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Lloyd Muir Smith


Lloyd Muir Smith

Professor of Food Science and Technology, Emeritus

UC Davis

1917 – 2013


Professor Emeritus Lloyd Muir Smith, Ph.D., died on June 15, 2013 at the University Retirement Community in Davis, California. Dr. Smith was born on Feb. 20, 1917, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He earned his B.S. from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, before serving three years in the Royal Canadian Artillery during World War II. After the war, he returned to the University of Alberta for his M.S. degree. During this time, Lloyd met and married Edythe C. Dodds.


In 1950 the couple moved to Davis, where Lloyd, in 1953, completed studies for his Ph.D. at UC Davis with Professor Eugene Jack, then departmental head. At the time he was doing his research at UC Davis, while he was also teaching at the University of Alberta. To meet his teaching and research commitments in the three years to complete his degree, he and Edythe crossed the border 10 times. In 1954, Lloyd was invited to join the Department of Dairy Industry (now the Department of Food Science and Technology) at UC Davis. He had a long and distinguished career at UC Davis as a researcher, teacher, outreach educator, and graduate and undergraduate advisor. He joined the department during a period of expansion and intensification of scientific research and of the maturation of the academic programs and the waning and eventual disappearance of non-degree instruction. He was housed in the Dairy Industry Building which was renamed Roadhouse Hall in honor of Professor C. L. Roadhouse, an early chair of the department. In this environment, he thrived in education, research, and outreach.


Professor Smith made major contributions to the knowledge of milkfat composition and structure, and particularly of milk phospholipids. These studies revealed the detailed composition of milk lipids, the detailed structure of unsaturated fatty acids and location within the glyceride molecule of the individual fatty acids. He also applied his knowledge and research skills to other oil foods, including avocado where he answered questions on oil stability and variations in composition influenced by avocado variety. In his early career, he did outreach research on the composition of mammalian milks of animals in zoos. Zookeepers then were interested in formulating milks for mammalian babies that mimicked the natural composition of the nursing mother.


The Institute for Scientific Information recognized Professor Smith’s published paper on the preparation of fatty acid microphone methyl esters in the top 100 cited publications (of 60,000 publications) between 1961 to1978. Between these years the paper was cited more than 820 times by fellow scientists.


In the early 1960s Professor Smith offered several two-week short courses for the dairy food industry on analytical procedures to detect pesticides in foods, particularly milk products. This important educational contribution helped the dairy foods industry nationwide avoid issues of pesticide contamination in foods created by the accidental misuse of pesticides on the farms.


Professor Smith was very active with the California Dairy Industry Association (CDIA) for many years, helping them with their annual conference at Davis which included a very popular and educational milk and ice cream judging program. Through this judging program, Professor Smith was able to teach the California dairy foods industry personnel the need of producing dairy foods with consistent sensory properties. For many years, he served as departmental representative to CDIA. He was also a frequent speaker at dairy foods industry educational programs throughout the state.


In 1952 Professor Smith joined the American Oil Chemists' Society (AOCS), an international professional organization for those involved with the science and technology related to fats, oils, surfacants and other related materials. In the 1970s he became very involved with the national organization serving as a member and chair of some of their important committees and was elected to the Hall of Honor in 1982. He also was an officer of the local section of AOCS. In addition to AOCS, he was an active member of the American Dairy Science Association and the Institute of Food Technologists.


From the early 1960s through the early 1970s he served as the chair of the milk quality program for the college’s annual Agricultural Field Day for high school members of the Future Farmers of America and 4-H. His yeoman service allowed the students to learn more about dairy foods but also about UC Davis as a college.


Professor Smith was an enthusiastic faculty advisor for undergraduate and graduate students. Several of these students have commented that his guidance in designing their educational program in food science helped them obtain excellent first jobs and rewarding careers. Mentoring students in their academic subsequent food industry careers was of high importance to Professor Smith. He also enjoyed classroom teaching and was an engaging lecturer.


Lloyd and Edythe traveled extensively, with Lloyd having the opportunity to work in New Jersey (as a guest professor at Rutgers), New Zealand (as a Fulbright Scholar leading research on the poultry industry), and other sabbatical leaves including Australia and Brazil.


At the time of his death, Lloyd was survived by his sons, Michael and Douglas; daughter-in-law, Lisa Herstrom-Smith; and his granddaughters, Ashley, Lauren and Rachel; as well as his nieces and nephews in Canada. He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Edythe C. Smith, and daughter-in-law Elaine Besser Smith. His spirit and influence will long be remembered by his family and colleagues.


Everett Bandman
Christine Bruhn
John Bruhn
Gary Smith