SCIFTS is a local organization that has maintained a close connection with Chapman for many years. Their Distinguished Achievement Award is given to the person who has provided continuing and exemplary service to the food science and technology industry, particularly in the southwest United States.
“I am truly honored to receive the 2020 SCIFTS Distinguished Achievement Award. SCIFTS receives nominations for highly accomplished candidates each year, and I am super excited to have received it,” shared Dr. Prakash.
Dr. Prakash served as SCIFTS Chair in 2005-2006 and has chaired and participated in multiple IFT and SCIFTS committees.
Outside of Dr. Prakash’s work as the Director of the Food Science Graduate Program at Chapman Unversity, she also is a science advisor to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s Pacific Southwest Food and Feed Laboratory and is an Associate Editor for the international peer-reviewed journal, Radiation Physics and Chemistry. In the community, she serves on the Board of Directors for the Community Action Partnership of Orange County and is a Fellow of the Food Systems Leadership Institute.
For the past nineteen years, Dr. Prakash’s research has focused on using irradiation to enhance the safety and shelf-life of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables and ready-to-eat meals. Currently, she is evaluating the effect of irradiation on the quality of fruit treated by irradiation for insect disinfestation with the ultimate goal of eliminating global trade barriers by reducing the threat posed by invasive pests. She has funding from the USDA to further her research by determining tolerance levels of fruit to irradiation and comparing irradiation to other conventional treatments, as well as looking at the impact of commercial treatments and distribution conditions on the quality of the irradiated fruits.
Dr. Prakash will receive the award and give a special talk at the SCIFTS May Meeting on Wednesday, May 20, 2020, at 5:30 PM, which will be held via Zoom to accommodate the Stay-at-Home mandate.
During her talk, Dr. Prakash will encourage others during this challenging pandemic by sharing stories of determination and perseverance in her career.
Those interested in the event are invited to email firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP for the Zoom meeting link.