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Princeton ACS section meeting May 13, 2020

06 May 2020 11:32 PM | Dr. Keith D. Wing (Administrator)

Meeting of the Princeton ACS Section (

Wednesday, May 13, 2020 - “GoToMeeting”

6:30 PM – 8:00 PM 

6:30 PM - Dr. Niny Rao, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Thomas Jefferson University

“Chemistry in Your Cup – Chemical Characteristics of Cold Brew Coffee”

Abstract: Both small and large commercial coffee brewers have recently begun offering cold-brew coffee drinks to customers with claims that these cold-water extracts contain fewer bitter acids, due to brewing conditions, while still retaining the flavor profile. Dunkin Donuts’ website suggests that the cold-water and long brewing times allow the coffee to reach “... its purest form.” With very little research existent on the chemistry of cold- brew coffee, consumers are left to the marketing strategies of Starbucks and other companies regarding the contents of cold-brew coffee. Our goal is to provide some scientific information about this new coffee trend. The present research employs a simple French press style set-up to brew both cold brew and hot brew coffee. We varied the brewing time, origin of beans, and degree of roast to understand how these parameters affect the acidity, antioxidant activity, as well as the concentration of caffeine of the coffee brew.

Biography: Dr. Niny Rao is an Associate Professor of Chemistry and the Director of Chemistry and Biochemistry Program at Thomas Jefferson University, College of Life Sciences. She received her bachelor degree in chemical engineering from the Cooper Union and went on to pursuit a PhD in physical chemistry at Florida State University. A computational chemist by training, her past research interests spanned from small inorganic ion clusters to protein-lipid bilayer complex. As an enthusiast of artisanal food and beverages, Dr. Rao has expanded her research into the field of food science, such as chemistry of cold brew coffee.

7:00PM - Dr. William K. HallmanProfessor & Chair of the Department of Human Ecology, Rutgers University

 “Communicating about Science, Risk, and Health in an Era of Virally Disseminated Nonsense”

Abstract: Most of our lifelong learning about science occurs informally, outside of a classroom, and often on the Internet. In this presentation, I will use examples drawn from food, health, and the environment to talk about virally disseminated misinformation, how to communicate with others about science, and why presenting scientific facts alone typically isn’t enough to persuade people to change their minds or their behaviors.

Biography: Dr. William K. Hallman is a Professor and the Chair of the Department of Human Ecology at Rutgers University and is a Distinguished Research Fellow at the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. An experimental psychologist with expertise in science and risk communication, he has written extensively about numerous issues concerning health, food, technology, and the environment. These include studies of public perception, communication, and behavior change strategies involving infectious and non-communicable diseases, unexplained symptom syndromes, food safety and food insecurity, preventive health behaviors, environmental contaminants, climate adaptation and mitigation, responses to natural and technological disasters, and new food technologies including genetic modification, gene editing, nanotechnology, animal cloning, and the development of cell-based meats and seafood.

Dr. Hallman has served as the Director of the Rutgers Food Policy Institute and as Chair of the FDA’s Risk Communication Advisory Committee. He currently serves as a member of several committees of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, including the Advisory Committee for the Academies’ Climate Communications Initiative and the Standing Committee on Advancing Science Communication Research and Practice. He authored the Climate Communications Initiative Strategic Plan, as well as the National Academies’ consensus report: Communicating Science Effectively, A Research Agenda, which has been downloaded more than 32,000 times. He also coauthored the Risk Communication Applied to Food Safety Handbook, published jointly by the FAO and WHO.

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