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Dairy Products Technology 

Summer 2013 Volume 4, Issue 2  
In This Issue
ADPI Award of Merit
Where are they now? Mihir Sainani
Applications Lab Update
Abstracts for JAM ADSA/ASAS
Master Student Thesis Defenses
Outstanding Graduate Student
Upcoming DPTC Short Courses
Just Published
New Faces at DPTC


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Phil Tong is Recipient of the 2013 ADPI Award of Merit

Phil Tong ADPI Award of Merit  

Dr. Phil Tong, director of the Dairy Products Technology Center at Cal Poly, was recognized with the Award of Merit from the American Dairy Products Institute (ADPI).


The award was established to recognize those who have made a significant difference in the processed dairy products industry. Tong was recognized for the depth and breadth of his career accomplishments, which includes research, academia, training, publishing and television.


This is the 21st time the award has been presented and the first time it has been given to an individual whose principal body of work has been at an academic institution.  


Introducing Tong during the luncheon, Jane Carlisle, president of United Industries, Inc., and ADPI Awards Committee chairwoman, noted Tong's research contributions related to dairy ingredients functionality, mentorship of students who have entered the dairy industry, training of global buyers of U.S. dairy ingredients, and outreach programs that have provided continuing education for more than 3,000 professionals in the dairy industry.


"ADPI members widely acknowledged Phil's numerous contributions to the processed dairy products industry throughout his distinguished career," said David Thomas, ADPI's CEO. "We are pleased to recognize his service to the industry."


 "I have been fortunate to have worked with so many dedicated colleagues and students at Cal Poly, and many other individuals from other universities, companies and dairy industry organizations over the years."said Tong.  "Without the financial support we have received from our nation's dairy producer organizations and dairy processors, the work would never have been possible. So this award really is a reflection of a team effort and common goals for the university and the dairy industry."     


For more information on American Dairy Products Institute, go to www.adpi.org.

Where are they now?  Mihir Sainani, Sargento Foods, Inc.


Mihir, his son Sahil, and wife Rachna
Mihir Sainani
Sr. Research Scientist
Sargento Foods, Inc.
Elkhart Lake, WI 53020

Mihir Sainani received his undergraduate degree from Gujarat Agricultural University in India. He came to Cal Poly in 2000 and completed his master's degree in Dairy Products Technology in 2002 under the direction of Dr. Phil Tong.  


Upon graduation he began working for Hilmar Cheese Company as a quality assurance supervisor. He was with them for just a little over two years. Mihir then left California to join Bongrain Cheese in Lancaster, Pennsylvania  where he worked as a research scientist. In December of 2006 he joined Sargento Foods in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. While working for Sargento, he went back to school and earned his MBA through Marquette University in 2011. He is currently working as a senior research scientist and has been with the company for over six years.

"My experience working at DPTC gave me the opportunity to think independently," said Mihir. "Dr. Tong gave me the freedom to do my own research and think it through on my own. I have kept in touch with him throughout the years and consider him a mentor, and sounding board for various ideas." Sainani continued. "I had a blast at DPTC, working with Dr. Tong and living in San Luis Obispo. Being a student at Cal Poly was a wonderful experience."

Mihir stated that the technical and problem solving skills he gained while a graduate student at Cal Poly are skills he uses in his current position. One of his biggest challenges is keeping up with customer needs. Being able to think outside of the box is key.

"I'm not surprised at all that Mihir has become an active and productive professional in the dairy industry. He has always demonstrated excellent critical thinking skills, is a great "people person", and wanted to utilize these talents to work on milk and milk products," stated Dr. Tong.

Mihir's advice to students would be, not focus all your learning on just a few things. "Cal Poly has a lot to offer, keep an open mind, said Mihir.  "If you focus too much on one aspect, you might miss out on something else." He also encourages students to take advantage of being able to attend and present at meetings, such as Institute of Food Technologist (IFT) and American Dairy Science Association (ADSA) annual meetings. Mihir says this was an experience he truly enjoyed. As someone who now lives through winters in Wisconsin, Mihir's final bit of advice is to "Enjoy the weather and town while you are there!"

