Sastry, International Expert in Food Processing, Packaging, Receives 2007 OARDC Senior Faculty Research Award

April 19, 2007

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Sudhir Sastry, a professor in Ohio State University’s Department of Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering, received the 2007 Distinguished Senior Faculty Research Award today (April 19) at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center’s (OARDC) 2007 Annual Research Conference in Columbus.

A nationally and internationally recognized expert in the fields of food processing and packaging, Sastry is credited with addressing critical issues of the food-processing industry and developing innovative technologies.

The annual research award — consisting of a plaque, $1,000 to the winner and $3,000 to the operating expense account of one of the winner’s OARDC research projects — recognizes outstanding achievements by an OARDC faculty member at the rank of professor.

Also presented at the conference was the Distinguished Junior Faculty Research Award, which goes to an OARDC faculty member at the rank of assistant professor or associate professor.

OARDC is the research arm of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

Sastry joined OARDC as an associate professor in 1987, became a professor in 1991, and from 1999-2006 also served as managing director of the Center for Advanced Processing and Packaging Studies (CAPPS), a National Science Foundation (NSF) industry/university cooperative research center unique in the field of food and agriculture.

Sastry’s lab has made seminal contributions to the scientific understanding of the continuous flow sterilization of particulate foods, which allows foods of exceptional quality to be stored for years at room temperature.

Sastry’s work in this area was a critical component of the 1995-96 National Center for Food Safety and Technology/CAPPS Workshop on Aseptic Processing of Multiphase Foods, which resulted in the laying out of Food and Drug Administration protocols for how to continuously sterilize foods that contain particulate matter. Campbell Soup Co., for example, has developed its new “Select Gold Label” based on these same techniques.

His work has also laid the groundwork for ohmic heating of foods. His lab has developed a reusable package for NASA’s lunar and Mars missions, in which foods may be warmed to serving temperature, and that is later reused to contain and sterilize waste until jettison.

He has developed an ohmic heating technology for peeling tomatoes and other fruits that uses less than 1 percent lye compared to 18 percent in the industry. The work is expected to have a huge positive environmental impact.

He is co-inventor of the pulsed electric field technology that has been licensed to Genesis Juice Co. and is currently earning royalties for Ohio State.

His development of a high-pressure pH sensor has been nominated for inclusion in the 2007 Compendium of Technology Breakthroughs published by NSF’s industry/university cooperative research centers.

While at OARDC, Sastry has produced more than 100 refereed publications; has authored one book and several book chapters; has received numerous recognitions, including the 1997 Institute of Food Technologists’ Research and Development Award; has been issued four patents; and since 1988 has received more than $12 million in grants, contracts and gifts.

He has a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and a master’s degree in agricultural engineering, both from the University of Florida, and a bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India.

Focused on a theme of “Ohio’s Future in Renewable Energy and the Bioeconomy,” the OARDC research conference featured nine scientist speakers from Ohio State, OARDC, the Battelle Polymer Center, the Ohio Bioproducts Innovation Center and the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority.

Opening and closing comments came from Bobby Moser, dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences; OARDC Director Steve Slack; and OARDC Associate Director David Benfield.

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Links: OARDC, http://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/. Sastry, http://fabe.osu.edu/FACULTY/sastry.htm.

Author(s): 
Kurt Knebusch
Source(s): 
OARDC Director's Office