Shanna Marcelino: Finding What’s Bad in Beer

Chemistry Major
Fort Washington, Md.


Shanna Marcelino cannot think of beer the same way ever again.

Marcelino, 21, is looking at certain flavor properties of beer using a gas chromatography mass spectrometer at her internship with Shimadzu in Columbia, Md. The Japanese company manufactures scientific equipment. This one analyzes and identifies compounds.

Marcelino’s beer experiment isn’t one where you’d want to do a taste test. Her supervisor provided an IPA and a Shiner Strawberry Blonde that were past their best-by dates to examine the not-so-pleasant side of beers, like a metallic taste or a skunky aroma.

“Anything that is unsatisfying,” said Marcelino, who is also pursuing a concentration in biochemistry.

The reason for the experiment is to show different uses for the gas chromatography mass spectrometer. She’s working a poster about her research that could be shown at a future expo or conference.

Marcelino is getting hands-on experience using the gas chromatography mass spectrometer, including troubleshooting. At Frostburg, she was introduced to that instrument and was taught how to read results on a chromatogram, readying her for the internship.

Marcelino initially had an interest in forensics before the internship, but that might have changed now.

“I feel like I’d want to work for a scientific instrument manufacturing company, because you’d get to do all these different applications and any project you’d want to do,” she said.

Shanna Marcelino

Shanna Marcelino