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E-news #021: Winter 2010

In this Issue


Director Update

Clare M. Hasler

ClareSpring is in the air. The trees around campus are in bloom and sandals and short-sleeves are back. At the Robert Mondavi Institute, something else is springing into the air — the August A. Busch III Brewing and Food Science Laboratory and the Teaching and Research Winery. It will be the first LEED Platinum building of its type in the world. See more details about this state-of-the-art facility in the second story below. Construction is on schedule for completion in August, notes project manager Julie Nola in her update below. We recently had the pleasure of hosting a tour of the new facility for Congressman Mike Thompson.

The RMI Board of Executives met again recently. This very engaged group of volunteer industry leaders has had four meetings at UC Davis since March 2009; we are very grateful for their leadership and support. In this issue, we include a profile of board chair Glenn Nedwin, who in addition to his scientific credentials, professional accomplishments, and love of great wine, is also a rock ’n’ roll guitar player. Kathy Barrientes, director of major gifts, recently spoke with Glenn about his support of UC Davis and the Robert Mondavi Institute.

Another great wine enthusiast who also visited the campus recently was Randall Grahm, UC Davis graduate and founder of Bonny Doon Vineyard. The “Rhone Ranger” hosted a private wine tasting with students, gave a public lecture, and signed copies of his recently published book, “Been Doon So Long.”
These are just a few of the RMI activities that have taken place over the past three months and are profiled in this issue of the Wine and Food Bytes. Enjoy!


Construction Update on Winery, Brewery, and Food Processing Facility

By Julianne Nola

Construction 02-2010Construction of the August A. Busch III Brewing and Food Science Laboratory and the Teaching and Research Winery continues despite some challenges with the wet weather. The roof is mostly complete and the exterior wall board with glazing is going up around the building structure. Framing is complete for the interior walls. Some major equipment has arrived, such as the main air handler and fluid cooler, along with ductwork and conduit. In the next few months, we will see the roughing in of all the electrical, mechanical, and specialty systems, followed by the drywall on interior walls and installation of the exterior plaster system. You can really see the rooms taking shape!

The project remains on schedule for completion in August. Construction work can be viewed on the live webcam, which is also on the home page of the RMI website.

Beer, Wine, and Food Facilities Aim for Eco-excellence

By Pat Bailey

Think green — very green.

Facility_1Green beer, green wine, green cheese, and green tomatoes. No, we’re not talking about a new Dr. Seuss book or the menu for St. Patrick’s Day, rather the new UC Davis processing facility now under construction at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science.

The facility will include the August A. Busch III Brewing and Food Science Laboratory and the Teaching and Research Winery, which replaces the campus’s famous 1938-era cellar and winery.
The 34,000-square-foot facility, with walls just now being overlaid on its steel frame, is designed to meet LEED Platinum building and construction standards — the highest certification granted by the U.S. Green Building Council.
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and has become the hallmark of sustainability in the architecture and construction world.

Icon for industry commitment

Supported completely by private, philanthropic donations, university officials say the one-story facility will be an icon for the commitment of these contributing industries and of UC Davis to a greener, more sustainable future.
The facility has been designed to complement the other three buildings of the Robert Mondavi Institute and is slated for completion in August.

It will house the world’s first LEED Platinum winery, first LEED Platinum brewery, and first LEED Platinum food processing pilot plant and milk-processing lab. It has been designed to be the first LEED Platinum building on the UC Davis campus and only the third built by UC.

The other two are UC Davis’ Tahoe Center for the Environmental Sciences in Incline Village, Nev., and UC Santa Barbara’s Bren Hall.

“It will not only meet the highest environmental design and construction standards, it will go even further to demonstrate how environmentally responsible technologies can be incorporated into the daily operations of food and beverage processing facilities,” said enology professor Roger Boulton. He is the Stephen Sinclair Scott endowed chair in enology who specializes in the chemical and biochemical engineering aspects of winemaking.

A complex building

The new building, while not massive, will certainly be one of the most complex facilities on campus.

