Graduate Student Profile - Paige Smith

paige-smith-2.jpgPaige Smith successfully defended her M.S. thesis on October 5, 2023. Paige is originally from Washington, Pennsylvania. She obtained her Bachelor's degree in Chemistry from Waynesburg University in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania.

Paige's thesis was entitled, "Preconditioning Starch in Oligosaccharides to Modify Starch Functionality." In her research, three different starch types were preconditioned in six different oligosaccharides (sugars/sweeteners) at various concentrations and temperatures, then removed from the sweetener solution and analyzed for changes in the starch properties. The goal of this research was to determine which sweeteners would be best for sucrose replacement in low moisture baked goods, as well as for replacement of modified starch types that are currently being used in industry. Results will be kept confidential at this time.

Paige's mentors were Dr. Lisa Mauer and Dr. Yuan Yao. Other members of her graduate committee included Dr. Steve Lindemann and Dr. Lynne Taylor.

After visiting Purdue's Food Science department, Paige said she fell in love with the campus and was excited to work with Dr. Yao and Dr. Mauer. Paige is an enthusiastic advocate for the Purdue Food Science program, stating, "There are many opportunities at Purdue to connect with industry partners and network which is really helpful in figuring out how to move forward with your career. The food science professors are wonderful and always willing to help understand important concepts."

During her time at Purdue, Paige received the Agricultural Research and Graduate Education Fellowship. After graduation, Paige hopes to land a job as a starch chemist where she can apply her knowledge of starch-sugar interactions. Congratulations, Paige! We can't wait to see what you accomplish next!