Gas chromatography - mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and liquid chromatography - mass spectrometry (LC-MS) are powerful analytical techniques that can reveal the chemical composition of complex mixtures. Almost all food products we consume are complex mixtures, and as such, are prone to contamination, deliberate adulteration, or false labeling. In this project, we will develop and test various methods to assess food quality by their chemical composition, based on GC-MS and LC-MS. The project outcome will be used to develop laboratory modules for undergraduates and high school students.
The student will work with researchers and technical staff to implement and optimize GC-MS and LC-MS analytical methods for certain food products (to be determined). It will have both an experimental and computational (data analysis) component.
Applicant's Learning Objectives:
- To acquire a working knowledge and operating skills of GC-MS and LC-MS
- To learn about the science behind food quality and safety
- To gain experience in the development of a practical lab module for teaching and outreach