Management and Evaluation of Thermal Process Deviations 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.

Chris Balestrini, senior scientist, processing technologies, provides practical thermal processing expertise to GMA members in a wide array of package and retort systems. Chris Balestrini has served as a senior scientist, processing technologies at GMA since March of 2005.

Mr. Balestrini is a 1988 graduate of The Pennsylvania State University. Prior to joining GMA, he was employed at ConAgra Foods (formerly International Home Foods; American Home Foods) for more than 15 years as a corporate process authority. In this capacity, he was responsible for the development of process schedules, process deviation evaluations, critical factor control, new technology evaluation, process engineering, and commissioning new retort systems.

Mr. Balestrini has been a member of the Institute of Thermal Processing Specialists since 1990.

Bradley Shafer, senior scientist, processing technologies, joined GMA (then the National Canners Association) in 1977 as a Microbiologist but shifted focus to thermal processing providing assistance to the Association’s membership in traditional canning procedures, aseptic processing and  packaging, inoculated pack testing, and thermal processing system operations. Mr. Shafer played a key role in developing procedures recognized today as necessary for evaluation of aseptic processing and packaging systems.

Mr. Shafer earned an M.A. in Biological Science from San Jose State University with a focus on Clostridium botulinum recovery, detection, spore crop preparation and mouse assay techniques. He is an instructor for Better Process Control Schools, workshops on thermal process development and deviations, and company-specific seminars on aseptic and conventional processing.