The American Dairy Products Institute (ADPI), Elmhurst, Ill., announced MaryAnne Drake, Ph.D., as the 2022 Recipient of the ADPI Award of Merit. The award was established in 1991 to recognize individuals who have made a significant difference in the processed dairy products industry.

Drake is a William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor in the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences, Southeast Dairy Foods Research Center, North Carolina State University, where she conducts research on the flavor and flavor chemistry of dairy foods. Her research is focused on understanding how processing steps influence flavor, flavor stability and, ultimately, customer/consumer perception, ADPI said.

Drake was the first to develop defined sensory languages for dairy foods and then apply processing and chemistry knowledge to link specific flavors with unit operations and volatile compounds. This work has resulted in approaches to improve the flavor of cheese and dairy ingredients, as well as customer/consumer messaging and communication, ADPI said. She has worked closely with the industry, transferring flavor knowledge related to a variety of dairy products and ingredients, and scientists around the planet are following her lead.  

Drake has published more than 300 peer-reviewed manuscripts and 17 book chapters and is an acclaimed international authority on dairy foods flavor, ADPI said. As a testament to her dedication to the student experience and the next generation of food and dairy scientists, she has guided more than 80 students to advanced degrees. In addition, she has delivered more than 300 invited lectures/seminars throughout the world and enjoys working with companies on proprietary problem-solving as much as she enjoys working with graduate students on public research.

Drake’s work has been recognized several times by both the American Dairy Science Association (ASDA) and the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). She is a past president of ADSA, ADPI said, and an ADSA and IFT Fellow.

ADPI congratulated Drake on her accomplishments and achievements with this award during the 2022 ADPI/ABI Joint Annual Conference on April 26 in Chicago.