Have you ever wondered what makes a pudding thick and creamy? Or why some foods spoil faster than others? How about the process of caramelization, or the things you can do to milk that make a ton of different products- whipped cream, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, ect.? Well, I’m focusing my life on learning the answers to questions like those. (Also, some answers to those questions listed above, in order = starch gelatinization/protein coagulation, high amounts of water/lack of preservatives, sugar and protein in the presence of heat causes browning in bread, meats, cookies, ect.)
It’s crazy how many food products there are in the grocery stores. Some of them are healthy and some are known for being terrible for you, but here’s the thing: we buy them all. If we didn’t, they would never have been created. And that’s where food scientists come in.
A Food Scientist uses chemistry, food microbiology, engineering, and sensory science to create new products that line a grocery shelf. I started out at Iowa State University planning on becoming a dietician. Once I interviewed an actual dietician, I decided it wasn’t for me. Desperate for a career in food but not sure of my math skills, I took the plunge and joined the Food Science program.
The degree program was fun, challenging, and interesting. I had a great internship that confirmed how much fun it is to create new foods and change old recipes. It is exactly what I want to do for the rest of my life. I want to get into product development so that I can continue to create new food products. It’s what I’ve been doing for many years at home, so why not do it as a career?
Right now I’m an Analytical Scientist, which means I develop and perform food product testing, measuring things like viscosity (thickness), texture, color, pH, and more. It’s different every day and I love it.
Also, I want to blog, and show people what it is that Food Scientists do. They make products that people love, that are healthy, that feed countries, and most of all, taste amazing. And food chemistry is crazy. The many things you can do with sugar are insane. I do agree it can all be done with fewer chemicals, though. Now that consumers are demanding healthier food, I hope to have success making products that aren’t that different from what I’d make at home.
Eat your veggies, exercise, have fun, love life, and eat cupcakes.