Michael Mark Blumenthal, Ph.D.
Business Address: Libra Technical Center, LLC (and Libra Laboratories, Inc.)
Present Job: Founder (1979), and President, of Libra Laboratories, Inc., and Managing Partner of Libra Technical Center, LLC, an independent, contract and consulting laboratory and litigation support business, The business is known for its unique and broad technical capabilities regarding FDA regulated products and processes, packaging technology, and specialty chemicals. Litigation support covers industrial forensics, expert witness/testimony services, and intellectual property investigations and reports. Current profile on Linkedin.com – Michael M. Blumenthal.
Dr. Blumenthal is also an Adjunct Graduate Professor (Programs) at the Rutgers University Food Science Department, and on the Advisory Council to the Chairman of the Department.
Dr. Blumenthal began his education and his “career” as a chemist/scientist at age 6, when he set up his first home laboratory that he continued, and expanded all through his school years and beyond, including original independent research work. He is very widely read and has developed his own advanced expertise in a number of scientific and technology fields, such as computers and industrial archaeology. In turn, he has become a distinguished and recognized educator in his own right, and an outstanding writer and international lecturer in technical fields...
High School: Oceanside High School, NY (9-12): Academic / Scientific Regents Diploma: New York State Regents College Scholarship, Nassau County Science Congress - 1st Prize for Chemistry and 2nd Grand Prize Overall (400 Contestants).
College or University:
B.A. Chemistry (ACS Certified-Honors), Adelphi University 1969 (Research Biophysical Chemistry) [attended school on academic scholarships and supported family with full time work].
M.S. Food Science, Rutgers University, 1972 (Dissertation-Flavor Chemistry)
M. Phil. Food Science (Honors), Rutgers University, 1973 (Research Analytical Spectroscopy)
Ph.D. Food Science, Rutgers University, 1974 (Dissertation Oil and Fat Chemistry):
Graduate Student Representative to Faculty Discussions and to University Accreditation Board.
GPA 3.9+ out of 4.0 (Summa cum Laude); Graduate Professor and Advisor: Dr. Stephen S. Chang. Dr. Chang was a primary visitor to China to open trade under the Nixon Administration. Dr. Chang was also President of two major Professional Societies; Chairman of Food Science Dept.
Dr. Blumenthal has served as invited Lecturer and Adjunct Professor, in both Food Chemistry and Food Science, at Rutgers University, and was previously appointed by the State of NJ Commission on Science and Technology to be a Peer Reviewer for the Center for Advanced Food Technology, judging its R&D programs. Dr. Blumenthal has also served as a member of a number of graduate committees on behalf of Ph.D. candidates at Rutgers University, and has mentored a number of candidates to achieve their Ph.D., and offered internships, doctoral, and postdoctoral research training positions at the Libra Technical Center for many years.
Thomas J. Lipton, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 12/62-10/64. Research Technician, Protein Research. Product and process development: Advanced feasibility of continuous vegetable protein fiber spinning process at lab scale; helped produce the first pilot plant batches of a variety of seed protein isolates of high purity. Analytical research: Seed protein isolation and characterization by chemical and physical techniques. Analysis of animal protein hydrolyzate to identify a desirable low-volatility, flavorful moiety. Hands-on optimization of continuous electrophoresis of complex biochemicals. Was part of an advanced research team that pioneered many methods and processes that have become integral parts of food production today, including instant soups and meat analogues. First learned scientific / engineering computer programming (Fortran); and funds tracking (Cobol) (1962) on GE timeshare mainframe..
Free-Lance Literature Researcher and Scientific Writer, N.Y 11/64-5/65. Contract scientific writer and bibliographer while attending City University of New York to study history, literature, and mathematics. Topics of professional reports were inks and dyes, foods, plastics, analytical microscopy, and history of science.
DCA Food Industries, Inc., New York, NY, 5/65-9/66. Food Technologist / Research Assistant. Process and product development: Project technician in microwave processing to fry and irradiate doughnuts simultaneously. Experimental designs produced stable glazes and coatings of defined character for baked goods. Analytical services: Analysis of gums / polysaccharides by two-dimensional TLC for deformulation. Studied factors leading to rheological control of mixing problems. QC lab chemist. Used mechanical skills in designing and modifying lab and pilot plant equipment. Participated in development of processes which were patented to give DCA a unique leadership position in low pressure extrusion technology (continued programming on Sperry Univac mainframe computer).
Adelphi University, Garden City, NY, 9/60-6/62 and 9/67-6/69. Chemistry Department, Dr. Frederick A. Bettelheim, Research Advisor. B.A. Chemistry Research: (1) Isolation of Chondroitin Sulfates from Pig Embryo Skins and Umbilical Cords; Spectrophotometric Tracking of Deliberate Denaturation of Hyaluronidase (involved in arthritis control); (2) Developed simple, inexpensive apparatus and methodology for characterizing human saliva's viscosity, specific gravity, and surface tension in 5 minutes, using only 2 mL of fresh fluid; (non-invasive diagnostic technique) for Cystic Fibrosis project. Received ACS Professional Certification. Declined offer of full-tuition scholarship to attend biochemistry graduate school, in order to pursue Food Science graduate studies, because of an intense interest in agricultural commodities as raw materials, the complexities of “engineering” processed foods for eventual manned space travel, and a commitment to fostering the public health through availability of “synthesized” food rather than medicine. Continued Programming in BASIC on Wang Desktop computer.
Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, 7/69-2/74. Food Science Department, Dr. Stephen S. Chang, world-renowned fats and oils and flavor chemist, major professor. M.S. Research: Isolation of unstable sulfur volatiles generated biosynthetically from plant (onion) tissue. Microanalytical fractionation and identification of volatiles, using chromatographic and micro-spectrometric techniques. Ph.D. Research: Established near-perfect mathematical (computer) correlations between sensory panel statistics and gas chromatographic profiles of volatiles isolated from used frying oils. GC/MS identification of key chemical species that could be measured to predict sensory character. Four outstanding-rated graduate seminars presented. Also very active leader in university graduate student-faculty programs, e.g., physical plant, safety, financial aid, and presentation techniques. Graduate Student Representative on Faculty Panels. Graduate student representative to Department Accreditation Examiners. Continued programming on IBM 360.
