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ARS Chemist Wins Outstanding Scientist Award / February 13, 2002 / News from the USDA Agricultural Research Service

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National news release

Story about Inglett's research

George E. Inglett


ARS Chemist Wins Outstanding Scientist Award

By Jim Core
February 13, 2002

BELTSVILLE, Md., Feb. 13, 2002--Research Chemist George E. Inglett of the Agricultural Research Service has been named an “Outstanding Senior Research Scientist of 2001" by ARS, the chief scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Inglett works at the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research’s Cereal Products and Food Science Research Unit, in Peoria, Ill.. He is being honored for creative research and for transferring technology that improved foods and offered greater health benefits to the people of America and the world.

“Dr. Inglett is regarded as one of the foremost experts in food science and technology,” said Edward B. Knipling, ARS acting administrator. “His publications and patents have had a very substantial impact on the science and technology of value-added coproducts from agricultural crops.”

Knipling will present a plaque to Inglett at a 1 p.m. ceremony today at the agency’s Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. He and other honorees will also receive cash awards and an additional $25,000 support for his research program. Inglett is the Outstanding Senior Scientist of the Year for ARS’ Midwest Area, which includes laboratories in Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Inglett has served as an ARS chemist since 1967. He has authored or co-authored 388 publications in his career.

Inglett’s impact on food science and technology stems from the creation of three hugely successful patented technologies--marketed under the product names Oatrim, Z-trim and Nutrim.

He discovered and developed the fat replacer Oatrim from enzyme-treated oats and barley and found they had unique fat-like properties. It was formulated into many low-fat foods because it has only about 10 percent of the calories as fat. Oatrim was being offered in the marketplace less than two years after its development. Oatrim production was estimated to be in excess of 20 million pounds in 1999, resulting in more than one billion dollars in retail sales.

Next, Inglett devised a method of thermomechanical shear to degrade common agricultural byproducts into cellulosic gels. The result was a fat replacer called Z-trim that was pleasing to the palate without adding a single calorie. The disclosure of the invention, dubbed “Fake Fat,” generated great interest in 1996.

Inglett’s next discovery, a new class of natural hydrocolloid ingredients made from oat and barley grains, resulted in the product known as Nutrim in 1998. Its creation opened the door for functional and healthful products in the marketplace. It contains beta glucan and is beneficial as a substitute for saturated fats in food. It contributes to lower total blood cholesterol levels and weight reduction, adds a beneficial insulin and glucagon response for diabetics, and contributes antioxidant benefits.

Most recently, he created a fourth composition called Soytrim. It contains the important biologically active components from soybeans and oats. Inglett studied the feasibility of its use in Thailand for the Asian food market. It was determined it could partly replace soymilk, coconut milk and tofu as ingredients in certain foods while reducing saturated fat and increasing soluble fiber.

Inglett was raised in Mount Vernon, Ill., and received his B.S. in chemistry in 1949 from the University of Illinois and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Iowa in 1952.

Among his numerous honors, the Institute of Food Technologists presented Inglett with the Industrial Scientist Award for his pioneering research and a Babcock-Hart Award for improving public health through nutrition research in 2000. The institute named him a Fellow in 2001.

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Last Modified: 2/13/2002
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