Health, food, new technologies featured during ACS meeting Oct. 17-20 in Peoria, Ill.

October 12, 2004

The health benefits of certain foods and preparing for new technologies of the 21st century are among the topics being presented at the 36th Great Lakes regional meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, in Peoria, Ill., Oct. 17-20. Approximately 450 papers will be presented and about 800 scientists are expected to attend the meeting, held at the Hotel Père Marquette and Illinois Central College. Highlights of the meeting, which also features a wide range of topics related to medicine, environment and education, include the following:

Honey offers healthy alternative to sweetening agents -- Soda, Halloween candy and other food products that contain high-fructose corn syrup and other sweeteners could one day get a fresh makeover using honey, researchers say. Scientists at the University of Illinois in Urbana say the ancient sweetener may be a healthier alternative than corn syrup due to its higher level of antioxidants, compounds which are believed to fight cancer, heart disease, stroke and other diseases. Honey, which contains a number of antioxidant components that act as preservatives, also shows promise as a replacement for some synthetic antioxidants widely used as preservatives in salad dressings and other foods, they say. Dark honey is generally thought to contain higher levels of antioxidants than the lighter varieties, according to the scientists. (AGFD/AOCS 247, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 9:30 a.m., Illinois Central College, Classroom 306)

Trans fatty acids -- Trans fatty acids, widely used in foods ranging from margarine to cookies to fried snacks and thought to cause elevated levels of bad cholesterol, will be the focus of an afternoon symposium entitled "Applications of Edible Oils." The symposium, which will include representatives from government and industry, will discuss the development of potentially healthier alternatives to the oils as well as nutritional and regulatory aspects. (AGFD/AOCS 316-321, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 1:30-5:00 p.m., Illinois Central College, Classroom 306)

Emerging Technologies for the 21st Century - James Shoffner, Ph.D., adjunct professor of science, Columbia College, Chicago, will facilitate a discussion on diversity and workforce development as it relates to the chemical sciences. The discussion will emphasize biotechnology and the training of future workers for technical careers. Open to the public. (Tuesday, Oct. 19, 7:30 p.m.)

The following awards will be presented at the meeting:
Additional details can be found at Please direct press inquiries to Vicki Finkenstadt, 309-681-6469,

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization, chartered by the U.S. Congress, with a multidisciplinary membership of more than 159,000 chemists and chemical engineers. It publishes numerous scientific journals and databases, convenes major research conferences and provides educational, science policy and career programs in chemistry. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

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