Dr. Owen McDougal is a natural products chemist who studies food and dairy process chemistry. He works closely with potato and dairy processors to provide real world research projects for students on topics of value to industry. Dr. McDougal integrates the biomolecular sciences (chemistry, biology and physics) into every aspect of his work to train students as interdisciplinary scientists who can work effectively as part of a team.
Dr. McDougal works with potato processors to develop strategies to monitor fryer oil degradation and fried potato product quality. He studies the chemical composition of tubers from uncooked spud to pulsed electric field treated potato chip. The measurement and mitigation studies for acrylamide in French fries and potato chips constitutes ongoing work with industry partners. Dr. McDougal’s participation with the BUILD Dairy program provides students the opportunity to be part of a regional network of students, faculty and industry partners focused on employee development and dairy science investigation. Students are encouraged to participate in industry internships and present their work regularly as part of the program.