Two Department of Food Science and Technology faculty members in the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences have received 2023 Institute of Food Technologists Achievement Awards.

The Institute of Food Technologists, IFT, is a forum in which food science professionals and technologists can collaborate, learn and contribute toward inspiring and transforming scientific knowledge into solutions. These awards recognize an individual or team for remarkable contributions in research, applications and service in the food science profession.

Mian Nadeem Riaz, Ph.D., associate head of the Department of Food Science, received the International Food Security Award in honor of Bor S. Luh, and Rebecca Creasy, Ph.D., instructional assistant professor, received the Excellence in Education Award in honor of William V. Cruess.

International Food Security Award

Mian Riaz, Ph.D., in blue blazer with maroon shirt.
Mian Nadeem Riaz, Ph.D., received the International Food Security Award in honor of Bor S. Luh from the Institute of Food Technologists. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo)

The International Food Security Award in honor of Bor S. Luh recognizes someone who has made substantial advances in how foods can be manufactured and made available to meet the nutritional needs and food preferences of people living in emerging economies in a manner that is cost-effective for both consumers and manufacturers.

Riaz, also the holder of the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America, IFANCA, Professorship in Food Diversity, established two food processing centers at two universities in his native Pakistan, in collaboration with the U.S. Agency for International Development.

“This recognition is a testament to the hard work and dedication of my team, colleagues and partners who share the same passion for advancing food science and technology to address global food and nutrition security challenges,” Riaz said.

Riaz hopes the award will inspire more international cooperation and knowledge exchange in the field of food diversity and extrusion technology, which can lead to innovative solutions that benefit emerging economies and beyond.

“I am grateful for the support of my department, Texas A&M, and IFANCA, who have provided the platform and resources for me to pursue my passion and make a meaningful impact in the world,” he said.

Riaz joined Texas A&M 30 years ago after completing his doctorate in food science at the University of Maine. From 2005 to 2020, he was director of Texas A&M’s Process Engineering Research and Development Center. He currently serves as director of Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station’s Extrusion Program, where he offers five extrusion courses every year.

Riaz also teaches the popular food science course, “Religious and Ethnic Foods,” which boasts more than 1,000 enrolled students each semester. The course is a capstone in the Food Diversity Innovation Program, which he established from a $5 million IFANCA endowment.   

He has published seven books, 27 book chapters and 160 papers, in addition to giving more than 600 talks in 60 different countries. His book, “Halal Food Production,” is used widely in universities for food science students and has been translated into Chinese, Persian and Korean.

Excellence in Education Award 

Rebecca Creasy, Ph.D., outdoors wearing black shirt.
Rebecca Creasy, Ph.D., received the Excellence in Education Award from the Institute of Food Technologists. (Courtesy photo)

The Excellence in Education Award is presented to an individual who has at least 10 years of teaching experience at a university offering a degree in food science or food technology and who teaches courses that deal directly with food science and/or food technology.

Creasy’s experience in food science and nutrition ranges from the food industry to higher education and community outreach. Her instructional focus at Texas A&M includes introductory food science and human nutrition courses, study abroad programs, internship programs and other high-impact learning experiences. She also serves as the Texas A&M IFT Student Association chapter faculty advisor.

“The meaning of this award is so special, with the nomination process and recommendations coming from current and former students and colleagues,” she said. “The knowledge of igniting a passion for food science in students and recognition of effectively mentoring the future leaders of the industry as well as helping them reach personal and professional goals makes my career worthwhile and meaningful.” 

Along with mentoring both graduate and undergraduate students, her scholarly interests integrate food science and nutrition, including:

— Development and implementation of active learning techniques for food science and nutrition courses.
— Development of STEM outreach programs for youth in food science and nutrition.
— Consumer education addressing bioactive food ingredients.
— Functional foods and safe food handling.
— The effects of food processing on nutrient content.

Creasy is an active member of the IFT and American Society for Nutrition. She is also a member of Phi Tau Sigma Honor Society of Food Scientists, Gamma Sigma Delta International Agricultural Honor Society and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.

 “The academic giants, on whose shoulders I have stood and who have previously won this award, make this an even more special event,” Creasy said. “My goal is to create leaders in food science who can make impactful, positive changes in the world. “I’m hoping that one day some of these students might be recognized with this same award, which is one of the most prestigious honors that a food science educator can receive.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email