A spotlight on Tabassum Sultana - Scientific intern experience

My journey as a scientific intern started when I joined IFST in January 2022. It was a 12-week-long prestigious internship for me as an MSc student at Cardiff Metropolitan University, where I had the opportunity to work along with IFST scientific committee and was happy to contribute to several unique food science resources. One of the most significant contributions was the newly built "Sustainability Knowledge Hub". I enjoyed the entire journey of this hub from start to end since I had prior experience working on food waste and sustainability. This knowledge hub took almost a quarter of my internship time. I did several activities, including building the framework template, collating, suggesting, and verifying links to trusted resources, organising meetings with the Knowledge Hubs working group, coordinating updates, preparing the summary of materiality assessments, and creating wording for the website, and finally sought approval for launch. I am glad that I was able to complete all my work for the knowledge hub and have it ready for launch at the end of my internship.

Aside from that, I assisted with the Allergen Analysis Information Statement methods overview and images, where I reviewed the literature to identify different types of allergen testing methods, their uses, and advantages and disadvantages, followed by collected images. In the Food Safety Governance Guide for Directors (2022), I prepared the pie chart and wording for Appendix 2- UK Food Standards Agency notifications of incidents. Furthermore, I attended and prepared the minutes for the 33rd Scientific Committee meeting and assisted in slide-making for the meeting. The meeting minutes were very new to me at that time. However, I successfully did that, and eventually, it was accepted. Collated scientific members' biographies was another activity I completed during my internship, and I established a method for the next intern to use. Alongside, I formatted the pipeline for future resource creation. Preparing the Gut Health and the Microbiome Food Science Fact Sheet was one of my favourite works I did in these 12 weeks. I came up with many insights regarding the topic after each meeting with the author and finally put them into the fact sheet.

Moreover, I learned many things about gut health microbiota. Another task related to the Information Statements was checking and suggesting new reference links (e.g., for ‘HIV/AIDS and the Food Handler’ Information Statement). During this time, I captured links to food safety resources for the new food safety knowledge hub that members suggested. Also worked with Sustainability Steering Group Committee on the new knowledge hub. Finally, I prepared the 34th Scientific Committee meeting agenda and wrapped up my work in the first week of April. I reported all my tasks to IFST Senior Scientific Affairs Manager during my internship. As a Food Science student, working with IFST gave me great pleasure. I had a good time and was happy to have completed all my tasks on time and been a proud part of the IFST executive team as well. I am looking forward to starting my next journey in Food Science.

Tabassum Sultana - IFST Scientific Intern (Jan - Apr 22)