Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Hopping Hand-crafted Beer

Touring Arizona's fastest-growing brewery

More and more Arizonans are raising their glasses with craft beer brewed right in Downtown Chandler.

In the last few years, SanTan Brewing Company has expanded into restaurants and grocery stores across The Valley.

The secret to this local brewery’s success amidst a tough recession? “We are a small-scale, hands-on brewery,” said brewmaster Patrick Ware to Cactus IFT members on August 25, 2011.

He explained that at the brewery’s core is a mission intended by its founder and owner Anthony Canecchia to create a company dedicated to the culture of “hand-crafted beer for pairing with craft food and the art of great conversation.”

Conversation is what Ware had plenty of while giving a brewery tour to curious Cactus IFT members who riddled him with questions about the company’s beer-making process (see Page 3) and packaging capabilities.
Ware handled each of the questions with ease including ones about malt buying, fermentation vessels, hops straining, and alcohol percentage. He also addressed how the brewing process differs to produce a variety of beer flavors.

After the tour, Ware guided a beer-tasting and taught Cactus IFT members how to properly pair the company’s signature craft brews with foods.

According to Ware, the company’s wildly popular citrus-hop-balanced-with-caramel-malt Devil’s Ale lives up to its name paired with bacon. Another favorite, the intense HopSchock IPA goes down nicely when paired with blue cheese.

“The strong flavors don’t compete but dance on the tongue,” Ware said.

The more light-bodied SunSpot Gold didn’t disappoint when paired with a chicken taco and there was little question that nutty caramel toasted-malt Epicenter Amber Ale complemented a cheeseburger. The German wheat beer, Hefewizen, required cheese to balance its sweet banana clove flavor. And lastly, the roasted coffee Gordo Stout served on nitrogen could only be perfected with dark chocolate.

As the night went on, the pleasures of good food and drink were only accentuated with lively discussion and networking of Cactus IFT members.

— David Despain

Monday, December 5, 2011

Chair's Message - Nov-Jan newsletter

With the holiday season in full swing, it’s a hectic but fun-filled time of shopping, travel and family gatherings with most all of it involving… food!

And what better way to enjoy food than with a glass of a wine, right?

Your Cactus Section is excited to be hosting a special wine tasting on December 6th, presented by the experts at E&J Gallo. Marie Shubin, Director of Consumer Affairs and Jennifer Jo Wiseman, VP Consumer and Product Insights are coming to us all the way from Modesto, CA and will be talking about the science, nature and art of winemaking with a presentation specially directed at our unique group of food science professionals.

In addition to the wine tasting experts, Sharon Kneebone and Anna Kakos from the national IFT office are visiting to share with us the many benefits of IFT membership. Their visit comes soon after we were featured as the Section of the Month for October, so we’re excited to hear and talk about how we can continue to make the most of our membership.

Looking ahead for the coming year, your Board is working to create more opportunities for us to get together, network and share information about our profession. We’re planning to host several events revolving around a diverse set of topics, and to continue to reach out to local professional and academic groups that we can collaborate with. So if you have any ideas or areas of interest to include in the discussion, be sure to let us know!

Meanwhile, stay tuned for what looks to be a great 2012 for the Cactus Section. Have a Happy and Safe Holiday Season and a Wonderful New Year!

— Tony DeCastro, Cactus IFT Section Chair

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Science of Flavor

Before the World War II, sensory evaluation wasn’t a formal discipline at all. It was just something everybody did haphazardly. A food company would simply figure something either tasted good or bad.

“It’s a fairly young science,” said sensory expert Ken Baseman, Ph.D., of Papa John’s Foods and Grocery, who addressed Cactus IFT on May 18 about the role of sensory evaluation as an integral part of the development of new products in the food industry.

What is sensory evaluation? The standard definition, according to IFT, is the following: “Sensory evaluation is a scientific discipline used to evoke, measure, analyze, and interpret reactions to those characteristics of food and materials as they are perceived by the senses of sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing.”

As Baseman began, he explained that sensory science supports key food industry areas like food safety and quality, product development and manufacturing. In addition, he said, it’s consumer testing where food sensory evaluation really resides.

What do we do with it? Baseman said sensory evaluation is used for shelf life studies, product matching, product mapping, specification and quality control, product reformulation.

Based on sensory evaluation, companies can provide general guidance for the selection, training and monitoring of assessors.

“If I really want to set up a program and I want to talk to my comrades across the world, then we have a set of standards that we can all follow,” Baseman said.

And you can’t talk about flavor without a background in sensory.

So, what are the basic types of sensory stimuli? They include appearance, color, odor, taste, touch, flavor, texture (eyes and mouthfeel). A recent addition is umame, which is a savory profile or more of a synergy of flavors. It’s part of what MSG is, but MSG had such a negativism that now they’ve changed the flavor’s name.

