. 220
We Welcome Your Input!
Send all correspondence, articles,
pictures, updates and comments to:
PO Box 110370, 359 FSHN
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611-0370
Change of Address
Moving, but still want to receive this
newsletter and other UF publications?
Please notify the UF Foundation:
i l i. p 11. 1 111 1 11i ., l Ci. i .I I 0I. l/
(choose "Bio Update")
Norman Matella (BS, 1999; MS,
2003) is pursuing a PhD in Food
Science at Michigan State University.
Dr. Alexandra Marques de Oliveira
(PhD, 2001) is on the faculty of the
Fishery Industry Technical Center at
the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.
She conducts research in seafood
processing and advises graduate
students in the Seafood Science and
Kristen Degennaro (BS, 2003) was
accepted into the St. Louis University
School of Medicine.
Elba Rodriguez (BS, 2003) was
accepted into the ARAMARK
Metropolitan Dietetic Internship in
Sara Tacy (BS, 2003), was accepted
into the Oakland County Health
Division Dietetic Internship in
Michigan, focusing on community
Dr. Trevor Gentry (BS, 1996; MS,
1999) completed a PhD under Dr. John
Roberts (BS, 1993; MS 1994) at
Cornell University and is now working
in food engineering and chemistry for
the USDA Agricultural Research
Service in Hawaii.
Shawn Sprankle (BS, 1998; MS,
2001) is doing product development for
SunPure here in Florida. Dr. Francis
Antoine (PhD, 2000) and Deena
Rogers (BS, 2001) are also at SunPure.
Gabriel Cosenza (BS, 1999)
completed an MS in Animal Science
here at UF and is now continuing on in
the PhD program in Animal Science.
Dr. Diego Luzuriaga (BS, 1993; MS,
1995; PhD 1999) is working for
Minna Leibovitz (BS, 2001; MS,
2003) is working for Anheuser-Busch
in Jacksonville. Congratulations go out
to both Minna and her fiance, Simon
Schuster, who will be getting married
Simon Schuster and Minna Leibovitz, UF
graduation spring 2003.
Erin Goggins (BS, 2001) was accepted
into UF's Physician Assistant master's
Gail Rampersaud (BS, 1997; MS,
1999) is an Assistant In faculty member
in FSHN, providing support for
research and education on nutrients in
citrus and developing educational
programs on folic acid.
Some FSHN alumni pursuing master's
degrees here in FSHN: Jeffrey Bobo
(BS, 2000), Stephanie Hoke (BS,
2002), Louis Lichten (BS, 2002),
Nineveh Ludlow (BS, 2001), David
Mantilla (BS, 2002), C. J. Nieves (BS,
2000), Troy Pitts (BS, 2001), Jennifer
Scheer (BS, 2000).
FSHN Alumni currently pursuing a
PhD in FSHN include: Bryan Boynton
(BS, 1996; MS, 1999), Melissa Jones
(BS, 2001), and Benjamin Warren
(BS, 1998; MS, 2003).
Dr. Ren6e Goodrich (PhD, 1996),
Assistant Professor here in FSHN, is
the current Chair-Elect for the Florida
Section of the Institute of Food
Technologists. Located at the Citrus
Research and Education Center in Lake
Alfred, her research focuses on juice
chemistry and processing.
S ". Dr. Renee
Liv Bader (BS, 1997; MS, 2003) and
Andre Reodica (BS, 2003) are with
Bacardi in Jacksonville.
Dr. Sara Rathman (PhD, 2003)
accepted a post-doc position with
Michael Herman (BS, 2001) is
pursuing a master's degree in Health
Services Administration here at UF.
Danielle Pires (BS, 2001; MS, 2003)
now works for The Father's Table, a
frozen dessert company in Orlando.
Saad Sebbana (BS, 1999; MS, 2001)
works for PIC USA in Kentucky.
Melissa Kirby (BS, 2001; MS, 2002)
is a food scientist with ACH Food
Companies, Inc. in Memphis,
Dr. Haejung An (PhD, 1989) is an
Associate Professor in the Department
of Food Science and Technology at
Oregon State University.
Dr. Figen Korel (PhD, 2000) is now
Assistant Department Chair in the Food
Engineering Department in Manisa
Did we leave you out, or is our
information outdated? Please
drop us a line (see box, top left).
Alumni Success Stories Scott King
Scott King graduated in 2000 with his BS
in Food Science. A very active student, Scott
served as the Vice President of Food Science
for the Food Science and Human Nutrition
Club in 1998-1999, the Social Chair for the
FSHN Club in 1999-2000, and participated in
Institute of Food Technologists College Bowl
competitions in 1999 and 2000. Scott was also
the recipient of the FL Section Institute of
Food Technologists Grady W. Chism Jr.
