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My Vision For Grain Quality And Structure Research And Biographical Sketch


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Title: My Vision For Grain Quality And Structure Research And Biographical Sketch

My Vision For Grain Quality And Structure
Research And Biographical Sketch
  • Sumana Chakrabarti Bell, Ph.D
  • Presented at USDA, Manhattan, 1/10/08

  • Sumanas Biographical Sketch
  • Grain Quality Research Background
  • Vision
  • Strategies
  • Managing Change
  • Management philosophy
  • Summary

Who is Sumana? Heritage Family
  • Native of Calcutta, India
  • Early schooling in small town in India
  • One husband (pharmacist), two cats

Education and Career
  • Ph.D., Polymer Physical Chemistry, University of
    Minnesota, USA
  • M.Sc., Physical Chemistry, Calcutta, India
  • Program leader, Fracture Fluid Rheology (British
    Petroleum in UK, Schlumberger in USA, France)
  • Program leader, food and dough rheology (Kraft,
    Chicago and General Mills, Minneapolis)

Prior Research
  • Ph.D Gelation of rigid rod polymers by spinodal
  • decomposition of phase separation
  • Strength of physical gels f (mechanism of gel
  • Oil-field Rheology control of fracture fluids
  • Fluids carry proppant
  • Create filter cake to prevent
  • fluid leak-off
  • Lose viscosity at the end
  • Clean break-up

Key Take Away Oil-Field Research Flow affects
cross-link density of chemical gels
In Waring blender, brittle gel In
porous media, ropy fluid Insights applied in
developing continuous processing of yogurt
Prior Research
Food Dough Converting Art To Science
  • Defining performance using mechanics
  • Converting learnings into practice
  • Relating performance to structure composition

Key Take Way Plasticity is Key
  • Dough changes with deformation
  • The rate of change determines end-use quality

Grain Quality Challenges to The US Farmers
  • In farming, everybody makes money except the
  • …….… Michael Pollen, The Omnivores
  • Excessive emphasis on processed foods and
    industrialization have decimated self-sustaining
  • Soil quality threatened from excessive farming

Grain Quality Challenges to The US Farmers
  • US is the largest exporter of wheat
  • Faces competition from abroad (Canada, Australia)
  • Competition claims superior consistency
  • Effects of global warming on yield and quality
    are un-certain
  • Consumers want more value in foods (convenience,
    health, nutrition)

Grain Quality Opportunities
  • Globalization localization
  • More markets open to farmers
  • Energy producers , Pharmaceuticals
  • Demand for whole grain products is on the rise
  • Market wants new products (health additives,
    processing aids, shelf-life quality aids)
  • Tremendous advances in technology that could be
    used to facilitate grain quality inspection

Grain Quality Challenges to Innovation
  • Yield
  • Grain health
  • Milling quality
  • Protein quantity
  • X Protein quality
  • X End-use quality
  • Need to have the know-how to relate all quality
    attributes with structure and composition for
    faster success

Vision for Grain Quality Research
  • We want to empower USDA and thus, US farmers,
    with options for attaining sustainable
    competitive advantages, by adding value to
    existing applications , by leading innovations
    and by growing and supplying grains that are
    differentiated from competition on the basis of
    superior functionality and quality, in the
    current climate of global competition

  • Develop a center of excellence in grain quality
    analysis thats effective in developing new
    technologies and in implementing current
    strategies of USDA
  • Transfer research results into production and
    commercially usable strategies for U.S. farmers
    to serve the food and non-food sectors of
    pharmaceuticals and energy
  • Introduce educational programs for the customers
    and participants technical and non-technical

Center of Excellence in Grain Quality
  • Disappointing progress in dough rheology,
  • (handicaps research impact on agronomy)
  • ….. Don Kasarda (USDA), Gluten Workshop,
  • Follow Ed Bagleys footsteps and make USDA again
    the leader in fundamentals of grain processing

Center of Excellence in Grain Quality
  • Build a state-of- the- art laboratory thats
    capable of utilizing structure end-use
    performance of grains to add value to grain
  • Predictive methodology for processing operations
  • Instrumentation to test the physics as well as
    the chemistry
  • Capability for small scale simulation of novel
    processes to test research hypotheses

Center of Excellence in Grain Quality
  • Make structure material science impactful
  • Add processability and consistent performance
    to the list of quality attributes
  • Explore the non-linear relationships in
    converting grains to products and develop novel
    products and processes
  • Develop predictive technologies to assess
    quality for farmers, for processors and for

Center of Excellence
  • Innovate
  • Develop value added grains (wheat, sorghum, rice)
    and additives
  • Easy milling wheat without compromising end-use
  • Processing aids
  • Sorghum flour for bread-making?
  • Pharmaceuticals , Oil-field chemicals,
    Bio-degradable plastics
  • Develop easy to use tools and methods to monitor

Center of Excellence in Grain Quality
  • Innovate
  • Collaborate with DOE funded bio-fuel research
    centers to utilize external RD facilities and
  • Develop more efficient processes and materials
    for generation of bio-fuels
  • Enzo-rheology is critical to rate of production
    of Ethanol
  • Collaborate with pharmaceutical RD organizations
    to develop novel applications of grain-based
  • Hydrogels?

Implementation Of Research Into Practice
  • Collaborate with industries and USDA partners
    from the start to ensure buy-in from customers
  • Patent technology as and when appropriate
  • Build credibility
  • Publish
  • Hold training classes
  • Consult for industries

Managing Change
  • Current Research Environment
  • Distrust for fundamental research
  • Lack of funding
  • Shifts in business priorities
  • More focus on shorter term research by industry
  • Sign of Hope
  • Break-through technologies are in demand
  • US industries are not doing it!

Managing Change
  • Special Challenges To Grain Scientists
  • Industrialized food production systems demand
    linearized processes
  • consistency, predictability, interchangeability
    and economies of scale
  • But, agronomy is not linear
  • Grain based products (wheat flour dough, in
    particular) are also non-linear in behavior
  • Manage non-linear materials for linear

Managing Change
  • Things to do
  • Encourage scientist to develop collaborative
    programs with food and bio-fuel industries
  • Seek corporate funding
  • Undertake shorter term research
  • Maintain USDA tradition and initiate change
  • Have small successes --- frequently
  • Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate

Management Philosophy
  • Tell me and I'll forget show me and I may
    remember involve me and I'll understand.

  • …………..Chinese proverb
  • Filament stretching device
  • ALE training course

Management Principles
  • Lead by vision and empowerment
  • Team-work always value and incorporate
    team-inputspreserve the best
  • Focus on objectives and encourage individuals to
    realize their full potential
  • Grow effective scientists and engineers
  • Be challenged
  • Celebrate success and have fun

What Can I Bring To This Center
  • Industrial leadership and practical management
  • Practical, industrial knowledge with American and
    European corporate experience
  • Building teams across the nation among
    corporations, academia, and government
  • Multi-disciplinary and multinational approaches
    to solve scientific challenges
  • Proven consultancy-based contacts with major
  • Unique knowledge from food rheology research

The Ultimate Vision
The Ultimate Vision
Put a Smile on their faces