Through the use of several techniques, Dr. Mojica and I will analyze the compositional components of breast milk. In this research project, Free Fatty Acid Profiles of Milk Products, I will first be conducting research on a variety of databases to compile current publications on breast milk samples. This will allow me to perform a comparative analysis of already existing files, which will allow me to form stronger hypothesis when I formally conduct my own hands-on research. By gathering data that already exists, I will be able to analyze how breast milk samples differ by year (when the data was collected), sample size and group, location (which country the milk samples were collected), fat content, sample preparation, and instrument. This collection of data will allow me to shape how I conduct my own breast milk analysis, and what methods appear to be the most efficient in reaching thorough, accurate profiles.
After collecting multiple, varying publications, I will then conduct my own experiment on breast milk. I will use breast milk samples and machinery in the chemistry department to analyze free fatty acid profiles. Using the publications I collected as a framework and guide for my own experiment, I will analyze the same factors that I observed in the publications, then compare my findings against the other compiled publications. I will analyze how the results differ, and why, whether it be due to difference in location, experimental error, or other factors.
From this project, I hope to grasp a stronger understanding of how research is conducted, proper methods to use in different circumstances, and expand my knowledge on how comparative studies function. In terms of my own research, I aim to better understand breast milk composition in relation to outside factors.
All in all, I will use comparative analysis, self-conducted experimentation, and gathering of similar research publications to conduct my research with Dr. Mojica on free fatty acid profiles of breast milk.