Food Science & Technology Professional Masters Projects

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 101
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    Upcycling Whey Permeate: Galactose + Electrolyte Powders for Low Glycemic Sports Chews
    Guerrero Marchan, Emilia (2023)
    Whey permeate is a byproduct from cheesemaking that is currently used to produce animal feed, as stabilizer or disposed into the environment. Previous work done by Alcaine Research Group at Cornell University optimized a process to partially ferment whey permeate to obtain a galactose-rich powder (GRP). The GRP contains galactose and minerals like sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorous, and it does not contain glucose. The purpose of this project was to upcycle GRP into a sports chew that contains electrolytes for rehydration and galactose, a low glycemic index sugar, for energy. Several gelling agents were used to develop the final formulation and a sensory test was made to evaluate overall liking, several attributes, purchase intent. The product was designed to leverage the nutrients present in GRP and provide consumers a glucose-free sport chew alterative.
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    The effects of zinc and iron biofortified rice (Oryza sativa) on intestinal brush border membrane functionality, and cecal bacterial populations, in vivo (Gallus gallus)
    Sumita, Nanako (2023)
    Micronutrient deficiencies, including iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn), are a significant global public health concern. Biofortification is a cost-effective and sustainable approach to delivering micronutrients through staple foods to populations with limited access to a diverse diet and nutrition. This study evaluated the effect of transgenic biofortified rice (Oryza sativa) from the Philippines and Bangladesh on the duodenal brush border membrane key protein expression and cecal bacterial population in vivo (Gallus gallus). Significant differences in DMT1 were found between treatments P2 (Zn/Fe transgenic) and P3 (control) in the Philippine rice and between B1 (Fe/Zn transgenic) and B5 (Zn enriched) in the Bangladeshi diet. In the abundance of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus spp., P1 had the highest values in the Philippine group, while B1 showed a significantly higher density of Bifidobacterium spp. in the Bangladeshi diet. Thus, this study suggested that biofortified rice may affect iron absorption and the gut microbiome.
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    Upcycling Cottage Cheese Acid Whey Into a Value Driven Functional Sports Beverage
    Pataki, Matthew (2023)
    The goal of this project was to determine if upcycled cottage cheese whey could serve as a base for a value driven sports beverage. Cottage cheese whey was chosen for its richness in electrolytes and neutral flavor, and filtration was utilized to remove impurities and dairy nodes. The resulting filtered base was further formulated with enzymes, carbohydrates, amino acids, and non-nutritive sweeteners to optimize glycogen replenishment, maximize digestibility, and prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue following strenuous bouts of exercise. Finally, an acceptance sensory test was conducted on the three different flavors to determine the overall liking of the product as well as potential avenues for improvement. The results of the sensory study reveal a promising potential in transforming cottage cheese acid whey into a sports drink, serving as a viable approach to repurposing this residual dairy industry waste.
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    Psychoactive Fungi Formulations in Nutritive and Palatable Food Matrices: Options for Clinical and Non-clinical Use
    Libov, Roman (2023)
    The primary purpose of this graduate project is to share and discuss the benefits of entheogenic psychoactive fungi for common mental health challenges that significantly burden public health. The secondary aim is to develop food-based formulations of a single species of fungi from the genus Psilocybe for clinical therapeutic use and non-clinical use. These high-dose formulations were designed for both inpatient and outpatient settings for use under clinical supervision or as an adjunctive treatment for drug-resistant mood disorders. The full-dose formulations could be used in clinical settings to help treat mild to severe depression or a range of anxiety disorders. Use of these products should involve guidance and facilitation by a trained practitioner during an extended psychotherapy session, in an inpatient, or in an outpatient setting based on the client's needs, followed by integrative counseling. In addition to the full-dose formulations, other food-based options were developed at sub-perceptual dosages for use in a self-directed manner in a non-clinical setting. These food product formulations aim to enhance cognitive functioning, focus, mood, or creativity.
