NCFIL Summer Intern: Emilize Momplaisir
August 11, 2021
“There hasn’t been a side of food science I haven’t liked yet,” says Emilize Momplaisir, one of the interns who joined the NC Food Innovation Lab (NCFIL) this summer.
With an interest in food’s role in human health and how it affects the body, Momplaisir was attracted to the science focus of NCFIL. After her college advisor put her in contact with Cindy Calhoun, Sr. Food Scientist, the two formed a relationship that has paved the way for success.
Happy to Be Here
Momplaisir spends most of her time working in the Test Kitchen on a number of plant-based products including beverages, snacks, baked goods, soups and entrees.
“In school they teach us that industries are large scale. We see communal kitchens where people start to work on products before you get to craft food. I was pleasantly surprised; I wasn’t prepared for it to look like a regular kitchen with equipment that I would want,” Momplaisir comments.
The internship is giving her the opportunity to work closely with clients and bring projects to fruition. “It’s one thing to do it in the classroom and another to have it here and present it to a customer,” Momplaisir adds. “I’m happy to be here.”
Calhoun is equally happy to have Momplaisir on board: “Emilize is personable, has a positive attitude, and is very talented.”
Preparation is Key
Momplaisir earned a bachelor’s degree in Applied Food Science with a minor in Sommelier Management from Johnson and Wales University. She also holds a dual degree in Food Science and Journalism from University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Momplaisir believes her college courses prepared her well for this experience, but she is benefiting from the technology and guidance that NCFIL offers. She is particularly enjoying working with benchtop product development alongside Joseph Hildebrand, Pilot Plant Manager, and using the vacuum tumbler.
“I really like it here,” says Momplaisir. “I’m pleased with my work.”
The Future is Food
Described as driven and creative, Momplaisir wants to cast a wide net and see many different aspects of food science. She is interested in disease research as well as academia.
Update: Following her work with NCFIL this summer, Momplaisir began working toward a master’s degree in Food Science at NC State University.