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E-news #002: Spring 2005

In This Issue

Executive Director Message

By Clare M. Hasler

Spring has finally arrived! As we celebrate the new growth associated with the season, I am very pleased to share with you the tremendous growth thatClare Hasler-Lewis the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science (RMI) has experienced over the last quarter.

The biggest news is that the long-awaited groundbreaking of the academic building will take place on Thursday June 23. This momentous event will bring together esteemed donors, alumni, students, faculty, and staff, as well as university, state, and community dignitaries, to celebrate the RMI vision, "Enhancing the quality of life through wine and food sciences."

The Groundbreaking Task Force is planning a wine and food technology showcase in the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts to commemorate this important milestone in the growth of the RMI. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has been invited by the chancellor to be the featured speaker at this event.

RMI partnerships also continue to grow. In March we partnered with the Pacific Regional Humanities Center to sponsor "Beyond Consuming: Food, Wine and Culture of the Pacific" (

On May 14 and 15, we will partner for the first time with COPIA: The American Center for Wine, Food & the Arts in Napa, Calif., and the ThreeBee Group out of Rome Italy to host "Wine & the Mind", a symposium exploring the relationship between our brains and our senses. This symposium will bring together the pre-eminent authorities on the brain and its integral role in our sensory enjoyment of wine. For more information, see the RMI Web site or

In March 2006, we will partner with the UC Davis Department of Geology to host "Terroir 2006", a conference that will explore how aspects of terroir (e.g., how the natural environment influences the growing of grapes and the production of wine) can be studied scientifically in ways that are of use to the wine industry ( Ken Verosub, UC Davis geology professor, originally conceived the idea last fall. He now chairs a planning committee of 12 representatives from UC Davis, Sonoma State University, Washington State University, the Robert Mondavi Winery, and the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena. Internationally recognized experts from around the world are already confirmed as speakers for this exciting event so mark your calendars!

Finally, on March 28, the RMI partnered with the wine industry to host "Connecting with UC Davis on Air and Water Quality Issues Impacting the California Wine Industry." The objective of this focused conference was to stimulate dialogue between academics and industry thought leaders regarding critical air and water quality issues facing the wine industry -- leading to expanded networking opportunities and potential collaborations. See the event section below for the full story.

Research centers within the RMI are also beginning to grow. The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences has made available $100,000 on a one-time-only basis for the formation of at least two RMI Centers. See the Research and Faculty sections for more information.

Finally, the RMI Executive Committee has grown to include Professor Carl Keen, chair of the Department of Nutrition. Dr. Keen's expertise will be invaluable as the RMI continues to grow.

I look forward to celebrating the next phase of growth in the life of the RMI with all of you at the groundbreaking in June!


Clare Signature

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RMI Executive Committee Chair Message

By Robert Powell, Chair

The RMI Executive Committee is delighted to welcome Carl Keen, professor and chair, Department of Nutrition, and professor of internal medicine.Robert PowellProfessor Keen's research group focuses on three areas: the influence of diet on embryonic and fetal development; the study of gene-nutrient interactions, with an emphasis on how subtle changes in cell mineral concentrations influence the expression of select genes; and the study of how diet influences oxidant defense systems, and, as a consequence, the occurrence of cellular oxidative damage.

Carl KeenOf particular interest to readers of this newsletter may be Dr. Keen's work on the health effects of cocoa ( These studies have clearly established a positive health benefit to cocoa.

Professor Keen represents not just one of the critical "food sciences" that the RMI encompasses but also excellent science and service afforded by members of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at UC Davis.Last year, Professor Keen was honored with the college's Award of Distinction in the category of Outstanding Faculty.

Professor Keen lectures worldwide on many aspects of nutrition and is highly sought after as a consultant and an expert on government panels. We are pleased that he will be working with us.

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Fuller and Associates

By Jean Wigglesworth

Monty Sander, Tom FullerLast month we reported that Tom Fuller and Monty Sander of Fuller and Associates represent the RMI in the public relations front. We failed to include a photo -- so thought we would introduce them to you again this month. We are pleased to have them represent the RMI.





Melissa Haworth Joins RMI Team

Melissa HaworthMelissa Haworth joins Oliver Ramsey, director of campaign initiatives, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, as director of major gifts. Melissa will support fundraising efforts of the Department of Food Science and Technology. Melissa graduated from UC Davis with a B.S. in biological sciences. She is currently pursuing an M.B.A., marketing concentration, at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management.

For the past seven years, Melissa has been a program manager for the Cal Aggie Alumni Association. She engaged alumni leaders, parents, students, and friends of the university, serving as the primary liaison to 11 alumni chapters. In addition, Melissa developed future alumni leaders as the adviser for CASAN, the Cal Aggie Student Alumni Network. She was active in ASAP (the Association of Student Advancement Programs) and continues to be active in CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education). She co-presented a session titled "Engaging Future Alumni" at the 2004 CASE District 7 Conference.

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Holiday Reception

Vernon SingletonVernon Singleton, professor emeritus, UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology, visits with RMI executive director Clare M. Hasler at the holiday reception.

