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Joseph J. Speroni Named Penn State 2004 Alumni Fellow

Posted: November 21, 2008

Joseph J. Speroni

Joseph J. Speroni

Joseph J. Speroni, '79g AGR, '82 PhD, has been named an Alumni Fellow by the Penn State Alumni Association. Joe has recently become Vice President of Non Carbonated Beverages, Global Development and Integration for the Coca Cola Company in Atlanta, GA. Previously, he was Director of Agricultural, Food, and Quality Sciences for Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc. in Lakeville, MA.

At Ocean Spray he provided the scientific and managerial leadership to several functions, including quality, food safety, scientific regulatory affairs, chemistry, microbiology, general food science, basic health and nutrition research, and agriculture. His role was directed at the strategic policy level with responsibilities that include overseeing the entire process of cranberries moving from the farm to manufacturing, distribution, and ultimately on to the consumer.

Speroni is credited with leading Ocean Spray as the first juice company to participate with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) pilot program. HACCP is a Science-based approach to safely produce consumer food products. Under HACCP, manufacturers intensely study their production processes to determine the Critical Control Points where problems are most likely to occur and implement corrective interventions to prevent defects and minimize food safety risks.

While at Ocean Spray, his research focused on the health benefits of cranberries, particularly in the prevention of urinary tract infections and peptic ulcers. He was also involved with research at the National Institute of Health and several universities around the world to validate the health benefits of cranberries and increase desirable traits through processing, plant breeding, and other agricultural practices.

At Coca Cola, Joe is part of a team challenged to increase Coke's overall portfolio of refreshing and healthy, non-carbonated beverage products through global coordination, integration and commercialization of vigorous new product development efforts.

Speroni is a lifetime member of the Penn State Alumni Association, an Alumni admissions volunteer, and the 2001 Outstanding Alumnus of the College of Agricultural Sciences. He earned a bachelor's degree in Biology and Chemistry in 1975 from the State University of New York at Cortland.