Aarlab, Inc., Jersey City, NJ, 1/70-2/74. Co-founder and President, Consulting Services Laboratory. Simultaneously with graduate school program, organized and obtained funding for an independent, problem-solving chemistry lab with broad capabilities both in synthesis and analysis for formulation and consultation. Directed staff in analysis of unusual and non-routine samples. Administered budget, work schedules, project responsibilities, preparation of reports, solicitation of new clients, and setting corporate goals. Developed methods for synthesis and ultrapurification of fluorescent microscopy dyes, analysis of beer and wines, and tocopherol recovery. Business interest bought out.
Best Foods / CPC International, Union, NJ., 3/74-1/76. Group Leader, Fats and Oils Research. Process and product development: Project leader for designed experiments leading to the development of chemically and physically modified corn oil and other fat products. Patent disclosures for five new approaches to the commercial processing of edible fats and oils, and fat replacers. Analytical research: Benchwork to introduce differential and derivative spectrophotometry for the analysis of minor constituents in lipids. Project leader in the development of a predictive (shelf-life) sensory method based on original statistical models. Leader and teacher in presentation and project proposal writing skills: experimental design and statistical analysis / validation of data. Internal consultant to packaging, sensory, analytical research, and process engineering research groups.
DCA Food Industries, Inc., New York, NY, 5/76-1/80. (Second Tour). Project Manager: Food Systems. Directed the development of a high-temperature steam, continuous process to replace pre-frying as a unit operation in the manufacture of fabricated frozen foods. This included all aspects of the project: writing the technical business plan, budget, schedule, staffing, vendor selection, process/product development, regulatory clearances, field installation, participation in marketing, and project closure. Responsible for patent specification writing and filings with patent attorneys. Project involved, overall, the direct and indirect management/supervision of more than 200 people. Extensive staff development and team formation to write mission statements and operating guidelines; led project management system re-development according to engineering principles. Developed Lab Quality Assurance systems. Wrote patent infringement prosecution documents. Liaison to universities and professional societies on behalf of the corporation. Served on Project Selection and Review committee. Designed and programmed a microcomputer (TRS-80 Model I) simulation of a new process (1978); introduced response surface methodology for data reduction and process development (1979).
Libra Laboratories, Inc., and its sister companies, Metuchen, NJ 1/80-present. Founder / Entrepreneur, CEO, and Director of Research. Conceived, developed, founded, and funded a state-of-the-art consulting research GMP laboratory. Established international reputation as an expert in the art, science, and control of food service and industrial frying oils, and their applications. Developed a new understanding / paradigm, of significant economic importance, of the physical chemistry of how foods cook in oils.
Invented and patented internationally a novel solventless chemistry rapid testing technology. Developed initial applications of the technology in the use of a quick, simple, safe, cost-effective and environmentally "green" reagent-gel delivery system that has now been commercialized to permit either, in-lab, at-line, or in-field quick testing for real-time process control to optimize food quality, safety, and production economics. This technology can also be used safely and economically in educational institutions to teach descriptive chemistry, and in R&D/process & product development laboratories to make instant measurements to obtain information immediately on the progress of the work.
Acts in both executive management capacity and as scientific / research program director, mentoring numerous scientists, both staff and visiting investigators. Consults for many industrial concerns, government agencies, and academic and research institutions worldwide. Wrote and commercialized the first Project Management software with graphics, for microcomputers (1978) and the first project-oriented LIMS (lab information management system) software, to schedule, plan, and control lab resources and workload, featuring classical Gantt charting to track progress along with data (1982). Founded Gantt Systems, Inc. in 1984 to further commercialize the software products. Evolved Libra Laboratories, Inc. (1979) into Libra Technical Center, a world-class research / analytical lab which also develops new applications for the solventless chemistry technology, and other products; and Test Kit Technologies, Inc. (1994), which commercializes the technology, and manufactures and markets Libra's quick test kits and industrial testing products internationally.
Dr. Blumenthal is widely sought out as a lecturer and interviewee, and a lead feature article in the August 29, 1996 Los Angeles Times describes his work in the area of greater understanding for control of the very-widely used frying process and its complex chemistry. This is just one example; he has been on radio and television on a number of occasions. He is invited to lecture and teach all over the world, and has done so in Europe and Asia, especially. He is widely published in both the scholarly and the trade literature, where practitioners at many levels and in many organizations can benefit from the application of his discoveries and insights.
Dr. Blumenthal conceived and designed a popular Short Course, for continuing education of food science professionals, called "Deep-Fat Frying: Theory and Practice", which includes all aspects of this $75 billion-a-year (U.S. alone) industry. This course has been taught since 1989 at the University of California, Davis, Rutgers University, and other locations and has now been adopted by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) and the American Association of Cereal Chemists (AACC) for regular presentation by others. Dr. Blumenthal is now presenting independently a "Master Class on Frying Science and Technology" for international instruction at an advanced level. He is frequently invited to be a peer reviewer of journal articles, government grant proposals, and other prospective publications. He is the invited author of the chapter on Frying Technology in the highly regarded book, Bailey's Industrial Oil and Fat Products, 5th Edition. He is in the process of writing, in connection with distinguished U.S. and foreign colleagues, a definitive electronic book on the science and technology of deep-fat frying, fried food quality, and safety / assurance through proper measurement and control practices.
Major non-professional interests:
Sherlock Holmes; model railroading and railroad history: microcomputers and their applications at a very advanced level; techniques of sculpture and painting of the 19th century; archaeology and anthropology; “hard” science fiction, space travel / colonization; martial arts, and his grandkids.
Memberships in societies, clubs and other organizations:
American Institute of Chemical Engineers
American Chemical Society (ACS)
American Institute of Chemical Engineers
Institute of Food Technologists (I FT) Professional Member
American Oil Chemists' Society (AOCS)
American Association of Cereal Chemists (AACC)
The Society of Sigma Xi
AOAC International (Associate Referee for Research Topic: Heated and Oxidized Oils).
