Name: Mitchell Mattes
Hometown: Berkeley Heights, NJ
Degree Pursuing: Food Science M.S.
Adviser: Zata Vickers
Research Title: Do better-liked foods produce more satiety?
I am interested in measuring the complexity of hunger and fullness sensations produced by consuming foods. Specifically, I am investigating how the liking or disliking of foods impacts hunger and fullness feelings in both the short and long term as well as subsequent calorie consumption through the day.
How did you become interested in food science?
I have always had a fascination with the idea of a food memory — a Proustian time capsule accessed through the smell and taste of a particular food. This led me to explore undergraduate research opportunities in sensory science and study how consumer characteristics such as genetics and emotions influence food liking and acceptability. I additionally became interested in product development and food production while taking courses focused on applying concepts from chemistry, biology, and physics to food systems. A scientific approach to food allows for, among other things, reproducibility. So whether a consumer buys a product a week from now or a year from now, they will be purchasing the exact same product allowing for the creation of food memories.
Why did you choose the University of Minnesota?
I chose the University of Minnesota for the strength of its food science program, the close connection between the department and local food companies, geographic location (there are not many food science programs located in major cities), and the opportunity to be a Coordinator of the Sensory Center.
How does your research tie in to the research being done in your adviser's lab?
The Vickers research group and Sensory Center at the University of Minnesota has worked extensively on developing tools to measure satiety with the purpose of better understanding satiety as well serving as a screening tool for determining the satiety the various foods or food components provide. While previous work has examined variables such as food volume, calories, and macronutrient content, my research focuses on palatability’s impact on satiety.
I will graduate in December 2015 and will pursue full-time opportunities within the food industry in research and development.