Designed to sustain
  • Maximum use of natural light
  • High thermal energy efficiencies
  • Rooftop photovoltaic cells to provide all facility power at peak load
  • Carbon dioxide from fermentations will be sequestered on site in the future
  • Rainwater collected and stored to irrigate landscape and flush toilets
  • Native plants landscaping
  • Systems to capture processing water
  • Recycled glass in flooring
  • Interior paneling recycled from 1928 wooden aqueduct
  • Non-chemical filtering processes for water treatment
  • Lumber harvested from sustainably certified forest operations
  • Water and power metering

Shared by the Department of Viticulture and Enology and the Department of Food Science and Technology, it will comprise two attached wings.

The north wing will be the Teaching and Research Winery, and the south wing will be the August A. Busch III Brewing and Food Science Laboratory.

Although the building is fully funded, both departments are still in the process of raising funds to fully equip the new facility and to cover the cost of enhancements to meet LEED Platinum standards.

Winemaking: Principles and practices

The 12,500-square-foot winery will include a large experimental fermentation area with 152 200-liter research fermentation tanks and 14 2,000-liter fermentation tanks.

There are three controlled-temperature rooms, barrel and bottle cellars, an analytical lab, a classroom and a special bottle cellar for donated wines. The winery will be used for research and teaching and for courses for professionals.

“The building will enable students to learn both the principles and the practical applications of sustainability; right now we can only teach them the principles,” said wine chemist Andrew Waterhouse, chair of the Department of Viticulture and Enology and the Marvin Sands Endowed Chair in Viticulture and Enology.

Precision metering and control systems necessary for sustainable processing are also critical for moving winemaking to the next level of excellence, he stressed.

“Fine wines are the result of an intricate mix of environmental and processing factors,” Waterhouse said. “If we are to better understand how environmental factors, such as sunlight levels in the vineyard, impact the subtle aspects of wine quality, we need to be able to very precisely control the winemaking process. The new winery will equip us to do just that.”
The 11,500-square-foot brewing and food science lab will house a brewery, general food-processing pilot plant, and a milk-processing laboratory.

Brewing as a complex, sophisticated process

"The building will enable students to learn both the principles and the practical applications of sustainability; right now we can only teach them the principles." 
Andrew Waterhouse, viticulture and enology chair

“This new facility will allow us to showcase the importance of beer and brewing as a complex, sophisticated process as well as the important role that UC Davis plays in the brewing industry,” said Charlie Bamforth, Anheuser-Busch Endowed Professor of Malting and Brewing in the Department of Food Science and Technology. He noted that equipment from the 1.5 barrel-capacity brewery, updated in 2006, will be moved from Cruess Hall to the new building this fall.
“The brewery is an authentic reduced-scale facility of a size comparable to many of the smaller commercial operations in the brewing sector,” Bamforth said.

“We hope that it will be a facility that can be used by commercial brewers and suppliers to test out new recipes or processes in small-scale batches,” he added.

Handling broad spectrum of foods

The general foods processing plant will handle a broad spectrum of food products, including tomatoes, olives, and more.

“The food processing industry in California contributed significantly to this facility, in part because of the need for research-driven innovations that can reduce this industry's use of water and energy, and make beneficial use of byproducts,” said James Seiber, chair of the Department of Food Science and Technology.

“The new facility will provide a unique opportunity for faculty and students to partner with industry in exploring new technologies, emphasizing those that are sustainable from both food supply and environmental viewpoints,” Seiber said.

"The food processing industry in California contributed significantly to this facility, in part because of the need for research-driven innovations that can reduce this industry's use of water and energy, and make beneficial use of byproducts." 
James Seiber, food science and technology chair

The facility’s milk-processing laboratory is specially designed for cheese and other dairy products.

“One of the extraordinary features of the entire facility is that the general food-processing pilot plant and the milk-processing laboratory are designed and constructed for food-grade and dairy-grade processing, respectively,” notes John Krochta, the Peter J. Shields Endowed Chair of Dairy Food Science in the Department of Food Science and Technology, who is overseeing the milk-processing laboratory.

