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Alexandra F

- Research Program Mentor

Industry expert at University of Massachusetts Amherst


Food Science & Product Development


Hello! My name is Alex Farquharson. I'm a very multi-passionate person, and follow my interests in a variety of ways. I've done research on the gut microbiome, and wrote my honors thesis on breastmilk and the human gut. I'm a food scientist with experience in product development (creating new food and beverage products and bringing them to market). With food science, I've worked in product development for companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies, and have also guided my own career as an independent contractor. Outside of food science, I'm a professional circus artist, and have performed around the US with a variety of companies. I love crafting, and have dabbled in wire work and polymer clay for jewelry, as well as other DIY projects.

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Food/Beverage Product Ideation & Development

Do you love food and have an idea for a new food or beverage product that you want to explore? Let's work through the steps of product development, from ideation to market research, bench top development and consumer tests. On a small scale, we will explore what goes into creating a product that is viable to sell. At the end, you will have a new food product with a clear target audience, and the information to consider taking it to the next steps (financial investment, scale up, and product launch).

Languages I know

Italian, intermediate

Teaching experience

I have been teaching and mentoring for most of my life in conjunction with my career. In my Food Science career, I ran the intern program one summer and mentored the intern. I've tutored science and math to high school students, and was a long term substitute ESL teacher for a middle school student. In college I was a Resident Assistant, and mentored students transitioning from high school to college. Additionally, I have taught skills such as swimming and circus (aerials and acrobatics).


Work experience

The Helmsman Group (2017 - 2021)
Supply Chain Advisor
The National Food Lab (2021 - 2021)
Food Safety & Regulatory Contractor
Covance Food Solutions (2016 - 2017)
Associate Food Scientist
The International Food Network (2015 - 2016)
Food Technologist


University of Massachusetts Amherst
BS Bachelor of Science
Food Science and Technology

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