Navjot Toor, MSc Applied Graduate, 2015

I am pursuing my Master’s degree in the Integrated Food and Bioprocessing program at McGill. With a biotechnology background and an interest in food science, it seems like this program was designed for me!  Moreover, being a part of the McGill community is a pride in itself.

I hail from a small town in Punjab, India. My father is a businessman as well as a farmer. I did my early education in a convent school. Coming from an agricultural family background, I have always had an interest in agricultural and biological sciences. Hence, I opted for a Bachelor’s program in biotechnology for my undergraduate degree at Amity University, Uttar Pradesh, India. During my undergrad, I was exposed to various fields related to biotechnology and pursued three different co-op trainings at a hospital, a pharmaceutical company (Ranbaxy Private Ltd.), and a dairy company. This provided me with a basic understanding and experience of working in these fields. During my undergrad, I developed a keen interest in the field of food sciences. I wished to obtain a Master’s degree in Food Science from a reputed Canadian university. However, my limited knowledge and exposure to food science was an issue.

After much exploring, I came across the IFB program at McGill University. After further enquiry and guidance from Bioresource Engineering Professors Valerie Orsat, Vijaya Raghavan, and Marie-Josée Dumont, I opted to enroll for this program – which is a blend of bioresource engineering and food science. This program focuses on experimental and theoretical research to help the agri-food industry to enhance process efficiency and productivity. This program has allowed me to learn the basics of and latest advancements in food engineering and food science, and apply an integrated approach within both fields, to tackle the challenges of the fast-paced agri-food sector.

This program also gives the flexibility to choose between pursuing a co-op/internship with an industry host or a project within McGill. I opted for a co-op at a company, Giraffe Food and Beverages, Mississauga, Ontario, which manufactures sauces, dips, salad dressings, and beverage concentrates. I worked as an R&D and Product Developer and created new varieties of sauces, dips, or salad dressings for different food products. I also worked on a project which involved the comparison of the effect of natural and artificial preservatives on the sensory properties of different sauces and dressing. These results were used to replace artificial preservatives with natural ones in many sauces at Giraffe. In recognition of my performance during my studies at McGill, I was chosen by the Department of Bioresource Engineering to receive a Graduate Excellence Award.

In addition to my studies, I had the opportunity to gain experience as a Teaching Assistant in various courses and held part-time positions as a data entry clerk at the McGill Health Center and a student navigator at the McGill Library.

Studying at McGill has also given me the opportunity to enjoy the beauty and culture of Montreal and Quebec and its neighboring cities as well as interact and make friends from different nations.

Hence, the IFB program at McGill gave me immense opportunities to learn and excel in my field and to cherish innumerable experiences. It also brought me many steps closer to my aim to work in the food industry by making innovations and serving the world in combatting issues such as food insecurity.


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