Tharp's Food Technology
Tharp's Food Technology
Services have been provided on six continents
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Bruce W. Tharp
B.S., M.S., Ph.D. Dairy Science, Penn State.

Bruce Tharp lecturing at the Germantown Asia Pacific ice cream courseBruce Tharp has a lifetime involvement with the dairy and ice cream industry globally. He has an uncommon depth of experience through exposure to a diversity of processing systems, product lines and innovative concepts.

From early experience in the family ice cream business - Tharp's Ice Cream, in Shamokin, PA - Bruce went on to complete three academic degrees in Dairy Science at Penn State. Along the way, he served as a commissioned officer during the Korean War on board the USS Goodrich (DDR 831), a destroyer in the Navy's Atlantic Fleet. On active duty he rose to the position of Operations Officer. He continued his service as an inactive reserve officer, achieving the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

After teaching and research service on the faculties of The University of Wyoming and The Ohio State University, for the next 35 years he managed the technical affairs of two major suppliers of high-tech ice cream and dairy product ingredients. Most recently he was International Technical Director for Germantown International Limited.

He has achieved international recognition for his technical expertise and insights, and is an enthusiastic and authoritative lecturer at short courses, seminars, workshops and technical conferences around the world.


Bruce is presented with the IICA Lifetime Achievement Award
Bruce was the very proud inaugural recipient of the International Ice Cream Association Lifetime Achievement Award, presented at a dinner by the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) on March 1, 2006. A plaque was presented by Cary Frye of IDFA, and speakers included Doug Goff, University of Guelph, long-time friend and colleague Bruce Poulterer, and Bob Roberts, Penn State University. The citation reads:

"Dr Bruce W. Tharp is hereby recognized for a lifetime achievement for his dedication to research, education and providing technical support to the ice cream industry by the International Ice Cream Association and the International Dairy Foods Association.
Bruce, your commitment to excellence, your strong leadership and your enthusiasm have contributed greatly to the ice cream industry worldwide. The ice cream industry is fortunate to have you share your tremendous technical expertise and insights acquired over a lifetime of hard work.
We thank you for your dedication and your friendship.

International Ice Cream Association
International Dairy Foods Association
March 1, 2006."

Photo (left to right): Bruce Poulterer, Meg Campbell Tharp, Bruce Tharp, Doug Goff, Cary Frye.

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IICA Life Time Achievement Award
IICA Lifetime Achievement Award


Graduate research:
M.S. (development of a technique for recovering and studying the unfrozen phase of ice cream).
Ph.D. (identified previously unreported compounds that contribute to the flavor deterioration of milk fat and demonstrated the effectiveness of steam deodorization in producing a milk fat with useful flavor stability under ambient storage conditions).
Dairy/Food Science faculty member at the University of Wyoming, and later at Ohio State University (coach of dairy products judging team).
Member of the advisory board for the establishment of the Arbuckle Chair of Ice Cream Research at the University of Missouri.
Adjunct Professor of Food Science, Penn State University.
Recipient of the annual Technical Merit Award from the Association for Dressings and Sauces in 1994; served two three-year terms as a member of the Association's Executive Technical Board (there's more to life than ice cream!)

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My lifelong enchantment with the complexities of ice cream began in the family business –Tharp's Ice Cream – in Shamokin, PA. The succession above shows the evolution of the Tharp's logo from one lifted from a 1920s 2-oz Dixie cup, on the left, to a "modernized" one that came on in the 30s. That one lasted until it was phased out after a merger in the late 50s, while I was in graduate school at Penn State.


