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Personal Statement

个人陈述 Statement of Purpose

 
 
 

日志

 
 

食品科学 personal statement sample  

2009-09-18 12:00:42|  分类: 食品 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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To be honest, I am not born as a food science lover, and I even didn’t know what food science was before my college. It’s only after my seven-year wonderful experience with food science that I became fascinated with this great discipline. My feeling toward food science now is exactly like the word “art” to “artist”: it’s a source of pleasure.

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I always remember that about 3 years ago, I was working on my thesis project for Bachelor Degree about Optimization for Enzyme Extraction of Prunus mume Juice by Desirability Optimization Methodology and Production of Effervescent Prunus mume Juice Tablet. After 4 month’s experiment, I developed the product and conducted a sensory evaluation by a panel consisting of kids aged from 7-12 years old. I will never forget the moment the kids put the tablet into the water. As the tablet dissolved, carbon dioxide was formed and gradually released, and water turned into juice. The exciting expression and screaming of the kids gave me the very first taste of success from research. It was the pleasure of these lovely kids that brought me a proud feeling to be a food science researcher.  

  

As I graduated from college in top 5 out of 180 students, I was one of the three students who were granted admission into the graduate program waived of the normal mandatory entrance, which was a privilege and honor. My graduate study revealed greater wonderland in food science as my horizon broadens. In the first year of my graduate study, my advisor asked me to translate R.F.Schiffmann’s book Microwave Packaging into Chinese. As I read through the book, I became fascinated with the magic of food science, especially the multi-compartment packaging which provides “Gilled” beef in one compartment, Hot and Steamy meshed potato in second compartment and Cold ice cream in the third! Two years later, in the Chinese Institute of Food Science and Technology Danisco Cup National Youth Speech Contest, I borrowed this idea to design a microwavable Chinese meal as an example to illustrate my point that microwavable food is the way for globalization of ethnic food. The audience showed great interest to the concept and they said it is just beyond their imagination. This speech brought me the second prize of the competition. 

During my graduate study, I am a research assistant of Professor Hu Zhuoyan and this required me to have a good understanding of the advance of the major field. Therefore, I started to read lots of papers and soon I found myself in love with reading papers. Reading papers gave me a feeling that I will never walk alone. The shoulders of scientists who contribute to the accumulation of knowledge in food science allowed me to stand on and see further. When I started my thesis on application of microwave pasteurization in canned acid fruit processing, I met problems with my experiment design. The first is to select a target to evaluate the effectiveness of the microwave pasteurization. Researches have been done using E. coli O157: H7, Clostridium sporogenes spores, etc. However, for acid food product like canned acid fruit, a different target should be used. I dug into the journals and found Alicyclobacillus acidoterrestris spore was suggested to use as a target for pasteurization process design by Silva and Gibbs (2001, 2004). With an excitement like Indiana Jones finding the treasure, I selected the Alicyclobacillus acidoterrestris spore as the target for studying the effectiveness of microwave pasteurization.

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Another problem is how to obtain the inactivation kinetic of this spore and litchi peroxidase. The typical method is to conduct experiment under isothermal condition. Under microwave heating condition, methods to generate the inactivation data include using an iso-power level condition instead of the isothermal condition (Fujikawa, et al., 1992), or a special designed microwave system with circulation system to provide the isothermal condition (Koutchma, et al., 2001; Guan, et al., 2003), or a calculated kinetic with the consideration of the effectiveness of come-up time (Tajchakavit, et al., 1997). However, the purpose of the kinetic study in my thesis is to generate kinetic data in lab-scale microwave system as reference for evaluation of the pilot scale microwave treatment. Therefore, I needed to find out an appropriate method to describe the microwave pasteurization under real time condition. I searched for a solution for my problem from the papers finally I found the modified Weibull Model (Peleg, 2005) and the Paired Equivalent Isothermal Exposures method (Welt, 1997) may offer better options. These methods are more practical to obtain kinetic data for the food industry, and the result of this study is going to be published soon. Like Sir Issac Newton said, the pleasure of doing research for me is like a boy playing on the seashore and finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell, and what is more exciting is that the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before.

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All these pleasures from my academic and research experience in food science lead to my desire to pursue Ph.D. degree in Department of Food Science and Technology Geneva in Cornell University. I got acquaintance with the name of Cornell from several most famous professors in South China Agricultural University (SCAU) who got their doctoral degree from Cornell. Later I was benefited by reading books written by leading food scientists from Cornell, including Enzymatic Browning and Its Prevention in Foods by Professor Lee, Food Texture and Viscosity by Professor Bourne, and Handbook of Microwave Technology for Food Application by Professor Datta.

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Moreover, one of the missions of the Department of Food Science and Technology is to carry out research programs that will enhance the wholesomeness and availability of food and add value to raw agricultural products. This is quite a match with my Master study in the field of Processing and Storage of Agricultural Product. The agricultural product processing industry in China is still in its infancy with only 30% of agricultural products processed. Progress of this industry is the key for increasing the income for the 800 million Chinese farmers with an average annual income about only 300 dollars. I chose to my Master degree study in the field of Processing and Storage of Agricultural Product because I wanted to do something for the farmers. Studying in Cornell will certainly equip me with knowledge needed to promote the agro-industry in China; therefore life of farmers can be better. All these factors land Department of Food Science and Technology in Cornell as my Mekka of food science.

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Through study in your leading department in food science, and my devotion, formal background, academic potential, and perseverance, I am confident that I will be a leading food scientist of the world, and be able to contribute to the prosperity of agro-industry in China someday.>>

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