2016 Winners of the University of Guelph GFTC Legacy Fund Awards

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Congratulations to our winners of the 2016 GFTC Legacy Fund awards


Jessey Cowell

MSc Food Science student
Advisory Committee - Prof. Loong-Tak Lim, Prof. Lisa Duizer

BSc Honours Biological Science at University of Guelph

My research interest is coffee and associated packaging systems. In collaboration with members of the coffee industry, the intent of the study is to analyze the degassing behavior of one-way degassing valves. This will be achieved by simulating conditions similar to those the coffee package will likely undergo during transport and storage. One-way degassing valves are commonly included within coffee packaging as a means to release built up carbon dioxide gas, generated by roasted coffee beans, from the internal headspace of the package.

The study will also investigate the flow behavior of various seal fluids that are used to ensure the degassing valve remains hermetically sealed, preventing any ingress of oxygen and ensuring premature staling does not occur.  Finally, a consumer sensory panel will be used to relate in-lab measures of freshness with consumer perception, to determine if the average coffee drinker is able to detect said "stale" coffee.  The consumer panel will also function to determine the degassing valve's effectiveness in maintaining coffee quality and freshness.  


Carly Flemming

MSc Food Science student
Advisory committee: Prof. Lisa Duizer, Prof. Gale Bozzo (Plant Agriculture), and Dr. Amy Bowen (Vineland Research and Innovation Centre)

BSc Nutrition and Food Science at University of Alberta

Working with Ontario Tender Fruit Growers to assist in the development of a Cold Chain best management practices guide for the Southern Ontario peach industry. Peaches are a challenging commodity in that some varieties are susceptible to chilling injury, triggered by improper storage conditions and turbulent transportation. The first symptom of chilling injury is often flesh mealiness, a soft, dry, granular texture with minimal juice, that is known to negatively affect consumer liking of peaches. Use of a trained sensory panel is the most effective way to quantify flesh mealiness development, with trained panelists able to detect mealy texture earlier than current analytical methods, however, due to the cost of employing a sensory panel further research into efficient analytical methods needs to be done. Through the investigation of optimal harvest maturity and application of pre-cooling treatments the negative characteristics associated with chilling injury can be mitigated, resulting in increased repeat purchases by consumers.


Saeed Ghazani

PhD Food Science student
Advisory Committee - Prof. Alejandro Marangoni, Prof. Amanda Wright (Human Health & Nutrition), Prof. Mike Rogers, Prof. David Pink

BSc Food Science and M Sc Food Safety & Quality Control at Shahid Beheshti University

Development of plant based alternative to emu oil - Emu oil is an extracted oil from adipose tissue of the emu, Dromaius novaehollandiae, a flightless bird native to Australia. Emu oil has gained popularity as an ingredient in cosmetic and “natural health” formulations. Since the price of emu oil is much higher than vegetable oils and its availability limited, there is a great demand to find an emu oil substitute with the same physical and chemical properties and functionality.  To date, this has been largely unsuccessful due to the “cook and look” approach to the problem.  In this research a molecular approach to the problem was selected. A perfect match of fatty acids and triacylglycerol compositions and thus functionality would need to be considered. Based on fatty acid composition of emu oil, six different vegetable oils (Macademia oil, canola oil, high oleic sunflower oil, corn oil, palm oil and shea butter) were selected. A linear combination of selected vegetable oils was successful in mimicking the fatty acid profile of emu oil. Once the chemical interesterifications were carried out, the physical properties of the materials created in terms of melting and crystallization temperatures using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) were determined, plus the solid fat content as a function of temperature profiles by pulsed NMR was measured. Fat crystal polymorphism was also determined using XRD method. This protocol provided a complete picture of the physical behavior of the emu oil substitute in relation to the properties of emu oil. Eventually, a correlation between TAG composition and physical properties for the substitutes will be determined. Sensory evaluation of the oils will be carried out in the facilities of Avaria Corp. The effects of the addition of some natural additives such as sterols on sensory evaluation will be evaluated.


Rebecca Hylton

MSc Food Safety and Quality Assurance Student
Advisory Committee - Prof. Keith Warriner, Prof. Jeffery Farber

BSc Honours Microbiology at University of Toronto

As a result of the outbreak due to Listeria monocytogenes contamination in candy apples, there has been an increased demand from retailers for apple product processors to establish interventions to reduce the risk of pathogen contamination. The purpose of my research project is to evaluate the effectiveness of several different intervention strategies to reduce L. monocytogenes and E. coli on the surface and sub-surface of apples. This project is in collaboration with Moyer’s Apples, located in Niagara. The results of this research project will provide a validated and verified process for decontaminating apples used in candy apple production, as well as other fresh produce.


