Seligman Travel Bursary Recipient, Pavitra Krishna Kumar, reports from India

12 November 2018

Pavitra Krishna Kumar was awarded a Seligman APV Travel Bursary to attend the 19th IUFoST World Food Science and Technology Congress in Mumbai, India. Here, she tells us about how she showcased her research to international professionals, improved her knowledge and her career prospects.

‘I had the wonderful opportunity of attending the 19th World Congress of Food Science and Technology, International Union of Food Scientists and Technologists (IUFoST) 2018, at Navi Mumbai, India. IUFoST 2018, – on the theme "25 Billion Meals a Day by 2025 with Healthy, Nutritious, Safe and Diverse Foods” – witnessed more than 1300 oral and poster presentations, 3000 delegates and 10,000 business visitors. I received the Seligman APV Travel Bursary 2018 to attend the global event between 23 and 27 October, 2018, and presented a poster on my graduate research work. As a mid-career graduate student, this conference was a great learning opportunity in more ways than one. Thank you, Seligman APV Travel Bursary for making this travel possible.

‘At IUFoST 2018, I could showcase my research to international professionals from the academia, industry and government, and fellow students. My discussions and conversations with professionals from food science and technology enriched my knowledge and I could network with people of varied backgrounds on a single platform. Some of the inputs received would benefit my research outcome to a large extent. Also, some of the lecture sessions were very insightful, and gave a new direction to my thinking. One of the sessions, “Hot topics in food packaging”, with lectures by Dr. Pramod Mahajan, Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy, Germany; Dr. Sunil Mangalassary, California State University, USA and Dr. Jane Muncke, Food Packaging Forum, Switzerland left a deep impact on me; some of the research work done at these institutes are mind boggling. The session, “Challenges for sustainable future food chains” showed how the socio-economic status of a country impacts the scale up and commercial feasibility of a laboratory-level research, and how this in turn shapes the research scenario in these countries. It was interesting to note how food technologists around the world include the economic aspect of sustainability in the studies on processing, technology, and food quality. Notable lectures in this session were by Dr. Mary Ann Augustin, CSIRO, Australia; Tushar Gaware, S4S Technologies, India; Dr. Alexander Mathys, ETH Zurich – one young mind whose career track and approach to research has inspired me, and I am thankful for getting the chance to attend IUFoST 2018 to know him – and Dr. Naveen K. Rastogi, CFTRI, India. Dr. Mathys’ presentation on smart data representation – i. e., showcasing all research highlights as a single picture in any communication – is an essential tool to be mastered by every student in research, and this is something I plan to inculcate in my future work. Dr. R. Paul Singh’s lecture, “Research unravelling gastric digestion- Cross Pacific collaboration of foods” showed some work on modeling food digestion and helped me with insights about my present work on frozen food quality. It gave me the idea of exploring digestibility as a food quality aspect/side-effect in my study.

‘IUFoST is a global event that brings at one place a diverse group of budding food scientists and engineers and the acclaimed in academia. Looking back, attending IUFoST 2018 and presenting my research poster have been an opportunity to be remembered and to be thankful for, in my graduate career. The event has opened my future career prospects – I look forward to a global career, with prospective research collaborations in the future. Thank you, once again, SCI and APV Seligman Travel Bursary for facilitating this opportunity with the much needed financial help and for helping me grow and develop as a mid-career graduate student.’

Pavitra Krishna Kumar
PhD student
Washington State University

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