ELMHURST, ILL. – The American Dairy Products Institute (ADPI) announced North Carolina State University professor MaryAnne Drake, Ph. D, received the institute’s Award of Merit this year.

Drake is a distinguished professor in the department of food, bioprocessing and nutrition sciences at NCSU’s Southeast Dairy Foods Research Center. Drake researches flavor and flavor chemistry in dairy foods, focusing on understanding how processing steps influence flavor stability and consumer perception.

Through the years, Drake established a working relationship with people in the dairy industry, sharing her expertise on dairy products and ingredients.

Her work led to approaches that improve the flavor of cheese and dairy ingredients. ADPI detailed that Drake was the first to develop defined sensory languages for dairy foods and apply processing and chemistry knowledge to link specific flavors with unit operations and volatile compounds.

To date, Drake’s discoveries in the lab have allowed her to publish more than 300 peer-reviewed manuscripts and 17 book chapters on dairy foods flavor. Both the American Dairy Science Association and The Institute of Food Technologies have recognized her work on several occasions.

ADPI’s Award of Merit was established in 1991 to recognize individuals who have made a significant difference in the processed dairy products industry. ADPI recognized Drake and presented her with the award during the 2022 ADPI/ABI Joint Annual Conference, in Chicago.