William Vere Cruess
- March 13
) was an American food scientist
who pioneered the use of fruits
to produce fruit-juice beverages
, fruit-based concentrates and syrups. He was one of the first investigators in the United States
to use freezing storage for preservation of fruits and fruit products. Cruess's research also proved beneficial in the rebirth of the wine
industry in California after the repeal of Prohibition
A native of San Miguel, California
who grew up impoverished, he earned his B.S.
degree in chemistry
at the University of California, Berkeley
in 1911, then taught there from 1911 to 1954, even being chair of the Division of Fruit Products from 1938 to 1948. While at Berkeley, Cruess earned his PhD
at Stanford University
During his years at UC Berkeley
, Cruess co-founded the field of food science
, established the technology of fruit dehydration
, and came up with the mix that brought the “fruit cocktail
” into homes and restaurants
everywhere. In addition to inventing fruit cocktail, he introduced the Spanish olive
to food processing
and was responsible for apricot nectar. He was present at one of the first judgings of California
wines about 1936, and World War II
found him perfecting food packaging for the United States Army
. The UC Berkeley food science department which also developed prune juice was later transferred to the University of California, Davis
campus during WWII. During this time, he would move his research from Berkeley to Davis. He would also transfer his teaching skills to such future students including Emil M. Mrak
, Arthur I. Morgan, Jr., and Maynard A. Joslyn
Institute of Food Technologists service and awards
A charter member of the Institute of Food Technologists
(IFT) in 1939, Cruess founded the Northern California Section
and served as its first section chair
in 1940. In 1942, he became the first award winner for IFT when he won the Nicholas Appert Award
and also earned the Babcock-Hart Award
in 1955. He also served as IFT President in 1943-4 as well.
Other awards and honors
Cruess was also honored by the American Society for Enology and Viticulture
with its Merit Award in 1956. Cruess Hall
was dedicated to William V. Cruess in March 1960.
Death and legacy
Cruess died at age 82 in 1968. During his career, he also wrote over 400 articles on food technology
and wrote an additional 70 articles from his 1954 retirement to his 1968 death.
In 1970, IFT created the William V. Cruess Award in honor of his lifetime teaching skills that had great influence among others. The Cruess Award is awarded for excellence in teaching of food science and technology and is the only award in IFT in which students can nominate.
Cruess married Marie Gleason in 1917 and she was a constant companion through the remainder of his life.