Nanyang Technological University

Internship in Food Industry

 

The internship in ASTAR is very research-based as expected from an applied science governmental research facility. The mentor, Anton and Seok Hong is extremely accommodating to students and are wonderful to work with. I have learnt quite a bit from them, including designing experiments, writing lengthy reports and some characterization techniques eg: SEM, fluorescence spectrometer.  They are always there to help and to guide! Though I have only spent 2 months in the location, I feel that I have grown in many ways. The location at which the internship is located, One-North have a vibrant startup and scientific scene as many organizations are located in that small patch of place. It feels good to be part of the scene and I feel very motivated to travel to work everyday. I would recommend internship at ASTAR to students who would like to gain research experience and who doesn't mind to read extensively. Even if research is not your cup of tea, it is always good to open your eyes to the science scene in Singapore. 

Voo Ying Hui Amanda, Year 3

School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences

 

My internship at Ingredion was an interesting and eye-opening experience to the food industry. Ingredion is a company specialised in the application of starch. It was surprising to find out that starch is found in many things ranging from cheese to even paper. Being part of the Industrial Solutions team, I was tasked with a new project -Sizing Emulsion Agent Synthesis. The main challenge of this project was to brainstorm for the possible failures and to come up with a standard operating procedure. Being a new project, there was no actual references of the past synthesis to refer to. skills. Besides that, I was exposed to several new machines such as Malvern and Brabender. Although this project was challenging, it was very fruitful and beneficial as I was forced to think out of the box. Also, it hones my analytical and planning skills. Most importantly, it allows me to be better prepared for new challenges in the future.

Lim Yuli Calwin, Year 2

School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering

 

2 and a half months at F&N foods couldn’t have gone by even more quickly. It was overall an enjoyable experience, with my department (engineering). Most people here are rather helpful and very willing to settle you into the team. One important difference is that work is very unlike school as in school, there is always answers if you are willing to ask while here, it is a totally different field as a lot of the solutions you are looking for are empirical and based on personal research. F&N made me a more well-rounded person as what was required was not just what I learnt in school, but many much more for example AutoCAD skills, and additional things you have to learn on the job. In all, it is an experience I would take with me for life and the main take away is that never reject any work given to you despite it not being part of your discipline/course of study because it’s always better being good at all things than just one.

Lim Wan Yi, Year 2

School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering

 

My internship experience at DuPont was to assist technologists in both bakery and dairy application labs in carrying out trials. It was an eye-opening experience as not only do we get to use food processing equipment not commonly found in school's laboratory, such as the homogeniser, retort and UHT machine in producing large batches of product, we also get to learn and understand how different ingredients affect the stability and properties of a food product. This internship gives me a more in-depth insight into innovation in the food manufacturing industry and really brings everything we learn from the textbook alive. I am thankful for the opportunity to be able to intern at DuPont and it further cements my interest and passion in working in the food industry.

Chou Hui Wen Verene, Year 3

School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences

 

I’ve always wondered what it is like to work in the manufacturing line of the food industry – to see what big scale food production would look like. Working in Fraser & Neave (F&N) gave me that platform. Managing massive volumes of products on a daily affair is surely not an easy task. It involves coordination with different functions in the company. Being attached under the Quality Control & Quality Assurance has taught me to be meticulous in monitoring the different aspects of product specifications. In the event of any out-of-specifications in the product quality, we had to investigate the root cause as a team by analyzing the data and getting the relevant stakeholders involved in the troubleshooting process. I was also blessed to be able to work under the guidance of a dedicated team who were surprisingly warm and welcoming of interns like me. They treated me as a co-worker, a colleague, instead of a student and assigned specific responsibilities such as to assist with the initial launch of a new technology in the food laboratory. And, I definitely enjoyed the occasional treats where I could join in the sensory evaluation of the newly developed beverages!

Ngan Felicia Devina, Year 2

School of Biological Sciences

 

I was attached to F&N Quality Assurance/Control Department for my summer internship. It was an eye-opening experience to understand how products are monitored and sampled in a food manufacturing company. As a consumer, I was previously not appreciative of the risk assessments in place to ensure that products we consume are safe. During my internship, one of my main task was to assist in setting up of online platforms for documentation and monitoring of raw materials and products. During this set up, I got to interact with the friendly lab technicians and review the current testing methods. As a lot of methods are done based on past approach, there were gaps and possible future improvements. I was able to apply the knowledge gained from FST Modules and gain insights about working in the food manufacturing industry. I also got to take part in a lot of interesting events such as taste testing of new products.
 
