Why did you choose the Food Science Program at Texas A&M?
Texas A&M University thrives on a core agricultural and emerging science curriculum that makes it very attractive for any student seeking a rich learning and research experience. My choice of the food science program at Texas A&M was based primarily on the depth and width of the curriculum and faculty research; which spans from traditional agricultural research, such as breeding and agronomy, to modern cutting edge science in microbiology, molecular and cell biology and nanotechnology. During my time here, I have grown to love the interdisciplinary approach to learning and research used which has prepared and equipped me with unique knowledge and skill sets required by academia and the food industry.
What is the subject of your dissertation research?
Dissertation Title: “Mechanisms of starch-tannin interactions and their impact on in-vitro starch digestibility”
My research focuses on mechanisms to alter starch digestibility in food using tannins, to improve nutrition and health. Starch is the primary dietary source of energy/calories in human diet, thus its digestibility has important nutritional consequences. Understanding how various minor food components (tannins) impact starch digestibility is highly relevant to food and nutrition security; this can lead to the development of foods that meet the nutritional and energy/caloric needs of various groups.
Why would you recommend the Department of Nutrition and Food Science?
I have particularly enjoyed the learning opportunities provided by the department and my academic advisory committee to ensure my academic and professional success. Indeed, the department faculty genuinely supports and cares about my success and growth. Among other things, I have received useful mentoring that has helped me clarify my career goals during my study here. The department has also supported and given me opportunities to build my professional credentials through student leadership, conferences, student competitions and an industrial internship.
How has the department prepared you for your future career?
The knowledge and skill set I have obtained during my study has made me a more rounded food scientist. I have a clear understanding and expertise in my research specialty in starch chemistry, as well as a commendable understanding of other areas of research in food science. I believe I have received a rich food science training coupled with excellent leadership and interpersonal skills, which gives me a lot of confidence in my future and my potential to succeed in a career in food product development.