Memorial Scholarship in 1999, and the
Southeastern Food Processors Association
Scholarship in 2000.
After graduation, Scott went to work for
PIC USA, a subsidiary of Sygen International,
in Kentucky. After two successful years at PIC, he was offered
and accepted a Quality Supervisor position with Kellogg's in
Pikeville, Kentucky. Just this spring, he was promoted to Plant
Quality Manager and is now the youngest person to hold this
position in Kellogg's North America. Scott is responsible for
managing the plant's quality assurance and food
safety programs. He also supervises the lab
technicians and sanitarians.
Scott tells us he loves working for Kellogg's.
He says they have a fantastic corporate philosophy,
and the fact that they are one of the largest food
companies in the United States is a testament to their
continuous efforts to produce high quality food
products, encourage employee development, and
keep the consumer happy.
Scott admits that one of the attractions of this
particular job was the location. For someone who
enjoys camping, hiking, fishing, and mountain
biking, eastern Kentucky offers a wealth of
We all look forward to seeing Scott and other alumni every
year at the Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting. It's a
chance to catch up with old friends and find out where our
alumni have gone. If you see Scott King in Las Vegas this July,
please join us in congratulating him on all his successes!
Research, continued from page 1
Aside from increasing folate synthesis, another goal is to prevent the natural reduction of folate in ripening tomatoes,
particularly in the edible fruit itself. It is hoped that continued research will pave the way for folate biofortification and thus
improved health around the globe.
showed a fourfold increase in antibodies, indicating that the elders were responding to the flu vaccine. Those participants drinking the
experimental formula also suffered fewer days of flu-like symptoms than the control group 78 total days compared to 156 total days.
This study is important for many reasons. Previous studies have shown that nutrient deficiency can negatively impact immune
function and thus the body's response to vaccines, but in this study Langkamp-Henken made the link between good nutrition and a
specific clinical outcome. For health practitioners, this is clear evidence that good nutrition can not only help the elderly respond better
to flu vaccines, but may also help reduce days of cold and flu symptoms. This is especially important because this study found that only
12 of the 34 participants regularly took vitamins prior to the study.
Although the liquid supplement used in this study is not available to the general public, Langkamp-Henken suggests that all
seniors should take an inexpensive, commercially available multi-vitamin supplement. All evidence suggests that this one simple step
may help keep our senior citizens in better health.
Supplier's Night Update
This year's FL Section Institute of Food
Technologists' Supplier's Night was held on
February 26th in Orlando. Many students from the
FSHN Club volunteered to help at the event, and in
return FL Section generously agreed, as they do
annually, to support the FSHN Club financially for
the upcoming year. FL Section IFT student reps
Gillian Folkes (PhD student working with Dr.
Murat Balaban) and David del Pozo Insfran
(PhD student working with Dr. Steve Talcott)
organized and supervised the undergraduate
volunteers, and a special thanks goes out to all the
students who worked so hard to support the FSHN
Club and FL Section. FSHN is grateful for the
many professional opportunities IFT offers to our
Newest Faculty Addition
Please join us in welcoming Dr. Mitch Knutson to
the FSHN Department. Dr. Knutson received his BS
from Iowa State University in 1992 with a double
major in French and Biochemistry, and his PhD in
Nutrition from the University of California, Berkeley
in 1998. He comes to us most recently from the
Harvard School of Public Health Department of
Nutrition, where he was a Postdoctoral Fellow for
several years. Dr. Knutson's research focuses on the
biochemical and molecular mechanisms of iron transport and nutrition,
and he has published and presented numerous studies in these areas. With
years of classroom experience, both at Berkeley and Harvard, Dr. Knutson
will teach a FSHN graduate course in Advanced Human Nutrition and is
also developing a new course for Nutritional Sciences undergraduates on
laboratory techniques in nutrition research. He will also serve as a faculty
advisor to students in Nutritional Sciences.
April Elston, PhD student working with Dr. Russell Rouseff
(professor) was awarded the Donald A. Withycombe Graduate
Fellowship in Food Chemistry from the American Chemical
Society (ACS). This is a one-time fellowship award of $2500
given to promising food chemistry students, and she received
this award last fall at the National ACS meeting in New York
City. April also received a Hunt Brothers Fellowship, funded by
an endowment established by the Frank and Ellis Hunt families
in Lake Wales, FL to support graduate research at the Citrus
Research and Education Center. April's graduate research
focuses on flavor chemistry to improve citrus juice quality and
establishing the importance of various compounds on flavor as a
basis for creating tests to measure quality.
Wendy Bell, MS student also working with Dr. Russell
Rouseff, was recently awarded the Herlong Endowed Graduate
Scholarship. Funded by an endowment established by Leesburg
citrus growers Mr. and Mrs. Byron Herlong, this scholarship
recognizes Wendy's work in the area of grapefruit juice off-
flavors. She is studying the effects of thermal processing on
citrus juice flavor by analyzing changes in chemical components,
with particular emphasis on the furan class of compounds.
