Robin Kim, left, measures corn syrup with Jordan Roth, as Sue Kim monitors the temperature of a sugar water solution on the stove as they make gummy worms.

Three years late, food science make-up lab is sweet as sugar

Among all the missed experiences of spring 2020, first-year food science majors in “Leadership and Career Skills in Food Science” (FDSC 1102) lost one more: the opportunity to make candy in a lab.

“I wanted to show how to make confections to highlight how small changes in processing parameters and ingredient chemistry can make – or break – a delicious treat,” said Julie Goddard ’99, Ph.D. ’08, professor of food science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, who teaches the class.

But the lab – like so many other events – was scuttled by the pandemic.

“These students abruptly went home in March 2020,” Goddard said. “This is the cohort that missed out on most of the in-person, hands-on experiential activities – the really fun stuff in my class. I told them back then that I’d be happy to work with them in their senior year to conduct the confections exercise. They worked out the logistics and we are here.”

That sweet make-up lab arrived – exactly 1,000 days later from the March 2020 rush, on Dec. 8 – as seniors Dane Allen, Phillip DaSilva, Sue Kim, Robin Kim, Kailyn Liu and Jordan Roth created gummy worms and candy bars from scratch in the Leslie J. Herzog ’77 and Jacqueline H. Beckley Food Product Innovation Lab in Stocking Hall.

“In our food science classes, we’ve had the opportunity to learn about many scientific processes behind cooking and lab methods, in addition to physically performing these techniques,” Allen said.

“Due to the pandemic, confection-making was one of the things we learned about, but never got to perform,” he said. “We are thankful for Dr. Goddard taking the time after classes are finished – because now we have the experience of learning the science and physically making some very popular confections.”

Media Contact

Lindsey Knewstub