Cranberries and Chemistry Came Together with Ocean Spray Internship 

A chemistry doctoral student gained valuable research experience this summer with Ocean Spray Cranberries.  

Edwin Davidson Barahona was tapped by the farmer cooperative to work in research and development by supporting production improvements and quality measurements for cranberry products.  

“The idea of working for a vibrant company with a reputable background, and an ability to have an impact both locally and internationally, was very appealing to my future career goals,” Barahona said. 

Edwin Davidson Barahona in the Ocean Spray lab conducting cranberry research 

About the Opportunity 

Ocean Spray is owned by the farmers that grow their cranberries in a cooperative.  

Barahona’s work in the Research and Development department revolved around assessing the quality and production processes of cranberry products. Some of his projects included quantifying the phenolics found in cranberry products, conducting a chemical analysis of cranberry sauce to improve the production process and developing analytical methods to assess the quality and chemical composition of potential new cranberry products.  

Experience Highlights 

The most memorable experience for Barahona was venturing into the cranberry bog and seeing how the cranberries float when they flood the bogs with water. 

While taking some time off from his doctoral research for a few months needed consideration, Barahona gained vital experience, knowledge and skills that he will apply toward his studies and career.  

“Undoubtedly this experience has influenced and cemented my planned professional goals after my Ph.D.,” said Barahona.  

Chemistry Professor Swadesh Santra, Ph.D., Barahona’s internship adviser, was excited to see Barahona succeed with an internship that prepared him to take on environmental, energy and agricultural challenges.  

“This is clearly a right path to developing the next generation of young leaders,” he said.  

Learn More About UCF’s Chemistry Program.

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