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March 13 - 15, 2023 (GMT-7)

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Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort

633 East Cabrillo Boulevard
Santa Barbara, CA

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Samuel Alcaine (Associate Professor at Cornell University)

Samuel Alcaine

Associate Professor at Cornell University

Dr. Samuel Alcaine is an associate professor of dairy fermentations in the department of Food Science at Cornell University and the director of the Northeast Dairy Foods Research Center. He holds a B.Sc. from the University of Maryland, College Park in Cell, Molecular Biology, and Genetics; an M.Sc. from Cornell University in Food Science; and a Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in Food Science. Before returning to academia, Dr. Alcaine worked as an R&D brewer for MillerCoors, and then went to on to join Unilever as their lead food safety microbiologist for the North American Ice Cream business. He now leads the Alcaine Research Group (ARG), which focuses on fermenting sustainably in the dairy industry by using yeast and bacteria to transform dairy by-products into new, innovative products or to control spoilage and pathogens in traditional dairy foods. His USDA-funded extension work provides food safety coaching to small and artisanal dairy producers across the US.

Jayendra Amamcharla (Professor at Kansas State University)

Jayendra Amamcharla

Professor at Kansas State University

Dr. Jayendra Amamcharla has undergraduate and graduate degrees in dairy technology and dairy engineering, respectively. He has completed his doctoral degree in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at North Dakota State University (NDSU), Fargo, ND. Subsequently, he worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Dairy Science Department at South Dakota State University (SDSU), Brookings, SD. Currently, he is with the Animal Sciences and Industry Department, Kansas State University as a Professor (Food Science).

Zeynep Atamer (Ph.D. at Oregon State University)

Zeynep Atamer

Ph.D. at Oregon State University

Dr. Zeynep Atamer obtained her BSc degree in Food Engineering from the Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey, together with a minor degree in Environmental Chemistry. Afterwards she attended the international MSc Program in Environmental Protection and Food Production at the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany. She carried out her master thesis project at Tetra Pak Research and Development Stuttgart, where she gained her first industrial experience. In 2006, she subsequently started her PhD in the Department of Soft Matter Science and Dairy Technology at the University of Hohenheim, which she completed successfully in 2011. Following her PhD, she then worked as a visiting researcher at the Department of Food Engineering of Akdeniz University, Antalya, Turkey within the scope of an international cooperation project with the University of Hohenheim. Since 2015, she has been working as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Hohenheim, meanwhile writing her habilitation thesis on “Fractionation and enrichment of milk proteins, analytical tools for their quantification and functional applications”. Currently she is in Oregon for an international cooperation project between the University of Hohenheim and OSU, which is on biobased adhesives from casein proteins. She is actively involved in teaching, supervision of master’s and doctoral students as well as projects on dairy science and technology.

KJ Burrington (Vice President of Technical Development at American Dairy Products Institute)

KJ Burrington

Vice President of Technical Development at American Dairy Products Institute

Kimberlee (KJ) Burrington is the Director of Training, Education and Technical Development of ADPI. Prior to joining ADPI, KJ served as the Ingredient Applications Program Coordinator for the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research (CDR). She has over 25 years of experience in product development including her past positions at Ridgeview Industries, the Keebler Company, and as a consultant to the baking industry. KJ has served as a member of ADPI’s Center of Excellence since its inception in 2012
In her previous position at CDR, she provided technical support for U.S. dairy processors and end users on dairy ingredient functionality and applications. She also provided technical expertise for food companies internationally through visits and seminars in conjunction with the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) to countries such as Mexico, Latin America, China, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and Thailand. KJ has also been an instructor/presenter in various ADPI events and activities.
KJ Burrington holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science degree in Food Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is also an IFT Certified Food Scientist.

Greg Chandler (Director Operational Improvement of Darigold, Inc.)

Greg Chandler

Director Operational Improvement of Darigold, Inc.

Greg Chandler is the Director of Operational Improvement at Darigold, Inc. a farmer-owned dairy manufacturing co-operative headquartered in Seattle, with 11 manufacturing plants throughout the Pacific Northwest. He is experienced in dairy manufacturing, process development and optimization, and has been involved in a number of major capital projects. He began his career with Fonterra in various operations and technical positions, and after a short time working for Volac in Europe, moved to Darigold in 2006 where he is responsible for technical support of manufacturing operations, customer technical support, and process design for capital projects. Greg has a B. Tech (Hons) in Biotechnology & Bioprocess Engineering from Massey University in New Zealand.