Association of Consulting Chemists and Chemical Engineers (ACC&CE): Cert. #856.
Baker Street Irregulars
National Model Railroad Association
Mensa. Dr. Blumenthal has given lively and popular presentations at Mensa meetings on food topics: ex.- 'The Nutritional Fate of a French Fry" and "Chocolate: Sociology and Science", and the esoteric subjects he masters such as the History of German and French Origins of Modern Forensic Science, the Human Mind and Virtual Reality, and the “Consulting Business” of (Conan Doyle’s) Sherlock Holmes. His comprehensive knowledge of a wide array of subjects combined with a sense of humor and outstanding presentation skills always draw a large, appreciative crowd who learn about food science and technology, interpretations of Victorian Literature, and the art of public speaking.
Previous honors granted and date received for professional work during or
Subsequent to university education:
First and Grand Prizes, Nassau County Science Congress, N.Y. (medals), 1960
Regents College Scholarship, N.Y. State, 1960
President, Dakin Chemical Society, ACS Student Affiliate Chapter, 1969
President, Food Science Graduate Students' Assoc., IFT Student Chapter, 1973
American Oil Chemists' Society Honored Student Award, 1974
American Oil Chemists' Society Bond Award (Runner-up), 1974
Officer/Director, American Oil Chemists' Society Northeast Section 1991-1994
IAMFES Award for Best Article of the Year in the Environmental Area, 1993.
Appointment by the State of New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology as
Peer Reviewer for a NJ Center for Excellence, the Center for Advanced Food
Science and Technology (CAFT), 1992.
Lipidforum, Helsinki, Finland, 1994 major conference: recognized by this assembly of the foremost European fats/oils/lipids scientists by invitation to present three papers and the conference keynote closing summation.
American Oil Chemists’ Society Stephen S. Chang Award, 2001— major “fats and oils” award
Institute of Food Technologists Stephen S. Chang Award, 2001—major “flavor” award
Institute of Food Technologists-Distinguished Lecturer (2002-2005)
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Grant Award 1997-99 ($110,000.): "Chemical Basis of Crust Formation in Deep-Fried Potatoes". Dr. Blumenthal was the Principal Investigator and Dr. Karen Schaich of Rutgers University, the Co-Investigator, jointly leading a university/industry team to study lipid-polysaccharide interaction in potatoes fried in oils of varying stages of degradation, and determine the relationship between frying oil chemistry, lipid-polysaccharide complexation, and structure and texture of potato crust. This project has agricultural, nutritional, and economic significance because of the extremely widespread consumption of fried potatoes. It is estimated that of the 16.5 million tons of potatoes produced annually, fully half are used for French fries or potato chips. The statistics on the value of oilseed crops used to produce the costly fats and oils used in deep-frying are equally impressive.
This industry/academia project was the first instance of Rutgers University’s being a paid subcontractor to a private research company, and required a new type of contract.
Descriptions of major work:
A New Paradigm of Deep-Fat Frying
Deep-fat frying is one of the most widely used methods of food production, and is practiced all over the world. It is a $75 billion a year industry in the U.S. alone, and estimated to be twice that worldwide. An extremely wide variety of types of foods are fried and oil blanched, and frying fats and oils are valuable and ever-more-costly agricultural commodity products. Extensive research is being done in the U.S. and abroad on new oilseed varieties, genetically enhanced oils, and processes and procedures to improve the nutritional profile, stability, and other important properties of fats and oils used for food, and, in particular, for deep frying. In addition, the quality, safety, nutritional and aesthetic values of many agricultural products - the foods fried - are affected significantly by the frying process. The proper conduct of frying operations is essential for food quality, safety, nutrition, and economics. Until now, it has been largely an art.
Dr. Michael Blumenthal has developed a powerful new scientific understanding of the dynamic forces and factors that affect frying processes, and his research has led to a new paradigm. He has approached the problem of the degradation of edible fats and oils during frying processes from a physical chemistry / engineering / systems perspective, focusing on heat and mass transfer, going beyond the traditionally-studied organic chemistry of frying oils. His research explores the entire frying system and the interactions between frying fats/oils and the foods fried, the equipment and processing aids used, ingredients coming in, and the complex chemistry at work between the heated surfaces, the degrading oil, leachates from the food, entrained and reactive oxygen, and the constantly changing surface and interior of the dehydrating food.
Dr. Blumenthal has proposed (and subsequent research has confirmed) a new paradigm of surfactancy as the mediator of heat transfer between frying oil and largely aqueous food. The theory states "Surfactants are responsible for the surface and interior differences in fried foods, as induced by aging oils." Using the systems approach and analyzing thousands of samples, Dr. Blumenthal's laboratory established a large database from which he deduced a simple mathematical relationship between the concentration of surfactants and the variations in food quality typically seen in food production and food service. Surfactants increase as oil is used and degrades. Control of surfactants enables proper cooking and optimization of food quality, food stability, oil economics, and system productivity.
However, in degrading oil, as surfactant concentrations are increasing, leading to the oil "wetting" the food, the specific heat of the oil is increasing from that of fresh oil (linearly) with the accumulation of polymer species, which form due to oxidation and thermally abusive conditions. This increased specific heat causes poor cooking due to insufficient heat being available in the oil on the wetted surface. The formation and accumulation of smaller molecular species such as free fatty acid increases thermal conductivity, which factor controls the rate of replenishment of energy to oil at the food's surface. Without proper heat transfer into the interior of the food, even the microbial safety of fried foods such as chicken is compromised.
The Gaussian curve that describes the relationship between the surfactant and polymer and other polar material concentrations and perceptible food quality has been named the Frying Quality Curve, and it portrays regions corresponding to initialization, normalization, optimization, degradation, and termination of the suitability for continued use of a frying oil. This Frying Quality Curve has been widely reproduced, cited, and quoted by other researchers, teachers, and authors, as the model that now leads to insights critical to the understanding of the chemistry of frying oil degradation.
