Dr. Robert McGorrin named Fellow, American Chemical Society



Robert J. McGorrin

Dr. Robert McGorrin named Fellow, American Chemical Society


Robert J. McGorrin is honored for his extraordinary contributions to food chemistry and more than 35 years of leadership contributions to ACS.  McGorrin heads OSU’s department of food science and technology in the College of Agricultural Sciences. He currently serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of their Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry and is a Distinguished Service Award recipient from their Division of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (AGFD). He was chair-elect of the ACS Chicago Section, chair and program chair of AGFD, chair of the Flavor subdivision of AGFD, and has long-term service on the AGFD Executive Committee.  He was twice-elected president of the Chicago Chemists’ Club, among many posts. McGorrin is also a certified food scientist by the International Food Science Certification Commission and a Fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists.


McGorrin’s research focuses on flavor chemistry and trace volatile analysis, which identifies unique flavor components and aroma compounds in food products using a variety of analytical chemistry techniques ranging from gas chromatography to mass spectrometry and infrared spectroscopy. He co-organized large technical symposia at six ACS National meetings in the general area of food and flavor chemistry.  His work has been published in ACS journals such as the Journal of Agricultural Chemistry, and the ACS Symposium Series in which he has authored/coauthored four chemistry books and 13 chapters in the areas of flavor chemical analysis, chemistry of thermally-generated flavors, character-impact of flavor compounds, sulfur compounds, and flavor-food interactions.


In 2000 McGorrin joined OSU’s Department of Food Science and Technology as professor and department head.  He manages operations for the complex department, comprising 19 tenure-track faculty across three sites, including the Portland Food Innovation Center and Astoria Seafood Laboratory.  Under his leadership, he implemented a highly successful recruitment plan, growing undergraduate enrollment more than 500%.  He hired nine tenure-track faculty to expand the department’s expertise in flavor chemistry, brewing science, food chemistry, enology, and food safety.  He also helped raise over $1.6M from industry and alumni for endowed professorships and food science scholarships.


“I greatly appreciate being named an ACS Fellow and consider this a significant highlight of my career,” said McGorrin. “I am truly honored that ACS has acknowledged my food chemistry research and professional contributions.”


 McGorrin received his B.S. in Chemistry from Northwestern University and earned both his master’s degree and Ph.D. in Organic/Medicinal Chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He then worked on the research and development teams at both Kraft Foods and Quaker Oats for more than 23 years.  His accomplishments include chemistry research in advanced chromatographic and spectroscopic methods to identify novel flavor compounds in Cheddar cheese, analysis of contaminants in foods and packaging, research in cheese lipid oxidation, and developing novel flavor systems for fat-free products.  At Kraft Foods, his research achievements were recognized with three Director’s Awards of Excellence for their direct impact on the quality and healthfulness of a variety of successful food products that many of us take for granted. 


With more than 161,000 members, ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and one of the world’s leading sources of authoritative scientific information. The 2014 ACS Fellows will be inducted at the 248th ACS National Meeting in San Francisco in August.


Click here for more information on the ACS Fellows program and a complete list of all previous honorees.