Robert McGorrin

November 23, 2013
Speaker Biography Feature Image

Robert McGorrin, Ph.D., CFS, Jacobs-Root Professor and Department Head, Department of Food Science & Technology, Oregon State University


Robert McGorrin has been Department Head and Jacobs-Root Professor in the Department of Food Science & Technology at Oregon State University since 2000. He also served as Interim Superintendent of OSU’s Food Innovation Center in Portland in 2006-07.

He received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Illinois – Urbana/Champaign in organic/medicinal chemistry, and his B.S. from Northwestern University in chemistry.  At Oregon State University, Prof. McGorrin has taught courses in Flavor Chemistry and Food Chemistry.  Among his publications in flavor chemistry, he has co-edited four books on Flavor-Food interactions, Dairy Flavor chemistry, and Thermally Generated Flavors and Aromas.

Robert’s research focus is primarily in flavor chemistry and trace volatile analyses, including the identification of key aroma compounds in dairy foods and oat cereal products, the chemistry and interactions among flavors and food components, and the effects of processing and packaging on flavor generation and deterioration.

He started his career in basic flavor research at the Quaker Oats Research Laboratory in Barrington, IL where he completed exploratory studies on oat flavor chemistry leading to flavor optimizations for ready-to-eat cereals (Life, Cap’n Crunch).  During that time, he co-authored the first comprehensive identifications of key flavor compounds in oats. Subsequently, he worked at Kraft Foods R&D in Glenview, IL as a Senior Research Scientist in the Flavor Chemistry group, progressing to Section Manager.  In his nearly 20 years at Kraft, he focused his efforts in fundamental research on Cheddar cheese flavor, flavor analysis, and flavor-food interactions.  He managed and led the development of fat-free flavor systems for new product launches in Breyers and Sealtest ice cream, Kraft salad dressing, MiracleWhip, Singles processed cheese, and Philadelphia and Breakstone cultured dairy product categories.  He led problem-solving teams to solve off-flavor problems, and was recognized for his technical accomplishments with six achievement awards from the Kraft Research & Development division.

Bob is an IFT Fellow, member of the IFT Board of Directors (2015-18), a past officer of the Functional Foods and Fermented Foods & Beverages Divisions, and past Chairs of the IFT Council of Food Science Administrators and the IFT Higher Education Review Board.  He is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society and has been honored with a Distinguished Service Award.

Food Science and Technology, 100 Wiegand Hall
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97331

Speaker at these Global Food Forums Events

2018 Protein Trends & Technologies Seminar

Protein + Flavor = A Formulation Challenge

Combining flavorings, whether natural or artificial, with protein ingredients generally produces unexpected changes in the finished product’s sensory properties. Complex interactions can result in undesirable off-flavors and/or a changed flavor profile due to flavor binding and release among other reasons. With the goal of providing insights into how to develop more consumer-pleasing foods, beverages and nutritional products, this presentation delves into proteins and flavorings, formulations and processing to show what can happen and offer considerations in how to improve the outcome.

2017 Clean Label Conference:

Insights into Flavoring Use and the Impact of Clean Labels

Optimum flavor quality and sensory properties are fundamental to a food product’s consumer acceptance. Beyond ensuring desirable taste, formulators often need to satisfy multiple criteria. Major considerations include cost, shelf life, nutritional standards, and a growing list of attributes such as non-GMO to organic to natural to consumer-friendly “clean labels.” To meet these consumer demands, the product development task requires an understanding of the regulatory framework for the use of flavor ingredients in food and beverage products. This presentation provides background and considerations on how flavors are labeled and what claims can be supported. Challenges to creating globally compliant flavors will also be discussed.

2014 Protein Trends & Technologies Seminar 

Applying Chemistry to Solve Protein Flavoring Issues

Despite the draw that proteins bring to food products, taste remains king for commercial success. Favoring protein-based products often proves a daunting task. Starting with the fundamentals of flavoring systems, this presentation provides insights and advice into how to maximize this key sensory attribute of foods and beverages.