FacebookTwitterYoutubeInstagramGoogle Plus

Food scientist Amanda Kinchla’s innovation happens in the lab…and in the kitchen as she uses science to create new and nutritional foods and food safety solutions.

Episode filmed live at the 2013 World Science Festival in New York CIty. The full Cool Jobs program from that year can be viewed online.

View Additional Video Information

Speaker 1:
How’s everyone doing? I’m really excited to be here because I have a cool job as a food scientist. Has anyone heard about a food scientist? Raise your hand if you’ve heard what is food science… All right, nice. Well, I didn’t know that I was going to be a food scientist when I was a kid, but looking back, there were a few signs, like… My brother’s in the audience, so he can attest to this as a victim of some of my early experiments. One, I was the lemonade maker. Does anyone make lemonade home? Stand up if you make the lemonade at home. Stand up, stand up.

Speaker 1:
All right. Stand up straight still if you made it with hot water. Oh, oh. Oh, I see there’s a few, right? Why do you do it? Because it makes the lemonade, the sugar dissolves faster, right? You can sit down. See, thank you budding scientists. What I didn’t know was that no one wants to drink the lemonade when it’s warm.

Speaker 1:
But now as a food scientist, you have to understand the science of how things dissolve, but also how it’s going to be used in the product. So I didn’t know it at the time, but as I’ve grown up, I’ve always loved science, and I’ve always loved food. So now, as a food scientist, I get to do both. So when I study food science, I look at the microbiological or the biological, physical, and chemical components of food and see how they all interact. And I went to college at UMass Amherst where I studied food science. And I said it here in this video, and I say it all the time because it’s true, one of the reasons why I was so excited about food science as I get to eat my science experiments. And then I know when it tastes good, I’m on the right track.

Speaker 1:
After I graduated from UMass, I moved down to New York, and I worked for a company called Kraft, and I worked on a whole host of products like Capri Sun and Kool-Aid. I worked for Roast and Ground coffee, and I’ve also worked at Conagra Foods doing vegetarian products, like mock meats. So later on today, we’re going to have a few some experiments about that, but I wanted to also talk about what I do now. Now I work at UMass Amherst in the food science department in extension where I teach outside of the university applications of science. And what I do right now is I’m presently looking at researching how we can help farmers wash their vegetables in a safer way to make the food supply safe for everybody.

Speaker 1:
So I just wanted to illustrate a few components of food science that you might not have recognized. One thing is I have a picture here of canning, and I think canning is a great example of how food science has come a long way of bringing food to you that tastes great, is convenient, healthy, nutritious, and delicious. If we can’t convince you to eat it, then we can’t make all the other great things within food science. And you can see here’s an example of cans. Now we have easy open cans. We have now plastic cups where we can have fruit on the go, already cut up for you. And food scientists look at that to make sure that it tastes great. We look at the ingredients to make sure that things interact well, and we make it safe and delicious.

Speaker 1:
So right now I’m going to invite a few volunteers to come up if they can help me here. And hi, guys. Come on up here. Thanks for coming on stage. Great.

Speaker 1:
So, aspiring scientists, come over here with me. We’re going to stand right over here. And the first thing we’re going to do is make a beverage, okay. So have you guys made beverages before from powders? Yes, okay. So we’re going to do a color changing one. What color is this? Can you say it louder?

Rachel:
[Inaudible 00:03:56]

Speaker 1:
Orangy color? Yeah, orangy. Now can you smell it? What’s it smell like?

Speaker 3:
It smells like orange candy.

Speaker 1:
Yeah, it smells orange. Good. It smells a little fruity. All right, now let’s see. Can you put the spatula in and start stirring the water? Ready? All right, now I’m going to add in the color. All right. Now this is my biggest magic trick. Ready? Abracadabra. Ooh, come on, ooh.

Crowd:
Ooh.

Speaker 1:
Magic, folks. Okay, it’s not really magic. It’s science, science at its best. Color change… What color is it now, guys?

Crowd:
Green.

Speaker 1:
Okay, keep stirring. You want to take a turn stirring up? We got a stir up good. Now, the science behind this is looking at the ingredient functionality. I have to know what kind of ingredients I can use. They have to be food safe. They have to be able to be functional. And in this situation, I have two ingredients that I’ve used, one that does not dissolve in water, the orange color. And then I have another ingredient that I know that only dissolves in water. And so being able to understand the chemistry behind how food ingredients work, I can create fun food products like this. So now what color do you think this is? Oh, excuse me, what flavor? What was that? Stand up if you think it’s kale. No, no, no, no. Oh, one person.

