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Elena De La Pena Completes Ph.D. in Cereal Science

Elena De La Pena completed her Ph.D. in Cereal Science, defending her thesis, "Manufacturing Optimization of Non-Traditional Pasta Products" in October.
Elena De La Pena Completes Ph.D. in Cereal Science

Elena De La Pena (right) with adviser Dr. Frank Manthey

Elena De La Peña dissertation video

Elena De La Peña defended her Cereal Science Ph.D. research on October 27, 2014. Her thesis is titled Manufacturing Optimization of Non-Traditional Pasta Products. The purpose of her research was to determine how to optimize the manufacture of non-traditional pasta products such as whole wheat flour and flaxseed flour.

Consumer trends to consume healthier diets which include more fortified food products is expanding. The pasta industry has started to manufacture non-traditional pasta lines that contain ingredients which provide additional nutritional value to the end product, but may impact processing technology and pasta quality. Whole wheat flour and flaxseed flour are two excellent fortification ingredients because of their well-documented benefits on human health. The objective of De La Peña’s dissertation was to optimize the manufacturing process of non-traditional pasta products.

De La Peña is from Burgos, Spain and came to Fargo as an NDSU exchange student in 2009. She completed her M.S. in Food Safety and Biotechnology at the University of Bergos in May 2011 and returned to NDSU for a Ph.D. in Cereal Science.

While at NDSU, De La Peña was a finalist in the 2013 American Association of Cereal Chemistry International Best Student Research Paper Competition and received the Dakota Specialty Milling Scholarship in 2013. She received the Frank Bain Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship and the American Association of Cereal Chemistry International Anheuser Busch/Campbell Graduate Fellowship in 2014.

She has accepted a position with Ingredion, Inc. as an associate scientist in bakery and snacks applications.

Elena De La Peña’s adviser was Dr. Frank Manthey. Dr. Senay Simsek, Dr. Jae-Bom Ohm and Dr. Dennis Wiesenborn were on her Graduate Committee.

Source: Elena De La Pena (contact Dr. Frank Manthey, 701-231-6356,
Author: Shannon Ueker, 701-231-7971,
Editor: Karen Hertsgaard, 701-231-5384,

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