Two Food Science Doctoral Students Honored by American Oil Chemists Society

Zipei Zhang
Zipei Zhang
Ruojie Zhang
Ruojie Zhang

Two doctoral students of food science professor David Julian McClements recently received awards from the American Oil Chemists Society (AOCS) at its annual meeting in Orlando.

Zipei Zhang won the Honored Student Award, sponsored by the AOCS Foundation and designed to encourage graduate student research in lipid chemistry and greater interest in the society. This award provides a certificate, travel allowance, free lodging and registration for the student to attend and present an award lecture at the AOCS annual meeting, which was held on April 30-May 3. He also won the Peter and Clare G. Kalustian Award, sponsored by their estate and consisting of a certificate and a $1,000 scholarship. This award was for the pioneering work that Zhang has been carrying out in developing biopolymer microgels to control the gastrointestinal fate of bioactive components. McClements notes that as part of this Ph.D., Zhang has already published more than 25 scientific research articles.

Ruojie Zhang won the 2018 Thomas H. Smouse Memorial Fellowship, named after a former president of the society and a noted industrial researcher in the flavor chemistry of fats and oils. The award consists of a pair of inscribed bookends, a $10,000 stipend, $5,000 in research and travel funds and an award lecture at the annual meeting. It is supported by the Archer Daniels Midland Foundation, AOCS Foundation, AOCS and Smouse’s family and friends.

Zhang also won the 2017 Hans Kaunitz Award, which recognizes a student doing research in the sciences relating to fats and oils and detergent technology. It provides a certificate, a $1,000 honorarium and a $500 travel allowance to the society’s annual meeting, where the recipient presents an award lecture.

McClements says Ruojie Zhang’s awards were for her pioneering work in developing nanoemulsion-based delivery and excipient systems to increase the bioavailability of nutraceuticals. During her Ph.D. studies, she has already published more than 25 scientific research articles on this subject.

He adds, “Both awards are highly competitive and prestigious, and we are delighted that Ruojie and Zipei have received such high recognition and honors for their pioneering work in food science. It reflects well on the department at UMass Amherst and on the top-quality students that we can attract. Students like Ruojie and Zipei are one of the reasons why the food science department at UMass is ranked the number one graduate program in the country.”  

More than 100 years old, Illinois-based AOCS promotes the science and technology of lipids in the fats and oils industry through analytical methods, proficiency testing, peer-reviewed technical publishing and by providing venues for technical discussion and educational opportunities.