Adjunct professor Zhongli Pan has been named a fellow of the Institute of Food Technologies (IFT). IFT fellows are recognized by their peers for “exemplary professionalism in the field of food science,” including scholarship, service, leadership or innovation that helps improve humanity through food science and technology.
Pan has been an adjunct faculty member at UC Davis since 2000 and has concurrently had a distinguished career at the USDA Western Regional Research Center’s Health Processed Food Research Unit. He is known for his groundbreaking research in food and agricultural processing.
Many of his projects involve using infrared heating technology for food processes like peeling, blanching, roasting, drying and disinfecting. The technology offers a better and more sustainable solution than traditional processing methods. He has also looked to add value to food and agricultural byproducts that are made during processing. Many of his techniques and tools have been deployed in industry.
“I am very honored to be elected as an IFT fellow, and grateful for the opportunity to work on the challenging problems that are important to feed people sustainably through technology innovation in food engineering,” he said. “I feel fortunate to be able to work with the most talented students, scholars and researchers in academia, along with prestigious research institutes and private sectors worldwide to make this possible.”
Being named a fellow adds to Pan’s long list of professional accomplishments. He has published over 330 articles and filed 21 patent applications and was the first Chinese American in agriculture to receive the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the country’s highest honor for young scientists and engineers.
He also received IFT’s research and development award, is a fellow of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) and received the USDA-ARS Herbert L. Rothbert Outstanding Early Career Research Scientist Award.
Pan is a UC Davis alumnus, completing his Ph.D. in food engineering at the university in 1998. He received his B.S. and first M.S. at the Northeast Agricultural University in China before coming to the U.S. for his second M.S. at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Pan will be recognized at IFT20, IFT’s annual event and exposition from July 12-15 in Chicago.
IFT was founded in 1939 to advance food science, nutrition, safety and sustainability and connect scholars, innovators, visionaries and doers with the resources, forums and services they need to be successful.