Coucou! My name is Inthuja Manickam. I’m from Malaysia – Truly Asia. Recently, I have joined the FOODENGINE network as a Fellow for a year. I completed my undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. It was during my bachelor’s study that I discovered the existence of the field of Food Science. I actively took my baby steps into the food science field as an undergraduate researcher where I worked on different starter cultures of yogurt and its influence on syneresis. My curiosity piqued as I got more exposure via research. I came to know the various branches of food science that need exploring to ensure safe, healthy, and sufficient food for the world population. Eventually, this led me to obtain my master’s degree in Food Innovation & Product Design (FIPDes). During the two-year program, I have lived in France, Ireland, Spain, and the Netherlands that further enriched my exposure to different cultures and food J I’m immensely grateful for my abroad experiences which continuously build my knowledge and soft skills while closely holding to the principle that ‘Change is the only constant in life!’
Given my passion for food science research and travel, I have happily taken on the journey to be the FOODENGINE Fellow working to understand and control the chemistry behind color evolution of plant-based ingredients during their production: a challenge to take up for their food market acceptability. This project is hosted by INRAe – AgroParisTech (France) in collaboration with Döhler Group (Germany). The objective of the project is first to understand the phenomena behind the color changes observed during the production of plant-based ingredients rich in proteins. Then, is to identify chemical markers and evaluate their influence on the production of functionalized ingredients. The complexity of this topic heightens my curiosity to explore the reactivity of food during production and storage. At the end of the project, the hope is that to be able to provide some input that would aid in producing market-acceptable plant-based ingredients.
Onward, forward and upward in providing the world with safe, healthy, and sustainable food!