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Dr Rod Mailer, of the Australian Oils Research Laboratory in Wagga Wagga has been given an American award in recognition of his work in the science and technology of edible oils.

Dr Mailer, who is the head of the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries’ chemical testing laboratory in Wagga Wagga, has been awarded the prestigious Timothy L Mounts Award by the American Oil Chemists Society (AOCS).

Dr Mailer oversees the commercial testing of olive oil in Australia and has been at the forefront in the research and lobbying for recognition of appropriate international chemical parameters for defining olive oils that respect different growing conditions around the world.

He has expressed favour for Australia developing its own descriptors in the sensory assessment of olive oils.

“We really do need some words that describe our oils and which could be submitted to the International Oil Council to widen the current definition,” he said.

Dr Mailer will be presented with the award at the AOCS meeting in Seattle in May.

The Timothy L Mounts Award, which is sponsored by Lonza, recognises research relating to the science and technology of edible oils which may be basic or applied in nature.

A pleased Dr Mailer said that it was great for an Australian research scientist to receive international recognition. He said the award would also enhance the growing reputation of the Wagga centre.

Dr Mailer was nominated for the award by Australian Olive Association president, Paul Miller and this was supported by sections of the oilseeds industry.