February 1, 2017

Undergraduate food science student Ben Ma has been selected to present his undergraduate research opportunities program (UROP) research project at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR). 

ben ma headshotThe conference will take place April 6-8 in Memphis. 

Chosen from more than 4,000 submissions, his work was selected because it demonstrated a unique contribution to his field of study. Ben will have an opportunity to present his work to peers, faculty and staff from all across the nation. 

Learn more about Ben and his research below. For more information on the University of Minnesota's UROP program or NCUR 2107 visit their respective websites.

Hometown: Xi'an, China 
Anticipated Graduation: Spring 2017
Name of UROP project: "Controlling Antimicrobial Activity in Orange Juice Using Orange Oil Nanoemulsion"
About the project
This project applied knowledge from food chemistry, food microbiology, and sensory science. The orange oil nanoemulsion is blended to orange juice to test whether it can act 
a natural antimicrobial agent against yeasts. Study results supported that an effective formulation of orange oil nanoemulsions can be used as a natural antimicrobial ingredient for commercial orange juice product with a negligible effect on consumer acceptance. 
Why did you choose this project?
I chose this project because it was an interdisciplinary project connecting different fields of food science together. The study also has a practical application to the food industry.

How did you become interested in food science?
I became interested in food science because I wanted to apply my chemistry and biology knowledge to daily life, and food is the greatest subject to study in order to fulfill my interest and passion. 

Why did you choose the University of Minnesota?
I chose the University of Minnesota because of its outstanding program in food science, and the fact that this university is in a urban setting (rarely are land-grant universities close to a metropolitan area). 

What has your experience been like on campus?
My experience studying in the department has been filled with enlightening classes and memorable friendships, and I will certainly miss the St. Paul campus when I graduate. 
Future plans
I plan to attend graduate school after I graduate this spring.