Prior research has tended to focus on the extremes of how to refine fresh oil, or, conversely, the potential health hazards of abused oils. Dr. Blumenthal's work concentrates on how to optimize and maintain frying processes to sustain the desirable, central properties of the oil in order to produce the best quality food in the most economical way. The new paradigm of frying is therefore not only an original and creative contribution to a fundamental understanding of the chemistry of complex food systems, but is also a practical basis for producing a superior array of quality food products: an ideal combination of the theoretical and practical in food chemistry and food technology.
Dr. Michael Blumenthal has invented and patented a novel chemical reagent delivery system that has enormous potential to revolutionize the way many chemical measurements are made. A series of gels, of varying properties, depending on the application, enables chemical reactions, such as color tests, to be performed entirely without solvents or toxic materials, in disposable vials, thus eliminating typical hazards of chemicals to the worker and the environment, as well as permitting real-time quality control, by allowing measurements to be made right at the production line, thus "taking the lab to the line", even where food is being processed/produced. In addition, the tests can be, and initial applications have been made quantitative and highly correlated to corresponding laboratory procedures. Their ease of use makes it possible for non-chemists to perform tests with confidence and speed, and eases the workload burden on agricultural and food chemists by allowing screening testing to isolate from large numbers of samples, only those requiring closer investigation.
Working with colleagues, Dr. Blumenthal has developed a first application of solventless chemistry tests for use in deep-fat frying control. As a natural outgrowth of the new paradigm of frying, described above, process control is facilitated by being able to make the relevant rapid measurements directly at the site where deep-fat frying is being done. Therefore, the first series of tests commercially available that use the new solventless chemistry are the VERI-FRY® internationally trademarked tests for free fatty acids, alkaline surfactants, and total polar materials (total accumulated non-triglycerides).
These tests are used by hundreds of snack food producers, industrial manufacturers, and food service establishments, as well as regulatory inspectors and also researchers who wish to develop products or processes with speed and efficiency by being able to make rapid and accurate measurements at low cost and without environmental hazards. The solventless chemistry technology combines simplicity with sophistication and is virtually limitless in application. An extension of existing tests into the measurement of fat rancidity in milk has enormous economic ramifications. Dr. Blumenthal has prototyped over 300 chemistries with this new technology. The portability, compact format, and archival character of the tests (finished tests can be stored and re-read later or at another location!), coupled with their reliability, safety, and speed, offer tremendous access to those, including in developing economies, wishing to have real-time quality control, do rapid screening testing, or demonstrate chemical principles in teaching situations where chemicals are now severely limited due to hazards and liability potential or environmental problems.
Appraisal and evaluation:
Dr. Michael Blumenthal's work has spanned an extremely wide array of contributions to, and studies of, the chemical sciences, and in particular as they apply to the products of agriculture and their manufacture into food products. He has been a member and leader of research teams creating key processes fundamental to food processing today. At Libra Technical Center, his work has directly affected more than 500 companies for which he and his colleagues have consulted and performed laboratory research and analyses. More than 400 organizations have used the new rapid testing technology to improve quality control and process economics.
In the last 30+ years, Dr. Blumenthal has directed operations resulting in more than 500 industrial consulting reports available on-line within Libra, in addition to his publications and private industry reports, and he has overseen the preparation of more than 1000 on-line analytical reports for a global customer base. Thus he has founded an enterprise in which independent science can be conducted confidentially and with an enormous database of recorded knowledge and experience behind it, as well as an enterprise that creates new technologies and new products for application of chemical principles to better foods, fats, and oils. Dr. Blumenthal's experience and ability to understand and translate extremely complex chemical systems into elegant, reliable, simple tools is a very rare combination.
His new Paradigm of Frying is not only a creative and powerful achievement in a specific area of food chemistry, but also serves as a model for an approach to solving problems in the complex world of the total chemical events which occur in a living system from agriculture which is brought into an engineering / manufacturing environment. He has shown the way for an extremely useful strategy for converting chemical principles to the economics of food production.
The power to predict is one of the most compelling aspects of Dr. Blumenthal's contributions. Both the Frying Paradigm and the Solventless Chemistry technology are a direct outgrowth of the pathway that began with Dr. Blumenthal's studies on saliva, as part of a cystic fibrosis project. This study enabled an understanding of physiology and the limitations of sensory work. In his Master's Degree research on onion flavor chemistry, Dr. Blumenthal was able to understand what to look at when doing mathematical pattern recognition. In his Ph.D. research, he was able to achieve an unparalleled degree of correlation of instrument measurement with the human sensory experience: by the use of computerized pattern recognition methods, he was able to achieve nearly perfect prediction of the sensory evaluation by using only 2 peaks from a complex flavor chromatogram. The technique he developed is now used by the most advanced flavor houses in the creation of natural-tasting and -smelling analogs made from synthetic materials.
The New Paradigm of Deep-Fat Frying has taken thousands of chemical events, in all the numerous combinations and permutations of oils, foods, frying systems, environments, personnel, etc., and reduced the measurements needed to predict food quality, shelf-life, oil usage, and so on, to only 3 tests, one of which (Total Polar Materials) has regulatory applications in Europe, where the oil must be discarded before it reaches the statutory limit, and yet for which the corresponding laboratory procedure is so prohibitive in its cost, time, and expertise required, that only after-the-fact compliance can be established.
Through Libra's Solventless Chemistry technology, these 3 tests can be performed by anyone, anywhere, anytime, to achieve true process and quality control. They allow the prediction of food quality, shelf-life of packaged foods, and process economics, all from the oil's condition. They put safe, simple and accurate measurement systems in the hands of those who must make decisions before things go wrong. The technology can be extended to an enormous array of applications and solves many of the problems that prevent easy and frequent chemical measurements and studies today. This is truly a contribution to the ease and widespread use of chemistry for everyone's benefit.
