Saturday, March 5, 2011

New Cactus IFT Newsletter

We have just launched the first issue of our quarterly Cactus IFT newsletter. To view the newsletter in PDF format, click here.

In the newsletter:

- Gale Prince, the Dean of Safety Recalls, and his word on why manufacturers must invest in food safety, establish a food recall system, and be ready for the new FDA Food Modernization Act in 2011 (Pages 1 and 2)
- our new Chair's Message (Page 3)
- Section Officer Bios (Pages 3 and 4)
- a Web Update (Page 4)
- an article about our Sun Orchard Tour  (Page 5)
- and Important Dates and Contacts (Page 6)

Each of these are also posted to this blog. 


Cactus IFT Web Site, Community, and Blog Update

Have you become part of the Cactus IFT community on the national Web site at If not, then please join us! It will become one of the best avenues we have for communicating new events, Cactus IFT news, and hiring opportunities.

We expect to have the Web site up as soon as arrangements can be made with IFT national for putting together a Content Management System for us. At the Web site, we will also be maintaining a blog that will share news similar to this Cactus IFT newsletter. Each blog post will also be shared on social media Web sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Blogspot, and Twitter.

Learn more at the following link:

Speaking of social media, have you joined our LinkedIn and Facebook groups? Or have you started following our Twitter and blog feeds? If not, then learn more at the following links below:
Facebook: Search for “Cactus IFT” group and “Join” (be sure to “invite” fellow Cactus IFT group members)

LinkedIn: Under “Groups,” search for “Cactus Regional Section Institute of Food Technologists”

Follow us on Twitter: @cactusift

Save the Date!

Ken Baseman will be presenting on sensory analysis, which is sure to be a real treat for us. 

Date: May 18, Wednesday
Time: 5:30 pm to 8pm
Event Preview:

The role of sensory evaluation is integral in the development of new products in the food industry. We will spend a little time reviewing the methods used to evaluate products and perhaps “develop” a product that is designed to fool your sensory perceptions. It’s all in good fun and should allow us to be creative in a short interactive exercise.
Additionally, we will discuss the need to train our taste buds to interpret what we are experiencing as we evaluate the foods we develop.

More information coming soon...

Ken Baseman Bio:

Ken Baseman is an innovative manager with background in Food Processing, Product Development and Quality Assurance. He has extensive experience in product reconfigurations and cost reduction, ingredient substitution, new product introductions, regulatory compliance, Quality Assurance and HACCP protocols. He is experienced in plant reconfiguration, product improvement, aseptic packaging, and process control. He recently moved to the Phoenix area with his wife after spending much of his professional career in on the West Coast. He is presently Director of Food Safety and General Manager of Papa John’s Salads and Produce headquartered in the Phoenix area.

Got something interesting to say?

If it is something you feel your fellow Cactus IFT members would appreciate, then we’d love to publish it in this newsletter. Simply, send an e-mail with your article topic idea to David Despain (me), newsletter committee chair, at

We will certainly welcome any originally written material you’d like to share related to food, food science, food technology, or the food industry. Feel free to also send material about different learning experiences you’ve had in the food industry. Lastly, we are also interested in your stories as you enjoy our events. The more you share, the better -- so don’t be shy!
Please be advised that we cannot publish any content that could be regarded as promotional material offering products or services, although we are definitely interested in sharing your hiring opportunities.

— David Despain

Chair's Message

Brian Giannini

The Cactus IFT Section is challenged to grow our section in Arizona and deliver great educational networking meetings in 2011. We are off to a great start as you can see by this newsletter and the commitment and dedication we have from our officers and committee chairs.
We have expanded our committee chairs this year to include the following committees; a newsletter chair, a student chair, and a programs chair. This will allow us to focus on specific tasks to help grow our section and involve more members to contribute and grow within the section. If you would like to become more involved we would welcome your support.

There are several food industry related companies that are not involved in the Cactus IFT and we need to get the word out and get them to our meetings. Please let your colleagues know about the Cactus IFT section and encourage them to join and share their knowledge with all of us.
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 Lynn Abarr-Boubelik, her contact information is listed in the newsletter.

We are also trying to increase our student membership which is the future of IFT and the food industry. The Cactus section is a great opportunity for students to network with industry professionals and exposure to potential internships with local companies. There is no better way to get a job out of college by networking before you receive your degree.
In the near future not only will you see the continuation of the quarterly newsletter, but we are also working to develop a Web site and have already started a blog site on the national IFT Web site.

— Brian Giannini

New Section Officer Short Bios

With new leadership came the appointment of new section officers. Each new officer was asked to give a short bio to properly introduce him or herself.

