August 28, 2012

New Certification Program for Food Scientists by IFT

IFT Launches New Certification Program for Food Scientists
New Certified Food Scientist Program Formally Recognizes Applied Knowledge and Skills

The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) announced the new Certified Food Scientist (CFS) credential – a new way to recognize food scientists.
Through this program, the food science profession will have a formal certification program to recognize the applied scientific knowledge and skills of food scientists.


The CFS credential will:
  • Demonstrate the professions’ commitment to safe and quality foods for consumers;
  • Promote lifelong learning and complements both academic learning and work experience;
  • Provide food scientists with a way to demonstrate their applied professional skills and knowledge through a third party, independent assessment tool;
  • Help employers and practitioners identify individuals with certain knowledge and skills;
  • Raise the visibility and credibility of the food science profession through a certification program; and
  • Build a foundation for ethical standards moving forward that will benefit the entire profession.

Requirements for Candidates?

To become a Certified Food Scientist, a food professional must complete an application and meet certain eligibility requirements. These include one of the following:
  • MS or Doctorate in food science, food science concentration or global equivalent + 2 years full-time food science experience
  • BS in food science, food science concentration or global equivalent + 3 years full-time food science experience
  • MS or Doctorate in related science or global equivalent + 4 years full-time food science experience
  • BS in related science or global equivalent + 6 years of full-time food science experience
The exam is comprised of 100 multiple choice questions in the following content areas:
  • Product Development
  • Quality Assurance and Quality Control
  • Food Chemistry and Food Analysis
  • Regulatory
  • Food Microbiology
  • Food Safety
  • Food Engineering
  • Sensory Evaluation and Consumer Testing
The questions are scenario-based items that:
  • Present a problem situation.
  • Ask the test taker to consider all of the available information in the item.
  • Ask the test taker to select a response that is the best based on the intended response to the conditions and the information provided.
To view a sample question, please click here.  Additional sample questions and the exam content outline are in the Candidate Handbook.


The CFS certification exam will be offered at more than 250 global testing centers. The first testing

opportunity will take place in February of 2013.

For a limited time, food scientists with at least a Bachelor’s of Science Degree (in food science, food science concentration or a related science) and at least 15 years of full-time experience post-bachelor degree are eligible to apply for certification under the One Time Alternative Assessment program. This opportunity is available through January 18, 2013.

For more details on the CFS program, including eligibility, exam fees and how to apply, please visit

Is it required for Food Scientists in the MENA  region?

The new Certified Food Scientist (CFS) credential is also preferred for everyone residing in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, all middle eastern and GCC countries..etc 

There are centers in each country for doing the test. All details found in the handbook

About IFT

For more than 70 years, IFT has existed to advance the science of food. Our nonprofit scientific society—more than 18,000 members from more than 100 countries—brings together food scientists, technologists and related professions from academia, government, and industry. For more information, please visit


Institute of Food Technologists
Mindy Weinstein, 312.604.0231

August 18, 2012

Happy Eid عيد مبارك

Blessed Wishes from Pearl's Powder....

May the flavors of this blessed month, be tasted throughout the year...

August 13, 2012

Homemade Fajita

Fajita is referred to the type of cut meat." Skirt Steak". And Faja refers in spanish as " the belt".

It was recent, in the  late 1970, that this dish appeared in American cuisine. A dish which was labeled as humble and for cowboys, as a dish from throwaway steak cut, made its way to be a menu star dish!

The historical story described  "the cut of meat, the cooking style (directly on a campfire or on a grill), and the Spanish nickname going back as far as the 1930s in the ranch lands of South and West Texas. During cattle roundups, beef were butchered regularly to feed the hands. Throwaway items such as the hide, the head, the entrails, and meat trimmings such as skirt were given to the Mexican vaqueros (cowboys) as part of their pay.

Considering the limited number of skirts per carcass and the fact the meat wasn't available commercially, the fajita tradition remained regional and relatively obscure for many years, probably only familiar to the cowboys, butchers, and their families."

Later it became popular in Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants and eventually introduced in almost all American cuisine restaurants.

In many restaurants, the fajita meat is brought to the table sizzling loudly on a metal platter or skillet, with the tortillas and condiments served on the side.( More on the story Austin Chronicles)...

My love for Fajita , pushed me to try to cook it at home !  It is a very quick and easy dish!

Here is the recipe :

Prepare the Spices as below, you can also add chili if you dont mind the hot taste!

Cutting the boneless chicken (half into small stripes and then sauting it with the spices in a plastic bag. Leave for 2 hours in the fridge:

Cut Assorted Green, Red and Yellow Peppers... the same way as the chicken or meat:

In a pan cook the chicken first , when it becomes cooked enough add the cut peppers and onion. That way they remain firm !

