Subject: JIFSAN is seeking students with a background in chemistry and
The JIFSAN internship program, a collaboration between the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration and the University of Maryland, has an internship position
available beginning in the summer of 2016 and continuing through the
2016-2017 academic year.
Project Title: Development of a data processing platform for the analysis of
fatty acids in fats and oils.
Principal Investigators: Delmonte, Pierluigi
Project Description: Despite decades of intense scientific research, the
development of accurate and reliable methods for the measurement of the fatty
acids (FA) contained in food oils and fats is still an intense field of
investigation. Recent proposed regulations regarding the content of fats and
oils in trans fatty acids (TFA) increased the urgency for such methods. The
FA composition of fats and oils is commonly achieved by gas chromatography
(GC), after the preparation of the volatile fatty acid methyl ester
derivatives (FAME). The accurate determination of the FA composition of most
oils and fats requires the measurement of at least 50-100 individual
components. The identification of each component, and then the calculation of
its content in the sample, are time consuming processes and require advanced
analytical skills. This project is dedicated to the development of computer
software capable of interpreting the raw data generated by the analytical
instrumentation, and to establish the sample FA composition without requiring
time or knowledge from the analyst. While the candidate is expected to be
proficient in Visual Basic for Application (VBA) programming, and have good
mathematical skills, he/she will learn the most advanced methods for FA
analysis and the problematic aspects of their application. The first part of
the project will be dedicated to the study of the parameters affecting the
gas chromatographic separation of FAs, and the definition of mathematical
expression governing them. The second part of the project will be dedicated
to the development of the Excel VBA macro capable of automatic data
processing based on the mathematic rules previously defined. Finally the
computer program will be tested by surveying the FA composition of fats and
oils currently on sale in the U.S. market.
Project Objective: The applicant will analyze the fatty acid composition of
fats and oils by gas chromatography, identify all the components of
commercial products, and create mathematical models for the parameters
affecting the elution of fatty acids by gas chromatography. The student will
write the Visual Basic macro that processes the gas chromatographic data.
Project Needs and Duration: The applicant should have a basic knowledge of
food chemistry and analytical chemistry, preferably including gas
chromatography. The applicant must be knowledgeable of Visual basic for
Application (VBA) programming for Microsoft Excel. Other computer programming
platforms as Java may be considered if the candidate has very strong
knowledge of the language. The estimated duration of the internship project
is one year. Time requirements include 8-10 h/week during the school year and
30 h/week during break sessions.
Location: CFSAN Wiley Building, 5100 Paintbranch Parkway, College Park, MD
JIFSAN interns must have completed at least two college semesters and be
enrolled as undergraduate students at the University of Maryland, College
Park during the time of their internship. Interns are expect to work part
time (8-10 hours/week) during the academic year and 30 hours/week during the
summer of 2016. Current freshmen, sophomores and juniors are encouraged to
apply. Students who plan to graduate in December 2016 are generally not
eligible. After a 100-hour volunteer commitment, interns are eligible for a
paid internship at $10/hour.
The application form (in Word format) and more information about the program
can be found at http://jifsan.umd.edu/internship-program/.
Applications can be submitted by email ([log in to unmask]) or delivered to 1313
Symons Hall. Applications will be reviewed as received.
Contact Person: Kaci Thompson
Contact Email: [log in to unmask]
Website URL: http://jifsan.umd.edu/internship-program/