Domenique Mastronardi

Role: HQP Scholar

Degree: M.A.Sc.

Project: Production of Protein-Rich Snacks using Second Grade/Culled Peaches

Department: School of Engineering (SOE) (CEPS)

What inspired you to pursue your current degree? 

My love for healthy food and sustainability. How lucky am I to pursue research in a field that encompasses both?!

 What about your research area excites you? 

I grew up in a home where sharing food was a time to unwind, hang out, and laugh. It’s pretty exciting to think that other people will share these experiences while eating the product of my research.

What challenges do you find in your research, and how do you try to overcome them? 

It’s pretty easy to get off track when I’m researching in a field where so many things excite me. It might sound cheesy, but keeping a handwritten list of my weekly, monthly and long-term goals is so helpful to me.

How would you describe your research and the implications of your project? 

My research involves creating snacks from second-grade fruits and vegetables that would otherwise be wasted. Aside from the idea that more precious nutrition is preserved, there are positive implications along the supply chain. The farmers get to sell more of their product, the snack production companies get discounted ingredients, and the consumers get to eat a new delicious and nutritious product.

What are three of your favourite activities outside the lab? 

I love exploring new places, going for ice cream, and long walks on the beach (but seriously I love hiking).

What is one important thing you have learned during the pandemic?

To laugh every day.