The biggest takeaway from this internship is to keep your options open, be flexible and to continue learning even when you enter the workforce. The industry is always changing and we need to equip ourselves with the latest knowledge and skills to face the challenges ahead. I’m thankfully for the help received throughout my internship and I’m definitely more certain of my future career directions now.

Chan Shin Yi, Year 2

School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences

 

I went to Coca-Cola Beverages (Shanghai) as my industrial internship programme as a product developer in the juice team. I learnt a lot from my mentor and colleagues, from market research, data analysis to the actual making and design of a beverage that can be launched. Skills aside, the experience has provided me with knowledge about the Chinese market and trends, insights to one of the biggest markets in the world. My Chinese language has also improved tremendously although all meetings were conducted in English, a characteristic of foreign-based companies in China. I really enjoyed this learning experience and I believed I have learnt many things that I would never have if I interned in a local company.

Low Zun Siong, Year 4

School of Biological Sciences

 

Our internship with Nestlé was project-based and aimed at problem-solving, in particular the assessment of glycemic index (GI) in different types of food.  The GI is a nutritional concept which chemically classifies the type of carbohydrate (sugars or starch). This gives new insights into the relationship between the physiologic effects of carbohydrate-rich foods and health. High glycemic load values are associated with increased risk of developing diabetes. Currently, the method to obtain the GI value of a food is using in-vivo methods. Our project was to develop a novel methods to assess the GI value from Nestlé’s proprietary food product. This new method can be used for other types of food, as well as in food innovation.

 
Mu Huanwen, Year 4

School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering

 

My project at Nestlé focused on the design and implementation of an in vitro starch digestion test to simulate the human digestion process and thus predict the Glycemic index of MILO products.

The internship at Nestlé is definitely an enjoyable and meaningful experience to me. I was able to design and carry out the entire testing process with the guidance from my supervisors, which effectively trained both my analytical and practical skills. Besides, attending various discussion and events with my colleagues and supervisors helped me better understand the workflow in an R&D center as well as appreciate the company culture of Nestlé to a higher extent.

Huang Shang, Year 4

School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering

I feel that interning at Nestlé is a very unique experience as you can learn so much first-hand knowledge about food industry and get to know how a large company like Nestlé organizes internally. Nestlé is a fantastic choice for me because they have set up a R&D centre in Singapore so I could just do research and apply the knowledge I have learned in FST.

During my internship, the thesis of my project was to improve the MILO product and I feel this is something special because it is a product so close to our daily life. Besides, the people here are really kind and willing to help you whenever you have encountered problems.  Lastly, I would like to thank FST for giving me such an opportunity to be able to intern in one of the top leading companies in the industry.

Liu Zhehui, Year 4

School of Biological Sciences

 

I feel like I made a right choice by joining FST, so that I had a chance to do my internship at FrieslandCampina, the 4th largest dairy company around the world. The 1st part of my project was to verify the homogenization pressure in the lab as a simulation for pilot plant and the production facilities. It aimed at obtaining a thorough understanding of how homogenization pressure affects the quality (viscosity, particle size distribution, etc) of different milk products (cream, yoghurt, plain milk, etc). Daily lab works were closely related to what we learnt in FST courses and had given me a clear idea of how research is being carried out in the product development center.

As for the 2nd part, I used gPROMS, a dynamic simulation software, to model UHT process in the factory and understand how a change in process (for example, an increase of milk flow rate) would affect the overall output, energy consumption, the fouling rate, etc. It was a testing of my abilities of coding, data analysis and project management skill. I began to appreciate how to apply the knowledge of CBE, my 1st major, into the real production of food in industry scale.

Honestly, it was very lucky to be an intern in FrieslandCampina and had such an enjoyable and memorable journey. The company culture was fantastic, colleagues were amicable to each other and willing to help when you were in trouble. Using my knowledge of both CBE and FST to do some value-addition to FrieslandCampina also gave me a sense of fulfilment.

Ma Yunqiao, Year 3

School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering
 

Internship at DuPont has been very fulfilling as it opened my eyes to how many things work in this industry. My job scope is to help the technologists in the dairy and ice cream department carry out the various experiments that they have. In the process, I get to understand what the purpose of the experiment is and how the various ingredients play a part in forming the final product. A more in depth knowledge of how certain ingredients, for example emulsifiers or gums, work is achieved.  I now have practical experience in handling many equipment on a regular basis. Though it may be tiring at times, I am very grateful to have the chance to experience, learn, and acquire these knowledge.  

Lim Pei Xuan Cheryl, Year 3

School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering

 

 

 

 

 

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