Gavin Connolly (Purdue University)

Gavin Connolly

Purdue University

Gavin Connolly is a dual-title PhD candidate in Nutrition Science and Gerontology at Purdue University, under the guidance of Wayne Campbell, PhD. His PhD research focuses on essential amino acids responses following meals of animal-derived and plant-based protein foods in young and older adults based on recommendations in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and dietary proteins effects on cardiometabolic health-related outcomes. Gavin obtained a Bachelor of Science in Sport and Exercise Sciences from the University of Limerick, Ireland and a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology from Central Michigan University.

Tim Donohue (Professor at University of Wisconsin)

Tim Donohue

Professor at University of Wisconsin

Tim Donohue is Ira Baldwin and UW Foundation Fetzer-Bascom Professor of Bacteriology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is an international expert on the sustainable bio-based conversion of renewable resources into fuels and products. Since 2007, he has led Great Lakes Bioenergy (, a Department of Energy renewable fuels and chemicals research center. He is also Director of the Wisconsin Energy Institute (, an inter-disciplinary research unit at UW-Madison that seeks to develop valuable, low-carbon, products from renewable residues. Dr. Donohue will describe efforts to convert abundant organic residues generated by the dairy industry into valuable products that can increase its economic and environmental sustainability.

MaryAnne Drake (William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor of Food Science at North Carolina State University)

MaryAnne Drake

William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor of Food Science at North Carolina State University

MaryAnne Drake, PhD, is an internationally recognized expert in dairy flavor. She has been at North Carolina State University since 2001 where she is currently a William Neal Reynolds Professor, and Director of the Sensory Service Center, and Director of the Southeast Dairy Foods Research Center (SDFRC).

Research in her program is focused on sensory analysis and flavor chemistry of dairy products and ingredients, how flavor varies with processing and storage and how these parameters relate to consumer perception. Qualitative market research, descriptive analysis, consumer testing, and preference mapping are all used. Instrumental analysis techniques including gas chromatography/olfactometry, gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, and liquid chromatography and are used to relate sensory properties to the chemical components of foods. Fundamental research on methods development is conducted as well as the application of these techniques to solve industrially relevant problems.

MaryAnne has a BS in Biology from Central Washington and earned a MS and PhD in Food Science from Washington State University.

Dan Gallaher (Ph.D., Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in Nutrition at University of Minnesota)

Dan Gallaher

Ph.D., Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in Nutrition at University of Minnesota

Dan Gallaher is a professor in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota. His research interests include dietary influences on colon cancer, diabetes, and the microbiome, particularly the effects of prebiotics, as well as protein quality of plant proteins. He is a member of the University of Minnesota Cancer Center, the Minnesota Obesity Prevention Center, is on the advisory board for the Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute, and on the editorial board for the Journal of Food Science.
He is passionate about canoeing in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in northern Minnesota and his four grandkids.

Anil Kommineni (Sr. Technical Program Manager at Danone North America)

Anil Kommineni

Sr. Technical Program Manager at Danone North America

Dr. Kommineni is the Sr. Research and Innovation Manager for Yogurt BU at Danone North America. His expertise is in the areas of Dairy foods development and commercialization. Experience in dairy ingredient process and product developments, filtration technologies, and condensing and spray drying. He obtained his BS from India, and MS and Ph.D. in Dairy Manufacturing from South Dakota State University. At Danone North America he is responsible for developing both dairy and Dairy alternative yogurt and high protein cultured products.

Grace Lewis (Assistant Professor of Food Science at University of Wisconsin - River Falls)

Grace Lewis

Assistant Professor of Food Science at University of Wisconsin - River Falls

Grace earned her B.S. and Ph.D. in Food Science from the Pennsylvania State University. Her dissertation research focused on the use of high-pressure jet technology to modify dairy protein functionality for use in clean-label food products. In her new role as an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin – River Falls and University of Wisconsin – Madison Dairy Innovation Hub Affiliate, she continues to work on enhancing dairy protein and milkfat functionality through novel processing interventions including high pressure, processing aids, and others. She also has research projects on dairy byproduct utilization. Her research objectives target improved human health, with applications for both the food and pharmaceutical industries.

Mark Majoros (Analyst, Blimling & Associates at Ever.Ag)

Mark Majoros

Analyst, Blimling & Associates at Ever.Ag

Mark Majoros brings global CPG experience and deep curiosity about dairy markets from his 13 years of leading procurement and supply chain teams at Nestle. Now a Director of Dairy Market Intelligence and Consultancy at Ever.Ag, Mark’s focus is on educating stakeholders about market dynamics, policy and procurement strategies. Mark lives in Washington, DC but travels often and gets back to his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio to stay connected with family and friends.

