Dr. Whitehead is an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry at Clemson’s College of Science. He received this distinguished award in recognition of his work on odor mitigation, environmental remediation, and development of functionalized nanomaterials to capture compounds associated with rendering odors. This research will help rendering plants neutralize odors that can occur during the rendering process and in many other industries.
Dr. Whitehead and his team focused on three areas of organic chemistry: new reaction methodology, bioorganic chemistry, and functional materials. His materials work is the focus of the award and was primarily funded by FPRF, as well as the Clemson University Research Foundation, the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, and the South Carolina Research Authority.
“I am delighted to receive this award as recognition for our team’s prolonged and fruitful relationship with the rendering industry,” Whitehead said. “I am particularly proud to share this honor with my very dedicated and hard-working team of faculty collaborators, graduate students, postdocs and undergraduate co-workers. It is really their hard work and enthusiasm for this project that has led to this recognition.”
“Dr. Whitehead was chosen this year because of his consistent development of novel and visionary research projects for the benefit of the rendering industry at the Clemson Animal Co-Products Research & Education Center (ACREC),” said Dr. David Meeker, FPRF’s Director of Research and NARA’s Senior Vice President of Scientific Services. “We were also especially impressed by his skill at adapting cutting edge material advancements for our industry.”
The Dr. Fred Bisplinghoff Innovation Award was founded in 2015 in honor of former FPRF president, Dr. Fred Bisplinghoff. It is awarded annually to a FPRF grant recipient who has done outstanding research for the rendering industry that made a substantial contribution to current knowledge, increased use of rendered products, or developed improvements in operations, product quality, and safety. The 2019 award presentation took place at NARA’s Annual Convention in Carlsbad, California.
While cat trends continue, the pandemic has added to overall slow-growth treatment of the cat food market.
Premiumization and humanization, as well as automation, fueled continued operation growth in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.