Brian Giannini, Chair

Brian Giannini has over 25 years of experience in quality assurance market research, business development, sales and product retrieval and recall services. In 1993 he joined RQA, Inc. which provides international quality assurance services to manufacturers with operations in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. Mr. Giannini developed an international product retrieval service delivered through a global network of registered dietitians and healthcare professionals.

In April 2007, Brian joined Stericycle which invested in the RQA retrieval business to enhance the recall services that Stericycle has been providing to the Pharmaceutical, Medical Device and Consumer Goods Industries. Stericycle now has the ability to provide a complete recall solution for companies which includes; consulting, notification/communication, retrieval, processing, fulfillment, reimbursement, transportation, storage, destruction and reporting. Brian has maintained his client account responsibility for all product retrieval services, including consumer complaint retrievals, product recall/withdrawal services and product retrievals for new product development and quality assurance purposes.

Mr. Giannini obtained his bachelor’s of science degree in Business Administration at the University of Arizona. He has been a member of SOCAP (Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals) since 1994; served on the SOCAP International Board of Directors from 2002-2004 and is currently on the Board of Directors for the Southwest Regional SOCAP Chapter. He is currently the Secretary of the Southern California Association for Food Protection, the Chair for the Cactus Section of IFT and a member of the Association of Food and Drug Officials.

Tony DeCastro, Chair Elect

Tony is currently Vice President of Product Innovation & Regulatory Affairs at Sun Orchard, Inc. at Tempe, AZ, a national producer and distributor of juices and beverages for the foodservice industry with facilities in Arizona, Florida and California. Tony has been involved with juice and beverage processing and packaging for over 25 years, with responsibilities encompassing product and process development, QA/QC, operations, and legal compliance. Tony earned his B.S. degree in Biology from the University of California at Riverside, is a Professional Member of the Institute of Food Technologists, a Culinology member of the Research Chefs Association, and a former board member of the American Fresh Juice Council. Tony is also a PADI Master Scuba Diver and Dive Master, member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, and an avid motorcycle rider.

Lorraine Hansen, Treasurer 

Lorraine Hansen has extensive experience in the food industry. She currently holds the position as Senior Quality Analyst for the Dial Corporation, a Henkel Company. In her role, she is the Lead Auditor of Quality Systems and FDA 21 CFR compliance audits for new and existing manufacturing facilities. She provides cGMP guidance to manufacturers on the FDA regulations 21 CFR. She provides Quality Assurance oversight of company Drug Stability Program. She develops quality assurance sampling/test plans, and quality standards for new and existing products and monitor implementation. She supports start of production on new products and develops, reviews, and approves process standards, test methods, and product formulas to assure adherence to company policy and Federal regulations. She also facilitated and led American Society for Quality certification study sessions that have resulted in 100% certificate attainment. Products and processes she has worked with include antibacterial liquid hand and body soap, hand and body lotion, bar soap, liquid and dry laundry detergent, laundry additives, electric and non-electric air fresheners, retorted low acid canned meats (USDA products), solid surface cleaners, insecticides, and aerosols. Previously, she has worked for Steris Laboratories, a division of Watson Pharmaceuticals as manufacturing services supervisor. She was also a quality assurance and control manager at ConAgra-Rosarita Mexican Foods and at ConAgra-Hunt-Wesson Foods. She also holds a MS in manufacturing management and a B.S. in biology (pre-med).

Lynn Abarr-Boubelik, Membership Committee Chair

Lynn Abarr-Boubelik’s career has been devoted to marketing and sales in the food industry and manufacturing where she has been recognized as a top performer, cultivating strong, long-term customer relations often times from a prospecting basis. Her resume includes employment with Unilever, Bestfoods of NA, Corn Products Company and J.P. Foodservice/Monarch. Lynn grew up in Iowa where she attended college and received her degree in travel and hospitality, where she learned superior customer service skills. Lynn joined the Vivion team in 2008 with enthusiasm and her extensive experience to her role as Account Manager allowing her rapidly expands her markets by targeting customers in all industries throughout Arizona and New Mexico representing Vivion. Lynn is the membership chair for the local Cactus Section IFT in Arizona.

Ken Baseman, Programs Committee Chair 

Ken Baseman is an innovative manager with background in Food Processing, Product Development and Quality Assurance. He has extensive experience in product reconfigurations and cost reduction, ingredient substitution, new product introductions, regulatory compliance, Quality Assurance and HACCP protocols. He is experienced in plant reconfiguration, product improvement, aseptic packaging, and process control. He recently moved to the Phoenix area with his wife after spending much of his professional career in on the West Coast. He is presently Director of Food Safety and General Manager of Papa John’s Salads and Produce headquartered in the Phoenix area.