David del Pozo Insfran, PhD student working with Dr. Steve
Talcott, was the 1st place winner of the Food Chemistry Division
Research Paper Competition at the IFT Annual Meeting in
Chicago last year. He was also the 2nd place winner of the 2003
George F. Stewart International Research Paper Competition,
and he represented the US at the "Preparing to be Leaders of the
Future" conference in the 12th World Congress of Food Science
and Technology in Chicago.
Juanita "Nita" Bagnall, FSHN Chemist, received an Institute of
Food and Agricultural Sciences Superior Accomplishment
Award this year honoring her outstanding contributions to FSHN
in 2002-2003. Nita works in Dr. Harry Sitren's (FSHN
Graduate Coordinator) laboratory, but last year she also acted as
graduate secretary when that position was vacant, assisting
FSHN graduate programs and students as needed. Please join us
in thanking Nita for her dedication to FSHN.
Each year, FSHN chooses one 4th year undergraduate from each
of its three academic specializations to receive an Outstanding
Senior award. This year, the Outstanding Food Science Senior is
Lanier Fender. Lanier has been academically successful, and is
active in many professional activities including the UF Food
Product Development Team and the UF Dairy Judging Team.
The Outstanding Dietetics Senior is Kelli Notestine. Kelli is the
current Treasurer of the FSHN Club, has donated a great deal of
her time to volunteer and extracurricular activities, and has an
outstanding GPA. The Outstanding Nutritional Sciences Senior
is Zameera Fida. Zameera is President of the Pre-dental
American Student Dental Association, has demonstrated
leadership in several other campus organizations, and is an
excellent student. Congratulations go out to all three of these
Dr. Robert Braddock, FSHN Professor, received the Institute
of Food Technologists Citrus Processing Division Research and
Development Award at the 43rd Citrus Processing Short Course
in C lc anl\ ati Beach last fall.
Dr. Roger Darros-Barbosa (PhD, 2003) was just awarded the
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) 2004 Award
of Excellence for Graduate PhD Research, recognizing his
dissertation as the best in all of IFAS. He is now an Assistant
Professor in the Food Engineering & Technology Department at
Unesp-Paulista State University in Sao Paulo, Brazil. And
Benjamin Warren, MS student working with Dr. Mickey
Parrish and Dr. Keith Schneider, won the IFAS 2004 Award of
Excellence for Graduate MS Research in recognition of his
outstanding master's thesis as the best in IFAS. Ben is
continuing on for his PhD in FSHN.
Please join us in congratulating the FSHN and Institute of Food
Technologists (IFT) scholarship winners for the 2003-2004
academic year. FL Section IFT winners are PhD student
Benjamin Warren and undergraduates Sean Altenbach
(Nutritional Sciences), Danielle Bogan (Food Science), and
Allison Flores (Food Science). Food Science undergraduate
Christopher Duncan won a national IFT scholarship, and PhD
student April Elston won a Virginia Dare Scholarship. FSHN
undergraduate scholarship winners are: Nyima Ali (Nutritional
Sciences), Danielle Bogan (Food Science), Kelly Brook
(Nutritional Sciences), Taylor Cookingham (Food Science),
Cristin Cuozzo (Dietetics), Laura Heverling (Dietetics), Sara
Langmaack (Nutritional Sciences), Joy Mueller (Nutritional
Sciences), Nicole Sammons (Nutritional Sciences), Mari
Takeda (Nutritional Sciences), Vincent Yeung (Nutritional
Sciences), and Kristine Yu (Food Science). Two brand new
scholarships were awarded through FSHN this year: the Eugene
E. Woodward Memorial Scholarship (awarded to Vincent
Yeung) and the Robert P. Bates Scholarship (awarded to Taylor
Laura Heverling, Dietetics junior, received the Sue Young
Scholarship from the University Women's Club this year. Nicole
Sammons, a Nutritional Sciences junior who is in the UF Junior
Honors Medical Program, won the Gamma Sigma Delta
Undergraduate Scholarship this year.
Dr. Gail Kauwell has been promoted to full Professor.
On February 16th 2004, FSHN, in cooperation with ABC
Research Corporation, held the 1st annual Scramble for
Scholarships. Thanks to golf tournament participants and
generous donations from ABC Research Corporation, Florida
Food Products, Syngenta Crop Protection, Darden Restaurants,
and DuPont/Qualicon, $15,000 was raised from the tournament
to provide graduate scholarship assistance to FSHN. Five teams
(17 people) played in this year's event, and most participants
shared in the more than $1500 in total prizes awarded.