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Sample 1st Paragraph Animal Science and Fisheries

A hardworking student from Nigeria, I will be completing my MBA next year in England and this has prepared me to think about my passion, agriculture and Animal Sciences, in terms of their business potential in Africa. Pleased that both public and private sectors of my country are finally beginning to de-emphasize to some extant oil extraction and to again invest time and resources in agriculture, I seek to combine the strengths of my undergraduate education and previous professional experience in Nigeria with the MBA that I am currently earning, so that I might excel as a graduate student in your particularly distinguished MSC Program in Animal Science and Fisheries at XXXX University.

Day in the Life of a Food Science Student

Sample 1st Paragraph Food Science Masters, Indian Applicant

I suppose for many Western students, the choice to study Food Science arises from a theoretical interest in this area or a particular academic bent. I come from a society however, India, in which the need to make advances in this field is much more personal. I do not need to travel far to see those who suffer acutely from science’s real but limited advances in Food Science to date and whom I seek to assist by extending its application to the direct improvement of their lives.

I am convinced that my academic record, research experience and genuine passion for this specialty equip me both to add value to the program and ultimately to assist in successful projects that will change many lives.

Statements of Excellence for Admission to Graduate School in Food Science

I am especially interested in contemporary ethical issues of food, agricultural and life sciences, and particularly policy making in these areas. I have had the privilege of working on behalf of members of professional organisations focusing on food and agriculture such as  the European Society for Agriculture and Food Ethics, the Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society (USA), and the European Federation of Biotechnology.

I particularly enjoy engaging with the issue of global famine, the care for a farming class that is able to keep its head above water in a decent way, and a fair trade system that does not throw up unnecessary barriers for newcomers or small market participants and that promotes good nutrition. Famine continues to be a widespread phenomenon that violates human rights, causing nearly a billion people to suffer from hunger or malnutrition. At the same time, deliberate hunger, abundance, and obesity are prevalent in the Western world. Both issues refer to the social and cultural aspects of food. Scientific and technological developments like genetic modification and functional food also play an increasingly important role; almost every bite that we take is determined by scientific developments.

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Building a Culture of Food Safety

I have read several systematic treatments of philosophical and ethical aspects of food (consumption and production). May we eat just anything? Can we do everything with animals, even genetic modification? If not, how can we regulate those processes so that they lead to optimum animal welfare while at the same time producing optimum taste? The production of food also causes environmental pollution – does the fight against hunger have priority over the care of the environment? The care of the environment, animal welfare, and the quality of food should be in a certain harmony, but that is far from granted and hardly easy to achieve. These factors are often in conflict with each other, and a balance will thus need to be searched for.

An extra difficulty is that scientific information is often contradictory, or that it relies on statistical probabilities that are difficult to translate into everyday certitudes. All of these factors deserve attention, but it is the mix that is most important. 

You are what you eat

Expectation vs Reality of Studying Food Science

For more than 20 years, I have been assisting applicants to Master's and Doctoral Degree programs in Food Science and Safety from all over the world. I would be honored to draft a model first paragraph for your Statement as well, in Food Science or a related area such as Agriculture or Nutrition.

The Heroines of Food Science

There are some really inspiration women in the field of food science, but they aren´t celebrated as much as we would like. Michele Perchonok, for example, oversees food science research at NASA, and works to boost shelf stability to infinity and beyond. And luckily for consumers, the food science research that helps NASA feed astronaut appetites can also have down-to-Earth applications for helping solve food problems both large and small.

Advances in shelf-stable foods designed for longer stints in space have already been put to practical use in pouch packaging for campers and for disaster relief, says food scientist Michele Perchonok, who has run NASA’s Human Research Program Science Management Office in Houston for over twelve months.

“Some of our food was used when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in August 2005,” says Perchonok. She works with NASA’s chief scientist and deputy chief to maintain the integrity of scientific research, including food science and more than a dozen other disciplines.

Perchonok has also managed NASA food science research aimed at enabling astronauts to leave low-Earth orbit, about 300 miles above the planet, and move beyond the International Space Station to the moon, asteroids and Mars.

Food research for NASA’s planned Mars mission in the 2030s is focused on extending shelf life for foods from 18 months to five years. It´s also focused on developing systems to grow vegetables under low gravity so astronauts could supplement their rations and add vitamins and other nutrients to their meals on Mars.

Because longer shelf life is considered essential to feeding astronauts on lengthy space journeys, NASA’s deep space researchers are looking at how food is processed, how it is packaged, how it is formulated and how it is stored.

Two of the newest processes being studied are pressure assisted thermal sterilization (PATS), where food is preheated to a specific temperature and then processed at high pressure, and microwave assisted thermal sterilization (MATS), which can dramatically shorten the time needed to process packaged foods.

Food ingredients also could be encapsulated to make them stable for longer periods of time—even the cold of space could be tapped to extend shelf life, says Perchonok.

“We expect a combination of all these approaches may be required,” she says. “In addition, the approach will be dependent on the food itself. We may use all these options to provide a variety of foods.”

Deep space exploration is also expected to eventually involve astronauts growing crops on their space vehicle or on a planet’s surface. Although this work is not a primary responsibility of the NASA food team, NASA food scientists are part of the research effort, says Perchonok.

“The plants will probably be grown hydroponically,” she says. “[They] will likely be grown in chambers that have controlled temperature, humidity and lighting. NASA has grown small plants [like greens and radishes] on the International Space Station, but only for research purposes—not for food purposes, yet.”

Advances in growing foods for space travelers, such as hydroponics technologies, could potentially help boost crop yields on our own Earth in the future too, she adds.

Perchonok joined the space agency in 2000 to tackle the challenge of developing foods for astronauts. Previously, she spent 16 years creating consumer and cat food products for Quaker Oats and Riviana Foods.

“It was one of few jobs in Houston in which I could use my food science education. But it also is the most unique and fun job a food scientist could have,” she says.

Perchonok has worked in a variety of food areas at NASA, including managing menu development and crew support for the space shuttle and designing food systems for a program to develop rockets and spacecraft to replace the shuttle, and then travel to the moon.

Former fighter pilots dominated NASA’s early culture, says Perchonok. But today, women play an increasingly important and visible role in food science both inside and outside of NASA, she adds.

“I don’t see a lot of attitude differences between men and women in food science today” says Perchonok. “I think that everyone has either been trained or understands enough to say that there are no differences—that women are just as capable to get the job done as men.”

She estimates that 80 percent of the contractors reporting to her in the science management office, including food science and other disciplines, are women.

Traditionally women have been attracted to the food science field because they view it as a more appealing field compared to math, chemistry or physics, says Perchonok.

She hopes that more women will enter the hard sciences in the future. “[Within food science,] I expect that more females will become real influencers in the kinds of food science research or product development or whatever they are doing,” says Perchonok.

Perchonok has the dream job of many scientists. But she didn´t get there through luck. She got there because she´s passionate, hardworking and well educated. Do you also fall into this category? If you´re ready to go, but lack a few important documents like letter of recommendation or a compellingly-written personal statement of purpose, we´d love to help you. Let us know!