“That means that we will actually be able to provide samples of the foods and milk-based products that are processed here for sensory or nutritional evaluation.”

Private funding

Obtaining funds for new university buildings can be a challenge, noted Clare M. Hasler, executive director of the Robert Mondavi Institute.

“Public construction funds ebb and flow with the state’s economic fortunes, and a specialized project such as this one would not be possible without donor support,” Hasler said. “Still, it is quite remarkable tat the brewery, winery, and foods facility has been totally funded by private donations.”

The first gift of $5 million came from Robert Mondavi in 2001, set aside in addition to other gifts that he and his wife Margrit had made to UC Davis. It was followed in 2002 by a $5 million pledge from the Anheuser-Busch Foundation for the brewery and foods lab. Other major donations were made by Ronald and Diane Miller, and the California tomato processing industry.

A group of winery partners led by Jess Jackson and his wife Barbara Banke of Kendall-Jackson Wines and Jerry Lohr of J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines provided the funds necessary to initiate or secure the $2.1 million needed to design and construct the facility for LEED platinum standards.

In all, more than 150 individuals, alumni, and corporate friends and foundations have contributed more than $20 million for the new facility.

“When we first started talking about making this a highly sustainable facility, some people thought these were harebrained ideas,” Boulton recalled, smiling. “But we are fortunate to work with encouraging and supportive people who saw the potential for this building.”

Congressman Mike Thompson Tours the RMI Sustainable LEED Platinum Winery

By Clare Hasler

Left to right, Clare Hasler, Dean Neal Van Alfen, Congressman Thompson, V&E department chair Andy Waterhouse and senior project manager Janelle Allen.

A winter snowstorm in Washington, D.C. presented an unexpected opportunity to host Congressman Mike Thompson on the UC Davis campus on February 11.

Thompson was first elected to represent California's 1st Congressional District in 1998. The district includes all of Napa, Lake, Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties, as well as portions of Yolo and Sonoma counties. Thompson is a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence where he serves as chair of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Human Intelligence, Analysis and Counterintelligence.

Thompson is the cofounder and cochair of the bipartisan Congressional Wine Caucus, which consists of over 215 U.S. senators and House members.

Thompson_2While on campus, Congressman Thompson had the opportunity to visit one-on-one with Chancellor Linda Katehi, was briefed on the UC Davis West Village project, and received an update on campus energy initiatives.

Thompson is a small-vineyard owner and thus it was fitting that he visit the RMI Teaching and Research LEED Platinum and sustainable winery.

Interview with Glenn Nedwin, Chair of the RMI Board of Executives

By Kathy Barrientes

Glenn_1When you encounter Glenn Nedwin, Ph.D., M.B.A., for the first time, you immediately think “basketball” as his 6 foot 6 inch frame towers over most in the room. Other than intramural leagues, basketball was not his game but Nedwin participates with “boards” in other ways. Most recently he became the founding chair of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science (RMI) board of executives and charter member of the newly formed “Friends of the RMI.” Nedwin also served six years on the UC Davis Foundation Board of Trustees with several of those years as the vice chair. He currently serves on the College of Biological Sciences and Office of Research advisory boards and previously served on the Food Science and Technology Advisory Board. Other areas of Nedwin’s contributions around campus:

  • Directly responsible for creating The Novozymes Endowed Chair in Genomics at the Genome Center ($1million)
  • Founding supporter of the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts
  • Lecturer for Biotechnology Science and Business
  • Created an Industrial Biotechnology seminar series
  • Help found the UC Davis corporate Ph.D. program
  • Participates in UC Davis faculty recruitment
  • Sponsored company-funded research collaborations

Glenn_2Nedwin is what one would call a modern day “renaissance man” — he has a Ph.D. in biochemistry from UC Riverside and an M.B.A. from MIT’s Sloan School of Management. When not heading up meetings or serving on boards, he can be heard playing rock ’n’ roll guitar at various venues. One of his former bands, The CopenDavis Band, was lucky enough to perform at the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Nedwin moved to Davis in 1992 with his wife, Julie Nedwin, and their young triplet daughters as cofounder and president of Novozymes, Inc. Nedwin is currently an executive vice president with Genencor, a division of Danisco, based in Palo Alto, one of the world’s largest biobased ingredients companies.

