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Podcast Interviews

Expert Food Product Development Advice – “My Food Job Rocks!” Podcast

Written by Adam Yee of “My Food Job Rocks!”

Episode Overview

I knew Rachel before I even graduated and she didn’t know me.

She might have actually been the first person I’ve ever seen who was a consultant. I think it’s because she took advantage of the online space and I stumbled onto one of her articles, or e-books, or something.

Anyways, if you’re in NorCal, and you don’t know Rachel Zemser, you might actually be living under a rock.

Her presence online and offline makes it seem like she’s everywhere. And she needs to be as it’s necessary navigating the Bay trying to solve silicon valley’s greatest challenge: consumer packaged food.

In the bonus episode, you might have caught a bit on how Rachel networks, but this episode talks much more on being an expert formulator, even if you aren’t already in R+D.

Not only that, but she gives some life advice to young professionals who might not want to leave home, gives some amazing insight on new food ingredients, and rants and raves about her favorite restaurants in the world.

Listen Here

Key Takeaways

  • On mentorship and being a pro developer
  • Why young professionals should move
  • How to be a regulatory consultant

Question Summary

How did you find out about food science?: I picked it out randomly

How do you become an expert formulator?: If they only make one product, they will get to know all the procedures fast. Books  can help, but you have to live it. You have to learn through mentors. However, if you were in a big company, you can go and be friends with the R+D department. Keep on learning from all avenues

How to get Mentors and Mentees: Symbiotic relationship

Quick Tips: If an intern is really really new, in general, it’s a negative Return on Investment

How long do you think someone should be in a company before leveling off their skill set?: 5 to 6 years
Depends on what position you are. There is not a lot of turnover in food companies. They won’t get rid of you.

New Jersey and Chicago: a lot of competition. Arizona not so much.

Young Professional Advice: if you’re 22 to 32 years old and have no kids, you should go out and explore the world. Don’t be afraid to leave the coop.

Tips on Starting your Career: I meet so many graduates from Davis who will never ever leave the Bay Area. Rachel suggests that they should leave and explore.

Quick Tip: Keep on going for food science and you can be a consultant for life

Food Trends and Technologies: Protein Powders, Fat Powders, Botanicals and Antioxidants
TIC Gums, Colony Gums have teams to support you. Ingredient companies have a huge technical support network to help you out

What is one thing in the food industry you’d need to be more about?: More education for fats and oils
Coconut Oil was bad in the 70s. Palm Oil is bad now due to sustainable concerns

U Mass Amherst: Gum and Hydrocolloid class

What’s the hardest part about being a consultant?: Hard part about being a consultant is that you know a lot of things, but not everything

Favorite Kitchen tool: Chocolate Melange: Can make her own peanut butter and chocolate

Favorite Quote: Are you a nutritionist? Nutritionists care what you put in your body

Do you have any advice for anyone in the food industry?: You have to love it.

Check out the podcast and learn more about ‘my food job rocks’
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