The University of Minnesota Plant Protein Innovation Center (PPIC) opened applications Feb. 10 for intern positions to assist with ongoing research projects related to plant protein and sustainability. The intern positions are open to students of all academic majors.
Most students who work as interns in the center have a background in food science and are in the College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Sciences (CFANS). But in recent years, students from the College of Science and Engineering (CSE) have also become undergraduate researchers in the lab, providing students with career experience outside of their academic college.
The PPIC was created in November 2018 as a collaborative research organization to bridge the gap between the food industry and academia in plant protein research. Many companies are seeking information on the nutritional and physiological characteristics of plants for food product development.
The program received more public attention within the past year and has formed new partnerships with General Mills and Cargill to accelerate funding of projects, according to center director Pam Ismail.
“I think it’s a great opportunity to interact with a big team on different academic levels,” Ismail said. “Food science can be applied to many other common fields of science.”
Fourth-year student Maddi Johnson is currently helping research the structure of plant proteins to determine if they can function as an ingredient in food products. Although Johnson is a bioproducts and biosystems engineering (BBE) major through CSE, she has been involved in the protein center since May 2021 to research sustainability. Continue here to read the full article on MN Daily.