Working towards a sustainable future
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Student: Eduardo J. Diaz Diaz

Name: Diaz Diaz Eduardo J.

Hometown: Vega Baja, Puerto Rico

Institution: University of Puerto Rico

Campus: Mayagüez Campus

Rank: BS Chemistry; MS student

Major: Food Science and Technology (CITA)

Expected date of graduation: May 2014

Degree: MS in Chemistry

USDA Agency of interest: USDA-ARS

Email: Eduardo.diaz1@upr.edu

 

Career cxperience/location:

Mango Flavor and Aroma research at the Food Chemistry Research Laboratory located in Alfredo Ramirez de Arellano Building ( UPR, Mayagüez).

 

Description of career experience (what I learned):

I worked in the evaluation of different mango cultivars (Mangifera indica L.) in the process to obtain the fruit’s natural essence. We have identified more than 60 volatile

compounds in both, the fruit and the extracted fruit essence.

 

What is your perception of agriculture now?

I see agriculture as the most important resource economic stability. It’s been decaying exponentially over the years, but I know the related government agencies are very

concerned and are improving and promoting awareness among the population; are investing in projects, research, and many other fields to achieve a sustainable

agriculture.

 

How has this career experience broadened your employment opportunities?

With this given opportunity I’ve learned everything about modern extraction techniques for volatile compounds in fruits such as SPME. I also learned how to use a GC-MS

coupled with GC-O technique and its applications for food analysis and sensory training. With the addition of this experience I feel prepared to be part of the ARS division to

help improve their research result database in terms of nutrition and food composition.

 

Career and research aspirations:

This is my last year as graduate student. My first goal is to obtain my Masters degree in Food Science and Technology. Then, with my knowledge and experience I hope to

join a Federal Regulatory Agency such as USDA (on any subdivision) or the Food Industry. Also I would like to work in counseling, regarding Food Safety and/or Food

Defense; I’m certified and I think more and more people need to get legal advised.

 

Skill Set:

Knowledge and application of instruments and procedures such as Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectroscopy, Gas Chromatography-Olfactometry, Proximal Analysis, Dietary

Fiber content Analysis, and many other AOAC food analysis’ techniques; Sensory and Statistical Data Analysis (ANOVA). Spanish/English languages, Leadership and

Teamwork.

 

The impact of my career experience:

CETARS has given me the opportunity to grow as a scientist and a professional. Getting related to all the USDA programs, internships, seminars and available job positions

have helped me to choose what I want to do after I finish my studies.

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