AACCI Young Cereal Chemists Meeting

The next Young Cereal Chemists Meeting will be held in 2013.  Details coming soon!

First AACC Intl. Student Division Young Cereal Chemists (YCC) Meeting Held

Lauren R. Brewer
Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, U.S.A.

For the past 10 years, North American cereal science students have observed from afar the successful progression of the European Young Cereal Scientists and Technologists Workshop (EYCSTW). Efforts to develop a North American version of this workshop came to fruition July 11–12, 2011, with the first AACC Intl. Student Division-sponsored Young Cereal Chemists (YCC) meeting. The objective of the meeting was to promote the interaction and scientific participation of graduate students working in the cereal science area by providing an opportunity to share up-to-date research with their peers in an affordable, familiar environment.

The AACC Intl. Student Division hosted the first YCC meeting at the International Grains Program building on the campus of Kansas State University (KSU), Manhattan, KS. The meeting theme was “In'grain'ing Knowledge for the Future.” Students from Iowa State University, Purdue University, the University of Arkansas, the University of Autonoma de Sinaloa, the University of Illinois, the University of Nebraska, and Kansas State University attended the meeting; a total of 33 students participated. Due to generous donations from corporate sponsors, including AACC Intl., the California Raisin Marketing Board, KSU Grain Science and Industry (GSI), Megazyme Intl. Ireland Ltd., Palsgaard Inc., Polypro International Inc., Riceland Foods Foundation, and Texture Technologies Corp., the meeting was a success, and the students had a great experience.

Multiple sessions held over the course of two days allowed diverse topics in cereal science to be covered. Monday, July 11, began with a champagne breakfast hosted by the Microbeam Molecular Spectroscopy Laboratory (MMSL). The students toasted to a successful meeting and an exchange of knowledge. Following the meal and drinks, the students participated in meet-and-greet games before leaving for morning tours. Tours were provided by the GSI Hal Ross Flour Mill, Bioprocessing and Industrial Value Added Program (BIVAP), Extrusion Lab, Feed Mill, KSU Baking Labs, MMSL, and American Institute of Baking (AIB). These tours enabled attendees to get a hands-on look at facilities and equipment.
The Hal Ross Flour Mill is a $10 million facility, donated to KSU GSI, that was dedicated in October 2006. The attendees were given a full tour of the mill by Jeffrey Gwirtz, milling professor and graduate faculty, KSU GSI. Attendees also visited BIVAP. BIVAP specializes in the development of biomaterial processing technology and utilization of agricultural-based materials for value addition. Within BIVAP are the Bio-Materials & Technology Laboratory, Bio-Processing Laboratory, and Extrusion Laboratory. While at BIVAP, the students were free to explore the building and displays. An in-depth tour was provided by Eric Maichel who explained the workings of the Extrusion Laboratory, which provides industry with extrusion training through short courses and services for pilot-scale trial runs. A corporate test of extruded products was scheduled for the next day, and the students were invited back to see the facility in action.

Following some free time and lunch, the Feed Manufacturing Research and Extension Program was explored. Adam Fahrenholz, KSU graduate student and Feed Mill manager, provided an explanation of the Feed Technology Group, GSI contributions in the field of feed manufacturing, and plans for the development of a new state-of-the-art feed mill, the O.H. Kruse Feed Mill and Biorefinery Teaching and Research Center. A tour of the American Institute of Baking (AIB) was provided by Maureen Olewnik. AIB is an international company that provides food safety inspections, audits, certifications, and education, as well as research and technical services, to commercial, government, and educational facilities worldwide. AIB also offers a renowned School of Baking, from which the company’s name is derived.

Upon returning to the IGP conference center, a reception was hosted by the GRSC/AACC Intl. seminar series for guest speaker Baninder Sroan, Nestle R&D, Frozen Foods. Approximately 70 visitors (including the YCC participants) were present for the invited speaker presentation, “Managing Industrial R&D Projects.” To wrap up the first day, dinner was provided, and the evening at IGP ended with eight student presentations. The topics were diverse and provided a sense of the vast scope of our industry. On July 12, the students gathered for breakfast with the final guest speaker, Rebecca Miller, director of the Grain Science Wheat Quality Laboratory, KSU. Miller provided a technical lecture on analytical baking and answered many questions about baking, graduate work, and intrigue in the Wheat Quality Laboratory and breeding programs in Kansas.

In an effort to open the lines of technical communication between the students, three roundtable sessions were held simultaneously: Innovation and Emerging Trends in Food Processing R&D; Bioprocessing and Renewable Resources; and Beginning Your Graduate Program. The roundtables were open discussions on each topic, and the students could choose which session to attend.

Lawrence Johnson, professor and director of the Center for Crops Utilization Research (CCUR) at Iowa State University, led the roundtable session on bioprocessing and renewable resources. To reduce his carbon footprint, the IGP auditorium was wired to connect the students with the CCUR director through video chat. This session was for students interested in the advancement of the uses and processes for grains, seeds, stocks, extracts, etc.

Sajid Alavi, associate professor of extrusion processing, KSU GSI, led the roundtable session on Innovation and Emerging Trends in Food Processing R&D. Attendees included students who were interested in the topics of health and nutrition, population versus supply, environmental issues, etc. as they pertain to cereals.

As a third option for roundtable discussion, the attending AACC Intl. Student Division officers offered guidance to students beginning their graduate programs. Participating students beginning their graduate programs, with or without a project to discuss, were invited to ask questions about graduate education and tips for success.

To wrap up the 2011 YCC meeting, attendees had lunch and enjoyed a poster competition. Blossom Seghel (KSU) was chosen as the winner for her poster “Estimating the Residue Deposition of Grain Protectants in Stored Wheat Based on Insect Responses.” After the final meeting announcements, the students said goodbye to new friends while exchanging well wishes, contact information, and business cards.

I would like to thank the department of Grain Science and Industry, all participants and sponsors, as well as the EYCSTW for an inspirational outline. The YCC meeting was a success, and the AACC Intl. Student Division is discussing making this student meeting a biannual event, with each meeting occurring at a different university in North America.

Lauren R. Brewer was the 2011 YCC meeting chair and is currently a graduate student at Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, in the Department of Grain Science and Industry. Her thesis work examines both grain science and nutrition to connect the areas of carbohydrate chemistry, metabolism, nutrition, and ingredient development for human health. Brewer can be reached at lbrewer@ksu.edu.

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