Max Milner, 88, a food and nutrition scientist who retired in 1984 as executive officer of the Bethesda-based American Society for Nutritional Sciences, died Jan. 16 at the Hospice of Washington. He had suffered a stroke Dec. 7.

For six years, Dr. Milner had been executive officer of the Society for Nutritional Sciences. Earlier, he had held a variety of food- and nutrition-related positions with the U.S. Agency for International Development, U.N. agencies and in academia.

The Chevy Chase resident was born in Edmonton, Alberta, and graduated from the University of Saskatchewan. He received a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Minnesota. In 1944, he became a U.S. citizen.

Early in his career, he was a research chemist for Pillsbury Mills in Minneapolis, where he specialized in the development of military field rations. Later, he was a professor of cereal food sciences at Kansas State University.

As a senior U.N. food technologist, he advised U.N. agencies on child nutrition and supervised projects in tropical countries. He was a consultant to the government of Israel in the upgrading of wheat imports and in cereal foods and industries.

From 1966 to 1968, he worked in Washington, where he initiated an AID nutrition program. Later, he served on AID advisory committees.

From 1975 to 1978, he was associate director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's International Nutrition Program. He then returned to the Washington area as executive officer of the American Society for Nutritional Sciences.

Dr. Milner organized and chaired several national and international symposiums on nutrition-related issues.

He was a member of the Cosmos Club and Congregation Beth El in Bethesda. His avocations included photography and gardening.

Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Elizabeth Banen Milner of Chevy Chase; two daughters, Ruth Smiler of New Bedford, Mass., and Marcia Milner-Brage of Cedar Falls, Iowa; a sister; three grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.