I am from India and I want to become a food scientist. I’ve always focused my energy on learning and developing myself through academics, sports, cultural and extracurricular activities. I have studied B. Tech in Food Technology at Amity University Rajasthan, India where I underwent 4 years of extensive theoretical and practical courses out of which my favourite courses were Food Product Development (FPD), Processing of Milk and Milk Products, Engineering Properties of Food Materials and Food Equipment and Plant Design.
I am currently working under the esteemed guidance of my supervisor Dr. Mario M. Martinez on a project to develop ‘Vegan meat/ Meat Analogs’ with plant-based proteins using high moisture extrusion engineering. This project will show a revolutionary approach to the manufacture of vegan protein products, where the formation of actual plant protein fibers will be induced. Using different fibrous structures we wish to produce beef-like, chicken-like and fish-like “tissues”, which can be further supplemented with specific flavours for meat replication. People should be excited about this project as it is of paramount importance for saving the environment, livestock, and health of meat consumers. According to FAO, the livestock sector is one of the major stressors of the planet. In November 2017, 15,364 world scientists signed a Warning to Humanity calling for, among other recommendations, drastically diminishing global per capita consumption of meat and animal-derived foods. Unfortunately, most consumers enjoy the texture of meat and many are disappointed with traditional plant-based protein products, such as tofu, since they are colloidal aggregates that fracture and break apart easily under stress. This project addresses specifically the textural shortcomings of plant protein products. By using extrusion technology, high quality and desirable meat derivative “Vegan Meat” can be developed using plant protein and in time it would help tackle the food demands of the growing world population and at the same time would help save the environment by significantly bringing the carbon footprint down by gradually revolutionizing the overexploited meat industry which has a huge negative impact on the environment and water consumption.
The University of Guelph is one of the top Food (research) universities in Canada and stands 18th in the world for food science and technology. More importantly, I chose U of G for the unique research opportunities, world-class cutting-edge research, and unique learning environment.
With the HQP scholarship program, I look forward to learning from real-world problems and challenges. It will be a great opportunity to be involved with the industry and research sectors to learn and gain experience and at the same time apply myself to the problems for innovative outcomes and results. The experience gained through this program will help me immensely in my future goal of pursuing a Ph.D. in the field of Food Science and Technology, where I would have first-hand experience in identifying and dealing with problems while discovering innovative and efficient solutions. In the long run, I aspire to pursue a post-doctoral position after my Ph.D. and see myself working with a non-profit organization such as WHO, such that I can be involved in vibrant and well-designed healthcare programs and policies to provide a healthy life to all.
The project is on track with its timeline. We are currently analyzing various plant proteins and soon will begin with the actual manufacturing of various meat analogs.