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Food scientist wins AIBCF’s ‘Professional of the Year 2023’ award

Kasturi Chitre, a seasoned certified food scientist with over a decade of experience in quality management, was honored with the ‘Professional of the Year 2023’ award by the All India Business Community Foundation (AIBCF). The award was presented at a virtual ceremony on February 15, 2024 in New Delhi.

Organized by AIBCF, this prestigious ‘Business & Community Awards’ program honors individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to India’s excellence across various sectors. The awards aim to promote and recognize exceptional achievements, highlighting those who elevate the country’s stature on the world stage. The jury for this year’s awards included notable figures such as Mr. Joginder Singh, former Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI); Hon. Anil Wadhwa, Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs; and Hon. Pratibha Patil, former President of India.

Currently employed for over 12 years at Consumer Science, an ISO 17025 accredited company, Kasturi has had a significant impact on the retail industry through her expert management of quality assurance, product development and product stewardship across a wide range of categories. Its rigorous approach to maintaining high standards in both food and non-food items has set benchmarks for the industry and ensured consumer safety and satisfaction.

Kasturi’s academic credentials include three degrees in the field of food and nutrition, supported by her active participation in prominent organizations such as The American Oil Chemists’ Society (AOCS), Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), Longhorn Section of Institute of Food Technologists (LIFT ) and the Phi Tau Sigma Honor Society. Her extensive knowledge of quality management and ISO 17025 accreditation management makes her a respected leader and influencer in the field.

Her expertise extends beyond technical skills to include a deep commitment to advancing industry standards and practices. Kasturi’s influence is also evident in its partnerships with leading retailers and well-known brands, who have continually benefited from its innovative approaches to product quality and safety.

After receiving the award, Kasturi reflected on her journey:

“Quality assurance is not just a profession, but a passion that drives me to ensure excellence and safety in every product that reaches the consumer. This award is a testament to the hard work and dedication that the field requires and it motivates me to continue to strive for higher quality standards.”

Kasturi’s expertise and dedication to the field were also showcased during an invited lecture at Texas Woman’s University, her alma mater. Addressing a mixed audience of undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Kasturi spoke about “Ensuring quality in all aisles: quality assurance testing for food and non-food items.“Her presentation highlighted several characteristics that are evaluated as part of quality assurance processes in consumer goods, emphasizing the critical role of scientific rigor and precision in maintaining high industry standards. This talk not only reinforced her status as a thought leader, but served also as an inspiring bridge between current academic pursuits and real-world applications, inspiring the next generation of food scientists.

Kasturi Chitre remains a pivotal figure in the food science community, pushing the boundaries of quality assurance and shaping the future of consumer safety in retail. Her award from the AIBCF is in recognition of her continued commitment and outstanding contributions to the field.

Published: Monday, April 22, 2024 12:50 IST