Another important aspect of Dr. Blumenthal's work in food chemistry has been his teaching role. He is consistently selected as among the best faculty in his adjunct professor lectures and short courses at Rutgers Univ. and elsewhere. He is invited to speak all over the world, and has given many presentations and seminars at industrial firms, universities, research institutes, and government agencies, for example, in England, Spain, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Japan, Malaysia, Germany, France, and all over the United States. Through short courses and symposia, he has taught many hundreds of scientists the principles of food chemistry in a total systems approach. The new paradigm has led to major advances in the application of food chemistry to food chemical process engineering, and provided a new generation of researchers with fresh directions to explore. Graduate programs now exist inspired by Dr. Blumenthal's work and teachings, for example:
Prof. Brian Farkas :Univ. of N.Carolina,(now at Perdue) bulk heat & mass transfer studies
Prof. Rosana Moreira, Texas A&M Univ.: heat and mass transfer with regard to conversion of ingredients to a food
Prof. Philip Handel, Drexel Univ.: strength of surfactancy effects
Prof. Israel (Sam) Saguy, Hebrew Univ. of Jerusalem: understanding the
interface between heat transfer medium and surface of cooking food
Prof. V.M. Bala, Univ. of Georgia: textural changes induced in food by aging oil
Prof. Karen Schaich, Rutgers Univ.: lipid-polysaccharide interactions
The potential importance and impact of the Solventless Chemistry technology are enormous, and have only begun to be imagined. In an age of increasing health, safety, and environmental concerns, such a measurement science can only have widespread benefits, no matter what the arena of application, but especially so in the field of food quality control, where the measurement technology must not threaten the product or the environment, and so until now, no quantitatively reliable chemistry could be done in the vicinity of the food itself. For lab, plant, field, restaurant, institutional, or classroom use, this technology can revolutionize measurement science.
Dr. Michael M. Blumenthal has advanced food chemistry, the proper processing of the products of agriculture and synthesis so that they are enjoyed and not wasted, and the measurement sciences in ways yet to be fully realized, but of undoubted importance and power. He has shared his findings and insights widely, to the benefit of industry, government, and the academic world.
Dr. Blumenthal’s background is profiled (Michael M. Blumenthal) on Linkedin.com with new entries and updates as time allows.
Michael M. Blumenthal, Ph.D.
SELECTED PRESENTATIONS. PATENTS, AND PUBLICATIONS
Bettelheim, F.A., and M.M. Blumenthal (1969) "A New Parameter Measuring the Rheological Properties of Saliva", Cystic Fibrosis Club Abstracts
Between 1978 and 1986 Dr Blumenthal designed from scratch, and then wrote or co-coded some of the first large-scale microcomputer scientific/engineering software with graphics, and commercialized some of those programs on TRS-DOS and DOS for sale by Libra Laboratories, Inc. and Gantt Systems, Inc. The most important of those commercial programs were Gantt-Pack® (a standalone database-based project management system), Stat-To-Plotter"" (linking Tandy's Statistics and Database programs together with output to color, multi-pen plotters), and Master-File (the first full-text storage and retrieval database system, and the first ever with unlimited capacity). Larger customers were government contractors and agencies, healthcare companies, publishing houses, and even groups within the media and entertainment businesses. The software activities were eventually abandoned following the industry's transition to GUI's (graphical user interfaces), and the rise of publicly funded software companies. Dr. Blumenthal chose to return to primarily scientific work, and teaching others to effectively use computers.
Blumenthal, M.M. (1991) 'The Challenge of Computerizing...The Real Impact on You, Your Staff, and Laboratory Performance", Proceedings of FOODLABS '91, the First Annual Conference on Equipping, Managing, and Working in the Food Laboratory of Tomorrow: Adams Mark Hotel, Philadelphia, PA, May 1-3.
Blumenthal, M.M. (1992) "PCs [Personal Computers] in Research and Production Laboratories", American Oil Chemists' Society INFORM, Vol. 3, No. 5, pp. 574 - 581, May
Duerr, J.S. and M.M. Blumenthal (2002) Success Factors for Small Business, Presidential Symposium, ACS National Meeting, Boston
Blumenthal, M.M. (1972) "A Study of Volatile Onion Flavors", M.S. Thesis, Rutgers University.
Blumenthal, M.M. and S.S. Chang (1973) "A Method for Obtaining Reproducible Quantitative Gas Chromatograms of Volatiles Isolated from Foods", J.Agric.Food Chem., 21:6, 1123-1126.
M.M. Blumenthal (1974) "Adventures in Modern Microchemistry", invited lecture presented at the F.D.A. Philadelphia District Science Branch Seminar
M.M. Blumenthal (1974) "Research on a Budget and Pattern Analysis", invited lecture presented at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, Philadelphia, Pa.
Blumenthal, M.M. (1974) "A Model System for the Evaluation of the Effect of Different Fats and Oils on the Flavor of Simulated Deep-Fat Fried Foods", Ph.D. Thesis, Rutgers University.
Chang, S.S., and M.M. Blumenthal (1975) "Effect of Different Fats and Oils on the Flavor of Deep Fat Fried Foods", in Lipids. Vol. 2, R. Paoletti, G. Jacini, G. Porcellati, eds., Raven Press, New York, pp 481-489
Blumenthal, M.M., J.R. Trout, and S.S. Chang (1976) "Correlation of Gas Chromatographic Profiles and Organoleptic Scores of Different Fats and Oils after Simulated Deep-Fat Frying", J.Am. Oil Chem.Soc. 53:7, 496-501.
Blumenthal, M.M. (1997) "How Food Packaging Affects Food Flavor", Food Technol. 51:1, 71-72 &74
Blumenthal, M.M. and K. Schaich (1998) 'The Chemistry and Texture of French Fried Potato Crust", (a fully funded proposal to the United States Department of Agriculture) Accepted after peer review, and completed - Report and additional publications in preparation with additional information. Exceptional industrial support with materials and supplies. Academic and commercial spin-offs anticipated.
FRYING OIL CHEMISTRY AND CONTROL
Blumenthal, M.M. and J.R. Stockier (1982) "Frying Oil Evaluator Method and Composition", U.S. Patent 4,349,353.
Blumenthal, M.M., J.R. Stockier, and P.J. Summers (1985) "Alkaline Contaminant Materials in Used Frying Oils: A New Quick Test", J.Am.Oil Chem. Soc., 62:9, 1373-1374.