What is Nedwin’s motivation for philanthropy and getting involved with UC Davis?

“Personally, I give to UC Davis because it has enriched my life, the lives of the companies that I work for, as well as having enriched the community in which I live (Davis). I also enjoy education and the process of educating and teaching.”

Why the RMI?

The late Robert Mondavi’s vision for the RMI was, “enhancing the quality of life through, wine, brewing and food sciences.” Glenn Nedwin sees the potential of the RMI “to enhance the quality of life of the public, through knowledge, outreach, and interactions of the public with UC Davis in the fields of wine, brewing, and food sciences. The RMI also provides a support mechanism to the departments of Viticulture and Enology, and Food Science and Technology, foremost, but also other related UC Davis departments.”

Where does he see the RMI in five years?

“I see the RMI having an acknowledged positive impact on the departments of Viticulture and Enology, and Food Science and Technology, and being well known in the public and regionally.”

And in ten years?

“It will be acknowledged world-wide and recognized for its contributions to enhancing the quality of life through wine, brewing, and food sciences”.

Clare Hasler, RMI executive director, first met Glenn Nedwin when she was interviewing for the position she has held for six years. “He was on my external review committee. I liked him immediately! As I got to know him better I realized that he would be the perfect candidate to be the founding chair of the RMI Board of Executives. I have truly appreciated his leadership and support.”

“California Olive Pioneers” named Finalist in National Book Awards

By Clare Hasler

California Olive, the premiere online magazine and review website for mainstream and independent publishing houses, announced the winners and finalists of The National “Best Books 2009" Awards in October 2009. “California Olive Pioneers: Early Essays on Olives & Olive Oil,” published by the Robert Mondavi Institute in June 2009, was honored as a finalist in the "History: United States" category.

You can purchase a copy of “California Olive Pioneers,” as well as “The Wine Press and The Cellar” (published for the Institute’s grand opening in October 2008) by contacting Tammy Heath at (530) 754-6349, by e-mail (, or at the UC Davis Bookstore.

Olive Oil Sensory Panel Established

By Nicole Sturzenberger


The UC Davis Olive Center has started the selection process for an olive oil taste panel. Led by sensory scientist and professor Jean-Xavier Guinard, the panel met over the past two months to taste oils, learn about sensory science, and screen potential panelists. The group includes experienced tasters, as well as area residents and university employees interested in honing their sensory skills. Once the selection process has been completed the panel will begin research on olive oil sensory quality. The panel intends to seek certification from the International Olive Council (IOC), which would make the UC Davis panel the only IOC-certified panel in the United States, joining 40 other certified panels worldwide.

Randall Grahm, Founder of Bonny Doon Vineyards, Featured Speaker at the Robert Mondavi Institute

By Clare Hasler


Randall Grahm, UC Davis graduate and founder of Bonny Doon Vineyard in the Santa Cruz mountains of California (, hosted a wine tasting for students and presented a public lecture at the Robert Mondavi Institute in February. About 80 students from the departments of Viticulture and Enology, Food Science and Technology, and the Davis Humanities Institute attended the private tasting in the Silverado Vineyards Sensory Theatre with Grahm. The tasting featured several of his favorite wines: Albariño, Le Cigare Blanc, Syrah "Le Pousseur," '05 Cigare Volant, and ’07 Le Vol des Anges.


The student tasting was followed by a reception and Grahm’s public lecture, “Why should terroir matter in the Golden State, where all is sweetness and light (anyways).” Following the standing-room-only lecture, Grahm signed copies of his new book, “Been Doon So Long: A Randall Grahm Vinthology,” published by the University of California Press. The book is a compendium of two decades’ of the choicest bits of “Dooniana” from newsletters, journals, magazines, and reviews, in addition to some new “bespoke pieces.”