Add the condiments on the side: Avocado sauce and  Sourcream ( as seen below) !

Gaucamole: One avocado, quarter chopped onion, salt, and lemon juice ( to the green color getting dark) . You may also add cilantro.

Fajita in Tortilla Bread! 

Serving: 6 fajita rolls

Bon Apetite!

August 4, 2012

Pearl's Powder on "Be7ke" Youtube Show.

This Ramadan 2012, Be7ke released its second season!

“Be7ke?” which  is the fi­rst global Ramadan web-series,  features inspirational three-minute episodes that are released online everyday throughout Ramadan.

One episodes was featuring me  to talk about the culture of food that entails that people to  love their food and eat moderately and consciously. As a food expert, I stressed the fact that a whole food system, that protects consumer's health, should be mutually and ethically reinforced: from the farm to the plate.
Watch this 3 min episode. English Subtitles are available when pressing the CC button

August 1, 2012

My Graduation Piece

Commencement Exercises in 1930 ( ( Tamir Nassar Albums)
This was my last article submitted to AUB's students official newspaper on campus : AUB OUTLOOK, issue 24, Volume 24.
I had been planning to write this weeks before submissions but couldnt. I wrote it in 30 minutes. So it might not be  a good graduation piece but it does reflect my emotions when I graduated as a Master's candidate in Food Technology, my passion and my career.

“Root and Flow”
Loulwa Kalache, Staff Writer

How could you write about a 6 years life experience in 300 words? I would write a whole book about these life shifting events that I have experienced in AUB.

This article is not for people who graduated but for people who still didn’t .Nothing is more beautiful than fighting for your grades, working hard on your projects and never missing classes. Nothing is more memorable than making Jafet your studying area and “over-nighting” on campus benches when Jafet closes. Or maybe just pretend that you are studying and end up doing crazy things with your friends. Indeed, they always say these days won’t come back, but these are the days that will enable other beautiful days to come.
Chemistry Lecture Hall ( Notice no women in the class! Great Improvement 80 years later in the sciences' field
( Tamir Nassar Albums)

 If I would advise those are still in AUB, I’d tell them not to miss their chances in participating in all the wonderful events. So, plant a tree, become an active member of a club that represents you or maybe that doesn’t, have fun in Outdoors, write in Outlook,  volunteer in the commencement exercises and sign up for the yoga classes in Hostler. Remember though don’t make your interests absolute. Twist them to bring winds of change in your life.
West Hall in 1933, Still the same 80 years later!( Tamir Nassar Albums)

Even your goals are not immutable. You will realize that the dreams you will achieve are not actually the ones that you dreamt of or planned for.

I wanted to do my graduate studies in USA but I ended up I spending three  extra  years in AUB for my masters, and I worked in two different departments .If I were in USA, I would not have become so fond of AUB, or Beirut, or even of my own country Lebanon.

AUB taught me how to be lenient, to be open, and at the same time to be determined of the values that I was raised on. AUB didn’t make me lose my identity but rather built it up and allowed me express it freely. It was on this campus that I got inspiration, chose the proper guidance and built my passion list. It was on this campus; I wore my hijab and found peace with God.

American University of Beirut Chapel, now Assembly Hall ( Tamir Nassar Albums)

The world has to know that AUB nurtures our diverse identities to make them blossom beautifully so that the whole world can see them.

“ I root but I flow” is the motto that I will associate to AUB , just like those 100 years aged trees on the campus, they are rooted but are flowing with their current surroundings, events and people. And this how an AUB graduates is “we root, but we flow”.
The Famous Banyan Tree on West Hall (  Tamir Nassar Albums)
 **Tamir Nassar Albums from American University of Beirut  website,  SAAB Medical Library Archives 

The albums contain photographs from anthropological field trips in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan by faculty and staff from the American University of Beirut in the 1920's and 30's. They were collected by Tamir Nassar who participated on the trips and who also added a few personal photographs over the years.

"Barriga llena, corazón contento "

 The Spanish title says : When the belly is full, the heart is happy

None said it better than the spanish! And trying their food was a prove for this!
But, wait, I really didn't go to Spain. But when you can't go to Spain, eat spanish food! Food does convey the culture of a country, the habits of the people and the inside culture!

I had the chance to apply this motto when I was invited to Phoenicia's Hotel Mosaic restaurant for Spanish week last May !
The food I had in Mosaic proved how much Spain is a melting pot, a pot that diffused a dynamic and gastronomic heritage.