Since 2015, Fonterra and Monash University have partnered to provide industry placement opportunities for third-year nutrition science students, providing valuable, hands-on experience in the Australian dairy and food industry.
Joyce Yang and Janice Fong are two of these students, currently spending three days a week with Fonterra's Nutrition and Regulatory team. They get to work on a variety of nutrition projects, spending time with different business units and teams, gaining exposure to industry projects and what a career in the food industry really looks like.
A passion for food innovation and research
In her final semester of study, Joyce Yang’s passion for food innovation fuels her eagerness to step into the food industry. She views good nutrition as a prevention strategy for many chronic illnesses and she's interested in the new research and innovations surrounding this.
“Nutritionists are able to drive new product development, playing a pivotal role in preventive measures for these illnesses, and this is why I want to enter the food industry," said Joyce.
Addressing the question on dairy's contribution to bone health, Joyce explained, "dairy products are packed with vital nutrients essential for bone health. Calcium, a key nutrient present in dairy, is important in the construction and maintenance of sturdy bones.
“Combining with phosphorus, another readily available dairy nutrient, calcium forms resilient crystalline structures that give strength and form to bones. Vitamin D and protein, also found in dairy, further increase calcium absorption," she concluded.
Fostering healthier lifestyles through recipe creation
Just like Joyce, Janice Fong is also in her final semester of study at Monash University. She wants to share her knowledge of nutrition, so it fosters healthier lifestyles among individuals. With a passion for recipe creation, Janice’s interests are leading towards the area of food development.
While her course offers the flexibility of opting for a work placement unit, Janice saw the opportunity to develop practical experience, and learn off industry professionals in her field.
When delving into the area of optimal good bone health, Janice said most people don’t think about their bones until they have a fracture or until they reach old age.
“Bones are living tissue, constantly in a state of renewal, meaning people should build and maintain their bones throughout their entire life,” Janice said.
“To do this, all people need to do is get enough calcium, engage in regular exercise and get adequate vitamin D” she added.