Final Week!

​​Hello everyone, this is my last post for my internship. My summer internship ends this week. Time flies by.

This is a very meaningful summer for me. I went to YOU shelter and had chances to help other people. I learned lots of personal and professional skills. For example, my communication skills have improved a lot. Both verbal and written communication skills improved. I can speak English more fluently without nervousness. I can write emails faster and clearer. I can ask clever questions to people who have different study backgrounds and get the information we need. As for professional skills, I can use the professional application to do nutrition analysis for recipes. I know how to conduct sensory testing. I know how to create nutrition fact tables. I also know how to write summary reports for people who do not have a nutrition background. These skills are very important for my future study and career. I really appreciate WHE and YOU give me the internship opportunity to improve myself.

Within the two weeks, I was working on my final report and poster program. I summarize and reflect what I have done in the 3 months internship. I looked back to my blog posts and I found lots of interesting things that I forgot. I thought that writing work records was a good habit, and I will keep the habit in my future work. I still need to apply some changes for the report and poster. I am supposed to finish the fixed report and poster today, but I have work to do on Thursday and Friday. Thus, I ask Maria to give me the extension to next Monday. I really appreciate that Maria gives me the extension and understanding. What I want to express is that the online internship is flexible. When you have conflicts or difficulties, do not hesitate to talk with others, like Maria, other interns or community partners. Everything will be figured out!

The Cover Page of Final Report
Poster Program without Changes

Conducting Sensory Testing

Hello everyone! This is the last two weeks of my internship, but I still did some impressive tasks. I felt so excited to tell you about this great news. We conducted sensory testing this week.

Ana and I went to the YOU shelter last week to conduct sensory testing. After we discussed with Darryl about the specific time that we could go to shelter to do the test. It’s very nice that Darryl said that he could help us prepare the plain yogurt. We went to the shelter on Wednesday at 10 a.m. and we prepared the sauces for four flavours which are strawberry, strawberry-banana, peach and lime. First, we cut the fruits into small pieces. Next, we cook the fruits with sugar until the gel forms. Then, we cool the sauces down in the fridge. Then we combine the sauce with the plain yogurt and put it in the fridge to prepare another flavour.

We have some problems during the process. First, the peach flavour was off flavour. Maybe that was because we used canned peaches. The sugar was stuck on the peaches flesh not fully absorbed by the yogurt. Also, maybe because the peach was not fresh, the yogurt also did not absorb the peach flavours. For the strawberry flavour, the first time we did not put enough sauce in the yogurt, but after we doubled the sauce, I think the amount of sauce is appropriate for the flavour. The strawberry-banana flavour was my favourite and it’s also got positive feedback from youth. The only problem was that the banana would become brown when it was exposed in the air for a long time. The brown color will affect the appearance and the flavor of the yogurt. Maybe we can try the banana powder or canned banana next time. The lime flavour exceeded my expectations. The lime flavour smells great. I do not have any specific comments on this flavor. It’s good enough. Finally, we didn’t have chances to have the testing during lunch time, because the lunch time was finished after we finished the yogurt preparation. We left the yogurt there and asked the youth to do the test during dinner time with the help of the shelter staff. Thus, we did not get enough samples at the end.

There are some recommendations for the future interns according to our experience. First, the texture is good. The problem we worried about did not appear. The yogurt did not become watery. Also, if we can cool the yogurt for a longer time, the yogurt may absorb more flavour from sauces. In addition, our procedure did not have any problems, it’s very convenient. We just needed to change the ingredients, such as changing the canned peach to fresh peach, changing the banana to the banana flavoured powder or canned bananas. If Nick wants to launch the yogurt in the café, I believe the youth can quickly adopt the making process. Hope future interns can get better results when they repeat the sensory testing.