Provided technical service to a broad and diverse range of dairy and ice cream companies around the world that included product development, quality assurance, problem-solving/trouble-shooting, sensory evaluation and company-focused ice cream educational programs.
Development of sophisticated methods for the generation and interpretation of objective data regarding the infrastructure of frozen desserts, as well as their behavior at the freezer and during hardening, distribution and melting.
Conception and development of computer programs, including those for the calculation of the amount of frozen water in frozen desserts at various temperatures, and the application and interpretation of the data so generated in product development, problem solving, quality assurance and evaluating the effects of compositional change.
Development of format and techniques for ice cream product clinics in a variety of venues.
Presentations of papers at technical/scientific venues on six continents, including:

invited lecturer at the respected annual Inter-Ice conference in Germany for eleven consecutive years,
invited presentation at the first International Ice Cream Symposium presented by the International Dairy Federation in Athens in September, 1997,
presenting the keynote address at the Propak Thailand 99 Conference in June of 1999.

Participated in the organization of the Second International Symposium on Ice Cream held in Thessaloniki, Greece in May 2003, under the sponsorship of the International Dairy Federation. He served as Co-Chairman of the Symposium Program Committee with Dr. H. Douglas Goff of the University of Guelph. At the conference he presented a paper entitled "An overview of new ice cream ingredient technologies." Subsequently, he and Dr. Goff served as Co-Editors of the Symposium Proceedings: "Ice Cream II. Special Issue 0401. IDF, Brussels".
Information on obtaining copies of this book, which contains a broad range of excellent papers on ice cream, can be obtained via email to: or by contacting International Dairy Federation at Diamant Building, Boulevard Auguste Reyers 80, 1030 Brussels, Belgium. Tel : +322 733 9888 - Fax : +322 733 0413.
Participated annually since 1997 as a discussion leader and/or lecturer at the annual Ice Cream Technology Conference presented by the International Ice Cream Association. Was presented with the association's first Lifetime Achievement Award at the March, 2006 conference (see above).
Contributor of well over 150 technical articles to trade journals. That includes a quarterly technical column on ice cream in Dairy Foods with co-author Dr. Steven Young, and the regular contribution of technical papers to a Brazilian ice cream trade journal, - "Sorvetes & Casquinhas", published quarterly by Insumos Ltda., in Sao Paulo, Brazil, For information, contact the executive editor, Michael A. Wankenne at or visit

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In 1997 my sentimental side prompted me to adapt the logo that I remembered for my new business. The use of the ice cream cone to replace the apostrophe signifies my intention to continue my fascination with ice cream by focusing my activities there.

Tharp's Food Technology

Training & Judging:
Lectured at every academic ice cream short course presented in the USA.
Penn State ice cream short course, a principal lecturer for over 35 years.
University of Wisconsin, University of California (Davis), California Polytechnic University, Rutgers, University of Maryland, and Utah State when offered.

Official judge for the Intercollegiate Dairy Products Evaluation Contest Official judge for the Intercollegiate Dairy Products Evaluation Contest for thirty - five years, first for milk and later appointed chief ice cream judge. His service was recognized with the presentation of a Special Recognition Award in October 2005.

Instituted, developed and major lecturer at the week-long Germantown Asia Pacific ice cream course (presented in cooperation with Penn State University), held every eighteen months in Australia between 1988 and 2002.

For Germantown, created, developed and served as the featured presenter in a versatile and highly respected technical outreach program providing customized training in ice cream science and technology over a wide range of subjects, audiences and venues. Over sixty one- or two-day ice cream workshops presented in the USA and abroad.

Co-organizer/presenter of the commercial short course Tharp & Young "On Ice Cream" presented annually in the USA. (See The course has also been held in Mexico City and Singapore.

Co-presenter of an ice cream technical seminar in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, sponsored by the U. S. Dairy Export Council.

1 to 3-day workshops for major ice cream companies in the Philippines, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand and Thailand.

Presentation of on-site training in ice cream technology has included ten one-and two- day ice cream programs for major domestic and international ice cream manufacturers, six regional two-day offerings for a multi-plant company with a total attendance of about 200 and two one-day courses at Oregon State University.

Lecturer on ice cream sensory evaluation at the Smithsonian Institution.

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Special Recognition Award from the Collegiate Dairy Products Evaluation Contest - 30 years of service.

Tharp and Young On Ice Cream