Intern: Celeste Aurora Matos González, Food Science and Technology
Celeste is a student from the Dominican Republic who did her internship in the Food Chemistry Lab at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, USA. She worked with Dr. Cheng Wang and his doctorate student, Yanlin Lei, in the creation of biodegradable packaging made from the skin waste of aquatic animals such as shrimp (chitin), and Ipomoea batatas anthocyanines. The project serves not only to reuse food waste but also to reduce environmental pollution as an alternative to plastics, which have a negative environmental impact due to their long disintegration time.
During her internship, Celeste was engaged in preliminary tests to identify the most desireable physical and chemical characteristics across variable packaging possibilities. “Biodegradable packaging has a great impact on the reduction of environmental pollution. It presents a great alternative in my home country of the Dominican Republic where aquatic skin waste is plentiful”, she shared.