Blumenthal, M.M. and J.R. Stockier (1986) "Isolation and Detection of Alkaline Contaminant Materials in Used Frying Oils", J.Am.Oil Chem. Soc., 63:5, 687-688
Blumenthal, M.M. and J.R. Stockier (1988) "Method and Test Kit for Determining the Amount of Polar Substances in Fat", U.S. Patent # 4,731,332.
Blumenthal, M.M. (1988) "Rapid Test for Deterioration of Frying Oil", Presented at the Symposium Honoring Dr. Stephen S. Chang at the Annual Meeting of the American Oil Chemists Society, May 9, Phoenix, AR. (first presentation of the Frying Quality Curve and the concept of research and study on the optimum region of oil performance, rather than just the extremes.)
Blumenthal, M.M. (1990) "Technology of Fats & Oils in Product Development", presented at "Designer Foods and Cancer Prevention", 1st Symposium on Phytochemicals (anticancer micronutrients), Rutgers University, East Brunswick, NJ, Jan. 8
Firestone, D., R.F. Slier, and M.M. Blumenthal (1990) "Regulation of Frying Fats and Oils", Food Technol., 45:2, p.90-94
Blumenthal, M.M. (1990) "Regulation of Frying Fats", Presented at Chemistry and Technology of Deep-Fat Frying, Short Course at the University of California, Davis, CA, May 16-18
Blumenthal, M.M. (1991) "Una Nueva Perspectiva de la Quimaca y Fisica de las Frituras por Inmersion", Alimentaria, 28:(225), 65-70
Blumenthal, M.M., J.R. Stockier, and H.M. Van Tassell (1991) "Method and Apparatus for Determining Non-Triglycerides in Oil", U.S. Patent # 5,055,410 and 14 International Equivalents. (Solventless Chemistry Gel Technology)
Litovsky, J., T. Korbelak, and M.M. Blumenthal (1991) "Pruebas Rapidas para Frituras de Buena Calidad", Alimentaria, 28:(225), 97-104 (also available in English translation, Reprint available upon request.)
Firestone, D., R.F. Stier, and M.M. Blumenthal (1991) "La Regulacion de los Aceites y Grasas de Fritura", Alimentaria, 28:(225), 71-76.
Blumenthal, M.M. (1992) "Rapid Testing Methods for Frying Oils", presented as invited lecture at Leatherhead Research Institute, Leatherhead, U.K., October
Blumenthal, T.K., M.M. Blumenthal, R.F. Stier, and J.R. Stockier (1993) "Solventless Chemistry for Environmentally Safe Quality Control", presented at American Oil Chemists' Society Annual Meeting, Anaheim, Calif., April 28. (reprint available on request)
Blumenthal, M.M. (1993) "Oils and Fats - Total Polar Measurement as a QC Control", presented as invited lecture at the 5th European Snack Association Technical Conference and Exhibition, Vienna, Austria, Oct. 3-6
Blumenthal, M.M. (1994) "Dynamics of Deep-Fat Frying"; "Means of Prolonging the Stability of Frying Oils"; "Frying - Uses and Abuses": all three presented as invited lectures at LIPIDFORUM: Seminar on Deep Fat Frying, Helsinki, Finland, Oct. 18-19. Dr. Blumenthal received the honor of also being invited, by Dr. Ingmar Wester and Dr. Christian Gertz, noted European authorities in fats and oils chemistry, to present the Seminar Overview and Closing Remarks as well.
Nair, M.C. and M.M. Blumenthal (1995) "Collaborative Study of the VERI-FRY TPM Rapid, Solventless, Colorimetric Reagent Gel Method for Determination of Polar Materials in Used Frying Fats and Oils", AOAC International (under ISO Harmonized Protocol), in final committee approval status
Nair, M.C. and M.M. Blumenthal (1995) "Collaborative Study of the VERI-FRY FFA-350 Rapid, Solventless, Colorimetric Reagent Gel Method for Determination of Percent Free Fatty Acids (Titratable Acidity) in Fats and Oils", AOAC International (under ISO Harmonized Protocol), in final committee approval status
PROCESS MODELING & OPTIMIZATION
Blumenthal, M.M. (1962) "Lanthanides from the Laboratory", Adelphi University Science Journal, Garden City, NY
Blumenthal, M.M. (1987) "Optimum Frying: Theory and Practice", 2"d Edition, Monograph series, Libra Laboratories, Inc., Piscataway, N.J.
Blumenthal, M.M. and B. Friedman (1988) "Improving Quality of Cooking Fluids by Continuous Recirculation and Treatment in Zone with Compound to Selectively Reduce Surfactants", U.S. Patent filed.
Blumenthal, M.M. and Stier, R.F. (1988) "Frying Research Provides New Perspectives", Hornblower, IFT Northern California Section, 40:2
Blumenthal, M.M. (1988) "Accurate Analysis and Modeling of Microwavable Foods through Use of In-Store Computers", Proceedings of International Conference on Micro-Ready Foods, pp.7-18 and 209-218, Princeton, NJ, October 6-7
Blumenthal, M.M. (1989) "Principles of Product Development", Graduate Course in Food Science and Technology Management, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, Sept-Dec.
