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Connecting the dots Following a passion for product development
photo of Kathleen Crosby

Kathleen Crosby

Growing up, Kathleen Crosby always played with her food. “I just wanted to experiment,” says the fourth-year University of Maine student from Georgetown, Maine, a food science and human nutrition major.

Undergraduate research: In her first year at UMaine, Crosby learned about the seafood research of UMaine food scientist Denise Skonberg and joined her lab. “I grew up on the coast, and my dad’s a lobsterman, so I said, ‘I have to get in on this.’” In the lab, Crosby has been mentored by Skonberg and doctoral graduate student Brianna Hughes, who received her degree in May and is now a product development specialist with Ocean Spray.

Industry experience: This past summer, Crosby interned with FMC Corporation in Rockland, Maine, a leading seaweed-based business that produces carrageenan. Because of her undergraduate research experience, Crosby was familiar with many of the instruments and had the skills to work in quality assurance, quality control and chemical analysis. “I really liked that, working in a real lab and seeing how much your work means in the food industry,” she says.

Product development: In this, her senior year, Crosby is on a capstone project team developing a new product called Pretzel Craves that features a cranberry dough. Her team will “go through all the steps we would in industry” — from ingredient formulations and consumer testing to market research and package development. When she graduates, Crosby hopes to work in food quality assurance or quality control — and, ultimately, product development.

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Fall 2014

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