Kumar Mallikarjunan (Ph.D., Professor, Food Science & Nutrition at University of Minnesota)

Kumar Mallikarjunan

Ph.D., Professor, Food Science & Nutrition at University of Minnesota

Dr. Kumar Mallikarjunan, is a professor in the Food Science and Nutrition Department at the University of Minnesota and he is recognized as an outstanding food engineer, researcher and educator. Over a 30 plus years of his professional career, he has contributed significantly to the field of food science and technology through his research in processing (frying, high pressure, pulsed electric field and cold plasma), extraction of phytochemicals and development of rapid methods to characterize food products using electronic nose and infrared spectroscopy. His research has led to over 250 publications, including referred articles, conference presentations, books and book chapters. He is actively engaged in IFT, providing leadership at section and national level. His professional accomplishments have been recognized by several awards, including the Outstanding Alumni for Research Excellence from Asian Institute of Technology, Kishida International Award from ASABE and Bor S. Luh International Award from IFT.

Minto Michael (Assistant Professor of Dairy Science at Washington State University)

Minto Michael

Assistant Professor of Dairy Science at Washington State University

Dr. Minto Michael is an Assistant Professor of Dairy Science in the School of Food Science at Washington State University, with 70% research and 30% teaching appointment. He teaches dairy processing and food science courses. Dr. Michael's research focuses on dairy microbiology and food safety, and he runs a biosafety level-2 Dairy Microbiology Laboratory and a food-grade Food Processing Laboratory. Dr. Michael conducts research on making food safe and healthy, and hence, involves working with foodborne pathogens as well as probiotics. He also conducts both in-lab and in-plant validations for food processing and antimicrobial interventions to control pathogens in foods. He has worked with multiple food matrices, including dairy, bakery, fresh produce, beef, poultry, and pet foods, and has been working in food-grade and biosafety-level (1, 2, and 3) food microbiology laboratories since 2007. Dr. Michael is a dairy scientist and an applied food microbiologist with an eternal passion for dairy and food safety. He strives to work for the betterment of students, food safety, and the food industry as a whole.

Denise Ney (Ph.d., Professor of Nutritional Sciences at University of Wisconsin)

Denise Ney

Ph.d., Professor of Nutritional Sciences at University of Wisconsin

Denise M. Ney, Ph.D., RDN, is Professor of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received her PhD in Nutrition from the University of California-Davis in 1986. Ney invented a way to use glycomacropeptide (GMP), a whey protein produced during cheesemaking, to formulate good-
tasting medical foods with a safe source of protein low in phenylalanine for individuals with the genetic disorder, phenylketonuria (or PKU). Before Ney’s GMP research, individuals with PKU received most of their daily protein from bitter-tasting amino acid formulas. A licensed patent and production of GMP medical foods by three companies has improved life for PKU patients worldwide. Ney is recognized as a
“Rare Disease Hero” for her research to develop GMP medical foods for PKU by the FDA Office of Orphan Products Development. She is currently investigating how a nutrition supplement made with GMP may be used in the treatment of obesity. She is a fellow in the American Society for Nutrition and
the National Academy of Inventors. Ney has published 136 research articles and 10 book chapters, and mentored 20 graduate students.

Lindsey Ormond (Director of Nutrition & Research at Milk Specialties Global)

Lindsey Ormond

Director of Nutrition & Research at Milk Specialties Global

Lindsey Ormond is a registered nutritionist with vast experience in both industry and applied settings, particularly the protein, performance and lifestyle nutrition markets. Having worked in R&D and commercial settings, her work centers around bringing together nutrition science, consumer insight and customer needs, to help produce commercially viable solutions that enable people to live healthier and perform better.

Lindsey is currently Director of Nutrition and Research at Milk Specialties Global, focusing on product portfolio expansion, business development, nutrition strategy, and marketing through the interpretation and management of research on dairy ingredients and human health. Prior to joining Milk Specialties, Lindsey worked at Arla Foods Ingredients, GlaxoSmithKline and Premier Foods.

Lindsey is a member of American Society for Nutrition, British Nutrition Foundation, and International Society for Sports Nutrition. She also serves as Vice-Chair of the Dairy Protein Messaging Initiative™ steering committee, which leads The Strong Inside™ campaign.

