David D. Brooks, Roberto Berbesi, Allan S. Hodgson

David D. Brooks

brooks-photo.jpg David D. Brooks is currently employed as Chief Research Scientist for Oil-Dri Corporation of America and, with 34 years of work experience, is knowledgeable in many facets of the vegetable oil industry. He holds both a Bachelor and Master of Science degree from Bradley University (Peoria, Illinois).

In his early years, Dave worked in the area of analytical methods development for biodiesel and lipid oxidation research for USDA, National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, Peoria, Illinois. In his current job he is accountable for basic research, product development and (lab & plant scale) technical support for Oil-Dri adsorbents which are employed for purifying various oleochemical fluid product streams.

David, as guest speaker, has shared his expertise and insights, specifically in the area of bleaching & purification of lipid-based products, in numerous lectures and short courses organized through the AOCS, LAOCS, OFI and Texas A & M.


Roberto Berbesi


Roberto received his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering in 1990 from Universidad del Valle in Cali, Colombia, and his Master’s Degree in Engineering in 1994 from Universidad Javeriana in Cali, Colombia. He worked from 1990 to 2001 as a Process Engineer and Manager at Lloreda SA in Colombia, were he learned to process different vegetable oils, such as, Soybean, Sunflower, Palm, and Cottonseed. In 2001, he joined Oil Dri Corporation of America as their Technical Service Engineer for the Americas and in 2008 was promoted to Technical and Commercial Manager for Latin-American & ASIA business.

His areas of expertise are in the area of processing, but he also has some expertise in the oleo-chemical and analytical side of processing vegetable oils. He is very knowledgeable about palm oil and bleaching in general.

Roberto served as president of the AOCS Latin-American Section between 2010 and 2012, and in October 2011 he served as General Chair for the XIV AOCS Latin American Congress and Exhibition on Fats and Oils in Cartagena, Colombia. He has helped with the Processing Division and has been heavily involved with the Latin American Section since 2001.


Allan S. Hodgson


Dr Allan Hodgson retired from the position of Chief Scientist for Bunge Ltd, a global agribusiness company and has over 30 years experience in the field of Process Improvement in the oils and fats industry. Educated at the University of London, UK, the Food Industry has been the venue for most of Allan’s career and has provided the challenge for engineering excellence with broad principles focused on a very specific group of products, particulary oils and fats. This has required the strongest chemical engineering skills to bring highly variable raw materials processed to consistent high quality products.

Allan has experience in all aspects of research and Innovation from basic research, applied research, process development, manufacturing, engineering, process improvement, process intensification and innovation.