“This internship has made me think differently about agriculture and how it connects with the food industry. I was not aware that there is a large field of value-added agricultural commodity food products on the market and in development,” says Joseph Quinlan, a student at Southwest State University in Marshall, Minnesota, who just finished up an internship with the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute. “Through this experience I have been learning that there are many entrepreneurs and small businesses that use the produce and commodities that Minnesota produces.”
Quinlan was able to work in the analytical chemistry lab, meat lab, meet face to face with clients and attend a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) training. The hands on creation of a HAACP plan helped solidify my knowledge in HAACP, Quinlan said. Quinlan also did research on several topics in the food and agriculture sectors to help better AURI’s understanding of these sectors. Quinlan’s research on clean labels led to a display at Farmfest that offered clean label information and samples.
While working in the labs, Quinlan gained hands-on experience working with industry standard equipment, made test batches of meat products, analyzed food samples for nutritional content and more. “I learned more about the chemical processes of foods here than any of my course work so far,” said Quinlan. Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Quinlan will graduate next spring from Southwest State University with a degree in Culinology.