Dr. Tong ended by saying, "I'm happy to see Mihir beaming with his wife and new baby. I will be looking forward to seeing his son's application to Cal Poly Dairy Science in the future!"

Applications Lab Update by Katy Lees
Katy Lees
The Applications Lab is currently producing the new IFT prototypes: Mock Mint Protini and Savory Soft Protein Pretzel.  We would like to invite you to stop by the U.S. Dairy Export Council Booth #1565 to sample them. We look forward to the feedback after the show.

On behalf of the Applications Lab, I would like to introduce Kristina Soper to the DPTC team. Kristina will be taking charge of the Applications Lab, working with Dr. Tong, as a dairy applications research assistant. Kristina received her bachelor's degree in Dairy Science from Cal Poly and has worked as a creamery employee for the past two years.  She also has experience with Genesis nutritional label software
. Kristina has a passion for dairy and is excited to learn more about dairy ingredients.

Note from the Director:
Katy Lees will be leaving her position at the DPTC effective July 1 to pursue her interest in artisan cheese making.  Katy joined us in November, 2010,  and has been instrumental in many Dairy Ingredients Applications projects.  She was directly responsible for using and formulating a wide range of dairy ingredients into several creative prototypes including: Wheyvos Rancheros;  Dairy Chew;  Savory Yogurt;  Strawberry Bites;  Bread Pudding; Cheesy Bread Bites;  Wheme Brulee; Cheesy Pizza Dip;  Breakfast Patty; Yogurt Waffle; Honey Lavender Soothie; Oatmeal Breakfast Beverage; Mock Mint Protini;, and Savory Soft Protein Pretzel. Additionally she has worked on several applications projects with industry to facilitate nutritional labeling, product formulations, and linkages to dairy ingredients suppliers. She will be missed, but we have been fortunate to have her as part of our team. We wish her the best in her new endeavors.


Recent and Upcoming Presentations at Meetings

Institute of Nutrition and Functional Foods (INAF)

Scientific Outlook, June 13, 2013

Quebec, Canada.

Title: The MFGM: Review and current developments on structure and function


Presented by: Dr. Rafael Jimenez


Institute of Food Technologist (IFT)  Annual Meeting

July 13-16, 2013

McCormick Place South, Chicago, IL

Symposium on Expanding Bioactive and Functional Food Ingredients Derived from Milk Fractionation by the Dairy Industry.

Title: The milk fat globule membrane its biological function, activity and potential in dairy foods.

Presented by: Dr. Rafael Jimenez


10th Pangborn Symposium for Sensory Science
August 11 - 15, 2013
Rio de Janiero, Brazil
Title: Using self-selected emotion images and hedonics to evaluate reduced sodium mozzarella cheese with and without flavor enhancers.
Presented by: Kristine Martinez


246th ACS National Meeting & Exposition

September 8-12, 2013

Indianapolis, Indiana

ACS Symposium on Advances in understanding dairy/cheese flavors and related analytical techniques.

Title:The milk fat globule membrane as a natural carrier of nutrients and flavor.

Presented by: Dr. Rafael Jimenez


American Dairy Products Institute (ADPI) Dairy Ingredients Workshop

October 8-9, 2013

Shell Beach, CA

Title: Dairy Ingredients Overview

Presented by: Dr. Phil Tong


Abstracts accepted to JAM ADSA/ASAS annual meeting 2013 
A listing of the abstracts that will be presented was included in our last issue, and can be found at:



Master Students Thesis Defenses

Melissa Hsu
Thesis title: Effect of post manufacture thermal dip treatment on proteolysis of commercial string cheese during refrigerated storage
Date of defense: March 18, 2013
Committee chair: P.S. Tong 
Plans after graduation: Food Scientist, Quaker Oats/Pepsico, Barrington, IL

Emily Kong
Thesis title: Effect of pH and Temperature on the Binding Interactions of Caffeine and Chlorogenic Acid with Sodium Caseinate 
Date of defense: May 30, 2013 
Committee chair: Rafael Jimenez-Flores 
Plans after graduation: Currently looking for a position in R&D in the food industry, with special interest in flavor and food chemistry.

