UACES Facebook Kattan, 1st food science department head, dies at 91
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Kattan, 1st food science department head, dies at 91

By Fred Miller
U of A System Division of Agriculture 
Sept. 9, 2016

Fast Facts:

  • Dr. Ahmed Kattan, 91, of Fayetteville, died Sept. 3.
  • Kattan is credited with developing the food science curriculum at the University of Arkansas and served as first head of the food science department.
  • Kattan’s research in water management helped increase crop production for Arkansas fruit and vegetable growers.

EDITORS: Information for this story comes from A History of the Bumpers College and A Century of Research: A Centennial History of the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, both published by the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, as well as from Moore’s Chapel Funeral Home.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Ahmed A. Kattan, who was the first food science department head at the University of Arkansas, died Sept. 3 at age 91.

Kattan, born in Cairo, Egypt, in 1925, joined the University of Arkansas horticulture faculty in 1955 to conduct research for the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station and to teach in what became the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences. He designed a physiology and food processing laboratory in 1957 and spent the next 11 years developing an academic program in food science


The department of horticultural food science — now the department of food science — was created in 1968 and Kattan became its first department head, continuing in that post until he retired in 1988. He was instrumental in obtaining corporate support and business involvement that has helped build the food science program into a nationally esteemed research and academic program.

Kattan also conducted groundbreaking research for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, particularly in the area of water management for horticultural crops. His work helped increase yields significantly for Arkansas fruit and vegetable growers.

Kattan retired from the university in 1988 as a Distinguished Emeritus Professor and continued to live in Fayetteville. He had become a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1958.

He is preceded in death by his wife, Anna Grace Phillips Kattan in 2010. They met at the University of Maryland, where he earned his doctorate in horticulture in 1952 and where she worked as a secretary in the same department. They were married 59 years.

Funeral services for Kattan will be 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9, at the chapel in Fairview Memorial Gardens on Mission Boulevard in Fayetteville.


The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2126

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