Speaker Series

The President's Club Virtual Speaker Series premiered in June 2020. If you have topic or speaker ideas for future events, please send them to presidentsclub@osu.edu.

February 2022

A taste of chocolate: its origins, history and health

Photo of Dr. Mary Kay PohlschneiderDr. Mary Kay Pohlschneider is a Senior Lecturer in the of Department of Food Science and Technology at the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. She teaches Introduction to Food Processing, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), Food and Health Controversies, Caffeine Science, Kitchen Science and Chocolate Science.

Over the years on faculty at Ohio State, Mary Kay has become known throughout the residence halls for her faculty programs about the science of foods including cookies, ice cream, coffee but especially chocolate. She also serves as a mentor for the university’s Second-year Transformational Experience Program, as well as advising Food Science undergraduate students. Mary Kay received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from The Ohio State University, College of Food Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences in Animal Sciences and Ph.D. from Food Science and Technology.



Learn more about Dr. Mary Kay Pohlschneider:

Most class discussions for my “Chocolate Science” course include a sensory evaluation/comparison of 2-3 chocolate samples. I purchase all chocolates at the beginning of the term and match the evaluation theme with the lecture material for each class.

I am often asked to give presentations for our residence halls covering my chocolate course material. For these programs, I have the resident assistant purchase chocolate samples. Early in my teaching career, a resident assistant in my class invited me to her hall. One of the chocolates she purchased had a surprise. By the end of the program, we all referred to it as, “The Chocolate of DEATH.” It contained nutmeg and coriander and truly was terrible.

Little did that student know, this chocolate was on the schedule for our next class. With such a strong, distinct aroma, she smelled it before walking into the classroom. In Charlie Brown missing-the-football style, she exclaimed, “ARRGH, THE CHOCOLATE OF DEATH!” Most of the students passed on that sample, and I implemented an “Evaluate the chocolate samples in silence” policy. By the way, that chocolate is no longer produced.

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