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Seligman Award Winner: Tushar Gulati

Tushar Gulati

16 Jul 2014

Seligman Award Winner Tushar Gulati was able to participate in two key food science and engineering conferences. He tells as about his experiences at both conferences.

As a result of receiving the SCI Seligman Travel Bursary, I got the opportunity to participate in two of the most important conferences in the area of Food Science and Engineering: Conference of Food Engineering (CoFE 2014) and Institute of Food Technologists (IFT 2014).

The first CoFE 2014 was a three-day conference held at Omaha, Nebraska, USA that was particularly designed to bring together food engineers from across the globe and discuss potential challenges and possible solutions to address key issues related to food quality, safety and sustainability. The conference was a good learning experience, especially in the area of food process modeling, wherein sophisticated modeling and simulation techniques, applied to some industrially relevant food processes, were showcased. Modeling food processes across different length scales (known as multiscale modeling in other fields of research) was a new addition to the conference's plenary sessions. Also, elaborate experimental system designs were presented in order to better validate mathematical models of heat and moisture transport, shrinkage/swelling of food materials and, models addressing bacterial growth and attachment to fresh produce with the goal of improving quality and safety of food systems. Advances in non-thermal processing such as high pressure processing, use of pulsed-electric fields, ohmic heating among others were presented as alternatives to process food materials. Overall, the conference was an excellent opportunity to learn about active areas of research, to present my work among peers, to gain professional experience and, to have a one to one interaction with other food engineers and learn about their approach to problem-solving in the area of food engineering.

The second, the Annual Meeting and Food Expo of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT 2014), was held as New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. The IFT Annual Meeting brought together professionals from industry, academia, and government involved in all of the fields associated with Food Science and Technology. IFT gave an opportunity to know about all active areas of research in the field of Food Science and Technology. Having discussions with researchers spanning the entire Food Science community helped me broaden my research focus and gave me a much wider perspective into approaching a problem associated with food engineering. Presenting my research work here at IFT was an experience in itself wherein I was asked questions not only about the engineering aspects of my research but also about food chemistry, food quality and food safety. For my research on trying to understand the fundamental mechanisms during rice puffing, I was awarded the Best Poster Award by the American Association of Food Scientists for the Indian Subcontinent (AAFSIS). In addition, I got an opportunity to attend the Food Expo where several food companies participated to showcase their newly developed products, processes and equipment that were yet to hit the market. Overall, IFT was an amazing experience in terms of networking with researchers and companies alike, and present my research to a much wider audience widening my research perspective in this process.

Finally, I would like to thank the Seligman trust for providing the financial support in the form of Seligman APV Travel Award to attend CoFE 2014 and IFT 2014.

You can connect with SCI members with a similar background to Tushar, through the SCI Members' Directory.

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