IFT welcomes new president

by Eric Schroeder
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Mary Ellen Camire

CHICAGO — Mary Ellen Camire, Ph.D., professor of food science and nutrition at the Univ. of Maine’s School of Food and Agriculture, has taken over as the 75th president of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), a nonprofit scientific society of professionals in industry, academia, and government engaged in food science, food technology, and related areas. Camire succeeded Janet E. Collins.

Camire has been a member of the IFT since 1986 and became a certified food scientist in 2012. She is an IFT Fellow and received the Babcock-Hart Award in 2006 for her contributions to a nutritious food supply. Camire’s research spans the fields of food technology and nutrition, including: how processing changes nutrients and antioxidants in foods; ingredients and processing techniques to make foods healthier and more satisfying; and assessing consumer reactions to new crops and aquaculture products.

Additionally, Camire promotes consumption of healthful food products and development of sustainable food production. She is also active in the field of sensory evaluation as the director of the Univ. of Maine Sensory Evaluation Center. Over the course of her career Camire has published 56 peer-reviewed journal articles and 13 book chapters, as well as several technical reports.

“I’m looking forward to working closely with our members, the IFT staff and the media to build an important dialogue on what the profession has achieved to date, and what the great potential will be in the future,” Camire said. “As IFT’s FutureFood 2050 program continues to roll out, I have the unique opportunity to help highlight the positive impact of food science and technology on food security and nutrition.”

Camire has assisted many food companies, ranging in size from home-based processors with one or two staff to multinational corporations. She has served the food science field as a panelist on US Department of Agriculture competitive grant panels, and was also the panel manager for post-harvest food safety competitive grants and the Small Business Innovative Research Food Science and Nutrition panel. She served as president of AACC International in 2008-09.

She received a bachelor’s degree in evolutionary and organismal biology from Harvard, a master’s degree in nutrition from the Univ. of Massachusetts-Amherst and a doctorate from Texas Woman’s Univ.

Collin Dennis, Ph.D., has been selected as president-elect of the IFT. He will follow Camire as the 2015-2016 president.

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