The physiology of taste comprises of sensations perceived through receptors on the tongue. In a classical sensory evaluation format, you would use salty for NACl, sugar for sweet, citric acid for sour, and caffeine for bitter.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tony DeCastro discusses the future of Cactus IFT

Thanks to Brian Giannini's leadership and an outstanding effort by many members this past year, our Cactus IFT Section has a fantastic new foundation with which to engage the food science community here in Arizona. It has been great to see our group re-energized, to reconnect with old friends, and to meet wonderful new people. As the incoming section Chair, I am eager to help continue bringing together food and beverage industry professionals, educators and interested individuals in our local area.

In a similar way, the national IFT organization has been reaching out through their Section Engagement Advisory Panel. And as one of only seven sections invited to participate in their Section Pilot Program, we have a great opportunity to provide input to help increase the value of our section membership.  One great benefit was the recent offer of a free 1-year national membership (a $190 value) for those who aren't currently national members.  By the way, this offer expires August 30th, so "officially" join right away and be sure your section membership is current (for only $10)!

We can all then take full advantage of IFT membership and the informational and networking resources available to members only at http://www.ift.org

This core group has volunteered to take us through the next twelve months and we are here to serve you. Our goal is to provide a professional, fun and relevant forum for us to gather and share news, insight, and expertise.  We enthusiastically invite your thoughts, event ideas, discussion topics and anything else that could help us enhance your membership.  All of our committees would welcome your participation. Together, we can help provide a valuable and rewarding experience for everyone - thank you for being involved!

Effective September 1, 2011, here are your 2011-2012 Cactus IFT Section Officers and Committee Chairs:

Chair – Tony DeCastro

Chair Elect / Membership Committee Chair – 
Lynn Abarr-Boubelik

Treasurer – Lorraine Hansen

Secretary – Holly Curtis

Past Chair / Nominating Committee Chair - 
Brian Giannini bgiannini@g2minternational.com

Member at Large – 
Darrel Swift

Programs Committee Chair – Ken Baseman

Student Committee Chair – Jessica Dykun

Newsletter Committee Chair – David Despain

Chair's Message

Chair’s Message 

The Cactus IFT Section has built a strong infrastructure of dedicated members that is committed to bringing its members strong educational programs and networking events.
By the end of December 2011, we will have had five meetings:

December 9, 2010 – How Recall Information can Enhance your Food Safety Program.
March 3, 2011 – What’s New at IFT and How the Food Safety Modernization Act will Affect the Food Industry.
May 18, 2011 – Using Sensory for New Product Development
August 25, 2011 – SanTan Brewery tour and food pairing networking event

Next Event: December 6, 2011 – E&J Gallo will be coming from Modesto, CA to teach us the art of tasting wine. Marie Shubin, Director of Consumer Affairs and Jennifer Jo Wiseman, VP Consumer and Product Insights at E&J Gallo are planning a fantastic program specifically designed for our group. We will learn about types of wines, how to identify wines you may like and how to talk about wine with confidence. The event will be held at the Fiesta Resort in Tempe, AZ and will include dinner and wine.

Membership in the Cactus IFT section is only $10. If you know of anyone who is interested in joining please have them contact our Membership Chair and incoming Chair Elect Lynn Abarr-Boubelik, her contact information is listed in this newsletter. If you join by August 30, 2011 you will automatically become a member of the National IFT, a $190 value, more details are in this newsletter.

The Cactus Section IFT elections have been completed and submitted to IFT National and I’m proud of all our elected officers and our committee members who have volunteered their time to keep our section strong. Tony DeCastro, VP Innovation and Regulatory Affairs, at Sun Orchard, is our new Chair as of September 1, 2011. Tony has been very instrumental in his participation on the board and I know he can take us to the next level. All of the board members and committee members are listed below please take the time to reach out and thank them for their commitment to our section.

— Brian Giannini, Cactus IFT Section President

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

U. of A. Memorial for Ralph L. Price

A memorial has been started at the University of Arizona Department of Nutritional Sciences to recognize Dr. Ralph Price and his work in food safety and the food industry. Dr. Price was an active member of IFT and known internationally for his work.

Dr. Price had a B.S. from Brigham Young University and a Ph.D. from Purdue University. He will be remembered as an extraordinary educator and food scientist and as an advocate of food safety. He specialized in food technology and processing, as a trainer in “Better Process Control School” and “Thermal Processing,” aflatoxin research, and good agricultural practices research for produce.

Dr. Price received college and university awards for excellence in undergraduate and graduate teaching. He presented in six foreign countries, served in leadership positions for IFT, was a Fulbright Fellow in Portugal, and retired from University of Arizona in 2005.

He is survived by his wife, Pat, six children, 11 grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

If you wish to contribute a donation to the memorial, please make a check payable to “University of Arizona Foundation,” write in the memo line “In Memory of Ralph Price,” then send to the following address: 

CALS Development

Attn: Ralph L. Price

P.O. Box 210036

Tucson, AZ 85721-0036