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    Effects of Intra-Amniotic Administration of the Hydrolyzed Protein of Chia (Salvia hispanica L.) and Lacticaseibacillus paracasei on Intestinal Functionality, Morphology, and Bacterial Populations, In Vivo (Gallus gallus)
    Shah, Drashti (2023)
    Chia seeds are a rich source of proteins and dietary fiber. Probiotics have been vastly studied as a functional food for our gut microbiome, improving the host’s immunity. Although their individualistic characteristics and benefits have been studied, but this particular combination hasn’t been looked into. Hence, this study will evaluate the effects of them administered in a combination against the individual and control groups on the intestinal barrier, brush border membrane functionality, inflammation biomarkers and the intestinal microbiota in-vivo (Gallus gallus). There are five groups, two control groups, non-injected (NI), and 18 MΩ water (H2O); and three experimental groups, 10 mg/ml (1%) hydrolyzed chia protein (CP), 10 mg/mL (1%) hydrolyzed chia seed protein + 106 CFU L. paracaesi (800 μL of hydrolyzed chia protein + 200 μL of probiotic/ egg) (CPP), and 106 CFU L. paracasei (P). The intra-amniotic administration of all the groups was conducted on day 17 of incubation. On day 21, the day fertile broiler eggs hatch, the chicks were euthanized to extract their cecum content, duodenum tissue and blood. Based on the heat maps and correlation analysis, the hydrolyzed chia protein group showed a decrease in the inflammation factor TNF-⍺ and Bifidobacterium; and upregulation of OCLN, MUC2, AP and Lactobacillus. The probiotic group showed upregulation of Lactobacillus and E.coli, whereas, a downregulation in Clostridium abundance and NF-𝜅β1. The overall morphology of the intestine showcased positive changes as observed in the treatment groups. However, the combination of both hydrolyzed chia protein and probiotic did not have a compound effect as expected. Further long-term studies are required to establish concrete relations in the intricate understanding of our intestinal health.
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    Fungal Contamination in Yogurt and its Potential Association with Various Packaging Materials
    Chintalapati, Priti (2023)
    Dairy products contribute to 17% of total waste generated at the consumer and retail levels, with microbial spoilage being a major factor. Cultured dairy products like yogurt, cream cheese, and buttermilk are produced through bacterial fermentation and are susceptible to contamination by spoilage microbes during processing and production. Spoilage can be influenced by intrinsic factors such as product pH and extrinsic factors like packaging type. In this study, I aimed to quantify the microbial load and identify fungal spoilage on recycled and non-recycled yogurt packaging. Four different yogurt container samples were tested, two were constructed using recycled packaging materials while the remaining two containers were made from non-recycled heavy-duty cardboard packaging materials. A total of 48 containers were processed; they were homogenized, plated on Malt Extract Agar (MEA) at different dilutions, and then incubated for 8-10 days at 77℉. Plate counts and descriptions of distinct morphologies for each sample were recorded. It was concluded that most samples showed low counts (~1 mold colony) at the lowest dilution factor (100) and yogurt containers made from recycled packaging materials exhibited a higher percentage of fungal contamination compared to non-recycled containers.
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    Converting Lactose to Allulose Using Cell-Free Protein Synthesis: Contributing to Better Diabetes Management
    Khalil, Joy (2023)
    Background: According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), individuals with diabetes should limit their milk consumption to no more than 1 cup a day. This is due to the presence of lactose in milk, a sugar that can increase blood glucose levels. However, this restriction can affect the quality of life of milk lovers who may miss out on milk’s nutritional benefits. To solve this problem, many milk substitutes have emerged in the market, such as almond, rice, and soy milk. Most provide 75% less protein than cow’s milk, while soy milk (12.5% less protein) is controversial. A recent emerging technology, cell-free protein synthesis (CFPS/TXTL), may allow the synthesis of a series of enzymes needed to make dairy more diabetic-friendly. The enzyme synthesis method has the potential to decrease production costs due to higher yield and easier purification. Purpose: The main aim of this project is to convert milk lactose into allulose with enzymes produced using CFPS/TXTL, thus providing a better milk option for individuals with diabetes. Milk with allulose, a rare sugar, may be superior to lactose-free milk because it is less sweet, has fewer calories, does not cause blood glucose spikes, and may be considered a functional food. Methods: The first step focuses on converting lactose into glucose and galactose using lactase enzyme. This enzyme was first synthesized in the lab using a plasmid containing the gene for lactase (LacZ) as template for TXTL. Following an 18-hour incubation, the lactase enzyme produced was quantified using Qubit™ 4 Fluorometer. The efficiency of the cell-free generated lactase was then compared against commercially prepared powdered lactase using an ONPG-inspired protocol. After the conversion of lactose into glucose and galactose was achieved, the prospect of implementing an additional enzymatic cascade to further convert these substrates into allulose was considered. However, due to the temporal limitations inherent in this study, the exploration of the supplementary enzymatic cascade was not attempted. Results: The Qubit fluorometer recorded concentrations of 3.66 mg/mL, 4.75 mg/mL, and 3.62 mg/mL in the experimental samples, suggesting the presence of protein in the form of lactase enzyme. The ONPG-based test showed an enzyme that is equally if not more effective than its commercially manufactured equivalent. Discussion: The TXTL or Cell-Free Protein Synthesis (CFPS) method yielded high quantities of the lactase enzyme which has in some instances shown to have equal if not higher efficiency than commercial powdered lactase. Conclusion: Knowing that the production of lactase using CFPS hasn’t been attempted before, the results are promising. The emerging cell-free protein synthesis technology has succeeded in generating a substantial yield of an enzyme, sometime surpassing its commercially produced equivalent. However, further research is needed to achieve the comprehensive complete transformation of lactose into the intended final product, allulose.
