man in lab

Director's Statement

Bruce Hamaker

Dr. Bruce R. Hamaker

Director of Whistler Center for Carbohydrate Research | Professor

Welcome to the 2022 annual report of the Whistler Center for Carbohydrate Research. As director, it’s a time for me to reflect on our accomplishments of the past year and also to note what’s happening in the world of food and industrial-use carbohydrates.

It appears that there is increased interest in carbohydrates fromthe diet perspective, both in industry and among consumers. The nuances in carbohydrate qualities related to health and wellness are becoming ever clearer. This is true of both available carbohydrates, with regard to improving quality as well as reducing sugar, and dietary fibers that feed the gut microbiota. The Whistler Center is at the forefront of these research areas, as well as other areas of continuing importance, i.e., texturizing carbohydrates, interaction of carbohydrates in complex systems, clean label replacements, and other novel functions.

We are one of the few go-to carbohydrate centers of excellence for short- and long-term research, continuing education, brainstorming of ideas and analytical services. The Center has 15 faculty members (12 Purdue and 3 external) spanning most areas of food- and non-food-focused carbohydrate research and application. Our industrial partner research is designed to be interactive and iterative to solve carbohydrate-related problems, fitting well in the open innovation environment that exists today.

As you will see as you peruse this report, we had a highly productive 2022. Our faculty published 96 peer-reviewed scientific journal papers, gave 74 presentations, and brought in numerous new federal, industry, state and foundation grants. In research, the Center funded three faculty-industry team projects on topics related to company needs, in addition to a multiyear Center-supported project on sugar reduction/replacement that was completed in 2022. The latter systematically showed how a large range of simple sugars and oligosaccharides compare with
sucrose in their functioning.

Continuing education is an important service we provide to our members. In 2022 we were back to our in-person, three-day October Short Course. (To check out what was taught, see Page 69.) We continued to offer our popular six-per- year webinar series on timely topics in carbohydrate research and to give our viewpoint regarding opportunities
and what’s on the horizon. We have an Education Package, for those interested only in this aspect of the Center, that combines both the short course and webinar series.

Our Purdue and external faculty are among the best in their fields and are recognized as such. At Purdue, Lavanya Reddivari was promoted to Associate Professor, Steve Lindemann was awarded both University Faculty Scholar and the Philip E. Nelson Endowed Chair of Food Science, Yuan Yao the Showalter Faculty Scholar, Senay Simsek the Distinguished Women Scholar, and I received the Morrill Award, the highest honor that Purdue confers onto a faculty member. Angie Gutterman, our super Whistler Center Coordinator, was promoted to Lead Administrative Assistant. At Arkansas Medical Center, Mario Ferruzzi was awarded the Inaugural Arkansas Children’s Endowed
Chair in Digestive Disease and Nutrition Research.

Please, take some time and read through our 2022 Whistler Center Annual Report to know who we are, what we do, and the many achievements we’ve had. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions.


Bruce R. Hamaker
Distinguished Professor of Food Science
Roy L. Whistler Chair