Writer: Blair Fannin, 979-845-2259, firstname.lastname@example.org
COLLEGE STATION – Dr. Ralph Waniska, a professor of food science and technology in the Cereal Quality Laboratory of Texas A&M University’s Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, passed away Monday following a lengthy battle with cancer.
Waniska, whose career at Texas A&M spanned 23 years, was honored late last year by the Tortilla Industry Association for his research contributions to tortilla production. He also recently received the American Association of Cereal Chemists International Excellence in Teaching Award for 2007.
Waniska’s achievements included developing standardized evaluation methods for flour tortillas, establishing more efficient leavening systems for hot-press tortillas, defining the different roles of protein in tortillas (compared to bread), comparing ingredients’ functions, and determining ways to give shelf stability to baked tortillas.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Nebraska in 1972. He worked as an analytical chemist at Eppley Cancer Institute in Omaha before completing the master of science program at Texas A&M in 1976. He completed doctoral studies in food chemistry at Cornell University, where he conducted research and development on processed fruits and vegetables for the Del Monte Corp.
In 1984, he accepted an assistant professor position at Texas A&M where he was promoted to full professor. He mentored a large number of graduate students who are currently leaders in the food industry.
Services will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday at Memorial Funeral Chapel, 2901 Texas Ave. South, in College Station.
Prior to his passing, Waniska established an endowed graduate assistantship scholarship in grain food processing in the Texas A&M Department of Soil and Crop Sciences.
Memorials may be made to the Waniska Endowed Graduate Assistantship in Grain Food Processing. Checks should be made payable to the Texas A&M Foundation and mailed to 401 George Bush Dr., College Station, Texas, 77840. Additional information can be found at the following link: http://soilcrop.tamu.edu/frontpagenews/WaniskaPledgeCard.pdf or phone 979-847-9314. A background letter on Waniska and his accomplishments can be found at http://soilcrop.tamu.edu/frontpagenews/CoverLetterB&W.pdf.