The RMI hosted a holiday reception for faculty at the Silo Pub on the UC Davis campus on Thursday, December 9, 2004. Staff and faculty of the departments of Food Science and Technology and Viticulture and Enology -- plus invited guests -- were treated to a bounty of holiday hors d'oeuvres and delicious wines.

Host and RMI executive director Clare Hasler noted, "We felt the holiday season was a very appropriate time for this, the third RMI after-hour gathering. The opportunity to have a casual get-together with the people who are instrumental in creating RMI is important in building and maintaining the interdisciplinary relationships that will make the institute a success."

RMI Co-Sponsors Pacific Regional Humanities Center Conference

"Beyond Consuming: Food, Wine & Culture of the Pacific Region" was hosted by the Pacific Regional Humanities Center on March 17-19, 2005. This open, free conference on food studies and regional cuisine was sponsored by the University of California Humanities Research Institute and the Davis Humanities Institute, with significant support from the RMI.

Clare M. Hasler, RMI executive director, served as moderator of the Friday morning food technology roundtable on The Future of Food from UCD. Panel participants included Pam Ronald, associate professor of plant pathology; Kent Bradford, professor, Department of Vegetable Crops, and director, Seed Biotechnology Center; Andrew Waterhouse, John E. Kinsella Endowed Chair in Food, Nutrition and Health, Department of Viticulture and Enology; Jerry Gillespie, director, Western Institute for Food Safety and Security; and Bruce German, professor of food chemistry, Department of Food Science and Technology.

The Friday evening Keynote Address was provided by Davis Mas Masumoto, winner of the Julia Child Cookbook Award for Literary Food Writing for his 1995 book Epitaph for a Peach: Four Seasons on my Family Farm. The RMI hosted a wine reception following Masomoto's keynote presentation.

For additional details on the conference, please see

RMI Hosts Air and Water Quality Conference

Neal Van Alfen, dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, and Clare M. Hasler, RMI executive director, welcomed nearly 50 faculty and wine industry representatives to the Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center at UC Davis on March 28 for a conference focused on air and water quality issues impacting the California wine industry.

Sponsored by E.& J. Gallo Winery and endorsed by the American Vineyard Foundation, California Association of Winegrape Growers, California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance, and the Wine Institute, the objective of the conference was to stimulate dialogue between academics and key industry thought leaders regarding critical air and water quality issues facing the wine industry -- leading to expanded networking opportunities and potential collaborations.

Speakers also examined how technical/engineering solutions applied to similar challenges in other agriculture commodity systems (e.g., dairy) might be useful in approaching the challenges the wine industry faces.

Since the early 1990s, funding for the Agricultural Experiment Station (AES) and Cooperative Extension (CE) programs in California for grape and wine research, outreach, and extension has steadily eroded. In the last two years, large cuts in state spending for AES and CE programs have created a critical situation. These funding cuts are occurring at a time when the California grape and wine industries are more dependent than ever on readily accessible information on cutting-edge technological developments in order to maintain a strategic competitive advantage.

In a white paper presented to the wine industry late last summer, it was proposed that the RMI serve as a portal through which UC Davis can interfaceKaren Ross more seamlessly and effectively with the California wine industry and help the industry maintain its strategic advantage in an increasingly competitive global wine business. Discussions with Karen Ross, president of the California Association of Winegrape Growers, Kim Waddell, executive director of the American Vineyard Foundation, and other wine industry representatives made it clear that a conference focused on air and water quality issues would be of great value to the wine industry.

Karen Ross opened the conference by reiterating the importance of the event in creating possibilities for collaboration between industry and UC faculty. The first half of the day focused on water quality and began with an overview of the challenges facing the industry and opportunities for solutions by Wendell Lee, general counsel for the Wine Institute, and Bob Chrobak, vice president of Kennedy/Jenks Consultants.

The morning continued with presentations on various water quality issues from a diverse range of UC Davis faculty: Thomas Harter, groundwater Cooperative Extension program; Dave Smart, Department of Viticulture and Enology; Larry Schwankl, Department of Land, Air and Water Resources; and Roger Boulton, viticulture and enology.

A lively panel discussion chaired by Mark Grismer, professor of hydrology and biological agricultural engineering, concluded the morning session.

The afternoon focus on air quality issues began with opening remarks by Art Caputi, chair of the American Vineyard Foundation. Chris Savage, director of environmental and regulatory compliance for E.& J. Gallo Winery, discussed the major air quality challenges facing todays wine industry and opportunities for solution.

Chris did an excellent job setting the stage for three additional research presentations: Frank Mitloehner, director of the Agriculture Air Emissions Center (UC Davis); Ruihong Zhang, professor in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering (UC Davis); and Allen Goldstein, associate professor of biogeochemistry at the University of California, Berkley.

The afternoon sessions concluded with a panel discussion chaired by Kerry Drake, associate director of the agriculture and air division of the Environmental Protection Agency, Southwest Region.

