UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Meals scientists Gregory Ziegler and Joshua Lambert are the 2020 recipients of the Analysis Innovators Award, given by Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences to acknowledge school and employees who’ve commercialized mental property generated by their Penn State analysis.
The honorees will formally obtain the award, which features a $3,000 stipend, at a recognition ceremony that can be scheduled later this yr.
The duo is being acknowledged for his or her work in growing a spread of vibrant, pure meals colorants derived from the seed of the avocado. Their discovery led to the creation of an organization, Persea Naturals, and its AvoColor product line of meals colour components.
“Dr. Ziegler’s and Dr. Lambert’s work has created a rising enterprise that meets the meals processing business’s rising demand for pure meals coloring components which can be derived from a waste product,” mentioned Robert Roberts, professor and head of the Division of Meals Science. “That is an innovation with a sensible affect in a $1.6 billion market, and they’re worthy of this prestigious Analysis Innovator Award.”
Persea Naturals started when Ziegler, professor of meals science, found that when avocado pits are pulverized, an enzymatic response produces a vibrant orange colour. After extracting the starch, Ziegler couldn’t get the colour to clean away.
This commentary launched a multiyear analysis endeavor to determine the coloured compound in partnership with Lambert, professor of meals science. The pair’s analysis — which proved each the soundness of the colour and the huge spectrum of orange, yellow and purple hues out there — resulted within the discovery of a pure meals colour.
Since Persea Naturals was based in 2016, Ziegler and Lambert have been concerned in a number of packages by means of the Invent Penn State initiative, which helps college researchers by means of the commercialization course of. The scientists achieved a major milestone once they acquired $75,000 in jumpstart funding from Invent Penn State’s Fund for Innovation.
The researchers additionally acquired a RAIN grant for analysis commercialization from the School of Agricultural Sciences and took part in an intensive enterprise accelerator run by Ben Franklin Know-how Companions. Moreover, Persea Naturals has acquired two Small Enterprise Innovation Analysis grants from the U.S. Division of Agriculture.
“The know-how developed by this workforce is phenomenal in that it additionally has the potential to supply advantages in addition to its use as a pure meals colorant,” mentioned Gary Thompson, affiliate dean of analysis and graduate training for the school. “They’ve added worth to a waste product that often results in landfills and now are testing the extracts from the seeds for anti-inflammatory properties.”
Ziegler joined the Penn State school in 1988. He holds a bachelor’s diploma in meals science from the College, a grasp’s diploma in animal and meals industries from Clemson College, and a doctoral diploma in meals engineering, with minors in chemical and agricultural engineering, from Cornell College.
His analysis pursuits concentrate on bodily properties and processing of polymeric and particulate meals, with an emphasis on chocolate and confectionery merchandise.
Ziegler’s document of analysis commercialization and the event of mental properties consists of 10 patent disclosures, of which the College has utilized for eight patents. He has been granted three patents, with one other below overview.
From 1999 to 2009, he served because the director of Penn State’s Middle for Meals Manufacturing, the place he labored intently with its company members to information analysis related to business actions.
Lambert got here to Penn State in 2008. He holds a bachelor’s diploma in biochemistry from the College and earned a doctorate in pharmacology and toxicology from the College of Arizona. He performed postdoctoral analysis in chemical biology at Rutgers College.
As co-director of the Middle for Plant and Mushroom Meals for Well being at Penn State, he research meals that may stop ailments together with most cancers and fatty liver illness. His lab research the polyphenols derived from tea, cocoa, mushrooms and avocados.
Lambert’s analysis has garnered monetary assist from organizations together with the Nationwide Middle for Complementary and Various Medication, the Nationwide Most cancers Institute, the American Institute for Most cancers Analysis, the Nationwide Institutes of Well being and the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration.
— to news.psu.edu