Dr. Padma Ishwarya, S. is presently an Institute Postdoctoral Fellow at the Polymer Engineering and Colloid Science Laboratory of the Department of Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras. Before joining IITM in March 2021, she was a SERB-National Postdoctoral Fellow at the Agro-processing and Technology Division of CSIR-National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (NIIST), Thiruvananthapuram. Padma is a passionate food technologist with rich experience in both the academia and food industry.

Dr. Padma Ishwarya, S. obtained her B.Tech in Food Technology from A. C. College of Technology, Anna University, Chennai. She pursued her M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Food Technology from CSIR-Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), Mysuru – a reputed and premier food research organization of the country. After her post-graduation, Padma worked with Nestle India Ltd., Nanjangud, as a Quality Assurance Officer and Finished Products Coordinator in the Coffee & Beverages division of the factory (2011-2013). She pursued her Ph.D. under the prestigious Prime Minister’s Fellowship Scheme for Doctoral Research (2014-2017), a PPP initiative of the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), Department of Science and Technology, Government of India and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). 

Padma’s doctoral research aimed at developing a solution to address the challenge of incorporating fibrous ingredients in bread formulation. She arrived at newer insights on the phenomena governing the volume development in leavened dough systems, through advanced microscopy and instrumental techniques. Padma was also successful in extending her research findings to develop an industry-relevant solution for boosting the fibre content in leavened baked goods without the addition of synthetic emulsifiers while obtaining the desired product volume. Padma’s research under the PM Fellowship Scheme was in collaboration with General Mills India Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai. Padma was also a recipient of the DST-INSPIRE Fellowship in the year 2012.

Padma’s research expertise is in the area of soft food materials with specific focus on food foams. She is experienced in conducting investigations on the microstructure of foods with advanced microscopy and image processing techniques, production and quality aspects of instant coffee, and development of functional baked products. During her tenure as doctoral candidate, Padma came up with the theory of ‘coalescence-mediated bubble growth’ during the bread-making process. Her postdoctoral work is the first comprehensive investigation on the foaming and anti-foaming behaviour of surfactant fractions isolated from spent coffee grounds. Padma is also well-versed in the area of quality and food safety management in food industry. After completing her Ph.D., she worked as a Quality Control & Product Development Onsite-Consultant (2017-2018) for Nectar Fresh Pure Honey & Food Products, Mandya, Karnataka. 

To her credit, Dr. Padma has over 25 impactful publications in reputed international journals with an average impact factor of 7.1, 1 authored book, 2 co-authored books, 10 book chapters, and one Indian patent (applied). She is the first author for most of her publications. Four of her publications have featured in the ScienceDirect Top 25 List of ‘Most downloaded articles’ (2014-2015) and ‘Top downloaded paper 2018-2019’ of Wiley.  The books co-authored by her were published by coveted publishers such as the Wiley-IFT Press and CRC Press. She has also presented her research work in various National and International conferences and won 3 best poster awards. Notably, in 2016, her research paper was selected for oral presentation at the “18th World Congress of Food Science and Technology – IUFoST 2016”, held in Dublin, Ireland.

Dr. Padma is the recipient of several awards and recognitions. She received the ‘Young Scientist Award 2018’, instituted by the Association of Food Scientists & Technologists (India). Recently, in 2020, her popular science story won the AWSAR award, an initiative conceptualized & supported by the National Council for Science & Technology Communication (NCSTC) Division, Department of Science and Technology (DST) and coordinated by Vigyan Prasar, an autonomous institute of DST. During her tenure as a postgraduate student (2009-2011), Padma was the recipient of several awards and scholarships, including the Food Ingredient Specialties Scholarship, Federation of Biscuit Manufacturers of India Scholarship and the Ranganna Setty Award for best dissertation thesis, instituted by the CSIR-CFTRI Alumni Association. In recognition of her distinguished academic record, she was bestowed with the AFST(I)’s Best Student Award in 2011. In 2012, she was awarded the “Association of Food Scientists and Technologists (I) Gold Medal,” by the University of Mysore for securing the highest marks in the examinations of M.Sc., Food Technology Course. In the same year, she was conferred upon with four gold medals instituted by CSIR-CFTRI, Mysuru, for securing the highest CGPA and aggregate marks in M.Sc. Food Technology. In 2012, the management of Nestle India Ltd. bestowed her with the “Best Technical Trainee Award – Most Dependable.”

Professional Affiliations

  • Member of the “Smart Proteins – Sectorial Expert Committee on Biomanufacturing” constituted by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India.
  • “Subject Matter Expert” in Food Processing including safety & Millets Processing for value added products, Food Industry Capacity and Skill Initiative (FICSI), New Delhi
  • Review Editor, Editorial Board of Food Chemistry, A specialty section of Frontiers in Chemistry and Frontiers in Nutrition
  • Reviewer, Industrial Crops and Products, Elsevier Publishing
  • Reviewer, International Journal of Food Engineering, De Gruyter, Germany
  • Reviewer, Gels, MDPI
  • Reviewer, International Journal of Food Science, Hindawi
  • Reviewer, Journal of Food Quality, Hindawi
  • Reviewer, Journal of Texture Studies, Wiley
  • Reviewer, Quality Assurance and Safety of Crops & Foods, Codon Publications
  • Member of the Association of Food Scientists & Technologists (India) (AFSTI)
  • Life Member of the A C Tech Alumni Association, Alagappa College of Technology, Anna University; Reference no. 10/2021-22