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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 3, 2007

World Food Prize Laureate Philip Nelson to visit UI Oct. 15

Philip Nelson, the 2007 World Food Prize Laureate and Schoelle Chair Professor in Food Processing at Purdue University, will visit the University of Iowa on Monday, Oct. 15 as part of two different International Programs events: the International Mondays lecture series and the UI Center for Human Rights' (UICHR) Careers for Change speaker series.

As part of his visit, Nelson will participate in an International Mondays luncheon, sponsored jointly by the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council (ICFRC) and UI International Programs, from noon to 1 p.m. Monday, Oct. 15 in Meeting Room A of the Iowa City Public Library. Nelson's talk, "Globalization and Food: The Role of Technology in Expanded World Food Trade," will address an overview of the global food system and discuss his perspective on how advances in food processing and distribution have improved international food security.

Additional sponsors for the noon lecture include the Stanley-UI Support Foundation and the Iowa City Public Library. For more information on the lecture, the International Mondays series, or special accommodations to attend, contact Buffy Quintero, International Programs outreach coordinator, at 319-335-0345 or The lecture is free and open to the public.

Nelson's second lecture takes place from 7 to 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 15, in the International Programs Commons, 1117 University Capitol Centre (UCC). Nelson's lecture, "From Tomato Plants to Crisis Relief: Dr. Philip Nelson's Road to the World Food Prize," is a part of the UICHR's Careers for Change speaker series. The series exposes students to careers in the field of human rights and social justice.

During his talk with students, Nelson will reflect on his beginnings as a food scientist; his research and career that transformed the storage, transportation, and distribution of food; and the prospects for further technical and scientific contributions to food security globally. Although primarily designed for undergraduate students, the free Careers for Change lecture is open to the public.

The World Food Prize is the foremost international award, recognizing, without regard to race, religion, nationality, or political beliefs, the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. Nelson will be presented the $250,000 World Food Prize on Oct. 18 at the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines. The ceremony will take place during the 2007 Norman E. Borlaug International Symposium, which focuses on "Biofuels & Biofood: The Global Challenges of Emerging Technologies."

Nelson developed an aseptic, or pathogen free, packaging and processing system that has allowed large quantities of food to be delivered safely worldwide. In 1991, the Institute of Food Technologists' (IFT) assessment of the top 10 innovations in food technology rated aseptic processing and packaging as number one, ahead of juice concentrates, safe canning processes, freeze drying and food fortification.

In 1995, Nelson was awarded IFT's prestigious Nicholas Appert Award, which honors an IFT member or nonmember for preeminence in and contributions to the field of food technology. He also served as IFT president from 2001-02. He earned his doctorate in horticulture and Bachelor of Science in general agriculture from Purdue University in 1967 and 1956, respectively.

For more information or special accommodations to attend the evening lecture, contact the UICHR at 319-335-3900 or

The UICHR and ICFRC are part of International Programs, which enables University of Iowa students, faculty, staff and the public to learn from and about the world. Its offices, degree programs and events provide life-changing opportunities on campus and abroad, heighten intellectual and cultural diversity and give all university constituents access to vital international knowledge. For more information, visit or call 319-353-2700. International Programs is part of the UI Office of the Provost.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Buffy Quintero, International Programs, 319-335-0345,; Amy Weismann, International Programs, 319-335-0483,; Kelli Andresen, International Programs, 319-335-2026,; Lois J. Gray, University News Services, 319-384-0077,; Writer: Kat Rokhlin