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Leading NZ food scientist elected a Fellow of US Institute

2 April 2015

Leading New Zealand food scientist elected a Fellow of the United States Institute of Food Technologists

Riddet Institute co-director, Distinguished Professor Harjinder Singh has been elected a Fellow of the United States Institute of Food Technologists (IFT).

IFT is the largest union of food scientists in the world. Since 1939, it has been unlocking the potential of the food science community by creating a global forum where members from more than 95 countries can share, learn, and grow. Transforming scientific knowledge into innovative solutions throughout the food system for the benefit of people around the world. IFT focuses on food security, food safety, sustainability and food education.

Riddet Institute co-director, Distinguished Professor Dr Paul Moughan says it is a unique professional distinction given to individuals with outstanding and extraordinary qualifications and experience as well as for their contribution to the food science and technology field.

"Only ten or 12 people are elected as fellows each year, and most are US-based."

Professor Singh says it is an honour to have been elected a fellow.

"It is a further demonstration of the international profile and impact of food science and technology research and education programmes of the Riddet Institute and Massey University.”

Distinguished Professor Harjinder Singh is also the Head of the School of Food and Nutrition at Massey University’s College of Health. He received his PhD from University College Cork, Ireland and has been with Massey University since 1989. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and received numerous awards including the Marschall Rhodia International Dairy Science Award (USA), William C. Haines Dairy Science Award (USA), JC Andrews Award, and Shorland Medal (New Zealand). In 2012, he was co-recipient of the prestigious Prime Minister’s Science Prize.

He says Fellows are expected to take a leadership role within IFT and participate in think-tanks and task forces. He will travel to Chicago in July to accept the honour.

Professor Paul McDonald, Pro Vice-Chancellor of the College of Health at Massey University, says New Zealanders are very fortunate to have someone of Professor Singh’s calibre working here.

“Professor Singh’s world-class expertise as head of our School of Food and Nutrition contributes to make us a leader in food and health innovations in New Zealand, offering integrated research and education across the entire food chain and health value chain.”

The Riddet Institute, a Government-funded Centre of Research Excellence is a partnership between Massey University (as host institution), the University of Otago, the University of Auckland, AgResearch and Plant & Food Research. It aims to strengthen connections between the food industry and research partners to enhance New Zealand's reputation for excellence in food and sciences. It is New Zealand's premier centre for fundamental and strategic scientific research in foods. Its multi-disciplinary approach, at the intersection of food material science, novel food processing, human nutrition and gastrointestinal biology, is having a direct and positive effect on the development of innovative and healthier foods.

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