The event concluded with an enjoyable social of great networking, food, and wine at the UC Davis Alumni and Visitors Center. Art Caputi stated: "This conference opened the door for a valuable interchange on environmental issues between the university and the California wine industry. Most of us in the industry who deal with the area were totally unaware of the breadth of knowledge and experience that exists in this field within the UC system."

Karen Ross stated, "The program content and quality of presentations was excellent.The conference introduced us to a number of opportunities for collaboration with the university on high-priority, complex issues facing the industry. We really appreciate the support of the dean and the RMI in facilitating a great, one-day seminar."

I am now working with Karen Ross and Kim Waddell on next steps. For the conference to have a lasting impact, the real key will be to build on the networks and opportunities that emerged or were developed at the conference.

See the RMI Web site for the complete agenda and speaker biographical information.

RMI Holds 2nd Lectureship

As we went to press, the 2nd lectureship was held at the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts. See our Web site or our summer newsletter for the details.


April 21, 2005

Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts Center, Studio Room

8:30 – 9:30 a.m.     Registration and continental breakfast

9:30 – 9:40 a.m.     Welcome and update by Clare M. Hasler, Executive Director, RMI

9:40 – 9:45 a.m.     Introduction of Joe Collins by Oliver Ramsey

9:45 – 10:10 a.m.     Joe Collins, Partner, Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Partnership “Progress of RMI Building Project”

10:10 – 10:15 a.m.     University greeting by Chancellor Larry N. Vanderhoef

10:15 – 10:20 a.m.     Introduction of Mary Wagner by Neal Van Alfen, Dean, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

10:20 – 11:00 a.m.     Mary Wagner, Chief Technical Officer, E. & J. Gallo Winery “A Food Scientist Takes a Sip of Wine”

11:00 – 11:20 a.m.     Coffee Break

11:20 – 11:25 a.m.     Introduction of Ted Ziemann by Clare M. Hasler, Executive Director, RMI

11:25 – 12:15 p.m.     Ted Ziemann, President, Cargill Health & Food Technologies “Health through Economic Solution”

Lobby of Jackson Hall

12:30 – 2:00 p.m.     Lunch

Upcoming Events:

Please visit the RMI Web site at for more information.

  • June 23, 2005 - RMI Groundbreaking

Please visit our Web site at for more information.

  • March 19 - 22, 2006 - Terroir 2006, ARC, UC Davis

Please visit for more information.

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Research/Faculty News

Tom Fuller

A visit to Krochta's lab in the Department of Food Science and TechnologyFood Science department, part of the new Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science at UC Davis, comes with a built-in bonus: candy tasting.

By Tom Fuller

The RMI already is making national news as John Krochta, a professor in the RMI’s Department of Food Science and Technology, recently was featured in an Associated Press news story for his work on edible whey-based food coatings. A link to the complete story:

Clare Hasler, RMI executive director, is understandably proud of the work Krochta and many others in both the food science and technology and viticulture and enology departments are doing on an ongoing basis.

“The RMI is, and will continue to be, the scientific and educational leader in the industries of food and wine. It’s gratifying to know we’ve got such talented people as John on staff who continue to move us forward in the discovery of both fields,” Hasler said.

Expect much more from the RMI, as the institute continues “enhancing the quality of life through wine and food sciences.”


Centers to be Established within the RMI

By Clare Hasler

In December, the RMI Executive Committee released a request for mini-proposals from faculty in the departments of Viticulture and Enology, Food Science and Technology, and Nutrition — as well as in other related disciplines — for the establishment of centers focused on research and outreach related to the RMI vision: “Enhancing the quality of life through wine and food sciences.”

The formation of such centers will serve as an organizational centerpiece for the RMI and will serve to:

  • Identify research topics and provide new knowledge and concepts of global significance to wine, food, and related sciences.
  • Strengthen coordination of collaborative projects.
  • Improve understanding of research goals and results with industry, government, and the public.
  • Provide a recruiting tool for graduate students and faculty.
  • Provide a nexus for multi-disciplinary grants.

The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences made available $100,000 on a one-time-only basis for the formation of at least two RMI centers.

On March 14, the RMI Executive Committee met to evaluate the proposals received and identify center concepts for further development. Core faculty from these proposed centers will meet with the RMI Executive Committee for further discussion prior to the submission of a full proposal. A workshop with center faculty and industry participants will further define the research and outreach activities and administrative structure of the centers prior to their formal launch by the end of the year.


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Contributors to "RMI E-newsletter"

  • Clare M. Hasler, Executive Director, Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, (530) 754-6349,
  • Allen Lowry, Sr. Project Manager, Architects & Engineers, (530) 757-3391,
  • Leslie Butler, Marketing Specialist, Agricultural & Resource Economics, (530) 752-3681,
  • Rachael Goodhue, Associate Professor, Agricultural & Resource Economics, (530) 754-7812,
  • Jill McCluskey, Associate Professor of Marketing and Agribusiness in the School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University, (509) 335-6653,
  • Melissa Haworth, Director of Major Gifts, CA&ES Dean's Office, (530) 754-8562,
  • Patricia Glass, Administration/Event Coordinator, Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, (530) 754-6349,
  • Ann Filmer, Director of Communications, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, (530) 754-6788,


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