Gulustan Ozturk (Assistant Professor, Department of Food Science at University of Wisconsin)

Gulustan Ozturk

Assistant Professor, Department of Food Science at University of Wisconsin

Gulustan is an assistant professor in the Department of Food Science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Her work focuses on discovering unique health-promoting compounds in milk and dairy streams and bringing them into practice and is supported by the UW Dairy Innovation Hub.

Gulustan was born and grew up in Turkey. She got her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in food engineering from Ankara University in Turkey. During her master's, she developed edible films to extend ground beef's shelf life. Then, she moved to the US and completed her Ph.D. in food science with a designated emphasis in biotechnology from the University of California, Davis. During her Ph.D., her research focused on understanding the molecular mechanism used by the foodborne pathogen Yersinia enterocolitica to colonize humans and cause disease. Her curiosity about natural health-promoting compounds led her to continue her postdoctoral training at UC Davis, where she began developing human and bovine milk-based antimicrobials and prebiotics that led to industrial applications supporting healthy microbial communities.

Susan Pheasant (Director, Institute for Food and Agriculture of Fresno State University)

Susan Pheasant

Director, Institute for Food and Agriculture of Fresno State University

Dr. Susan Pheasant is the Director of the Institute for Food and Agriculture and “cowkeeper” for the Pacific Coast Coalition – Dairy Business Innovation Initiative, a >$23 million endeavor spanning six states and eight institutions of higher education. Her educational background includes undergraduate degrees in Agricultural Economics and Business Administration (WSU) as well as an MBA-Ag Specialization (Cal Poly-SLO) and an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. incorporating ag econ, marketing, education, and rural sociology (WSU) to evaluate how growers/producers make decisions to adopt new technologies and ideas. Dr. Pheasant has consulted with national and international agribusinesses and non-profit organizations to implement change technologies and educational programs, helped producers prepare for food safety audits, and conducted 3rd party audits. She is part of a six-generation lineage of tree fruit growers who firmly believe and practice that apple pie is best a la mode with ice cream.

Prateek Sharma (Assistant Professor at Utah State University)

Prateek Sharma

Assistant Professor at Utah State University

Dr. Prateek Sharma is an Assistant Professor of Dairy Technology in Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Science at Utah State University. He is affiliated with Western Dairy Center through BUILD dairy program at Utah State University. Prateek has completed a Ph.D. degree in Food Technology from Riddet Institute, Massey University, New Zealand in collaboration with Fonterra Research and Development Centre on a project on cheese process rheology. Dr. Sharma is an experienced dairy foods Scientist with more than 14 years of research experience in commercial and institutional R&D sectors. Dr. Sharma has a strong research interest in the material properties of the foods, especially, mechanical, rheological, physical, and chemical properties of dairy foods. He worked in multinational (Ireland, New Zealand and India) environments on number of product portfolios such as cheese, whey ingredients, UHT products and liquid emulsions. At Utah State University, he has diverse research portfolio with focus upon understanding structure-function relationships in cheese and dairy powders, wear behavior, and use of advanced rheological techniques in dairy foods. Dr. Sharma is recipient of prestigious awards including ADSA Foundation Scholar Award, Marie-Curie post-doctoral fellowship and Erasmus Mundus scholarship from European Commission, and William C. Winder and Rebecca Steward Winder Professorship Award 2022. Dr. Sharma is currently serving as a Chair for IFT Dairy Foods Division for year 2022-23.

Moises Torres Gonzalez (Vice President, Nutrition Research at National Dairy Council)

Moises Torres Gonzalez

Vice President, Nutrition Research at National Dairy Council

Dr. Moises is Vice President of Nutrition Research at the National Dairy Council (NDC). At NDC he serves as the subject matter expert (SME) on whole-fat dairy foods, cardiometabolic health, milkfat ingredients, inflammation and cognition. As SME lead, his main role is to strategically define, develop and manage the research needed to build our scientific understanding about the role that dairy, whole-fat dairy foods as well as milkfat ingredients play on cardiometabolic health, inflammation and cognition. Advancing the science on these areas will ultimately help better position dairy and whole-fat dairy foods within dietary recommendations and stimulate product innovation.
Dr. Moises earned his bachelor’s degree in Biochemical Engineering with major in biotechnology and food sciences at the Instituto Tecnologico de Colima, Mexico. He later obtained a Master’s degree in Biochemical Engineering at the Instituto Tecnologico de Veracruz, in Mexico. He earned an additional Master’s degree as well as a Doctoral’s degree in Nutritional Sciences at the University of Connecticut, USA.

Dr. Moises possess a strong research and educational background on lipid and macronutrient metabolism, and overall in human nutrition and its implications with cardiometabolic diseases (e.g. cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome); his research experience also comprises areas of food sciences, processing of vegetable oils as well as mitochondrial DNA damage and its connection with mitochondria and cardiac dysfunction.

