2009 Annual Report

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Welcome to our Whistler Center for Carbohydrate Research 2009 Annual Report. We feel fortunate to have had another very good year, even in this somewhat difficult climate. In 2009, we welcomed Pepsico to our membership and the rejoining of Dow AgroSciences. We work hard to bring practical services to our members that come out of our research and teaching activities, and, additionally, conduct numerous contract research projects of which most have grown out of a trust we have developed with member company scientists. We believe, more than ever, this is an exciting and important time in the field of carbohydrate research as directed to food and industrial uses. We, in partnership with others, have the opportunity to contribute to solving a range of practically-oriented to larger societal problems through our team approaches to improve processes, create new novel uses, and design better functionalities directed at healthy or novel delivery carbohydrates.

2009 highlights began with our annual May Whistler Center Board meeting and technical conference where we had Dr. Glyn Phillips of the Phillips Hydrocolloid Centre in Wrexham, Wales present our endowed Belfort Lecture and Dr. Madav Yadav of the USDA Eastern Regional Research Center in Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania. We have entered into an agreement with Glyn and Peter Williams (editor of Food Hydrocolloids) in Wales, Steve Cui and his dietary fiber group at Guelph, Canada, and Elsevier Publishing, Ltd. to conduct conferences and short courses, as well as to foster collaboration among the research laboratories. The Whistler Center will host the 2012 International Hydrocolloids Conference at Purdue in May immediately following our May Board meeting that year, and our Belfort Lecture will be incorporated into a plenary lecture within the conference. In October, we held our fifth annual 3-day short course free to our member company. This popular course combines teaching of the basics of carbohydrate chemistry, structure and functionality, followed by eight half-day sessions on topics such as Advances in Starch Modification; Dietary Fiber, Structure, Form and Incorporation into Foods; Beverage Emulsions Including Nanoparticulates; Design of Dietary Fibers/Prebiotics for Colon Function. In November, the Whistler Center, with assistance from an extramural grant on glycemic carbohydrates and physiologic response, hosted a one-day forum titled "State of the Science: Slow Release Glycemic Carbohydrate and Physiologic Response" with speakers from the Netherlands, Switzerland, Canada, China and the U.S. This informative and fun day mixed advancements in the science with stakeholder feedback and critique as represented by member company participants. From our perspective, this strengthened relationships and collaborations among researchers, while gaining the perspective of industry. We are exploring the idea of having other such forums on other topics combining fundamental research with translational science potential. Regarding Whistler Center faculty news, Srinivas Janaswamy was promoted from a Research Associate under Dr. Chandrasekaran to Assistant Research Professor. His breath of interests from fundamental molecular structures of polysaccharides to novel functional applications promises to add a new dimension to our research capabilities. Cliff Weil was promoted to full professor and Lisa Mauer was named a University Faculty Scholar, making this the third Whistler Center faculty member to receive this prestigious internal Purdue University award. Ganesh Narsimhan was named a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. On top of that, a number of Whistler Center students won "best paper" awards and scientific meetings. The details can be found towards the end of the report.

Read through our 2009 annual report, see who we are and what we are doing, and I think you will be impressed. Feel free to contact our coordinator, Marilyn Yundt, or myself with your questions.