As an Ignite Scholar, I worked under Dr. Carolyn Ross and Sasha Barnett to participate in food science research. As part of this research project, we explored the replacement of table salt, NaCl, with healthier salts such as potassium chloride, KCl, and calcium chloride, CaCl. We conducted food panels including salt solution and tomato soup tasting to explore the impact these different salts had on the taste of foods.
As an incoming freshman with little knowledge of Food Science, the Ignite Program allowed me to gain hands-on experience within my academic interest. It also allowed me to meet and make connections with other professors and students within the Food Science department. The most beneficial part about being an Ignite Scholar was having the opportunity to participate in research and learn outside of a classroom environment. Through this experience, Sasha taught me the expectations and daily work of being a PhD student such as herself. Dr. Ross taught me how valuable food science is to the health and wellbeing of others.
My favorite part about the salt research I participated in was having a genuine interest in what I was doing and the potential impact it can have on the health of others. Overall, the Ignite Program was a valuable component of my freshman experience and helped me to gain insight and knowledge within my major.