U.S. Food Scientist to Receive World's Highest Food Honor

    WASHINGTON, June 18 /CNW/ -- Philip E. Nelson, president of the Institute
of Food Technologists in 2002 and food science professor at Purdue University,
will be recognized today as the 2007 recipient of the World Food Prize in an
announcement here at the U.S. Department of State.
    Nelson has been selected for the world's highest honor in food for his
achievements in the development of bulk aseptic packaging and storage which
allows highly perishable foods like fruits and vegetables to be distributed
globally in a sterile environment without refrigeration and without
significant loss of nutrients.
    Today's announcement will include Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr. Norman
Borlaug, chairman of the World Food Prize selection committee, World Food
Prize President Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn, and be presided over by Daniel
Sullivan, the acting undersecretary of state for economic, business and
agricultural affairs.
    "Dr. Nelson's pioneering work has made it possible to produce ultra-large
scale quantities of high quality food," says Ambassador Quinn. "The food can
be stored for long periods of time and transported anywhere in the world
without losing nutritional value or taste."
    This has proven to be a critical advancement in times of food crisis,
according to Quinn.
    With the aid of aseptic food technology potable water and emergency food
aid was distributed to survivors of the 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia and to
the U.S. victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, as well as to other crisis
situations worldwide.
    Nelson's innovative research led to the development of preserving and
transporting perishable foods without refrigeration in carbon steel tanks
ranging in size from delivery truck to ocean freighter. By coating tanks with
epoxy resin and sterilizing valves and filters, food can be stored and removed
without introducing contaminants. As a result, enormous volumes of food are
safely stored and shipped around the globe for final processing, packaging and
    "Bulk aseptic processing and packaging is recognized among the world's
greatest food innovations" during the past 70 years, according to Al Clausi,
former IFT president and current member of the World Food Prize Council of
Advisors that includes former U.S. Presidents Jimmy Carter and George H.W.
Bush and former Philippine president Corazon Aquino, among others.
    "This modern advancement in food science and technology compares with
Clarence Birdseye's frozen foods, the microwave oven, and concentrated frozen
juices" developed by U.S. Department of Agriculture research labs, says
    Nelson is the first food scientist and second IFT member to receive this
highest honor.
    In 1991, Nevin S. Scrimshaw was recognized for his lifetime achievements
in identifying and fortifying local food sources to reduce diseases associated
with malnutrition in developing nations around the world. Among his other many
achievements, Scrimshaw also founded the Department of Nutrition, Food Science
and Technology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1961.

    Nelson has been involved in the storage and packaging of food since
childhood. In his early years working on his family's tomato farm and canning
factory in Morristown, Ind., he earned the crown of "Tomato King" at the
Indiana State Fair.
    The 2007 World Food Prize and its $250,000 award will be formally
presented to Nelson on October 18 during ceremonies at the Iowa State Capitol,
part of the World Food Prize's Norman E. Borlaug International Symposium.
Further information about the World Food Prize and the Laureate Award Ceremony
and Symposium can be found at http://www.worldfoodprize.org.
    The U.S. Department of State is located at 2201 C Street NW.

    Founded in 1939, and with world headquarters in Chicago, Illinois, USA,
the Institute of Food Technologists is a not-for-profit international
scientific society with 22,000 members working in food science, technology and
related professions in academia, government and industry. As the society for
food science and technology, IFT brings sound science to the public discussion
of food issues. For more on IFT, see http://www.ift.org.

For further information:

For further information: Jim Klapthor of the Institute of Food 
Technologists, +1-312- 604-0231, jnklapthor@ift.org Web Site:
http://www.worldfoodprize.org                  http://www.ift.org

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