Holly Curtis, Secretary

Holly Curtis has more than 18 years of experience in the Nutritional Supplement Industry working in a wide range of areas including Formulations, R&D, Brand Management and Web Fulfillment. Her education includes a BS in Food Science from the University of Arizona, an MS in Food Science from Brigham Young University and an MBA from the University of Utah.

Jessica Dykun, Student Committee Chair

Jessica Dykun is a Microbiologist in the Quality Assurance Division at Daisy Brand, LLC in Casa Grande, AZ. Jessica’s past work experience has included positions as the Sr. Research Scientist for XND Technologies, where she formulated nutritional water beverages, and as a Research Technician in the Research and Development Division at the H.J. Heinz Innovation Center. Jessica’s research has included areas of viscosity and rheological profile studies on sauces and condiments and the effects of chlorination and incubation times on Coliform growth. Jessica has also worked on developing a patented aseptic-cold fill process for the production of beverages without the need for heat pasteurization. Jessica received a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh and is currently completing a graduate degree in Food Science with a concentration in Food Microbiology and Food Safety at the Food Science Institute at Kansas State University. Jessica has been an active member in IFT and the Society for Applied Microbiology since 2007. Jessica was recently nominated as the Student Outreach Chair for the IFT Cactus Section in 2011. In her spare time, Jessica enjoys brewing her own beer and jogging.

Darrel Swift, Member at Large

Darrel Swift has more than 15 years of experience working for the food industry in several capacities of Quality Assurance. He has mainly dealt with the quality control of food, dietary supplements and cosmetics. Darrel has a bachelor’s of science degree in Zoology from Arizona State University and an MBA in management from Western International University. He has worked for three and a half years at Isagenix International, LLC as a Quality Control Release Coordinator and Auditor.

David Despain, Newsletter Committee Chair

David Despain, MS, is a science writer and nutritionist. He earned a master's degree in human nutrition from the University of Bridgeport in 2011. Previously, he earned a BA in English from University of Illinois at Springfield in 2004. At Isagenix International, LLC, a company that sells nutraceuticals, he currently holds the position as Senior Manager of Science Communications in Research and Science. He also works part-time as a freelance science writer for various avenues such as news Web sites and blogs. In the little spare time he has, David enjoys spending time with his family, reading, or exploring nature. He finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.

An Afternoon at Sun Orchard

The foundation for juice quality is a combination of freshness of the fruit, careful inspection and sanitization, extraction and gentle pasteurization, and management of shelf life.

“Try not thinking of peeling an orange. Try not imagining the juice running down your fingers, the soft inner part of the peel. The smell. Try and you can't. The brain doesn't process negatives.”
— Doug Coupland

Sun Orchard has been in the business of creating fresh-squeezed citrus juices for more than 25 years. On Sept. 24, Cactus IFT enjoyed a tour of the citrus-juice and fruit-processing facility, as well as a few glasses of delicious OJ.

Tony DeCastro, Sun Orchard’s vice president of product innovation and regulatory affairs, was our tour guide for the afternoon and gave us an overview of how everything worked at the facility.

First, he gave us some of the history about the place and how Sun Orchard found its niche in the marketplace dominated by giant corporations. They achieved success by becoming a full-service nationwide distributor for supplying fresh-squeezed juice beverages and bar mixes like margaritas mixes to restaurants.

We then walked into the receiving center where the fruit is inspected, then scrubbed, washed and sanitized. The fruit is then sent through an extraction process.

The extractors squeeze the juice freshly as anyone would in their own home. When we arrived, the entire area was being sprayed down with water for its regular cleaning between shifts. It gave us the time to look at the machines unimpeded and without bothering production.

Then, we were guided through rooms that featured a series of pipes and tanks. We learned that it was through these pipes that Sun Orchard performed gentle pasteurization and ensuring the safety of the product. The pasteurization delivers shelf life to the product, but has no effect on the quality or flavor of the end product.

Citrus flavor actually depends quite a bit on the content of lemon oil in the product and concentration of the volatile compound called d-limonene, DeCastro explained to us. He told us that lemon oil is also pressed out of the rinds of the fruit because of its high value on the market.

We entered the room where product blending and customization of juice is performed and DeCastro shared how different levels of volatile compounds are needed depending on the proprietary mix.
Lastly, we came to where the juice was bottled and packaged. That’s when thirst came over us and DeCastro let us enjoy some of those delicious volatile compounds in a glass.

— David Despain