Speaker 1:
All right. Rachel, can you help him taste this? They’re going to help tell us, well, what flavor do you guys think this is? Anyone else? You can yell it out.

Crowd:
Orange. [Inaudible 00:05:43].

Speaker 1:
Orange, some people think it’s orange.

Crowd:
Lime.

Speaker 1:
Lime.

Crowd:
[Inaudible 00:05:48].

Speaker 1:
All right, lemon, lime.

Crowd:
Apple.

Speaker 1:
Apple? All right, now let’s have our tasters… Our tasters are going to test it and find out, okay? Thank you. Okay.

Speaker 5:
It’s good.

Speaker 1:
Yeah, what’s it taste like?

Speaker 5:
It tastes like-

Speaker 6:
Lime.

Speaker 5:
Like a lollipop.

Speaker 1:
It tastes like a lime lollipop. Okay, now close your eyes. It’s not lime. It’s not lime. Close your eyes, and taste it again. Close your eyes. Think of… Does it taste any different?

Speaker 3:
No.

Speaker 1:
Now I’m going to tell you what I really made. It’s not candy. It is strawberry.

Speaker 6:
Strawberry.

Speaker 1:
Haha, strawberry, folks. But I had a green, and this is a product that we made once upon a time, and they had it look orange and you add water, tastes green. But the whole part of food science is kind of fun is this is experience. We always associate what we’re eating with colors, and I can play little tricks with you by doing something like this, where we think lime with green, or we think a green apple, but it was really
strawberry.

Speaker 1:
Okay, so now let’s see. We’re going to try another one. When I worked for a vegetarian company, I used to do developments of trying to make mock meats out of soybeans. And during the development, I used to use my husband as a subject, let’s say. And I would go home and bring my best findings to him and say, “I think I’m on the right track with this chicken.” And not everything, again, was successful. It takes a little bit of development to understand how to use these ingredients, how to use the processing techniques to make sure it’s safe and still tastes good. And we look at all sorts of things to make it happen. So I thought you guys are going to play the same game I’ve done with my husband, but I’m giving you full disclosure, okay.

Speaker 1:
So we’re going to play a game. Ready? And it’s called…
Video:
Was that meat?

Speaker 1:
Okay, so I’m going to have you guys taste two products. The first one I want you to taste is this one here, subject 413. You each take a sample here. Okay, yeah, you take one here, here. Now the game is this, was that meat? You’re going to taste two products, and then you’re going to tell me which one you think was made from soybeans and which one was made from chicken. Okay, can you do that?

Rachel:
Ready, we’re going to taste that.

Speaker 1:
Okay, okay. Now don’t reveal your answer yet. We’re going to taste the other one. So, as a food scientist… Man, I’m not on the right track. As a food scientist, we use different ingredients. While they’re eating these pieces, I’m just going to show you a few examples of some… These are called textured vegetable protein, and what we do, you take soybeans and we dry out the protein and we use an extruder. It’s kind of like what we use for cheesy poofs, you know those die that pressures it out. And you can make different textures. And then we use this as an ingredient and try out different ways to determine if we can make different textures. And in this situation, we’re doing it for sausages.

Speaker 1:
If you don’t like it, you can spit it in the cup.

Speaker 5:
In the cup or the napkin?

Speaker 1:
Whatever you want. Okay, which one do you think was meat? Which one?

Speaker 5:
I think the first one.

Speaker 1:
The first one was meat.

Speaker 3:
I think the second.

Speaker 1:
And what do you think this?

Speaker 6:
Yeah.

Speaker 1:
Yes, the first one was veggie, and the second one was meat. Aha, was it tasty? Good.

Speaker 3:
[Inaudible 00:10:15] first one.

Speaker 6:
I like the first one better.

Speaker 1:
Oh, you like the first one better? Thank you, thank you. All right, guys. Well, thanks for volunteers. I’ll have you guys come over here.

Speaker 1:
All right. So I just want to illustrate again that food science is a really cool field. You get to eat your science experiments. You get to study all sorts of different types of science, chemistry, biology, microbiology, engineering, math. You get to create new types of ingredients, new flavors, and create all sorts of food that’s healthy and delicious for the world. So I encourage you to consider food science. Thank you very much.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

ERROR: si-captcha.php plugin: GD image support not detected in PHP!

Contact your web host and ask them to enable GD image support for PHP.