Bonny Doon was amongst the first California wineries to embrace Rhone varietals, giving Randall Grahm the nickname, "The Rhone Ranger.” The winery is known for its innovative, iconoclastic labels and in recent years, has embraced obscure Italian varietals, screw caps, and biodynamic farming


Rick Grosberg, professor in the Department of Evolution and Ecology, had this to say about his lifelong friend: “Randall unshackled the California wine industry from Cabernet and Chardonnay 25 years ago, and now aims to free the industry from generic, high-end over-extracted and boozy wines that target reviewers and consumers, and toward local wines that reflect a sense of place and time, a challenge that may be far more difficult in the land of the lotus eaters than it was and is in Europe.”

Olive Center – Mobile Milling Event

By Jonathan Edwards

Kevin Rogers, an Olive to Bottle employee, works with the mobile olive press.

The idea was a switch: instead of taking olives to the press, take the press to the olives.

Mark Robinson and Andy Robinson had used on-site processing in winemaking, but last month, the brothers expanded the idea to making olive oil. Their new venture, Olive to Bottle, is backed by Prospero Equipment Corporation.

They showed off their wheeled press recently with the help of the UC Davis Olive Center. Dozens of area olive growers watched the machine suck olives and spit oil in an orchard tucked between Russell Boulevard and Hutchison Drive in Davis.

After that, the Robinson brothers were headed for commercial orchards. They've been in business about a month and have racked up more than 40 clients, Andy Robinson said. “I can have that fresh tonnage from the tree in the machine in an hour. It's the freshest milling you'll ever get in the world.”

Robinson saw farmers in El Dorado Hills trucking olives down to Modesto because they didn't have a press nearby. And once the olives arrived “they'd sit and wait, and wait and wait.”

Leon Sobon was one of them. He owns about 200 olive trees on Sobon Estates and hauled his crop 1 1/2 or two hours to get it pressed. This year, he had Olive to Bottle come to his estate in the foothills.

During a demonstration at a Davis olive orchard, Kiley Athanasiou, assistant director of the UC Davis Olive Center, shows how olives are sucked into a processor from large bins. Sue Cockrell/Davis Enterprise photo

“You put the olives in one end, and oil comes out the other end,” Sobon said. “It's pretty amazing ... and was very, very convenient.”

Olive to Bottle collapses production; harvesting, processing, bottling, and labeling all occur at the farm instead of at some far-off plant. “It kind of takes the romance out of it,” said Mark Robinson, who thinks Olive to Bottle changes that dynamic.

He recently shared breakfast with one farmer on the tailgate of a pick-up. During another farmer's harvest, 130 family members and friends showed up to pick olives. “We had a huge party,” he said. “It was a blast.”

Harmon Taber was interested but skeptical. Taber owns 1,400 olive trees on two acres in the Capay Valley.

Any additional processing capacity — that's great, he said — but olive production is about to explode in Northern California. Farmers planted a lot of trees in the last seven or eight years trying to capitalize on the growing market. Those trees will start bearing fruit in the next couple of years, and operations like the Robinsons' can only handle a drop in the bucket.

Taber cited the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation as an example. The Tribe has more than 80 acres of olive trees, but because they're young and growing conditions weren't ideal this year, those trees didn't bear a crop. When they do, they'll drop 120 to 160 tons of olives on the market.

But for smaller farms like his two acres, Taber said the convenience of Olive to Bottle is attractive. Now, he trucks his olives 1 ½ hours to The Olive Press in Sonoma County and drives back. Then he drives another 1½ hours to pick up the oil once it's ready and drives back.

“To be able to not truck the fruit, not truck the oil, it has a lot of possibility for us,” Taber said.

But, he added, his olive oil is already top notch, and a lot of that has to do with quality processing. Taber Ranch Olive Oil wins awards “not because I know so much,” Taber admitted, laughing. “It's because the olive press does a great job with our fruit.”

A local, brick-and-mortar press might be too good to pass up, however, and local growers are looking to build one, said Luis Sierra, cooperative development specialist at the Davis-based California Center for Cooperative Development.