Ansdeep Kapoor

MSc Food Safety and Quality Assurance student
Advisory Committee – Prof. Jeffery Farber and Prof. Anne Wilcock

BSc Molecular Genetics, Microbiology and Global Health at University of Toronto

My project investigates the efficacy of UV-C Disinfection Lantern by ClorDiSys Solutions Inc. to inactivate foodborne pathogens on food contact surfaces such as plastic and wooden cutting boards, and stainless steel. Cross-contamination in restaurants and food services is the most common source of foodborne outbreaks. Some of the main reasons are using same cutting boards for the preparation of raw meat and ready-to eat foods or not following standard procedures for disinfection of cutting boards. Chemical disinfectants are most commonly used in the food industry for decontamination purposes. However, they can leave chemical residues which are harmful to humans and the environment. In addition, bacteria can develop resistance to these disinfectants, making the process of decontamination challenging. However, Ultraviolet radiation, band C (UV-C) is a non-chemical method which possesses bactericidal properties. As a result, applications of UV-C as a disinfectant in the food industry are on the rise as it has the ability to kill a wide range of pathogens at comparatively low cost. However, despite the evidence of its ability to decontaminate food contact surfaces, this technique is not widely used in the food industry to decontaminate food contact surfaces, primarily because there is not enough evidence which shows the effectiveness of a commercial UV-C equipment in the food industry. If validated, this portable, non-chemical and easy to use UV-C lantern can be incorporated into restaurants and foodservice, making the process of decontamination easier, more efficient and environmentally friendly.


Kayla Murray

MSc Food Science student
Advisory Committee: Prof. Keith Warriner, Prof. Gopinadhan Paliyath (Plant Agriculture), Dr. Tatiana Koutchma (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)

BSc Honours Microbiology at University of Guelph

Currently, I am working to complete my MSc thesis before perusing a PhD in the fall. I am passionate about food science and love working alongside industrial partners to help solve persisting issues within the produce processing facilities. My MSc focuses on different gas phase sanitizers to decontaminate whole fruit, which can be a great asset in many different produce processing operations. My project mainly focuses on leafy greens, as well as apples used in candied apple production, however the technology can be adjusted to suit different processes as well.


Morgana Panierselvam

MSc Food Safety and Quality Assurance student
Advisory Committee: Prof. Yoshinori Mine, Dr. Rong Cao (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)

BSc Biology with Chemistry Minor at Ryerson University

I have worked in the Food Industry for about 2 years and that is where my interest in Food Safety and Quality Assurance began. 
My project focuses on using natural and synthetic antioxidants to increase the shelf-life of Quick Cooking Barley. Barley has many health benefits due to its bioactive compounds such as dietary fiber, phenols, tocols, phytosterols and many more. Recently Health Canada approved the claim of barley and its blood lowering cholesterol properties in food products based on scientific evidence from previous studies. This has led to the development of many barley based food products and functional foods. Quick cooking Barley is one example that has been developed by Progressive Foods Inc. My goal for this project is to identify and inhibit the off-flavour formation of this barley during storage using natural and synthetic antioxidants.  


Pere Ramel

PhD Food Science student
Advisory Committee - Prof. Alejandro Marangoni, Prof. Douglas Goff, Prof. Michael Rogers, Dr. Alexandra Smith, Prof. Amanda Wright (Human Health & Nutrition)

BSc Food Technology at Univ of the Philippines Los Banos, MSc Food Technology /Dairy Science at Wageningen University & Research Centre

I have worked in the food industry as a Research and Development Intern at Friesland Campina Innovation Centre, The Netherlands; Sensory Scientist at Universal Robina Corporation Central Laboratory, Philippines; and Quality Assurance Intern at Nestle Philippines, Inc., Ice Cream and Chilled Dairy Factory.

My research areas of interest include milk fat crystallization, dairy science and technology, and food structuring. My research in Dr. Alejandro Marangoni's Lab involves studying the crystallization behavior and crystal network formation of milk fat within food matrices with the use of different techniques such as x-ray diffraction and microscopy.


Laura St. Aubin

MSc Food Safety and Quality Assurance student
Advisory Committee - Prof. Art Hill, Prof. Anne Wilcock

BSc Microbiology at University of Guelph

I graduated from the university of Guelph with a degree in Microbiology and began working in the food industry 3 years ago as a microbiologist for a large condiment company. From there, I developed a strong interest in food safety and began my MSc FSQA to gain a greater understanding about the field.

My research project focuses on the Quality Management Standard ISO 9001, and specifically the new release ISO 9001:2015. The project is divided into three major parts. First a gap analysis was conducted between ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 9001:2015. Then, the gap analysis was applied to a large confectionery company in order to identify the changes that would need to be implemented internally to comply with ISO 9001:2015. Finally, the last phase of the project will be in the form of a survey distributed within Canada to gain feedback regarding the ISO 9001:2015 standard from companies already certified with ISO 9001:2008.


Natalie Welc

MSc Food Safety and Quality Assurance student
Advisory Committee - Prof. Loong-Tak Lim, Prof. Anne Wilcock

BSc Nutritional and Nutraceutical Sciences at University of Guelph

Over two years of work experience in product development and regulatory in dry powders specifically sports supplements. 

With no previous research on shelf life in pre-workout supplements, my proposed research will determine what causes the caking of pre-workout powders. Within eight months of research it will be determined whether powdered pre-workout supplement agglomerate due to ingredients within the formulation or whether it is the storage containers.