This annual award recognizes outstanding research work in the areas of agrochemicals and food chemistry. Learn more about this year's awardees and read their winning research articles.

The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (JAFC) and the ACS Divisions of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (AGFD) and Agrochemicals (AGRO) are delighted to announce the winners of the 2024 Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry Research Article of the Year Award. Launched in 2013, this award annually recognizes outstanding research work in the areas of agrochemicals and food chemistry.

Congratulations to this year’s award recipients! The awards will be presented at ACS Fall 2024. Each award winner receives an honorarium, a plaque, and travel expenses to attend the ACS National Meeting to present their research.

Winner of the AGFD Division Research Article of the Year Award

This exceptional research article announces the replication of aromas and tastes of a conventional cup of coffee by roasting and brewing lab-grown coffee plant cell cultures. Sensory evaluation by trained taste-testers identified similar bitterness and sourness characteristics to conventional coffee, and the new brews had more roasted, burned sugar, and smokey aromas. This study demonstrates the viability of cellular agriculture as an alternative coffee production method, which can help overcome challenges in coffee production like land use, climate change and increased demand.

For further reading, check out the related Axial post surrounding this research:

Winner of the AGRO Division Research Article of the Year Award

Ethylicin (ET) is promising for controlling rice bacterial leaf blight caused by Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo). This outstanding research article reveals a detailed mechanism for the process, finding that ethylicin inhibits Xoo by increasing the content of defense enzymes and chlorophyll in rice. Proteomic analysis provided insight into ET's impact on the rice abscisic acid (ABA) signal pathway, activating calcium-dependent protein kinase 24 (OsCPK24). The authors identified OsCPK24 as a key mediator in rice resistance to Xoo, paving the way for the development of new bactericides leveraging OsCPK24.

Accepting the Research Article of the Year Award (AGFD Division) on behalf of all co-authors: Dr. rer. nat. Heiko Rischer

Headshot of Dr. rer. nat. Heiko Rischer
Dr. rer. nat. Heiko Rischer

Dr. rer. nat. Heiko Rischer is a Research Team Leader for Plant Biotechnology at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd. and an Adjunct Professor in Pharmaceutical Biology at the University of Helsinki. He is a Biologist with a Ph.D. in natural product chemistry, and he is particularly interested in the biosynthesis of plant secondary metabolites. He has expertise in plant cell and tissue culture methods, analysis of secondary metabolites including metabolic profiling, and biotechnological production, at industrial scales, of plant-based compounds and phytopharmaceuticals. His major current research interest is the use of plant cell cultures for sustainable food production (Cellular Agriculture). Learn more about Dr. rer. nat. Heiko Rischer from our recent interview below.

Accepting the Research Article of the Year Award (AGRO Division) on behalf of all co-authors: Dr. Runjiang Song

Headshot of Dr. Runjiang Song
Dr. Runjiang Song

Dr. Runjiang Song is a professor at the State Key Laboratory of Green Pesticide, Guizhou University (GZU, China). His research focuses on the development of green pesticides, including the design of new agrochemical structures derived from natural products, bioactivity screening, and the application of advanced molecular biology techniques to elucidate their mechanisms of action. He has identified pyruvate kinase as a potential new target against rice bacterial leaf blight and uncovered rice calcium-dependent protein kinase 24 as a target for inducing plant resistance to bacterial diseases. Learn more about Dr. Runjiang Song from our recent interview below.

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