Doctoral Student Places First in Poster Competition

Poonam Bajaj, doctoral student in Biological Systems Engineering, has won first place in the student poster competition for the Product Development division of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) 2015.

Bajaj PoonamPoonam is conducting her research under the supervision of Dr. Shyam S. Sablani, professor of Biological Systems Engineering. Her research focuses on potential of utilizing pea protein as an innovative wall material for microencapsulation of flaxseed oil. This research holds the potential of developing sustainable wall material for microencapsulation which also fits in current green trend. The title of Poonam’s presentation was “Pea protein isolates as a novel wall material for microencapsulation of flaxseed oil.”

This research program is supported in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, WA, the USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council, WA and a grant from the Washington State University, College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences, Agricultural Research Center. Poonam’s committee members include professors Juming Tang and Girish Ganjyal.

Poonam completed her bachelor’s degree in Food Science and she is recipient of best student award based her academic and extracurricular performance. She received her master’s degree in Food Engineering and Technology from Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai India before starting her Ph.D. at WSU in spring 2013. She received Puget Sound IFT Travel Award and ranked third in Biological Systems Engineering poster presentation competition.

The IFT is a leading international society in food science and technology. The winner was selected from 35 entries from the top food science and technology programs worldwide. Second and third place honors went to students from University of Minnesota and University of Florida.