Scholars Forum Success Stories: Rachel Magliane from Food and Nutrition

Posted on 3/31/2016 2:11:39 PM

The Undergraduate Scholars Forum (USF) is a yearly event allowing students to present their findings and development for those interested in research. Students interact with scholars, professors, and other individuals who seek interest in the occasion. Today’s story comes from the Food and Nutrition Department. Rachel Magliane, a senior dietetics major, won second place for Outstanding Poster and an honorable mention for her bibliography during the 2015 USF.

Rachel presented her research on a strawberry shortcake recipe. Her goal was to substitute granulated sugar with three other variables: Splenda, Truvia, and Agave Nectar. She made four recipes, one with each variable for four consecutive weeks, and then tested them subjectively and objectively using scientific equipment and sensory panelist. Initially, she wanted to determine if there were any significant differences between the sugar substitutes and granulated sugar.

For her results she had the judges as her sensory panelist. They tried her recipes and evaluated it on moistness, taste (how sweet it was), and texture (if it was soft or dense). Then she used scientific equipment for the volume and density. The sensory panelist voted that using statistical analysis showed that Truvia and Agave Nectar were more desirable. They showed to be moister and sweeter than the graduated sugar. Overall, there were not that many significant differences between the variables, so it is possible to make a strawberry shortcake recipe with sugar substitutes. It proves that if someone had diabetes or is sensitive to sugar they would be able to enjoy this dessert.

“I would definitely recommend doing the forum since it is a great way to talk to people about your research,” Magliane stated. She exhibited a giant poster, which was presented with her research paper and process of the variables. As a treat she gave samples of her Splenda recipe, which enforced many discussions leading her to collaborate with other professors in more research.

“It [USF] helps you put what you’ve done into real life. You’ve done the science, the research, and to be able to show that to other people makes you proud of your work.

(Story compiled and written by Nakisha Cohen, English/Writing Studies)