Friday, November 14, 2014

Mary's Kitchen Recap

This morning I had the pleasure of volunteering at Mary's Kitchen (, a volunteer run organization that provides food, showers and other services to the homeless. Established in 1984 by Mary McAnena, the kitchen has been operating for 30 years thanks to the hard work of volunteers and donations by individuals, churches, grocery stores and corporations. Although Mary has passed, volunteers continue to contribute their time, money and positive vibes to help those in need.

As soon as I walked to the front gates of the facility, I could see individuals patiently waiting for the kitchen to open despite the looming clouds and predicted showers. I was allowed to enter and met Helen Anderson, a Vice Chairperson. Upon entering unfamiliar territory, I was warmly welcomed by a group of women already working to prepare bagged meals. After washing up, I started preparing snack bags as the kitchen came to life. Men and women of different ages arrived to help and others passed through to assist in other areas of daily operations. Watching the interactions of volunteers, I could easily see there was camaraderie among them. After conversing with those nearby, I discovered many volunteers were there on a regular basis, at least once a week, helping where they could. Despite the many hands present, there was plenty to do. I found myself packing meals, cutting vegetables and washing dishes. Before I knew it, 4 hours had passed and I had gotten to know the a handful of volunteers to find some were students and faculty from Chapman! Upon leaving the kitchen, the individuals that were waiting outside were being offered food, drinks and a movie to watch. Mary's kitchen had truly provided what was needed - a place for the homeless. It was an eye opening experience to see the amount of work that is accomplished on a daily basis by selfless individuals for the benefit of the hungry and homeless.

I encourage you all to make the time to help out Mary's Kitchen or any other organization dedicated to serving the community. Although we may think about volunteering at soup kitchens around the holidays, it's important to remember people are always hungry and help is needed more than once a year.

Have a great weekend!

- Charles

P.S. Sorry we didn't have any pictures, we were too busy helping the kitchen!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Guest Lecturer: Suzanne Pecore

A few weeks ago, we had an amazing guest lecturer come speak to the Sensory Evaluation class! Suzanne Pecore is a celebrity in the world of Sensory Science. Currently working as a Global Connector Principal Scientist for General Mills, her expertise in the industry was enlightening for many of our Food Science students. Suzanne studied under Rose Marie Pangborn, a pioneer in sensory science at UC Davis. Her subsequent experiences at Foremost McKesson, Nutrasweet, and General Mills have led her to where she is today. Suzanne conveyed during her lecture that every job is a learning experience and an important step in your career path. For those of us particularly interested in Sensory, Suzanne's detailed description of the innovative methodologies being used at General Mills were remarkable. One test in particular, the Tetrad test, is a contemporary analytical testing method that Chapman students are currently using as a component of their sensory panels this semester. Suzanne's advice was helpful and inspiring. We are certainly lucky to have had the chance to attend this wonderful lecture!

- Sabrina Davis

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Food Industry Networking Night- Fall 2014

Two weeks ago, we had the privilege of hosting our 3rd Annual Food Industry Networking Night, and it turned out another great success! The night kicked off as industry professionals, alumni, and students arrived.

Overall, we had 27 members from the industry and 23 of our graduate students, plus alumni and faculty, gather together to foster new connections and seek out new opportunities in the food industry.

Once everyone had settled in, we were reminded of the important aspects to how and why we network with a keen talk from our keynote speaker, Dr. Roger Clemens. 

Once introductions were made, the room was filled with lively conversation as industry members and students shared about their careers and various opportunities in their field. If you have a success story or positive experience from the night, please leave a comment below.  We would love to hear about it!

Friday, September 26, 2014

What to Look For When Buying Vegetables!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Chapman at IFT 2014 New Orleans

Great job at the 2014 IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo everyone! Shout out to this year’s College Bowl team that took us to Nationals and did an amazing job! Although we didn’t win, first place winners from Penn State was led by team captain Latha Murugesan, an alumna of Chapman!

Top row: Tara Okuma, Dr. Lilian Were, Jessica Sambuco,
Erin Young, Brendan Wong
Bottom row: Jessica Hallstrom, Crystal Lin

Additional recognition for all those who participated in research competitions, presented posters, gave oral presentations and/or received an award!

Kimberlee Au
Research: "The Effects of Modified Atmosphere Packaging,
Irradiation, and Methyl Bromide Fumigation on the
Quality and Shelf Life of Sweet Cherries" 
(Fruit & Vegetable Products Division)

Jessica Hallstrom
Received a certificate as a finalist in the "Excellence in
Student Leadership Award"
and was selected as an
"Outstanding Volunteer for SCiftS"

Donna Levy
Research: "Microbial Safety of Fresh Herbs from
Los Angeles,
Orange County, and
Seattle Farmers' Markets" 

(Food & Microbiology Division)

Crystal Lin
Research: "Antioxidant Capacity of Ground Coffee
in Raw Ground Beef with Added Salt"
(Muscle Foods Division)
Graduate Poster Competition Finalist
Recognized by Phi Tau Sigma for Excellence in Scientific Research

Tara Okuma
Research: "Identification of Meat Species in Pet Foods using
Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Assay"
(Muscle Foods Division)
Undergraduate Research Competition Finalist

Karen Thang
Research: "The Effects of Modified Atmosphere Packaging,
Gamma Irradiation, and Methyl Bromide Fumigation on
the Chemical, Physical, and Sensory Quality of Blueberries"
(Fruit & Vegetable Products Division)

Why You Should Go to IFT!