Strawberry pieces
Fresh lime juice
Cooking peach sauce
Cooking strawberry sauce
Preparing the lime yogurt
Strawberry flavoured yogurt
Mashed banana
Finished sensory testing samples

Finished Work and Sensory Testing

Hello, welcome back to my blog! These two weeks I continued to do the nutritional analysis for the rest of the recipes. I had great progress this week, and I have finished all the analysis for the recipes. Also, at this stage, I added one chart for each recipe, which was the nutritional table. Now each recipe had three forms of report, and the other two were spreadsheet and multi-column. Meanwhile, if there were some recipes that had optional ingredients, I would produce two versions of reports with the optional ingredient and without the optional ingredient. I produced more than twenty reports in total during these two weeks, so I would just show the screenshots for some of them.

The other nice progress is that we are going to conduct sensory testing for flavoured yogurt next Tuesday, July 26th. The four flavours were strawberry, strawberry-banana, peach and Lemon or lime. Last meeting with our community partner, we got a lot of information, and we had a clearer idea about what our community partner wanted. Nick said that we should be as convenient as possible. He meant that if we had trouble producing yogurt under an ideal environment, it would be difficult for youth to work in café or shelter. After this consideration, we decided to add the flavour after the plain yogurt was made. Also, we asked Dr. Hekmat about if we would have problems adding the flavour after fermentation. She said it’s okay if we cool the yogurt down to set yogurt gel. Thus, our plan will work.

I am so excited to go to the shelter again. Hope everything is going well for our sensory testing.

Spreadsheet- Avocado Lime Dressing (part information)
Multi Column- Avocado Lime Dressing
Avocado Lime Dressing Nutritional Table
Spreadsheet- Avocado Lime Dressing with cilantro (part information)
Multi Column- Avocado Lime Dressing with cilantro
Avocado Lime Dressing Nutritional Table with cilantro

New Updates

Hello, everyone! Time flies. It’s the second half of my internship. We had lots of progress during these two weeks. In this week, I did the nutritional analysis for the first recipe. After the selection, we only had the sauces recipes left. When I tried the food processor application, I found that the application is great, because I could directly get the different types of reports, such as a multi-column report showing the total amount of each nutrient and a spreadsheet showing the nutrient contained in each ingredient. The great thing was that the application can produce a simple nutritional chart. The function makes our job easier.

However, I still faced some problems, because the amount of black pepper was not sure. I didn’t know if the amount was 1 teaspoon or 1 tablespoon. Also, the sugar was suggested, so I did not know if I should add sugar as an ingredient in the recipe. Finally, the probiotic yogurt in the app was not sure to be the same as the fiti probiotic yogurt. The first two questions needed answers from Darryl, and we were still waiting for his reply. The last question was solved by Dr. Hekmat who said the two types of yogurts should be similar, and the difference might be the amount of sugar, fat or the flavoured ingredients. My plan was to create different reports for different conditions. After the final decision was made, we could use the information in the report to produce a nutritional chart for each recipe.

In addition, there was great news about sensory testing. Ana and I were planning to conduct sensory testing this month, so stay tuned! Hope everything is going well!

Spreadsheet- Horseradish Cream Sauce
Multi Column- probiotic yogurt
Multi Column- Horseradish Cream Sauce
Multi Column- Horseradish Cream Sauce with 1 tbsp black pepper
Multi Column- Horseradish Cream Sauce without sugar

Getting Help!

Hello, everyone! I have a lot of great news to tell you. I got lots of help in these two weeks. At this stage of my internship, I was working on the nutritional analysis for the recipes that I got from the chef in YOU. There were some questions that I needed to solve. First, the YOU manager wanted to know the daily percentage of a serving of Fiti composed in the recipes. In addition, he wanted to know the viability of bacteria in these recipes. Finally, he needed the full nutritional charts for the sauces and dips’ recipes.

Speaking of the help I got, we had a new intern who was a work study student and her name is Ana. She also had a nutritional background. We could work together, and she provided lots of help to me during this time. I could have discussions with her about the nutritional problems. Ana provided different perspectives on the priorities of the community partner. Originally, my thoughts were too complicated. I thought that we needed to analyze all the 30 recipes, but after the discussions with Ana, we just needed to analyze the recipes that did not kill probiotic bacteria. We had less work needed to do. I was really happy that we can work as a team. It’s better than working by myself, because I might easily make mistakes and be on the wrong path.    

