In a nutshell: Developing new yoghurt products for the New Zealand market.
Why? “I love consumer product development, and the buzz from seeing a bench top concept you developed on the shelf in a supermarket.”
Christchurch Girls' High School, final year subjects: Biology, Calculus, Chemistry, History, