Food Collaborators Conference Recap


On February 14th the Food Innovation Center held its annual member meeting, the 2014 Food Collaborators Conference. FIC members came together to listen to presentations on a wide range of FIC projects, including Colleen Spees' Hunger.FOOD.Health initiative, Chris Taylor's National Nutrition Examination of Research Data project, Michelle Kaiser's Food Mapping project, Kay Bea Jones' Weinland Park Food District project, Casey Hoy's Discovery Themes update and Dan Schmitz's presentation on the Abbott Haiti Project. Matt Habash, President of the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, gave a great speech on the local hunger climate and the innovative strides that they have taken to combat it. Many thanks to all those who participated in the event.

Poster Contest Winners:

Best Presentation: Jessica Cooperstone (Ralston, Riedl, Francis, Lesinski, Clinton, Schwartz) with “Increased Lycopene Bioavailability from a Unique, cis-lycopene Containing Tangerine-type Tomato

Most Transdisciplinary: Jill Clark and Kristine Dugan with “The Agrifood System Policy Research

Most Likely to Impact the World in 10 Years: Julie Fox (Colbert, Hogan, Rabe) with “A Community Designed Healthy Urban Food System



Click Pictures to Enlarge

Member Spotlight 

Beta-carotene is an important carotenoid for human health due to its pro-vitamin A activity. Carotenoids are red, orange, or yellow, fat-soluble compounds that are naturally present in many fruits, grains, oils, and vegetables. Dr. David Francis, Professor at The Ohio State University in the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, is examining carotenoid profiles of vintage and contemporary tomato (S. lycopersicum) varieties to identify sources of high beta-carotene.
Read more.

Check out the FIC Blog!

Dr. Kay Wolf Receives Award for Distinguished Faculty Service


Director of Medical Dietetics and Health Sciences, Kay Wolf, PhD, RDN, LD, was recently elected in the 2014 national elections to serve on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Board of Directors as Treasurer-Elect. 

Additionally on March 24, 2014, Dr. Wolf was awarded as recipient of the President and Provost’s Award for Distinguished Faculty Service – one of the most prestigious faculty awards at Ohio State. 

Congratulations Dr. Kay Wolf!​

FIC Blog

The Food Innovation Center has started a new blog: The goal of our new blog is to showcase FIC members and share your knowledge on various food topics with the World Wide Web.
Our topics will tackle food issues such as foods for health, biomedical nutrition, food safety, food strategy and policy, obesity and food security. We will determine our topics based off your input, as well as gather ideas based on national news stories and the food-focused topics being discussed on blogs. The topics can vary; they can range from abstract questions like “is tea healthy?” to more specific subjects on your research to assessments on news stories like the farm bill reforms.
If you are interested in participating in the Food Innovation Center blog as a guest writer or if you have a topic idea, please email Katlin Fritz at The amount of time invested is minimal; posts should generally range 300-600 words. Additionally, we will only post on the blog 1-2 times per month. Lastly, we will always attribute the blog post to the guest writer and showcase their FIC member profile. This opportunity is available to all FIC members, including faculty, staff and students.

We welcome you to create conversation by commenting and sharing your thoughts on each blog post!

Students Attend the Clinton Global Initiative University


Meera Nagarajan and Ivory Agan, sophomore in Nutrition Sciences and senior in Public Affairs, are doing their part to inspire innovation within the student body at Ohio State with their new student cohort, Food Fellows.  

Food Fellows is an undergraduate and graduate student organization that focuses on bringing students from different colleges together to discuss food related issues. This student organization joined the ranks of Ohio State last spring under the guidance of FIC member Dr. Michelle Kaiser.

“The ultimate goal of Food Fellows is to shape students into change agents so that when they graduate, they are more readily prepared to work on a food-related issue,” Nagarajan says. A recent Food Fellows project worked with Children’s Hunger Alliance to develop a school breakfast scorecard to evaluate best practices for the school breakfast program.

Nagarajan and Agan are well on their way to reaching their ultimate goal as they were invited to the Clinton Global Initiative University this past weekend at Arizona State University. With a sponsorship from the Food Innovation Center, Agan was able to make the most of her experience.

“Clinton Global Initiative is young people trying to create change, and I admire the Clintons for their involvement in the global community,” describes Agan. “It was a very eye-opening experience to get to be a part of.”

Nagarajan hopes that the Food Fellows becomes a model that can be adopted by other universities.

IBM's Cognitive Cooking



In January, we held the Mountains of Data Summit which featured Nan Shao, from the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, who discussed "computational cooking." Shao and her fellow IBM researchers have programmed Watson to create new ingredient combinations and recipes on command. The company’s cognitive computing group used the system to crunch through about 35,000 recipes sourced from Wikipedia and the Institute of Culinary Education to create software that thinks up the most unusually delicious dishes based on molecular science.

Since Ms. Shao's presentation at Ohio State, IBM has released a traveling food truck so consumers can sample new recipes. The IBM food truck recently visited the SXSW festival in Austin, TX. Using Watson's recipe system, which combines three elements (ingredient, cuisine and type of dish) to create unconventional new fare, chefs are churning out delicacies such as ceviche fish and chips and Vietnamese apple kebabs. To view some of the new recipe creations, click here.

Send Your Photos to the FIC!

It's important to us that FIC members are informed about what's going on at the Center. We also want to share great news with the general public so they can get to know the FIC better too!

FIC members can help by sending in photos of themselves conducting food-related research. We are looking for candid shots of FIC researchers in action. These do not have to be professional photos.

Send your photos to along with a brief description. If preferred, you may schedule a time for our intern to stop by to take photos/video.

Upcoming Events

The Age of Sustainable Development
Time: April 4, 2014 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: Mershon Auditorium, 1871 N. High St.
Ohio State’s inaugural Provost’s Discovery Themes Lecturer will be Jeffrey Sachs, director of The Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, professor of health policy and management at Columbia University, and author of The Price of CivilizationLearn More

JGSPA Food Policy Series: David M. Kaplan
Time: April 14, 2014 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Location: John Glenn School of Public Affairs, 1810 College Road, 1st Floor, Room 130
Join the Glenn School, the Center for Ethics and Human Values, and the Food Innovation Center at the next presentation of our Food Policy Series. David M. Kaplan is Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at the University of North Texas.  He is the co-editor of the Encyclopedia of Food and Agriculture Ethics, editor of The Philosophy of Food, and currently writing a book titled Food Philosophy.  His research focuses on the relationship between food and technology. Learn More

Patterson Land-Grant University Lecture
Time: May 1, 2014 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Location: Ohio Union, Archie Griffin West Ballroom
The lecture challenges the university and community audience to continue to use their knowledge and resources and work together to solve world issues. Learn More

Support the Food Innovation Center

Does your passion align with the mission of the Food Innovation Center? Do you want to see the work we are doing continue? Take a moment to support the FIC! Give Here
Food Innovation Center  |  The Ohio State University  |  |  Tel (614) 292-0229  |