SPOTLIGHT - Federico M. Harte

Name: Federico M. Harte
Title:  Professor
Institution: Pennsylvania State University
Role with Journal of Dairy Science: Senior section editor for the Dairy Foods section

Can you tell us a bit about your background, and what your current research is focused on?
I graduated with a BS in agricultural engineering from the University of Uruguay and then pursued a PhD in biosystems engineering from Washington State University. I worked as consultant and as a faculty member at the University of Uruguay, then the University of Tennessee (Go Vols!), and currently in Department of Food Science at the Pennsylvania State University (We Are!). I teach dairy processing and food rheology, and my research focuses on food engineering and the effect of processing on the structure-function properties of milk proteins. Research in my laboratory centers on the use of casein proteins as building blocks to create ingredients with novel functionality.

What advice do you have for grad students or other early career scientists submitting their first manuscripts? What are common oversights you see?
Follow the guidelines when submitting your manuscript and DO NOT get offended by critical comments to your work. You do not have to agree with every comment made by the reviewers, but make sure to take each and every comment seriously. There are two important reasons for this: (1) each reviewer takes considerable time and effort to read your manuscript, and (2) the review process, albeit not perfect, is a keystone that keeps the path open to the buildup of scientific knowledge.

Why should authors publish in JDS?
Simply put, when it comes to dairy research there is no other journal as comprehensive as the Journal of Dairy Science. Contributions to the Journal of Dairy Science come from every corner of the world and range from milk genesis to the reaction by consumers in the grocery store. In every meeting of the editorial board, a central discussion focuses on revising and updating the journal’s sections to ensure that all relevant aspects of dairy are well represented in the Journal of Dairy Science.

What do you think are the biggest challenges currently facing the dairy industry, and how is JDS part of the solution?
The overall sustainability of the dairy enterprise continues to be challenged by the public. The Journal of Dairy Science is in a unique position to encourage research that (1) identifies and quantifies the relative impact of dairy on the environment, and (2) offers science-based solutions if sustainability challenges do exist.

When it comes to food products, consumers increasingly demand foods with clean labels (i.e., foods with few and familiar ingredients). The Journal of Dairy Science will continue to assist in the dissemination of research focused on novel dairy ingredients that can deliver both functionality and nutrition. There are plenty of components in milk that we still do not know how to use well!