A Spotlight on Charlotte Millington - Scientific intern Experience

I first heard about this position when my course leader shared the advertisement with my cohort at Manchester Metropolitan University while I was studying for the MSc in Food science and Innovation. The position excited me as I always enjoyed reading the IFST monthly newsletter as a student member and was excited at the opportunity to create knowledge-sharing documents as part of a six-month internship. Here are a few of my achievements:

Attending TechxFest Derby which was hosted by the University of Nottingham and University of Derby to educate high school and A-Level students on pursuing technical careers within the food industry. Alongside Robin Leaper (Education and Careers Coordinator), we informed students on the opportunities available to them when studying food science and technology within higher or further education. We provided the students with the opportunity to win an IFST stress ball in the shape of a tomato if they played the role of sensory scientists and were able to guess the scents of six unknown foods - some were found to be more challenging than others! I was able to provide my personal experience of my early career to the students.

I had the opportunity to attend the IFST lecture “Surviving in a Hostile World: The Need for Food Science,” where I helped on the reception desk, meeting and greeting delegates. Professor Jeremy Hill and Dr Wayne Martindale were the guest speakers and shared a vision of creating a more sustainable global food system based around scientific evidence and the DELTA model. The DELTA model shows how food production aligns with common diets and carbon footprint, therefore truly showing how fragile today’s global food supply chain is. It truly gave food for thought!

Another exciting opportunity came in the creation of the food science fact sheet on cereals and ancient grains; I am looking forward to this being published. Working alongside the working group and nutritionists provided a great insight into how cereals and grains can be incorporated into our everyday diet as well as looking at other health benefits and allergen risks. I learnt a great deal about the biofortification process and how this can benefit developing countries through reducing the risk of mineral and vitamin deficiencies. This project also allowed me to understand the approval process when creating a scientific document.

Developing and setting up a food production facility technical brief, which will soon be published, allowed me to focus more on the laws and regulations which are required to be considered when creating a production facility. This interested me as I had just completed my master’s dissertation looking at how Brexit laws would influence the food supply chain within the UK. Working with the Food Regulatory SIG allowed me to understand the laws further and how they would be used within the industry; their wealth of knowledge and experience was appreciated when creating this technical brief.

Throughout my time at IFST as an intern I was able to gain a professional network through IFST’s engaging events such as the IFST Lecture, attending the scientific committee meetings, the external affairs meetings and collaborating with working professionals for the creation of Food Science Fact Sheets and Technical Briefs.

Charlotte Millington, IFST Scientific Intern July 2023 - January 2024