ERROR: si-captcha.php plugin: imagepng function not detected in PHP!

Contact your web host and ask them to enable imagepng for PHP.

View More Comments
Load More

Cool Jobs: Safety Investigator

Food scientist Amanda Kinchla’s innovation happens in the lab…and in the kitchen as she uses science to create new and nutritional foods and food safety solutions.

Episode filmed live at the 2013 World Science Festival in New York CIty. The full Cool Jobs program from that year can be viewed online.

Transcription

Speaker 1:
How’s everyone doing? I’m really excited to be here because I have a cool job as a food scientist. Has anyone heard about a food scientist? Raise your hand if you’ve heard what is food science… All right, nice. Well, I didn’t know that I was going to be a food scientist when I was a kid, but looking back, there were a few signs, like… My brother’s in the audience, so he can attest to this as a victim of some of my early experiments. One, I was the lemonade maker. Does anyone make lemonade home? Stand up if you make the lemonade at home. Stand up, stand up.

Speaker 1:
All right. Stand up straight still if you made it with hot water. Oh, oh. Oh, I see there’s a few, right? Why do you do it? Because it makes the lemonade, the sugar dissolves faster, right? You can sit down. See, thank you budding scientists. What I didn’t know was that no one wants to drink the lemonade when it’s warm.

Speaker 1:
But now as a food scientist, you have to understand the science of how things dissolve, but also how it’s going to be used in the product. So I didn’t know it at the time, but as I’ve grown up, I’ve always loved science, and I’ve always loved food. So now, as a food scientist, I get to do both. So when I study food science, I look at the microbiological or the biological, physical, and chemical components of food and see how they all interact. And I went to college at UMass Amherst where I studied food science. And I said it here in this video, and I say it all the time because it’s true, one of the reasons why I was so excited about food science as I get to eat my science experiments. And then I know when it tastes good, I’m on the right track.

Speaker 1:
After I graduated from UMass, I moved down to New York, and I worked for a company called Kraft, and I worked on a whole host of products like Capri Sun and Kool-Aid. I worked for Roast and Ground coffee, and I’ve also worked at Conagra Foods doing vegetarian products, like mock meats. So later on today, we’re going to have a few some experiments about that, but I wanted to also talk about what I do now. Now I work at UMass Amherst in the food science department in extension where I teach outside of the university applications of science. And what I do right now is I’m presently looking at researching how we can help farmers wash their vegetables in a safer way to make the food supply safe for everybody.

Speaker 1:
So I just wanted to illustrate a few components of food science that you might not have recognized. One thing is I have a picture here of canning, and I think canning is a great example of how food science has come a long way of bringing food to you that tastes great, is convenient, healthy, nutritious, and delicious. If we can’t convince you to eat it, then we can’t make all the other great things within food science. And you can see here’s an example of cans. Now we have easy open cans. We have now plastic cups where we can have fruit on the go, already cut up for you. And food scientists look at that to make sure that it tastes great. We look at the ingredients to make sure that things interact well, and we make it safe and delicious.

Speaker 1:
So right now I’m going to invite a few volunteers to come up if they can help me here. And hi, guys. Come on up here. Thanks for coming on stage. Great.

Speaker 1:
So, aspiring scientists, come over here with me. We’re going to stand right over here. And the first thing we’re going to do is make a beverage, okay. So have you guys made beverages before from powders? Yes, okay. So we’re going to do a color changing one. What color is this? Can you say it louder?

Rachel:
[Inaudible 00:03:56]

Speaker 1:
Orangy color? Yeah, orangy. Now can you smell it? What’s it smell like?

Speaker 3:
It smells like orange candy.

Speaker 1:
Yeah, it smells orange. Good. It smells a little fruity. All right, now let’s see. Can you put the spatula in and start stirring the water? Ready? All right, now I’m going to add in the color. All right. Now this is my biggest magic trick. Ready? Abracadabra. Ooh, come on, ooh.

Crowd:
Ooh.

Speaker 1:
Magic, folks. Okay, it’s not really magic. It’s science, science at its best. Color change… What color is it now, guys?

Crowd:
Green.

Speaker 1:
Okay, keep stirring. You want to take a turn stirring up? We got a stir up good. Now, the science behind this is looking at the ingredient functionality. I have to know what kind of ingredients I can use. They have to be food safe. They have to be able to be functional. And in this situation, I have two ingredients that I’ve used, one that does not dissolve in water, the orange color. And then I have another ingredient that I know that only dissolves in water. And so being able to understand the chemistry behind how food ingredients work, I can create fun food products like this. So now what color do you think this is? Oh, excuse me, what flavor? What was that? Stand up if you think it’s kale. No, no, no, no. Oh, one person.

