Penn State food science professor to lead international organization

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- John Coupland, professor of food science in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, has been elected president of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), the premier scientific and educational society serving the food science and technology field.

Coupland will serve a one-year term as IFT president-elect, starting this summer.

"I'm very grateful for the opportunity to serve," Coupland said. "Food scientists work hard to make food healthy, safe, affordable and delicious, and they depend on IFT as their professional society."

Founded in 1939, IFT is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance the science and technology of food through the exchange of knowledge. IFT members, who number about 17,000, represent a broad cross-section of food professions in industry, academia and government throughout the world. IFT publishes various resources for the food industry, including the Journal of Food Science, and conducts the world's largest annual convention on food grown, processed, manufactured, distributed and eaten worldwide, the IFT Food Expo.

"This is a well-deserved honor and there is no doubt John will be an excellent president of the organization," said Robert Roberts, head of the Department of Food Science. "Both the IFT and the profession of food science will benefit from his leadership."

Coupland received both his bachelor and doctoral degrees in food science at Leeds University in the United Kingdom before coming to the United States and serving as a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. After a second postdoctoral position, at Ireland's University College Dublin, he joined the Penn State food science faculty in 1998.

Coupland's research focuses on the physical properties of lipids, and he has published more than 100 research papers and book chapters. He teaches core undergraduate and graduate courses in food chemistry and a graduate course about the physical chemistry of foods. He recently published the textbook, "An Introduction to the Physical Chemistry of Foods."

Last Updated March 25, 2015