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    Palapoodi, Soujanya (2023)
    Plant-based cheese has gained significant popularity due to its potential for reduced environmental impact and growing consumer demand for plant-based alternatives. However, replicating the desirable functionality of traditional dairy-based cheese poses several challenges. This review aims to explore the challenges associated with ingredient functionality in plant-based cheese production, including ingredient interactions and the processes involved. It also proposes three potential solutions to address these challenges. Each solution is supported by relevant literature to justify its feasibility.
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    Independent Validation of Differing Nitrogen Requirements Among Wine Yeast Strains
    Wayne, Ian (2023)
    Nitrogen is an essential nutrient for all life. For the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, nitrogen is required for amino acid, nucleotide, and biomass synthesis, which in turn influence metabolic processes in the cell. Winemakers consistently cite nitrogen limitation as a leading cause of both “stuck or sluggish” fermentations – in which yeast do not reach “dryness,” meaning they fail to convert glucose and fructose to ethanol – and the accumulation of undesirable flavor and aroma compounds such as hydrogen sulfide (H₂S). Commercial yeast suppliers include nitrogen requirements among a longer list of characteristics which winemakers may use to ensure a chosen yeast is supplied with appropriate nutrition. While crucial details about nitrogen metabolism in both laboratory and winemaking yeast strains are known – including the genes responsible for the sensing and signaling of environmental nitrogen sources, and the cell’s response to nitrogen limitation under various conditions of stress – open questions about strain-specific requirements for nitrogen remain. Studies that show variation in nitrogen utilization do so using a steady-state growth apparatus to measure nitrogen consumed during stationary phase, once cells have reached maximum density and are no longer forming biomass. Other studies suggest that nitrogen availability during the exponential growth phase constitutes the most important period for wine yeast. Furthermore, the combination of stressors that are typical of wine fermentations – high levels of ethanol, low pH, and low nutrient availability – make it difficult to isolate the impact of a single condition. This work aims to independently validate existing knowledge about yeast strain-specific nitrogen utilization by comparing the fermentation kinetics, cell density, and sugar and nitrogen metabolism of 6 commercial wine strains under typical winemaking conditions.
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    Odorants interation in tertairy mixtures
    Chen, Sirui (2023)
    Madeleine M. Rochelle tested equal odds ratio of binary mixtures about three key food odorants (KFOs) in potato chips to explore the mechanisms of organisms decoding odor mixtures published in 2017. The goal of this project is testing odorants interactions in tertiary mixtures. In other words, how the change of concentration of third odorants affects the perception of binary mixtures. The selection of three odor compounds are based on the Rochelle’s research, three key odorants in potato chips including methional (MAL) with baked potato nots, methanethiol (MOL) with rotten cabbage notes, and 2-ethyl-3,5-dimethylpyrazine (2E3,5DP) with toast notes. Sniff Olfactometry (SO) was used to measure threshold of each odorant, EOR of binary mixtures, and EOR of tertiary mixtures after 70ms stimulations for 4 subjects. However, three subjects were screened out , because they did not pass the pre-testing or recognition test. Even though the number of subjects is limited, the project set up an initial to proceed the experiment procedures, so that future research could repeat more successfully by recruiting more subjects with fully training and applying different odor compounds to investigate odorants interactions in tertiary mixtures. The results indicated odor perception is not a linear process in tertiary mixtures