Hi everyone! For my last passion blog post for the semester, I thought it would be fun to take a look at some famous food scientists. There have been tons of people that have made huge impacts on the food industry, but I have selected 3 who are favorites of mine, whose names (or contributions) you may recognize.
1. W.K. Kellogg
Yes, his name is Kellogg as in the cereal, so I’m sure you already have some idea as to what his major contribution was. Kellogg was an industrialist in food manufacturing, and as you may have guessed, he founded the Kellogg company with his brother in 1906, and focused on producing and endorsing corn flakes as a wholesome breakfast. Since then, the company has taken off and makes countless varieties of cereal, snack bars, beverages, Eggo waffles, and crackers. Kellogg’s was one of the first food companies to put a nutrition label on their packages, as well as the first to put a toy for kids in cereal boxes. During the Great Depression, he arranged the shifts in his factory to allow as many people to work as possible, and later established the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, which helps children in need succeed in school, work and life. He donated 66 million dollars to the foundation over the course of his life, which is equivalent to 1.2 billion dollars in today’s currency.
2. Louis Pasteur
Louis Pasteur was a French microbiologist and chemist in the 1800s who made many huge advances in the world of medicine as well as food. After created the first vaccines for anthrax and rabies, he went on to develop a process for killing bacteria in food that we have been using ever since: pasteurization. Before this, there was no real method of killing bacteria in beverages, and the bacteria that was already there would rapidly grow, because it was living in a wet, sugary environment (which bacteria love). Pasteur found a way to heat beer and wine just enough to kill enough bacteria to keep it from spoiling (as quickly, anyway). We have refined his method since then, but still use his basic principle to keep beverages like milk and juice from going bad and making people sick.
3. Alton Brown
Alton Brown, who you may recognize from his many appearances on the Food Network, is by far my favorite food scientist. A TV personality, cookbook author, and celebrity chef, he spread tons of information about the science behind food on his show Good Eats. Brown was disappointed in the amount of information in American cooking shows and wanted to make his own. He went to culinary school and studied a lot of science to prepare for making his own show, and then used Good Eats as a platform to education millions of viewers on the science behind the food they make at home. I will be the first to admit that I’ve probably watched every episode of this show ever made, and I’m sure it’s what got me interested in food science in the first place.
Thus concludes my food science blog. I’ve had ton of fun writing it, and I hope you all had fun (or at least learned a little something) reading it. In any case, thanks for reading, and have a great end to the semester!