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The hits keep on coming for one of the University of Manitoba’s longest-serving profs

By MYRON LOVE Over the course of a 55-year career teaching at  the University of Manitoba, Dr. Michael Eskin has accumulated an armful of accolades for his ground-breaking research in the development of  canola, as well as other edible oils. Over the years, the professor in the U of M’s Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences and Fellow of American Oil Chemists’ Society (AOCS), Institute of Food Technologists, Canadian Institute of Food Science and Technology  and the Institute of Food Science and Technology(UK), has  published over 250 research articles, book chapters, monographs, abstracts and several patents. He has published 18 books, including two on canola. He has also done extensive research on enzymes and gums as well as having developed a number of colorimetric methods, including one for phytate that is still used worldwide.
And, his work has not gone unrecognized by his colleague,s both at his university and in his field internationally.
Last year, the University of Manitoba conferred on him the title of Distinguished Professor, an honour that is only awarded to a maximum of three professors a year – and is limited to no more than 25 profs at any one time.
Over the years, Eskin – a native of Birmingham, England – has been inducted into the Order of Manitoba and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.  Last year, he also received the Institute of Food Technologists Lifetime Achievement Award.  He is the first Canadian recipient of this award – putting him in the company of a very distinguished group of scientists from around the world who have been recipients of the award.
Three years ago, he was honoured with the American Oil Chemists Society’s (AOCS) Supelco Award  for his research in fats, oils, lipid chemistry and biochemistry. The Supelco award is considered the world prize in lipid research.
The AOCS has recognized Eskin many times over the past 15 years with different awards and this time, he will receive the 2023 A.R Baldwin Distinguished Service Award for distinguished service to AOCS. This Award recognizes long-term, distinguished service to AOCS in a variety of positions of significant responsibility, and is the Society’s highest service award. It will be presented at the Annual Meeting in Denver later this year.
Eskin was  also awarded  the 2023 Canola Excellence Award by the Manitoba Canola Growers Association to be presented at their Annual Conference being held at the Victoria Inn in a couple of weeks’ time.
Now in his 81st year, Michael Eskin is still not quite ready to be put out to pasture.  He is still teaching one course at the university three times a week, as well as doing some guest lectures.  He is continuing with research. Most recently, in mid-January, he gave a presentation at an international trainees symposium in Agri-Food, Nutrition and Health at  the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine at St. Boniface Hospital on: “How to succeed in gradute studies without even crying.” From all reports, its humor and wisdom made it one of the highlights of the meeting.
 Michael has also just finished his latest “protein rap” recording and is just waiting for his musical son, Josh, to finalize it so that it can be turned into a video.

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