We are saddened to report Alexander Astrack, founder of Astral Extracts Ltd., passed away April 18.
A decorated World War II veteran, Astrack began in the food industry after graduating from the New York Institute of Dietetics. Joining Electronized Chemical Corporation as assistant director of research, he authored many articles related to the ionizing radiation sterilization of foods, and his accomplishments were noted in Who’s Who in Science in 1947.
He next founded the Alexander Astrack Company, which supplied ingredients to the flavor and fragrance industry and where he made contributions in everything from extracting dried fruit to working with fruit juice. During the 1960s, he expanded the company to supply essential oils and fruit juice and citrus concentrates, and then in the 1970s, expanded again into coffee concentrates and special manufacturing ingredients.
Astrack was instrumental in introducing and marketing di-sodium Inosinate and di-sodium Guanylate, as well as mono sodium glutamate made in Japan, and helped introduce natural fish extracts into the American market. In 1965, he was awarded the Industry of Finance Medal by the Finance Minister of Japan for his work establishing Japanese ingredients in the U.S. flavor industry.
Following the sale of the Alexander Astrack company, he worked to found Astral Extracts in the late 1970s, becoming a source for basic manufacturing ingredients. He also served as president of the New York Institute of Food Technologists during 1967–68 and was a member of the board of directors of the local section from 1953–1975. Additionally, he acted as counselor of the National Institute of Food Technologists from 1962 to 1977 and was an active member of numerous industry organizations, including FEMA and the International Federation of Essential Oils and Aroma Trades.
Remaining dedicated to the industry throughout his life, Astrack was active both domestically and internationally until the age of 90. He made significant contributions to the flavor and fragrance marketplace that won’t soon be forgotten.
The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Genitourinary Oncology Service, c/o Dr. Susan Slovan, PO Box 27106, New York, NY 10087-7106.