Sierra surveyed 48 olive farmers in Yolo and Solano counties to gauge the need for a stationary olive press in the region. He found “surprising growth” with more than 500 acres between the two counties, but only 50 to 80 of those in full production. Sierra sees production tripling in about seven years.

“Yolo and Solano are going to see a lot more olives and olive oil in the next four years,” Sierra said.

There are only two small presses in the area, so most farmers have to send their crop to presses in Sonoma, Marin, Butte or other counties, Sierra said. The mills “make a nice ring around Yolo and Solano.”

Taber's choice will ultimately depend on cost. If he does switch mills, he said he'd do so with a small test batch first. There are lots of ways to turn great olives into horrible olive oil, Taber said, and he has no intention of doing any of those.

“The oil in the olive is perfect,” he said. “The only thing we're trying to do is get it out without screwing it up.”

Article reprinted, with permission, from the Davis Enterprise, December 2, 2009.

Tomato Research Day

By Zann Gates

tomato_day.bmpTomato Research Day, a one-day symposium focusing on current research in tomatoes, was held at UC Davis in January. It was coordinated by Dr. Diane Barrett and Zann Gates, UC Davis Department of Food Science and Technology, and co-sponsored by the UC Davis Center California Institute of Food and Agricultural Research (CIFAR), the Robert Mondavi Institute, the California League of Food Processors, and Heinz Seed. There were approximately 50 in attendance, including representatives from Del Monte, Morningstar, Campbell’s Soup, Heinz, Kagome, ConAgra Foods, and Olam Tomato Processors. Ed Yates from the California League of Food Processors gave an introduction, along with James Seiber, chair of the Department of Food Science and Technology. Some topics covered were:

Tomatoes and health: Clare M. Hasler, executive director, Robert Mondavi Institute

Energy and water management in tomato processing: Sharon Shoemaker, Department of Food Science and Technology and CIFAR executive director

Processing tomato quality measurements by MRI/NMR: activities, status, and future prospects: Mike McCarthy and Kathryn McCarthy, Department of Food Science and Technology

Update on the new August A. Busch III Brewing and Food Science Laboratory and the Teaching and Research Winery: Molly Lear, Department of Food Science and Technology

Diced tomato processing by thermal, HPP, ohmic and microwave: Diane Barrett,
Department of Food Science and Technology

Tomato product consistency changes during concentration and storage: Gordon
Anthon, Department of Food Science and Technology

Trace oil removal from tomato wastewater: Bill Ristenpart, Department of Food Science and

We would like to thank the sponsors — CLFP, HeinzSeed, the Robert Mondavi Institute, and CiFAR — for supporting this event.


Outlook and Issues for the World Wine Market Symposium

By Julian Alston

AAWEThis three-hour pre-conference symposium is being convened by the Robert Mondavi Institute Center for Wine Economics and the University of California Agricultural Issues Center. The symposium will serve as a complement to the annual conference of the American Association of Wine Economists (AAWE) to be held at UC Davis, June 26–27, 2010.

The symposium is designed to serve a mixed clientele, including industry participants and non-economists. Registered AAWE participants will be admitted gratis to the symposium. Others will be charged admission.

The symposium will draw on experts from the United States, Europe, and the Southern Hemisphere to consider how current and emerging issues will shape world wine markets over the coming decades. Speakers will explore both longer-term directions and recurrent booms and busts.

A panel of leading thinkers from the U.S. wine industry, including exporters, importers, wineries, and marketing experts will respond to the speakers to open the discussion.

Participants will be given ample opportunity to interact with the speakers and panelists and air important issues facing the industry in the formal session. The symposium will be followed by a hosted reception to allow informal discussions to continue.