Mariella Poveda
Thesis title:Effect of Chelating Agents on Texture of Cheddar Cheese 
Defense date: May 29, 2013
Committee chair: Dr. Nana Farkye
Plans after graduation: Assuming the position of Associate Scientist at Leprino Foods Company, Denver, CO.
Hadi Eshpari Awarded Outstanding Graduate Student of MS Program

Hadi Award
Pictured from left, Dr. Rafael Jimenez-Flores, Hadi Eshpari, Dr. Lola Berber-Jimenez, and Tracey Nguyen 
At the Dairy Science Banquet hosted by Los Lecheros Dairy Club on Saturday, May 18, 2013, Hadi Eshpari was presented with the Outstanding Graduate Student award. The main criteria for the award are academic quality of a students MS work, how well rounded they are in other scientific and technical skills, as well as other interpersonal and civic qualities.


Hadi completed his MS degree with very high academic grades. His work with physical properties of milk powders represents great value to the California dairy industry. Hadi participated and presented his research in several national scientific meetings, including the Dairy Product Technology Center's annual Dairy Ingredients Symposium held this last February.  


The committee also recognized Hadi as a unique individual who is always willing to help his fellow students and being the first to volunteer for tasks beyond his field.   According to Dr. Rafael Jimenez, "He has always been the 'glue' that keeps the students together and always leads by example in his dedication to research."


Hadi completed his MS degree under Dr. Tong and is now working on obtaining his PhD through the University of Guelph (Canada) under the direction of Dr. Milena Corredig, and co-advisers Dr. Tong and Dr. Jimenez-Flores.


Upcoming DPTC Short Courses and Events

16th Annual Dairy Science and Technology Basics for the Farmstead/Artisan Cheesemaker

September 17-21, 2013 

Location: Cal Poly Dairy Products Technology Center, San Luis Obispo, CA


2nd Artisan Cheese Safety and Quality Workshop
September 28, 2013
Location: Doubletree Hilton, Rohnert Park, CA


2ndGlobal Cheese Technology Forum 

October 22-23, 2013 
Location: Peppermill Resort, Reno, NV

Just Published

Milk fat globule membrane isolated from buttermilk or whey cream and their lipid components inhibit infectivity of rotavirus in vitro K. L. Fuller , T. B. Kuhlenschmidt , M. S. Kuhlenschmidt , R. Jiménez-Flores ,and S. M. Donovan. 2013. J. Dairy Sci. 96 :1-10.

Culturally Speaking: Options for making Greek yogurt
By Dr. Phillip Tong
Dairy Foods Magazine, May 2013 Issue

Effect of adding salt during the diafiltration step of milk protein concentrate powder manufacture on mineral and soluble protein composition Sikand, et. al, Dairy Science Technology: Volume 93, Issue 4 (2013), Page 401-413

New Faces


Kristina Soper

Kristina Soper


Thibault Houry

Kristina has joined the DPTC as a Research Assistant under Dr. Phil Tong. She graduated in the Summer 2013 from Cal Poly with a bachelor of science in Dairy Science and will be working as part of the Dairy Ingredients Applications Team.


Thibault is a visiting scholar working with Dr. Tong's group. He is a student from Ecole Superieur d'Ingenieur Reunion de L'Ocean University in Sainte, France. His research at the DPTC will focus on physico-chemical properties of milk protein concentrates, skim milk powder and or/whey protein concentrates.


For questions or comments regarding this newsletter please contact Laurie Jacobson at: ljacobso@calpoly.edu