The American Dairy Products Institute (ADPI) announced the establishment of a scholarship in the name of Phillip Tong, Ph.D., to be known as the Phillip Tong Educational Scholarship.

“This annual scholarship endowed by ADPI is in recognition of Dr. Tong’s contributions to the training, education and development of people in the dairy industry and, most recently, within the scope of [the] dairy science and technology realm and the domain of ADPI member companies,” said Blake Anderson, president and CEO of ADPI. “Training, education and development is a strategic precept for ADPI, and this new scholarship, under Dr. Tong’s name, will ensure that his life’s work will continue to contribute to the success of our industry.”

Tong has more than 35 years of experience in conducting research and development in dairy foods science and technology with organizations that include ADPI, Cal Poly, Kraft, Clorox and the Foremost Technical Center, ADPI said. He was instrumental in establishing and growing Cal Poly’s Dairy Products Technology Center, and he served as a professor and its director for over 15 years prior to his retirement from there. He is an internationally recognized expert in dairy food science and technology. His work has involved a wide range of separation, concentration, purification and thermal processes and their applicability to improve the quality and functionality of dairy foods, dairy ingredients and other food systems.

Tong has co-authored more than 100 publications on dairy foods and related technologies. He organized and led the instruction of over 50 short courses and symposia on dairy foods, and he has given more than 300 presentations in 10 countries, including China, Philippines, Malaysia, Mexico, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Ireland, Australia and Canada, ADPI said.

Tong has been an active member of ADPI’s Center of Excellence since its inception, and he is actively engaged in ADPI events, committees and task force groups. He helped to initiate ADPI’s annual webinar series, manages ADPI’s research related efforts and leads ADPI’s Dairy Ingredient Technology Symposium, an event he founded while at Cal Poly back in 1998. He also serves as an independent consultant to the dairy and food industries, chair of the American Dairy Science Association Foundation board of trustees and is a member of the Scientific Expert Group for the NZ3M Program of Riddet Institute, Massey University. He has served as president of and a member of the board of directors of the American Dairy Science Association, as a member of the Board of Directors of the Federation of Animal Science Societies and as past chair of the Dairy Foods Division of Institute of Food Technologists, ADPI said.

From 2016-2020, Tong also served as executive director of the California Creamery Operators Association (CCOA). He was selected 2018 Fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists and 2016 Fellow of the American Dairy Science Association. He is the recipient of the 2015 Southern California Institute of Food Technologists Distinguished Achievement Award, the 2014 American Dairy Science Association Award of Honor, the 2014 Cal Poly Graduate Studies and Research Career Award (in recognition for securing over $10 million), the 2013 American Dairy Products Institute Award of Merit, and the 2006 International Dairy Foods Association Dairy Research Award of the American Dairy Science Association, ADPI noted. He received his doctorate and master’s degrees in food science from Cornell University, and his bachelor of science in food science and technology from the University of California, Davis.

“We are honored and proud to have been able to work with and learn from Dr. Tong throughout our association over the last five years at ADPI, and can emphatically say we are stronger as an organization for having benefited from his wisdom, counsel and leadership,” Anderson said.

Tong, who also contributed a regular column to Dairy Foods magazine for a number of years, plans to retire from his regular duties as ADPI’s director of Dairy Science, Education, Research effective April 30, 2021. However, he will remain associated with ADPI in a few key activities such as continuing as a member of the Center of Excellence and as a member at large/advisor to the organizing task force for the Dairy Ingredient Technology Symposium, the association said.

The Phillip Tong Educational Scholarship will join the Jim Page Memorial Scholarship as an annual scholarship available through ADPI’s Scholarship Program.