Women's Activism NYC

Soheila Maleki

By: ST | Date Added:

Soheila Maleki, a chemist at the Food Processing and Sensory Quality Research Unit in New Orleans, LA, was named a 2018 finalist for a Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal, which recognizes Federal employees for outstanding achievement in making our nation safer, stronger, and healthier. She was recognized for her pioneering research to improve the quality of life for millions of Americans who suffer from food allergies, particularly from peanuts. Maleki's groundbreaking research changed how people are tested for peanut allergies today and showed that food processing methods can also affect the allergic potential of food. The research findings Maleki co-authored on preempting peanut allergies in at-risk infants prompted the American Medical Association to revise its guidelines on managing and diagnosing food allergies. Maleki has been a member for the Scientific Advisory Council to the National Peanut Board (NPB), now called (NPB’s) Food Allergy Education and Advisory Council. She has served on this committee for 20 years. Maleki has contributed to the improvement of detection kits for food companies to assess cross contamination of allergens on product lines. Maleki’s research has helped characterize the very first food (peanut) to ever be developed as a pharmaceutical. In 2019, she served as a member of the Food and Drug Administration Allergen Product Advisory Panel on peanut allergen powder to help reduce allergic reactions to peanuts. Story by Nancy Vanatta, Information Specialist, USDA Agricultural Research Service in Research and Science

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