Food Science & Technology prof honored for research on healthful properties of berries

man and grandaughter

Ron Wrolstad with his granddaughter, Maggie Forsberg (contributed photo)

OSU berry researcher Ron Wrolstad received a top honor from his fellow scientists at a worldwide berry-health conference last month.

Wrolstad, distinguished professor emeritus in the Food Science and Technology department, was honored with the Dr. Jim Joseph award at the Berry Health Benefits Symposium, held in Pismo Beach, Calif.

Wrolstad was recognized for his career-long research on anthocyanin chemistry and color stability in berries. Anthocyanins are plant chemicals that, thanks in part to Wrolstad’s work, are now known to promote human health.

His research has contributed to berry-processing technologies that preserve these anthocyanins. They include methods for identifying and quantifying anthocyanins in berries and preventing their loss during processing; recovering anthocyanins and other health-boosting chemicals from berry-processing byproducts; and isolating anthocyanins from berries for use as natural colorants.

Wrolstad also played a leading role in organizing the first two Berry Health Benefits symposia, held in Corvallis in 2005 and 2007.

“It’s truly an honor to be recognized by your colleagues,” he said. “However, it needs to be emphasized that the award was received on behalf of the several graduate students, along with research assistant Bob Durst, who worked in our lab.”

~ Gail Wells

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