Hey everyone!

For those of you that went to the 2014 IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo (AFME) this year I hope you enjoyed your trip and have fully recovered from an amazing experience! For those that did not get a chance to go this year I hope you are able to make it to IFT in 2015 where it will be held in Chicago from July 11 - July 14.

It's a great time to support our fellow classmates presenting their research, our college bowl team and represent Chapman University. The IFT AMFE offers everyone the chance to walk the floor and see innovative products and trends for the upcoming year and get an idea of specific areas within the industry you may want to work. When you get tired of walking the floor you can take advantage of the numerous scientific sessions offered which are not only informative, but a great way to learn about interesting topics, trends and technologies. This year's sessions included discussions on 3D food printing, the science of flavor pairing, the perception of consumers on azodicarbonamide and so much more!

If the above reasons were not enough to convince you to attend IFT, here's one more, come to network! The Institute of Food Technologists goes through great lengths to set up mixers and networking events whether it be for students, new professionals or specific divisions. I encourage everyone to come prepared with business attire, business cards and a social attitude. It's a great time to meet professionals and connect with other food scientists regardless of if you are looking for a job.

Still not convinced? Check out pictures from this year's trip to New Orleans, LA (to be posted soon)! It was a blast! Check the blog in a few days where I will be posting a few pictures in honor of our college bowl team, student research and awards received!

Thanks for tuning in!
- Charles Quinto

Friday, June 27, 2014

Food for Thought: Should We All Be Eating Insects?

Hey everyone!

It's been a while, but I hope you're enjoying vacation! At least for those of you who aren't doing research, working and/or taking classes this summer. Today I have a short video to present that discusses the potential benefits of consuming insects versus animal protein in terms of digestibility, nutrition content and sustainability. It's a fun short video that poses some questions and even goes as far as to make insect flour and incorporate it into foods!

Check it out, it's only 3 minutes!

Here's the link as well:

Have a great weekend!
- Charles Quinto

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

FOODucation: American Meat Cuts

Hey everyone,

Finals is next week! Good luck! Here's something short and...well savory most of the time! If you ever wondered where specific cuts of meat are derived from, here are a few answers! These graphics also include suggested/common ways that cut of meat is cooked! Enjoy!

All of these can be purchased as posters here:

- Charles Quinto

Saturday, May 10, 2014

FOODucation: Seasonal Produce Guide!

Hey everyone,

I came across some really cool charts and guides for seasonal produce! There are 3 sets of graphics. The first applies to seasonality of produce specifically for Southern California, the second set applies to the Northern Hemisphere and the last set was published in San Francisco but I'm not sure exactly to which region it applies. However, they're all nifty graphics and a general guide of when specific produce is in season. Enjoy!







- Charles Quinto

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Edible Flowers

Hey everyone!

The heat has finally let up and finals are just around the corner. Today I wanted to talk about edible flowers! Add color, flair and a new twist to drinks and dishes! Below is a select list of flowers used in restaurants across the nation along with their sensory properties. Enjoy!

Pansy: velvety texture and tangy flavor

Nasturtium: sweet and peppery

Snapdragon: sweet and intense (try it on desserts!)

Orchid: mildly sweet (try it with cocktails!)

Arugula Blossom: Nutty and spicy (try it with seafood!)

Borage Blossom: cucumber flavor  (try it with cocktails!)

As always here is a link to the original article. The article also includes a recipe for Halibut!

Nasturtium image taken from:

Borage blossomm image taken from:

- Charles Quinto

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Food for Thought: Fish Farming

Hey everyone,

We're in the last month of the semester before finals, I hope you're surviving the strong winds and heat wave that has been unrelenting. On a much cooler note, let's talk about.....aquaculture! What is aquaculture you ask? Put simply, it is farming aquatic organisms.

Given the increasing population and need for sustainable practices, aquaculture presents a solution. For example, a facility roughly the size of an airport runway could produce the equivalent of salmon produced by Norway. While there has been opponents against fish farming due to waste production, potential for harboring disease and problems associated with feed all hope is not lost!

Dr. Yonathan Zohar has a laboratory in Baltimore which has managed to spawn branzino and gilt-head seabream. The environment is kept clean so that the fish do not need antibiotics, chemicals or hormones to maintain health. To reduce detriment to the environment, water is filtered and recycled while any waste produced is broken down by bacteria. Additionally, scientists are developing new feed formulas made from natural ingredients such as algae instead of traditional feed which may contain fish oils.

Here's the article from NPR which also discusses another aqua farm in an industry setting:

- Charles Quinto

Monday, April 21, 2014

Food for Thought: Use of Food Scraps

Hey everyone!

We're getting closer towards the end of the semester! Today I bring you some exciting news! Entrepreneur John Edel has received funds from Illinois to build an anaerobic digester in Chicago. The anaerobic digester will use anaerobic bacteria to break down an estimated 27 tons of food wastes daily to generate methane gas. This will serve as a fuel source to produce electricity to power a brewery, a mushroom farm, a vegetable farm, a fruit farm and an aquaponics system for fish. This is a great step towards utilizing waste for beneficial purposes!

Here's a diagram of how it will work!

Here is the link to the article:
And here is information about The Plant:

Thanks for reading!
- Charles Quinto

Happy Monday, Everyone

All via theBerry