- Nutritional food and beverage product development, bridging between chefs, food technologists, protein chemists and biochemists, and executives.
- Industry research planning, methods development, rapid prototyping, product development management and troubleshooting, patent applications, product upscaling, co-packer and business-to-business relations, and brand ambassadorship to both businesses and consumers.
- Product-specific reduction and elimination of eggs and dairy ingredients in a variety of food systems, food emulsion biochemistry and physical chemistry, fermentation and coagulation within non-dairy systems, dehydrated vegetable and fruit microstructure, peri- and post-harvest almond quality quantification (including fieldwork), mammalian and bacterial cell biology, materials science and engineering, proteomics, and biomedical research.
- Plant physiology and post-harvest biology, preservation and maintenance of fresh-cut quality, and thermal and non-thermal advanced food processing technologies.
- Food and beverage biochemistry and physical chemistry topics: Bread staling, beverage cloudiness, crunchy snack phase transitions, and novel formulation soft serve texture.
- Better Process Control School - Management (ServSafe™ certified).
- Global food issues and how to ameliorate them, evolutionary biology, human biome trends, organic and DIY food movements, and science communication.
- Resolving food and beverage production and storage challenges:
- Extending the shelf life of our fresh bakery items.Extending the shelf life of our fresh bakery items.
- Identifying the oxidative chemistry responsible for our food colorant fading.
- Options for clean-label non-thermal pasteurization of beverages.
Independent Consultant, 2013 - Present
- Providing consulting services to startups, culinary schools, and businesses of all sizes, from sole proprietorships to Fortune 500 companies.
- Product development management, guidance, and troubleshooting.
- Secondary research deep-dives into food and beverage biochemistry, answering industry's bothersome questions. For example, "what would it take to extend the shelf life of our fresh bakery item by three weeks?" "What oxidative chemistry is responsible for our food colorant fading in only one of our applications?" "What clean-label non-thermal pasteurization options are available for our beverage?"
- Writing manuals for production and quality assurance, including identification of vital specifications to ensure product performance.
- Curriculum development for nascent food science classes used by a culinary school seeking accreditation, including syllibi, lecture titles, homework assignments, research projects, and grading rubrics.
- Research and vetting novel food manufacturing processes.
- Drafting patent applications.
Treasure8, San Francisco, CA, Research and Development Scientist, 2013 - 2015
- Research liaison to collaborating scientists at the USDA, (California Energy Commission sponsor).
- Research scientist for a small, fast-moving startup, designing a wide variety of better-for-you foods using novel ingredients and processes, creating highly palatable snacks with a high fruit and vegetable content.
- Groundwork research to establish usage parameters and recommendations for said novel ingredients and processes.
- Supporting product development, production ramp-up, Quality Assurance-Quality Control/QA-QC, and co-packers by bringing food science principles and mechanisms to practical troubleshooting and optimization.
- Generating IP and drafting patent applications.
- Training, mentorship, and supervision of food science interns and technicians.
- Development of snack bars incorporating dried vegetable pieces, and algae-based frozen yogurt sold to selected food service cafeterias.
Hampton Creek Foods, San Francisco, CA, 2012 - 2013
Research Scientist and Director of Emulsion Innovation
- Assembled and led a team of 4 researchers working closely with a Research Chef to develop egg-replacers for emulsified foods from mayonnaises to salad dressings.
- Developed Just Mayo™ from a prototype kitchen recipe to grocery store shelves via a contract manufacturer in under a year.
- Balanced a rapid prototyping strategy toward product development with deeper research to uncover a mechanistic understanding of novel ingredient functionality, both at the oil-water interface, and in the aqueous phase.
- Assisted in pilot plants of potential customer-companies, equipment vendors, and co-packers.
Impossible Foods, Inc., Researcher, 2012
- Provided support for this startup company that replaced meats and cheeses with plant-based ingredients. Collaborated on the nondairy cheese project, applying traditional fermentation techniques to nut milks.
- Design and implementation of preliminary data collection methods to obtain essential processing and yield information without unduly hampering productivity.
- Microbiological culture of environmental bacteria, multi-strain fermentation, isolation and tracking of contaminants, PCR.
- Bridging the expertise and work-strategies of scientists, chefs, and engineers to boost product development.
- Kite Hill™ line is now available at Whole Foods Market stores nationwide.
University of California, Davis, Graduate Student Researcher, 2009 - 2013
- Doctoral research within the Barrett Lab developed new methods to quantify quality problems in almonds.
- Generation and fine-tuning of novel bench-top protocols measuring almond skin slip, blanchability, and degree of kernel shrivel. Also performed: rapid germination assays and enzyme analysis via spectrophotometry.
- Modeling almond skin surface area from other physical properties using stepwise linear regression (R2=0.69), which was presented at the Institute of Food Technologists annual meetings.
- Field sampling: two months of weekly collection and processing of almonds from three parallel orchards 100 miles apart to determine the role of immaturity and drying speed on crop defects.
- Regular written and oral presentations to almond growers, processors, and Almond Board administrators to ensure pragmatism and utility of research and results.
- Training and supervision of 8 undergraduate students.
- Teaching assistant in 600-student undergraduate glass, Food, Folklore, and Health.
Undergraduate Research, Projects and Internships
- Cellular Biology, Northeastern University, MA, 2007 - 2008
- Plant Protein Chemistry, Danforth Plant Science Center, MI, 2007
- Drug Discovery, Novartis, Cambridge, MA, 2005 - 2007
- Materials Science & Engineering, Cornell University, NY, 2006
- Food Science Department Executive Board, Student Representative, 2009 - 2011
- Food Science Graduate Student Association, Co-President, 2009 - 2010
Honors & Publications
- Better Process Control School
- Fresh-Cut Products: Maintaining Quality & Safety
- ServSafe™ Food Management Professional Certification
- How to Deliver Fresh Food Quality via Advanced Processing Technologies
- Dissertation: Almond Seed Coat, Surface Area, and Kinetics of Removal Via Blanching
Publications and Patents
- Author and Co-Author of publications in peer reviewed journals and educational text.
- 3 U.S. patents
- Ph.D. Biochemistry-Food Science, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA
- B.S. Biology, (summa cum laude) Northeastern University, Boston, MA