Adam Salhaney, a senior food science major and Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (CAFE) “summer scholar” from Holliston, won first place honors in the undergraduate research competition at the Institute of Food Technology’s annual meeting (IFT18) in Chicago from July15-18.
His poster, “Rapid detection and quantification of bacteria in ground chicken using an optical imaging approach,” describes work he did with his advisor, analytical chemist and associate professor of food science Lili He, using a new approach for testing food samples for bacterial contamination.
For this work, Salhaney and He used a sensitive and reliable bacteria-detecting chip developed in He’s lab that can test the bacterial load in a food sample. The chip, used with a light microscope for optical detection, relies on what He calls a “capture molecule,” 3-mercaptophenylboronic acid (3-MBPA) that attracts and binds to any bacteria.
Salhaney says, “My experience at IFT18 was phenomenal. I was able to network with some amazing people within the food science industry and I am very excited to have come in first place in the competition.” He credits some of his comfort level during the presentation with a poster session that was part of his 2017 summer scholar program.
Salhaney was one of six finalists for this competition that allows undergraduate and very recent graduates to showcase their research in two parts. For more on his award, click here.