March 2004 Meeting
(Public Affairs Lecture Meeting)
Speaker:   Dr. Sara Risch

Principal Partner
Science by Design
Dr. Sara Risch
Topic:   The Flavor of Chemistry or the Chemistry of Flavors
Friday, March 19, 2004
Location:   Café La Cave
2777 Mannheim Rd
Des Plaines, Illinois

History of the Public Affairs Lecture

Abstract:     We eat food for basic nourishment but also for the enjoyment that it gives us.   One big part of that enjoyment is the flavor of the food.   Many people will try a product once, but if it doesn't taste good, they will not try it again.   Flavor chemistry is a fascinating area of research covering the analysis of what contributes to the flavor of the products that we eat to development of flavors that that will work in a wide variety of products to the quest for new and unique flavors.   As an example of what contributes to the flavor of a product, analytical chemists have identified over 800 volatile compounds in roasted coffee.   The question is which of these are most important to creating a good coffee flavor.  In terms of development, consumers want convenience and quality.  Flavors tend to be unstable so there is a constant challenge to find ways to protect flavors as they go through heating, cooling, packaging and storage.   Finally, there is always the search for that new or unique flavor that will be the next big blockbuster flavor - the next blue raspberry.   An overview of flavor chemistry and current areas of research will be presented.

Biography:     Sara Risch is the principal in the consulting firm of Science By Design, which she founded in 1993.   She works with food and packaging companies as well as those in related industries, to develop new products, improve existing products, and determine new areas for growth.   Among her current clients is a manufacturer of microwave popcorn where she is assisting on the international launch of the products.   She is also working with the Institute of Food Technologists to field technical inquiries.   Sara has been active in the development of a number of microwavable products, understanding the importance of product formulation, process development and packaging.   Another area of active research is the interaction between foods and packaging materials, specifically, the influence of packaging materials on the flavor of foods.   Dr. Risch is the author of numerous technical papers and has edited six books; two on encapsulation of flavors, two on flavor package interactions, one on spices and the most recent one new developments in flavor chemistry.   She is a member of the Agricultural and Food Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society, currently serving as a councilor and is active on national committees, including Nominations and Elections and the Committee on Public Relations and Communications.   She is also a member of the Institute of Food Technologists, where she is a Councilor for the Food Chemistry division.   Prior to starting her consulting firm, Dr. Risch was Director of Research and Development for Golden Valley Microwave Foods. Sara received both her B.S. and Ph.D. in food science from the University of Minnesota and her M.S. in food Science from the University of Georgia.

A meeting of the Chicago Section JOB CLUB will be held at the Café La Cave at 5:30 PM.  

The JOB CLUB provides a continuing opportunity for unemployed members of the Section to meet one another, share their experiences and develop a network that may help in identifying employment opportunities.   Bring plenty of resumes and business cards to distribute to your colleagues.   The Job Club is also for employers seeking chemists. Employers need to be prepared to describe the positions to be filled and the requirements for these positions.

Should you wish to attend the Section meeting following the JOB CLUB, the fee for unemployed members is only $15 and you can continue your networking activities over dinner.

Topical Group Presentation

"The ACS Committee on Professional Training"
presented by Dr. Peter Lykos, Professor of Chemistry, Illinois Institute of Technology

Topical Group Meeting: 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Social Hour: 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Dinner: 7:00 PM
Meeting: 8:00 PM

Cost:  $30.00 for members of ACS/ $32.00 for non-members/ $15.00 for students & unemployed members

Reservations:   (847)647-8405   
                    by noon, Tuesday, March 16

Please honor your reservations. We must pay for all dinners ordered. No-shows will be billed.
Map and Directions:

From 290 East/West
Take 290 from either direction and exit 294 North. Continue until you reach the exit for 190 West (to O'Hare). Exit and immediately pay toll. Exit Mannheim Road North. Go North for 1.5 miles. The restaurant is on the right side after the second stoplight.

From 90 East/West
Take 90 from either direction and exit 190 West (to O'Hare). Pay toll and immediately exit Mannheim Road North. Go North for 1.5 miles. The restaurant is on the right side after the second stoplight.

From 294 North/South
Take 294 from either direction and exit 190 West (to O'Hare). Pay toll and immediately exit Mannheim Road North. Go North for 1.5 miles. The restaurant is on the right side after the second stoplight.

From 88 East
Take 88 East to 294 North. Then follow the directions for 294 North/South.

PARKING: Go directly to parking lot for self-parking. Valet parking also available.


  • Cream of Potato Leek Soup
  • Caesar Salad
  • Choice of either:
    • a Breast of Chicken Combination (Sautéed Breast of Chicken with fresh mushrooms & shallots with a Sherry Cream Sauce and Sautéed Breast of Chicken with Shiitake mushrooms with a Marsala Wine Sauce)
    • Catfish (cornmeal encrusted and pan-seared) prepared in the French Creole style with Crayfish Remoulad
    • or Vegetarian Pasta Primavera
  • Anna Potatoes
  • Medley of fresh vegetables
  • Chocolate shell with Macadamia Brittle ice cream with a fresh raspberry sauce

Updated 2/18/04