Essentials of Thermobacteriology Workshop

Glenn Black, Ph.D., director of science operations, food protection, provides leadership and direction for research and member services related to food processing and microbiological safety. He co-manages over 20 scientists and professional technical staff in the disciplines of chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, processing technologies, packaging and product forensics.

Prior to joining GMA, Dr. Black held positions with the Pepsi-Cola Company, the Facility Group (food plant construction), Stork Food & Dairy Systems and Unilever (Slim Fast Foods division). He has published a number of articles in recognized food journals dealing with microbial modeling and inactivation.

Dr. Black earned his B.S. and M.S. in Agricultural Engineering at Clemson University and his Ph.D. in food science from the University of Tennessee.

Richard Podolak, Ph.D., senior scientist, processing technologies, assists GMA members with thermal processing recommendations for acidified, water activity controlled food products, process cheese products, food safety and sanitation issues. Dr. Podolak is also an instructor for Better Process Control Schools, the workshop on thermobacteriology and the workshop on thermal processing of acidified foods for FDA inspectors.

Prior to joining GMA in 2004, he worked for the USDA/ARS where he was involved with researching hydrodynamic pressure processing to control pathogens in meat. Richard also served as a senior scientist at the research and development department of a food ingredient company in Wisconsin for more than five years. There he developed microbial starter cultures, antimicrobial agents for meat products and significantly reduced the cost of production through process optimization. He has published numerous articles in scientific journals on the subject of pathogenic bacteria control in food products, especially meat.

Dr. Podolak earned his Ph.D. in food science from Kansas State University.

Elena Enache, Ph.D., senior scientist, microbiology is responsible for leading microbiology research and providing innovative food safety solutions to GMA membership.  Dr Enache ensures that GMA’s food safety research aligns with organizational strategic plans, as well as preparing proposals, protocols and reports and conducting research. The following research projects were recently conducted under her leadership: “Heat Resistance of Histamine-Producing Bacteria in Irradiated Tuna Loins” and “Thermal Inactivation and Survival of Salmonella in Food as a Function of Water Activity (aw) and Fat Level.”  Other research interests include survival and heat resistance studies of vegetative pathogens and spoilage organisms in an array of food products.  She also supports GMA membership by providing technical expertise in food safety and microbiology.

Dr. Enache earned her Ph.D. in microbiology from the Institute of Biological Sciences – Central Institute of Biology, Bucharest, and her MS in microbiology and immunology from University of Bucharest, Romania. She is a laureate of Academy Prize “Emanoil Teodorescu” for biological sciences (1986) of the Romanian Academy (the highest scientific distinction in Romania, given once in a lifetime).  Dr. Enache has published more than 16 research articles and book chapters on food safety.