Dr. Moises has authored and co-authored more than 20 peer-reviewed scientific articles and has written book chapters in the area of dairy foods and human health.

Additionally, he previously held research scientific positions at the Linus Pauling Institute at the Oregon State University, and at the School of Medicine at the University of California in San Diego. He is active member of scientific organizations such as the American Society for Nutrition, American Oil Chemistry Society, International Society for Atherosclerosis among others.

Bongkosh (Jeab) Vardhanabhuti (Ph.D., Associate Professor at University of Missouri)

Bongkosh (Jeab) Vardhanabhuti

Ph.D., Associate Professor at University of Missouri

Dr. Vardhanabhuti is an associate professor of food science at the University of Missouri. Her research focuses on integrating physical chemistry and material science to develop a fundamental understanding of protein and polysaccharide functionality in order to create novel food ingredients and design foods with desirable quality and enhanced health benefits. Within her research program, the first goal is to create “clean-label” ingredients with improved functional properties through processing and ingredient interactions. The second goal is to determine how food microstructure and ingredient interactions affect digestion and delivery. She received her doctorate in food science from North Carolina State University.

Luann Williams (Director of Innovation at Innova Market Insights)

Luann Williams

Director of Innovation at Innova Market Insights

Lu Ann Williams is co-founder and Global Insights Director at Innova Market Insights, a global market research firm headquartered in The Netherlands. An expert on trends driving the food and beverage industry, she is a frequent speaker at industry events. Thirty years of global experience, data analysis and trendspotting give her a unique foundation for insights into what’s coming next in the industry in every region of the world.

Ruihong Zhang (Professor, Biological and Agricultural Engineering at University of California Davis)

Ruihong Zhang

Professor, Biological and Agricultural Engineering at University of California Davis

Dr. Ruihong Zhang is a Professor in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) and a leading expert in the fields of bioenergy and biofuel production, waste treatment and environmental quality management and control. She has successfully transferred new technologies from her laboratories to commercial companies. She has over 300 scientific publications and seven patents. She was recognized as the Phenomenal Faculty by UC Davis in 2014, and Engineering Innovator by the UC Davis College of Engineering in 2012.

Dr. Zhang received her PhD degree of Agricultural Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1992. She then joined the faculty of Iowa State University in 1993 and the
faculty of UC Davis in 1995. She led and conducted innovative research and technology development on the production of bioenergy, biofuels and biochemicals from agricultural, food and
municipal organic wastes, as well as energy crops. Dr. Zhang directed UC Davis Biogas Energy Project, which was sponsored by an alliance between UC Davis and private industry, for research and demonstration of new advanced anaerobic digestion and other technologies to convert a variety
of organic residuals into biogas fuels and other valuable products.

Dr. Zhang received many prestigious awards, including the New Holland Young Researcher Award from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers in 2003, Environmental Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2007, and Distinguished Career Award from Association of Overseas Chinese Agricultural, Biological and Food Engineers in 2010, Achievement Award from California Bioresources Alliance in 2013, and CleanTech Innovator of the Year from Sacramento Regional Technology Alliance (SARTA) in 2014. She was elected in 2016 as Fellow of American Society of Agricultural and Biological

Haotian Zheng (Assistant Professor in Food Chemistry at North Carolina State University)

Haotian Zheng

Assistant Professor in Food Chemistry at North Carolina State University

Dr. Haotian Zheng is a tenure-track assistant professor in Food Chemistry at North Carolina State University (NC State). He directs the Food Rheology Laboratory and affiliates to Southeast Dairy Foods Research Center at the university. Dr. Zheng’s research interests include developing novel dairy ingredients, improving food ingredient functionality, food structure design for improved stability, textural attributes, and health benefits of processed foods, and solving real life problems in the food industry. He also teaches Food Chemistry and Food Ingredient Functionality related courses at NC State. Prior to NC State, Dr. Zheng gained professional research experiences from both industry and academia including Fonterra Research Center (New Zealand), Lincoln University (New Zealand), Riddet Institute (New Zealand), and Cal Poly. Currently, Zheng lab hosts 3 PhD students, 2 MS students, and 2 research associates. Sponsors of Dr. Zheng’s research program include but not limited to USDA-NIFA, USDA-ARS, National Dairy Council, California Dairy Research Foundation, Dairy West, North Carolina dairy producers association, Southeast Dairy Foods Research Center, Novozymes.