Speaker 1:
All right. Rachel, can you help him taste this? They’re going to help tell us, well, what flavor do you guys think this is? Anyone else? You can yell it out.

Crowd:
Orange. [Inaudible 00:05:43].

Speaker 1:
Orange, some people think it’s orange.

Crowd:
Lime.

Speaker 1:
Lime.

Crowd:
[Inaudible 00:05:48].

Speaker 1:
All right, lemon, lime.

Crowd:
Apple.

Speaker 1:
Apple? All right, now let’s have our tasters… Our tasters are going to test it and find out, okay? Thank you. Okay.

Speaker 5:
It’s good.

Speaker 1:
Yeah, what’s it taste like?

Speaker 5:
It tastes like-

Speaker 6:
Lime.

Speaker 5:
Like a lollipop.

Speaker 1:
It tastes like a lime lollipop. Okay, now close your eyes. It’s not lime. It’s not lime. Close your eyes, and taste it again. Close your eyes. Think of… Does it taste any different?

Speaker 3:
No.

Speaker 1:
Now I’m going to tell you what I really made. It’s not candy. It is strawberry.

Speaker 6:
Strawberry.

Speaker 1:
Haha, strawberry, folks. But I had a green, and this is a product that we made once upon a time, and they had it look orange and you add water, tastes green. But the whole part of food science is kind of fun is this is experience. We always associate what we’re eating with colors, and I can play little tricks with you by doing something like this, where we think lime with green, or we think a green apple, but it was really
strawberry.

Speaker 1:
Okay, so now let’s see. We’re going to try another one. When I worked for a vegetarian company, I used to do developments of trying to make mock meats out of soybeans. And during the development, I used to use my husband as a subject, let’s say. And I would go home and bring my best findings to him and say, “I think I’m on the right track with this chicken.” And not everything, again, was successful. It takes a little bit of development to understand how to use these ingredients, how to use the processing techniques to make sure it’s safe and still tastes good. And we look at all sorts of things to make it happen. So I thought you guys are going to play the same game I’ve done with my husband, but I’m giving you full disclosure, okay.

Speaker 1:
So we’re going to play a game. Ready? And it’s called…
Video:
Was that meat?

Speaker 1:
Okay, so I’m going to have you guys taste two products. The first one I want you to taste is this one here, subject 413. You each take a sample here. Okay, yeah, you take one here, here. Now the game is this, was that meat? You’re going to taste two products, and then you’re going to tell me which one you think was made from soybeans and which one was made from chicken. Okay, can you do that?

Rachel:
Ready, we’re going to taste that.

Speaker 1:
Okay, okay. Now don’t reveal your answer yet. We’re going to taste the other one. So, as a food scientist… Man, I’m not on the right track. As a food scientist, we use different ingredients. While they’re eating these pieces, I’m just going to show you a few examples of some… These are called textured vegetable protein, and what we do, you take soybeans and we dry out the protein and we use an extruder. It’s kind of like what we use for cheesy poofs, you know those die that pressures it out. And you can make different textures. And then we use this as an ingredient and try out different ways to determine if we can make different textures. And in this situation, we’re doing it for sausages.

Speaker 1:
If you don’t like it, you can spit it in the cup.

Speaker 5:
In the cup or the napkin?

Speaker 1:
Whatever you want. Okay, which one do you think was meat? Which one?

Speaker 5:
I think the first one.

Speaker 1:
The first one was meat.

Speaker 3:
I think the second.

Speaker 1:
And what do you think this?

Speaker 6:
Yeah.

Speaker 1:
Yes, the first one was veggie, and the second one was meat. Aha, was it tasty? Good.

Speaker 3:
[Inaudible 00:10:15] first one.

Speaker 6:
I like the first one better.

Speaker 1:
Oh, you like the first one better? Thank you, thank you. All right, guys. Well, thanks for volunteers. I’ll have you guys come over here.

Speaker 1:
All right. So I just want to illustrate again that food science is a really cool field. You get to eat your science experiments. You get to study all sorts of different types of science, chemistry, biology, microbiology, engineering, math. You get to create new types of ingredients, new flavors, and create all sorts of food that’s healthy and delicious for the world. So I encourage you to consider food science. Thank you very much.