Student Spotlight: Undergrad Kyla Broderick

Kyla Broderick

Kyla Broderick is a 4th year food science major and U.S. history minor from San Diego. Her interest in food science began when she read a newspaper article about plant-based meat. She learned about scientists who applied the functional properties of plants to simulate the experience of meat with leghemoglobin for "plant blood" and wheat gluten for binding and texture. After Googling the scientists to find out their backgrounds, Kyla applied to UC Davis for food science. 

As a new student, Kyla was eager to gain knowledge of her field and learned more through internships and projects. Like many aspiring food scientists, Kyla wanted to be a product developer. She joined a product development team her sophomore year and formulated a gel-pudding snack sweetened and colored with strawberries and pineapples for IFTSA Disney. Though their product did not survive after the first proposal, Kyla and her teammates learned how to navigate food trends, make process flow diagrams, and pitch a product. Kyla developed a more complete picture of research and development during her internship with Mars-Wrigley in Chicago. There, she spearheaded a project on natural color stability in sugar-free syrup, and learned that coating gum was not as easy as dipping pellets into syrup. Kyla took advantage of the opportunity to shadow her fellow associates, and enjoyed applying her biochemistry and sensory background to her project. 

Here at UC Davis, Kyla has long been involved in the Food Tech Club, first to connect with her department and with her fellow food science majors. The Food Tech Club was a way for her to explore the different sectors of the food industry through plant tours, guest speakers and volunteer events. She initially made friends in the club while preparing deviled eggs for the Holiday Mixer. She assumed a role of responsibility as the Outreach Chair and planned volunteer and speaker events. This year Kyla serves as the Food Tech Club President, working with fellow officers to help their peers learn about the food industry and get involved in the department. 

Kyla is grateful for the opportunities she has had at UC Davis to apply her love for food to her internships and the Food Tech Club. After graduating this spring, Kyla hopes to work in research and development with plant-based foods and plans to attend graduate school in the next two years.