Flavors of Chemistry: Almond and Olive Oils

We are pleased to announce that our 5th Annual Flavors of Chemistry will be occurring on Saturday September 7th at the UC Davis Activities and Recreation Center (ARC) Ballroom, the same location as last year, from 1-3:30 pm. We thank our sponsors ACS Omega and Agilent.

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Slippery Business: Detecting Potential Adulteration in Almond and Olive Oil

Hoby Wedler is the CEO and lead visionary of Senspoint Design, a sensory advisory, design, and education company. Stephanie Doan is senior scientist at Blue Diamond. Both Hoby and Stephanie have a connection with UC Davis as they both did all of their collegiate schooling there. While their day to day work is fairly different, Hoby and Stephanie are both passionate about fruit and nut oils and whether or not they have been adulterated. Our presentation will commence with brief bios and backgrounds of both Hoby and Stephanie which led them to the opportunity to present at Flavors of Chemistry. Our presentation will be given as a joint presentation. After sharing some information about ourselves, Stephanie will discuss a project from her research at Blue Diamond all about the adulteration of almond oil. Hoby will share a project from his graduate research in computational chemistry on the isomerization of a molecule which indicates whether olive oil has been thermally refined or produced as true extra virgin oil. Hoby and Stephanie will conclude with an interactive, informational, educational, and sure to be entertaining tasting of a variety of oils.

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Stephanie Doan

Stephanie Doan is a Senior Food Scientist at Blue Diamond Growers in Sacramento, California. With over 20 years of experience in retail, food service, and ingredient product development, her passion lies in the science behind creating the ultimate eating experience by balancing texture, nutrition, and flavor. In today’s plant-based food landscape, she is dedicated to researching the many ways almonds and their various forms can be used to create healthy, innovative, and flavorful new food products. Most recently, Stephanie has been instrumental in introducing almond oil and almond protein powder to the industry.

Stephanie holds a Bachelor of Science in Fermentation Science with a special emphasis in Sensory Science and Product Development from University of California, Davis.



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Hoby Wedler

Hoby Wedler has been blind since birth. Dr. Wedler earned a Ph.D. in chemistry at UC Davis and he recently co-founded Senspoint Design, a sensory advising and education company. Senspoint partners with clients around the world to give them the sensory and inclusive insight they need to succeed. Senspoint has a diverse client base across numerous industries where they enhance brands through both product and experience design and through sensory-directed sales and marketing. Senspoint also focuses on sensory-based ideation to enhance their clients’ ability to innovate and develop. At Senspoint, Hoby and co-founder Justin care deeply about using their work to make the world more inclusive and more universally accessible. Senspoint uses powerful sensory insight to build people-to-people, people-to-product, and product-to-product relationships through sensory and inclusive innovation.

While in graduate school, Hoby co-founded Accessible Science, a 501(c)(3) organization. Accessible Science uses hands-on organic chemistry as a lens to teach blind and visually impaired high school and early college students that they do not need eyesight to succeed in this sighted world.

Hoby was honored by President Barack Obama’s White House in 2012 as a Champion of Change for enhancing education and employment opportunities for people with disabilities. In 2016, Hoby was featured in the Forbes’ Magazine’s 30 Under 30 for his work in sensory design.

Justin Vallandingham is the other co-founder of Senspoint Design and currently serves as Senspoint’s COO. Justin has an established career in business, from retail to project management and software implementation. Justin and Hoby are passionate about making the world universally accessible and inclusive to everyone. This passion they share is reflected in their work.

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Author: ACS Sacramento Section

The Sacramento area has over 900 members of the American Chemical Society in all areas of chemistry.

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