Two weeks in China visiting multinational food companies - - Sound exciting and interesting? That is exactly what 12 Purdue Food Science graduate students got to experience in late May 2006. Thanks to a generous gift for this purpose by PepsiCo, a grant from Purdue International Programs, and special arrangements with a university in China, these Purdue graduate students took advantage of a great opportunity to better understand the realities of multinational food and ingredient companies doing business in China. The intent was to expose Food Science graduate students to the business and technological operations of such companies, to make them more marketable and effective as employees in these types of companies. To learn more about our trip, check out the slides from our presentation.
Over the past several years, four Purdue Food Science faculty have visited Southern Yangtzee University (SYU) in Wuxi, China, which has a very large food science program. By now, Purdue Food Science has hosted a visiting scientist from that university, we have a current graduate student from there, and one of our newest faculty members, Dr. Yuan Yao, is a graduate of that university. To reciprocate and strengthen our relationship, SYU agreed to host our graduate students for this study trip, along with Dr. Yao and Dr. R. Chandrasekaran, Chair of our Graduate Program.
Our former visiting scientist from SYU made arrangements for the Purdue graduates students and two faculty to visit the campus of SYU, China-based food companies in the region, supermarkets and open markets, Danisco and Nabisco (Kraft) in Suzhou, and Ovodan, National Starch, and PepsiCo in Shanghai. The cooperation with SYU in Wuxi was ideal because of its close proximity to Suzhou and Shanghai, where many multinational food companies have headquarters. Several of our Purdue graduate students and faculty made presentations at SYU about their research projects and our Food Science Department. In addition to help from SYU, China Agricultural University in Beijing assisted the Purdue group with a tour of its large food science program, and arrangements to visit with government officials about the food industry in China and multinational food companies doing business there.
Of course, no visit to China is complete without a little sightseeing and shopping! On weekends during the trip, students were able to visit famous sights and do a little shopping for themselves and family at home!
Thank you to all the individuals and companies who helped make this study trip a success! We at the Food Science Department at Purdue hope to be able to continue offering this opportunity to our graduate students every two years.
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