Niagara College professor wins prestigious international food science award

Niagara College professor Amy Proulx PhD has been selected to receive a prestigious Young Scientist Award from the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST).

An innovative approach to research has led Niagara College professor Amy Proulx PhD to be named among the world’s top young food scientists for 2014 – the only North American to make the list.

The International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST) has announced Proulx as one of eight outstanding young food scientists from around the world age 35 or younger to receive a Young Scientist Award. The award considered to be the most prestigious award in international food science and technology aimed at young scientists will be presented at the IUFoST’s 17th annual World Congress of Food Science and Technology in Montreal August 17-21. Proulx will join a small and select list of young scientists who have received this award since its inception eight years ago.

“Dr. Proulx’s nomination was accompanied by glowing references praising her innovation and leadership. Her selection as one of IUFoST’s Young Scientists recognizes that Dr. Proulx exemplifies excellence in the food science and technology profession and the award demonstrates IUFoST’s ongoing commitment to nurturing the next generation of food scientists” says IUFoST president Pingfan Rao PhD. “We look forward to introducing her and the other Young Scientist Award winners to the world.”

Proulx joined Niagara College in 2011 as a professor and academic program coordinator for Niagara College’s Culinary Innovation and Food Technology program. She has been instrumental in the development and continued growth of the college’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute Research Centre which opened in 2013 and is currently technical research leader at the Centre.

“Our Culinary Innovation and Food Technology program is a key component to the programming at Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute and continues to grow in stature thanks to Dr. Proulx and her dedication and enthusiasm. The future of food development and food safety is so important to our culture as well as our economy and Dr. Proulx shows a unique ability to combine academic prowess with hands on applications in real life situations” said  CFWI dean Craig Youdale. “Having Dr. Proulx recognized by the IUFoST is significant to all of us at CFWI and shows what we already know; that she is dedicated accomplished and focused solely on student success.”

Research and research-related activities have taken up most Proulx’s professional career. A food scientist by training she holds undergraduate and master’s degrees in food science from the University of Guelph and a PhD in food science and human nutrition from Iowa State University. Proulx was a visiting research scientist with the United States Department of Agriculture in Ames Iowa and spent several years as a research fellow with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada at the Guelph Food Research Centre and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency where she helped companies interpret science in a way that helped them produce clean high-quality product. 

As part of the Niagara Research team at Niagara College Proulx’s recent work with the CFWI Research Centre included various tests for the award-winning recipe for MADD Virgin Craft Brewed Lager a high-quality non-alcoholic lager in partnership with MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) Virgin Drinks; as well as testing in the creation of a flavourful botanical beverage with Niagara Essential Oils and Blends (NEOB). She has also recently spent time guiding student teams and participating in projects that include shelf stabilization for a crabapple blush cider for Spirit Tree Estate Cidery and developing food safety protocol for small Ontario food producers – including for celebrated Vancouver chef Vikram Vij for his product line Vij’s at Home.

“I’ve always been someone to push boundaries and expectations. How we approach research in an academic setting here at Niagara College is very revolutionary. We take an industry-first approach where we focus on providing solutions to help industry succeed – very different than most academic research where the researchers assume their findings will advance knowledge in the industry and find an application in the long run” says Proulx. “It really is science in service to the industry which is what good applied research should be.”

For more information about the IUFoST Young Scientist Awards visit:

Niagara College offers more than 100 diploma bachelor degree and advanced level programs at campuses in Welland Niagara-on-the-Lake and Niagara Falls; as well as more than 600 credit vocational and general interest Continuing Education courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences advanced technology media applied health and community safety supported by unique learning enterprises in food wine beer horticulture and esthetics.


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