The program is slated to include:

  • U.S. Perspectives on the World Wine Market
    Dr. James Lapsley and Professor Daniel Sumner, UC Davis
  • Southern Hemisphere Perspectives on the World Wine Market
    Professor Kym Anderson, University of Adelaide
  • European Perspectives on the World Wine Market
    Etienne Montaigne, AGRO Montpelier
  • Unique Challenges facing U.S. Wine Producers and Marketers
    speakers TBA

For additional information on this pre-conference symposium, please visit or contact Julian Alston, Director of the Robert Mondavi Institute Center for Wine Economics by e-mail, Information on the fourth annual AAWE wine economics conference can be found at

Olive Oil Marketing Course a Success

By Nicole Sturzenberger

Olive Oil ShortcourseThe UC Davis Olive Center kicked off 2010 by adding a new and successful course to its roster, focusing on the marketing of extra virgin olive oil. The Olive Oil Marketing and Language Symposium was held at the UC Davis ARC in January, the Friday before the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. Partnering with olive oil consultant Alexandra Kicenik Devarenne and the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (presenter of the Fancy Food Show), the symposium attracted 130 participants and presenters from around the world to discuss how to successfully market and effectively communicate this emerging product in the American market.

The list of presenters included specialty food marketing experts, winemakers, food producers and buyers, food writers, and chefs, all offering valuable insight into the olive oil industry. Presenters included consultant Alan Greene who has over 20 years marketing experience in the food industry; specialty cheese producer David Gremmels, founder of Rogue Creamery in Oregon; food writer Harold McGee; and sausage company founder Bruce Aidells.

Silicon in Beer

By Charlie Bamforth

A new study from Professor Charlie Bamforth and master’s degree student Troy Casey (now with Miller Coors in Golden, Colo.) has just been published by the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.


It had previously been claimed that beer is one of the richest sources of silicon in the diet and that it might have a valuable role in promoting bone health, amongst other beneficial impacts on the body. However, little is known of the relationship between silicon content and beer style and the manner in which beer is produced. In this study silicon was measured in a diversity of beers, as well as the different malts and hops that are used to make beer.

Commercial beers ranged from 6 to 56 mg/L in silicon, with an average of almost 30 mg/L. When it is realized that the average daily consumption of silicon for an adult in the U.S. is 20-50 mg, then it will be seen just how substantive the contribution of beer can be. Products derived from a grist of barley tended to contain more silicon than did those from a wheat-based grist, likely because of the high levels of silica in the retained husk layer of barley. Hops contain substantially more silicon than does grain, but quantitatively hops make a much smaller contribution than does malt to the production of most (!!) beers and therefore relatively less silicon in beer derives from them. However well-hopped beers made from grists of 100 percent pale barley malt offer the highest silicon levels — beers such as India Pale Ales.

The study captured huge media interest and Bamforth was interviewed for numerous newspapers and television and radio programs, from Colombia to the BBC. He was at pains to stress his advice “to choose the beer that you enjoy drinking – in moderation, of course. Rejoice in the fact that it will contain some silicon.”

Authentication of Food and Wine Symposium, March 21–22

By Susan Ebeler

ACSAuthentication of foods, wines, and beverages for varietal, country (or region) of origin, and processing conditions is becoming of increasing concern to consumers and regulators both in the U.S. and internationally. As markets become more globalized and foods and beverages are sourced from many locations outside of the U.S., the need for information on product authenticity is becoming mandated either by legal regulations or by market demand. However, there are significant chemical and analytical challenges faced in confirming food authenticity and determining food adulteration. A two-day symposium at the upcoming American Chemical Society (ACS) national meeting in San Francisco (March 21–22, 2010) will provide up-to-date information on methods and applications of food and wine authentication. There will be a number of national and international experts speaking at this symposium (see list below).

