Food researcher Edwin Traisman dies at age 91

Edwin Traisman, food researcher and former program administrator at the UW Food Research Institute, died June 5 in Madison at the age of 91. Before coming to the UW-Madison, Traisman combined his food science and entrepreneurial skills for a successful career with McDonalds: He brought Madison its first McDonalds franchises and developed and patented the firm’s process for freezing french fries. His obituary from Madison newspapers follows:

Traisman, Edwin
MADISON – Edwin Traisman, age 91, a noted food researcher, died unexpectedly of heart disease on Tuesday, June 5, 2007. He was born in Chicago, Ill., on Nov. 25, 1915. Ed was the youngest of six children in a family whose parents had immigrated from Latvia. Ed was the only one to finish high school. He went on to graduate from the University of Illinois with a degree in chemistry. Ed had a long career in the food science industry starting with The American Maize Company and Stella Cheese. He became a director of food research at Kraft Foods where he was instrumental in developing new food products, including Cheez-Whiz and instant pudding. He received four patents for these developments. In 1957, Ed obtained the McDonald’s franchise for the Madison area which he expanded to five units. During this time, he developed and patented the company’s process for freezing french fries. In the mid 1970s, Ed sold the McDonald’s units to the parent corporation, and continued to serve as a consultant on new product development for many years. Returning to his passion for food research, he joined the University of Wisconsin Food Research Institute as senior research program director and acted as the liaison between the university staff and its corporate sponsors. Ed maintained involvement with the Food Research Institute (FRI) for the rest of his life, serving as editor of its quarterly newsletter. He finished editing the latest issue the week before his death. Ed was an avid fisherman, traveling around the world to pursue the sport with his family and friends. In 1979, he landed a 423-pound marlin in Australia. Ed is survived by his loving wife of 44 years, Dorothy; his five children, Claudia (William) Ward of Santa Rosa, Calif., Barbara Traisman of San Francisco, Calif., Steven (Choi) Traisman of San Francisco, Calif., Jenny Denise (Gene) Traisman-Waddell of McFarland, and Lisa Traisman of Monona; seven grandchildren, Douglas Ward, Jenna (Charles) Greene, Walker Edwin Waddell, Hunter Waddell, Forrest Waddell, Tyler Traisman and Hayden Traisman; and two great-grandchildren, Spencer and Julia Greene. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Elvi. A Memorial Service will be held at GUNDERSON EAST FUNERAL HOME, 5203 Monona Drive, at 1 p.m., on Sunday, June 10, 2007, with the Rev. Shirley Funk presiding. Visitation will be at the funeral home from noon until the time of the service on Sunday. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the University of Wisconsin Foundation/ Food Research Institute or to Attic Angel Association. Gunderson East Funeral and Cremation Centers 5203 Monona Drive (608) 221-5420