Advanced Major Projects

Advanced Major Projects


PUAC, Thalia. Leaves from Wild Blueberry Plants: Health benefits and potential uses as Functional Foods. Supervisor: Dr. Marcia English; Second Reader, Dr. Ed Barre


LUTE,S Victoria. Can leptin help alleviate obesity? Supervisor: Dr. Pat Mazier

COTE, Jacqueline. Evaluation of technologies used to remove off-flavors compounds from chickpeas in baked products and meat alternatives. Supervisor: Marcia English, PhD(c)

GRANO, Alixis. Quality attributes that affect market acceptance of Canadian pulses (chickpeas) in local and Indian markets. Supervisor: Marcia English, PhD(c)

SOUDANT, Kelly. Exploring food guide strategies for pre-school children in rural Nova Scotia. Supervisor: Dr. Ann Fox

STEVENSON, Jane. Exploring key aspects of food guidance tools from around the world. Supervisor: Dr. Ann Fox
Supervisor: Christine Johnson
Project: The Use of Photovoice in Food Security Research as a Way to Promote and Evaluate Individual, Social and Policy Change.

Background: Food security depends on social, economic and political factors that impact an individual’s ability to afford a sufficient quality and quantity of food. Effective food security initiatives must address these determinants from the perspective of affected populations. Photovoice research provides participants with an opportunity to share their experiences with food security using photography, which provides a strong foundation for the development of relevant community food security initiatives. Methods: Photovoice studies of food security issues were compiled to determine the occurrence of individual, social and policy change. A framework of participant empowerment supported the development and analysis of themes. The themes were used to determine the potential of Photovoice to promote participant empowerment and community change. The use of Photovoice as a method of participatory evaluation was also noted to determine ‘promising practices’ for use in future assessment research. Results: Photovoice was found to promote individual changes such as increased self-awareness, critical thinking skills, leadership skills and confidence. Social changes included sharing experiences and knowledge, building equal power relationships, and promoting community involvement in food security issues. The reviewed studies demonstrated suggestions for future policy work, participant involvement in policy activities and evidence of successful policy change. Photovoice was used as an effective evaluation tool in several of the reviewed studies. Conclusion: This review demonstrates the potential of Photovoice to promote and evaluate change on individual, social, and policy levels. Nutrition professionals should consider Photovoice as an empowering method of engaging diverse populations in effecting multi-level change on the determinants of food security.
Supervisor: Dr. Marian Naczk; Dr. Laurie Wadsworth
Project: Can Coffee be Considered a Functional Food?

This study focused on a critical review of existing literature of the composition of bioactive components and their potential health benefits in roasted coffee and coffee brew, particularly chlorogenic acids and melanoidins, as well as their potential health effects. The aim of this research was to provide a basis for future consideration of coffee as a functional food by Health Canada and implication for future research. Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages worldwide. It is a brewed beverage made from the seeds of red berries of evergreen shrubs of the genus Coffea. Traditionally, beneficial effects of coffee have been attributed solely to its most investigated ingredient, caffeine. Yet, little is known of  compounds that may contribute to the valuable properties of this beverage. Besides caffeine, both chlorogenic acids (CGAs) and coffee melanoidins are currently under research regarding to their biological properties. Studies have shown that both CGAs and coffee melanoidins are heavily metabolized in the colon which indicates that they may serve as prebiotics in biological systems. Coffee is the main source of CGAs in the human diet.Health benefits associated with CGA consumption include possible reduction of the relative risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as increased antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activities. Additional beneficial properties regarding coffee melanoidins include antioxidative effects, which have been partly ascribed to their metal chelating capacity, free radical-scavenging activity, and antimicrobial effects against pathogenic microorganisms.
Lindsay Boisvenue
Supervisor: Dr. Pat Mazier
Project: Do school gardens have an effect on the nutrition knowledge of elementary school children?
Erica Keys
Supervisor:  Silvia Fleuren
I'm researching industry produced Point of Purchase (POP) nutrition symbols, specifically the PepsiCo "smart spot" symbol. I'm looking into the history behind them, when and why they started, how effective they have been both in terms of marketing, as well as the possible impact they have had on consumer health.

I'm interested in learning whether POP symbols can have a positive impact (without sounding like I work for Pepsi) and evaluating the stigma that is attached to PepsiCo as a company. The reduction of the gap between health professionals and big business and how the health professionals can learn from business and vice versa is another area I want to investigate.