The symposium will highlight international research in the area of wine and food authentication and will increase industry awareness of the need for multidisciplinary research in this area. The audience for the symposium will be broad-based and will include industry, government, and academic scientists in the fields of food science, wine/beer/spirits chemistry, flavor and fragrance chemistry, nutraceuticals, etc. Based on previous work we have done in this area, we expect this symposium to generate a significant amount of interest from the news media.
For additional information, as well as program and confirmed speakers, visit:

2010 Vintners Hall of Fame

By Holly Briwa

Vintners Hall of Fame.bmp

The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) recently announced that its 2010 Vintners Hall of Fame inductees will be longtime Napa Valley grower Andy Beckstoffer; Al Brounstein, founder of Diamond Creek Vineyard; Randall Grahm, founder of Bonny Doon Vineyard; and veteran winemaker Zelma Long. Leon Adams, a founder of the Wine Institute, will be inducted as a “pioneer,” a category which recognizes those who made significant contributions to the California wine industry and passed away prior to March 1989.

The official induction of the 2010 Vintners Hall of Fame honorees will take place on March 13, 2010 at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, in St. Helena, Calif., as part of the institute’s annual Celebration of California Wine & Food.

The March 13, 2010 induction celebration will include a spectacular selection of supporting activities. The Morning Wine & Food Salons include Creating Flavor: The Art of Food & Wine Pairing with Karen MacNeil, chairman of Professional Wine Studies at CIA, and CIA chef Bill Briwa, and Big, Bold and Beautiful: Tasting Historic Magnums from the California Collection of David and Judy Breitstein.

As in past years, salon attendees will enjoy wine country lunches at coveted Napa Valley wineries, with private tours and tastings. The evening reception will be followed by the induction of the class of 2010 into the Vintners Hall of Fame and the unveiling of the bronze sculptures of the 2009 inductees. A walk-around dinner in the teaching kitchen will be prepared by a roster of celebrity chefs and presented with wines of the 2007, 2008, and 2009 Vintners Hall of Fame inductees. Decadent desserts and dancing into the night will conclude the celebration.

Proceeds from the Vintners Hall of Fame annual induction dinner will provide scholarships for the Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies at CIA at Greystone.

Tickets for the entire program are $400 ($250 tax-deductible), or $250 ($150 tax-deductible) for the evening celebration activities only. For more information on the 2010 Vintners Hall of Fame Induction celebration, please contact Reuben Katz, (707) 967-2305 or

The Vintners Hall of Fame at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone is open to the public daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (subject to change). For more information on the Vintners Hall of Fame and to view the list of 2007, 2008, and 2009 inductees with their photos and biographies, please visit .

The Brewmaster’s Art

By Charlie Bamforth


If you want to relax and take in an exam-free lecture series on brewing from our resident expert, Professor Charlie Bamforth, then go to, and download The Brewmaster’s Art.

Bamforth, who prepared the program, noted, “I recorded it over a couple of days last summer in a studio in Marin. It is loosely based on my big campus class, FST 3, but of course the listener has no tests to take!

“I have to say that it is easier presenting in the lecture hall with 380 students —there is nothing quite like human interaction, something you just don’t get going one-on-one with a microphone. But overall I think folks will enjoy it — and that it will help yet more people get a proper appreciation of why beer is the number one alcoholic beverage!”

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Contributors to "RMI Wine and Food Bytes”

  • Julian Alston, professor, Agricultural and Resource, (530) 752-3283,
  • Pat Bailey, information representative, UC Davis News Service, (530) 752-9843,
  • Charles Bamforth, professor, Department of Food Science and Technology, UC Davis, (530) 752-9476,
  • Kathy Sachs-Barrientes, director of major gifts, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, UC Davis, (530) 752-1602,
  • Holly Briwa, director of corporate relations, The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, (707) 967-2400,
  • Susan Ebeler, professor, Department of Viticulture and Enology, UC Davis, (530) 752-0696,
  • Jonathan Edwards, staff writer, The Davis Enterprise, (530) 747-8052,
  • Ann Filmer, director of communications, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, UC Davis, (530) 754-6788,
  • Clare M. Hasler, executive director, Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, UC Davis, (530) 754-6349,
  • Zann Gates, program representative, Department of Food Science and Technology, UC Davis, (530) 752-5901,
  • Julianne Nola, senior project manager, Architects and Engineers, UC Davis, (530) 757- 3107,
  • Nicole Sturzenberger, assistant director, UC Davis Olive Center, (530) 754-9301,