Blumenthal, M.M. (1990) "A New Look at the Chemistry and Physics of Deep-Fat Frying", presentation at the Libra-organized, standing-room-only (>500 attendees) Symposium: "The Chemistry and Technology of Deep Fat Frying", at the Annual Meeting of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), Anaheim, Calif., June 16-20. (Landmark presentation: presents the new paradigm of understanding of frying systems and chemistry)
Blumenthal, M.M.(1991) "A New Look at the Chemistry and Physics of Deep-Fat Frying", Food Technol., 45:2, p.68-71, 94. (Landmark paper: presents new paradigm of understanding of frying systems and chemistry)
Blumenthal, M.M. and R.F. Stier (1991) "Optimization of Deep-Fat Frying Operations", Trends in Food Science and Technology, 2:6, p. 144-148
Blumenthal, M.M. (1994) "Frying Theory" and "Oil Filtration and Treatment: Are These Technologies Effective, and Why?" Institute of Food Technologists short course on Frying, Atlanta, GA, June 24-25
Blumenthal, M.M. (1996) "Quantitative Frying: Methodology and Analysis", presented at the 1996 Annual Meeting of the American Oil Chemists' Society, Indianapolis, Indiana (Tied together thermodynamics, oil chemistry, surfactant theory, food sensory properties, and the chemical and microbiological toxicology of fried food)
Blumenthal, M.M., J.R. Stockler, S. Sundaram, and F. Serafin (2003) Method and Routine for Treating Frying Oils with a Food Simulacrum that Mimics Grain Based Foods, AIChE Meeting, San Francisco, November 2003
Blumenthal, M.M. (1989) "Frying Oil Technology: Historical Perspectives", Presented at Chemistry and Technology of Deep-Fat Frying, Short Course at the University of California, Davis, CA, April 3-5, 1989
Blumenthal, M.M. (1989) "Food Frying: Principles and Evaluation", Presented at Chemistry and Technology of Deep-Fat Frying, Short Course at the University of California, Davis, CA, April 3-5, 1989
Blumenthal, M.M. (1989) "Future Frying Research Areas", Presented at Chemistry and Technology of Deep-Fat Frying, Short Course at the University of California, Davis, CA, April 3-5, 1989
Blumenthal, M.M. (1992) "Introduction and Acceptability of Edible Oils", Presented at "the Chemistry and Technology of Deep-Fat Frying" Short Course Sponsored by Rutgers University Continuing Education, February 25-27
Blumenthal, M.M. (1992) "Food Frying: Principles and Evaluation", Presented at "the Chemistry and Technology of Deep-Fat Frying" Short Course Sponsored by Rutgers University Continuing Education, February 25-27
Blumenthal, M.M. (1992) "Future Research Areas for Frying Oils", Presented at "the Chemistry and Technology of Deep-Fat Frying" Short Course Sponsored by Rutgers University Continuing Education, February 25-27
Blumenthal, M.M. (1995) "Deep-Pat Frying Technology" Chapter (50+ pp.), Bailey's Industrial Oil and Fat Products, 5th Ed., Vol. 3, Chapter 11, Wiley-interscience, John Wiley &Sons
Blumenthal, M.M. (1992) "Frying Technology", Encyclopedia of Food Science and Technology, pp-1278 - 1282, Y.H. Hui, Ph.D., Editor, Wiley-interscience, John Wiley & Sons
Blumenthal, M.M. (1993) "Quality vs. Shelflife: How to Get Both", presented as invited lecture in Short Course, "Extending Product Quality and Shelflife", American Institute of Baking (AIB), Manhattan, Kansas, April 13-15.
Blumenthal, M.M. (1993) "How Can a Laboratory Conduct a Reliable Frying Study?", invited lecture at IFT Eastern Food Science Conference VIII, Princeton, NJ, Oct. 18.
Blumenthal, M.M. (1992-1997, yearly) "Lipids: Applied Technology", presented as invited lecture at Rutgers University Short Course: "Introduction to Food Science: Principles and Recent Advances", every August. (Adjunct Professor activity)
Blumenthal, M.M. (1997) 'The Science and Technology of Frying", Food Technology International, pp.69-70, The International Review for the Food and Drink Processing Industries, published in association with the European Federation of Food Science and Technology
Blumenthal, M.M. (2000) "Frying Technology", Encyclopedia of Food Science and Technology, 2nd edition, pp.l 168 - 1172, Y.H. Hui, Ph.D., Editor, Wiley-interscience, John Wiley & Sons
Blumenthal, M.M., (2000) Understanding Frying, (electronic "Master Class" for Consulting Clients suitable for videoconferencing), now being prepared for new short courses and matching book.
Blumenthal, M.M. (2001) “A New Look at Frying Science “ Cereal Foods World, 46 (8) pp 352—354, August
Blumenthal, M.M. (2002) The VERI-FRY® Quick Test for Polar Materials: Acceptability and New Improvements, AOCS National Meeting, Montreal
Schaich, K. and M.M. Blumenthal (2002) A Distillation/Mass Spectrometric Method for Polar Fractions in the Crust of French Fries, AOCS National Meeting, Montreal
Dana, DF. , M.M. Blumenthal, S. Saguy (2002) The Effect of Water Injection on Oil Quality During Deep Fat Frying, AOCS National Meeting, Montreal
Blumenthal, M.M. (2003) 100 Years of Documented Frying Science and Technology Publications… So What is Left to Do? AIChE Meeting, San Francisco, November 2003
In 1990, Dr. Blumenthal began a writing a series of articles with an employee (Mr. Stier) to set the tone for a shift in the technical offerings of Libra Laboratories, Inc. Dr. Blumenthal ended his participation in the popular series in 1995 and moved on to other professional activities in packaging safety and technology.
Editorial Series in Baking & Snack Magazine (1990 - 1995)
Stier, R.F. and M.M. Blumenthal (1990) "Heat Transfer in Frying", Baking & Snack Systems, Vol. 12:9, p. 15-19
Stier, R.F. & M.M. Blumenthal (1990) "Shelf Life and Package Selection", Baking & Snack Systems Vol.12:11 p. 13-16
Stier, R.F. and M.M. Blumenthal (1991) "Insurance Policy for Food Safety", Baking & Snack, Vol. 13:2,18-21,35
Stier, R.F. and M.M. Blumenthal (1991) "Multifunctional Fats and Oils", Baking & Snack, Vol.13:3, p.29-30, 32-33
Stier, R.F. and M.M. Blumenthal (1991) "Filtering Frying Oils", Baking & Snack, Vol.13:5, p. 15-18 Stier, R.F. and M.M. Blumenthal (1991) "Baked Foods and the Microwave", Baking & Snack, Vol.13:7, P.12-17
Stier, R.F. and M.M. Blumenthal (1991) "Frying and Health", Baking & Snack, 13:9, p. 27-30
Stier, R.F. and M.M. Blumenthal (1991) "Regulate Fats and Oils?", Baking & Snack, Vol.13:11, P.11-12,14,16,18
Stier, R.F. and M.M. Blumenthal (1992) "When the Inspector Arrives", Baking & Snack, Vol.14:2, p. 47-48,49, 52, 54 (Reprinted in Dairy, Food, & Environmental Sanitation, April 1993.)