From the community partner’s priorities, we had a challenge. We had some problems on how to determine the viability of the Fiti probiotic bacteria. From here, we got help from Dr. Sharareh Hekmat. She is an expert on the Fiti probiotic problems. We asked her about the viability issues of probiotics. We got the information that the probiotics were alive under 40-45 degrees. Thus, the recipes that contained the heating process might not work for the bacteria.

I think we had lots of progress during the two weeks. The next step is to give an example recipe analysis to the manager to see if we are doing right.

Making Yogurt

Hello! During these two weeks of my intern life, the most exciting event was making yogurt. Last week, I had a chance to go to YOU shelter and work with the chef there. In this post, I will tell you how to make yogurt.

First stage was making concentrated yogurt. We used instant pots to make the yogurt. There were three pots. First, we put 1.5 L of milk in each pot. The instant pot had a yogurt function, so we just needed to push the yogurt button and rise to a high temperature. We waited about half an hour, and the milk was ready. We put the milk in the fridge to wait for the milk to cool down to under 45 degrees, or the probiotic would be killed. We checked a couple of times to see if the temperature was under 45 degrees. After the milk was cooled down, we put one pack of Fiti probiotic in each pot. We used the yogurt function again, but the milk was cooked under medium temperature this time for 20 hours. On the second day, the chef would collect the yogurt and put it into the fridge.

For the second stage, we just repeated the process like the first stage, but this time we cooked more milk, about 6 L in each pot. Thus, we cooked longer than the first stage for about 1 hour. When the pots were done cooking, we put the milk in the freezer this time to cool down the milk more quickly. After the milk was cooled down, we put about 1 cup of concentrated yogurt we made during the first stage into each pot. Again, the milk was cooked under medium temperature overnight. On the second day, we could get 20 L yogurt!

After reading my post, I hope you can make yogurt at home. Enjoy this post!

Instant pots
Yogurt function
Concentrated yogurt
18 L milk
Adding yogurt into milk

Beginning of My Internship

Hello everyone! This is the second week of my summer internship. I am so excited to begin the work with YOU.

First, I want to talk about the preparation before the summer internship. We had five orientation workshops over the last few months. One of these workshops was an in person meeting. It’s a great opportunity to meet new people and become familiar with your work partners. In these workshops, we discussed the important things we learned from the required modules. The most important thing I learned was self-reflection. We need to always ask ourselves if the language and actions have any problems before doing anything. When we work under a different cultural background from our own culture, it’s important to respect the local culture. We cannot say anything including negative and discriminatory words or content.

Next, we had two very interesting Swahili lessons this and last week. I learned how to introduce myself to peers and older people. I learned numbers and asked how much things are. We also had very simple conversations by Swahili. I thought that the lessons were very interesting and useful.

Speaking of the experience within the two weeks, I noticed that communication is very important. There are two challenges for me at this period. First one is time management, because I have one summer course, and I need to balance the time between study and work. The problem was that I could not find a suitable time to have a weekly meeting with other interns, because of my summer course. After I discussed the time with my supervisor by email, I found out that I could join the meeting on the other day. Second, I was so confused about what tasks I can start with. However, after meeting with the community partner, and I asked their priorities, I felt much clearer now. The manager clearly told me what they wanted and what I could do. Thus, the next steps for me are working on the recipe’s nutritional analysis and helping with making yogurt for YOU.

There two tips for you:

-Always asking questions



I am going to be a forth year student in fall. I am currently in the Foods and Nutrition at Western University. My blog are mainly about my experience for the summer internship.

I will be work with Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU) in London, Ontario. YOU is YOU is a non-profit organization which supports youth and provide resources and training to help youth get success. I will use the nutrition knowledge from classes to help developing new products, recipes, and effective packages and menu.

I hope I can have a wonderful journey through the internship and I hope you can enjoy my blog.