Last July, Anderson University senior Melissa Carlson attended a food technologies conference in Chicago, Ill. Carlson’s trip was funded by the Center for Public Service to help her make useful contacts in the food science industry and gain advice about how to best prepare for a future in food science. “I expected to get a taste of what food science is all about,” said Carlson, “to gain helpful knowledge about the field, and to acquaint myself with the industry and the requirements necessary to enter it.”
At the conference, Carlson attended the International Food Conference Undergraduate Oral Research Competition, the undergraduate oral competition in developing solutions for developing nations and several IFT presentations. Some topics related to food chemistry were: the health benefits of coffee, modeling digestion in vitro, in vivo and in silica, the health applications of botanicals, microbiological testing and food processing engineering. She also attended the Food Exposition, where companies from all around the world offered samples of food products on the cutting-edge of food science research. [Photo on left: Melissa Carlson at the Museum of Science and Industry with the periodic table on her CPS trip.]
Carlson also attended a short course called Recent Advances in the Development of Grain-Based Products Promoting Health. There, eight different professionals gave presentations about background information and current research in the field. The course helped familiarize her with some of the vocabulary used in the food science world, particularly that which relates to research of grain-based food products. She learned of the current challenges faced by researchers and companies working with whole grains and the most current research regarding the use of whole grains in food products.
Beside the Food Expo was an area for poster sessions. Carlson attended two. “I met countless grad students and professors who gave me information about their graduate programs. I talked to them about what graduate school is like, about the personalities and leadership styles of the professors they worked for and about the types of research they are able to work on as graduate students,” she said.
Being able to go to the conference and become acquainted with the industry was very helpful for Carlson in considering whether she would be interested in pursuing Food Science as a career. It also provided her with key connections to universities she is considering attending for grad school. “I am very glad to have gone to this conference and would certainly recommend it for anyone who is considering entering the food science or nutrition industry.”
— Rebekah Shirar is a senior from Darlington, Ind., majoring in communication arts and minoring in history. Shirar is an associate with Fifth Street Communications™, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2010, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the seventh consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.