Stier, R.F. and M.M. Blumenthal (1992) "Safety in the Processing Plant", Baking & Snack, Vol. 14:3, p. 22, 24, 28, 30
Stier, R.F. and M.M. Blumenthal (1992) "The Use of Rapid Methods for On-Line Monitoring", Baking & Snack, Vol. 14:5, p. 30, 32-35
Stier, R.F. and M.M. Blumenthal (1992) "Additives and How They Act", Baking & Snack, Vol.14:7, p. 15-19,21
Stier, R.F., T.K. Blumenthal, and M.M. Blumenthal (1992) "Good Laboratory Practices: What Are They and How Can They Help Food Processors?", Baking & Snack, 14:11, p. 14, 16, 18-19 (Article reprinted in Dairy, Food, & Environmental Sanitation and won the IAMFES Award for Outstanding Achievement as the best article in the environmental area for 1993.)
Stier, R.F., and M.M. Blumenthal (1993) "Quality Control in Deep-Fat Frying", Baking & Snack, Vol. 15:2, p. 67-68, 71-74, 76-77 (reprint available upon request)
Stier, R.F. and M.M. Blumenthal (1993) "Plant Self-Inspection", Baking & Snack, 15:2, p. 53 ff.
Stier, R.F. and M.M. Blumenthal (1993) "Shelf-Life Lessons", Baking & Snack, 15:3, p. 45-46, 48-49
Stier, R.F. and M.M. Blumenthal (1993) "Howdy Partner" (about strategic business partnering), Baking & Snack, 15:5, p. 29-30, 31, 36
Stier, R.F., M.M. Blumenthal, and E.F. Stier (1993) "Using Sensory Panels (Part 1)", Baking & Snack, 15:7, p. 28 ff.
Stier, R.F., M.M. Blumenthal, and E.F. Stier (1993) "Using Sensory Panels (Part 2)", Baking & Snack, 15:8, p-71-72, 74, 76
Stier, R.F., T.K. Blumenthal, and M.M. Blumenthal (1993) "Getting Started with SPC/SQC", Baking & Snack, 15:9, P.47-48, 50, 52-53, 55
Stier, R.F., M.M. Blumenthal (1994) "Going to the Pilot Plant", Baking & Snack, 16:2, p. 41-42, 44-45
Stier, R.F., M.M. Blumenthal (1994) "Quality in Frying", Baking & Snack, 16:11, p.38, 40-42
Stier, R.F., M.M. Blumenthal (1995) "So, What's All This About ISO-9000?", Baking & Snack, 17:2, p.64-68
INSTITUTE OF FOOD TECHNOLOGISTS (IFT)
Invited Lectures 2002 – 2005
Date IFT Section Location
Oct. 3, 2002 Dixie Atlanta, GA
Nov. 12, 2002 Midwest Region Chicago, IL
Nov. 20, 2002 Southern California Los Angeles, CA
Jan. 23, 2003 South Florida Fort Lauderdale, FL
Jan. 29, 2003 Magnolia Jackson, MS
Feb. 10, 2004 Lake Erie Hudson, OH
Mar. 4, 2004 Louisiana Gulf Coast Baton Rouge, LA
Sept. 23, 2004 Lewis & Clark Richland, WA
Oct. 4, 2004 Long Island New Hyde Park, NY
Nov. 10, 2004 Bonneville Salt Lake City, UT
Feb. 10, 2005 Ozark Rogers, AR
From 2006 through 2015, Dr. Blumenthal has re-developed and expanded his research and testing laboratory business holdings. The larger enterprise now offers bench-top to micro-pilot product and process development, industrial forensics, materials research, and safety and stability testing. The Libra Technical Center is a GMP compliant, FDA and Client inspected/audited, R&D, Analytical and Synthesis laboratory.
AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY INVITED LECTURES
Inspirational and Motivational speech to the top 100 High School Graduating Seniors (Lower New York State and New York City) who declared a chemistry major in their accepting Colleges; presented by request at Adelphi University, June 2005
Princeton Section of ACS meeting at Princeton University
How a French Fry Fries (thermodynamics, chemistry, physics, biochemistry, mathematics, food science, and public health research), April 2009 – Celebrating 50 Years in ACS
As with any other scientist working in organizations and consultancies where updates, reports, white-papers, etc. are expected periodically, Dr. Blumenthal has "published" literally thousands of "reviewed" papers that will never be seen outside the organizations for which they were written under strict confidentiality. In order that some aspects from this private work are not lost, Dr. Blumenthal, with the cooperation of his associates and clients, has embedded special insights and teachings in his short courses, graduate classes as a Lecturer at Rutgers University, and other schools around the world, and in mentoring many interns, graduate students, and employees working in the technology companies he founded since leaving larger industry.
Dr. Blumenthal is currently writing books and monographs for eventual publication. He is studying new fields including development of optimized processes and products from botanicals, biofuels from renewable and recycled oils, purification and standardization of food, flavor, texture, and fragrance materials at “village farm” level, and the total synthesis of foods from non-cellular sources, for military, rescue, and long duration space missions (like the “Food Replicator” from Star Trek®) based upon his 1970 “how-to” seminar at Rutgers University.
Also, in returning to his original roots as a physical chemist in rheology, chromatography, thermal analysis, and microscopy. Dr. Blumenthal is training others, and applying that talent to “industrial forensics”, a nascent field requiring a very broad base of knowledge of commodities, technologies, and experience of consumer and machinery products and how they are made. Dr. Blumenthal has, over many years, expanded his consulting practice to include expert witness services for the chemistry, engineering, food science, materials science, personal care, consumer products, packaging, lipid technology, stability, quality assurance, and laboratory management fields in which he is recognized.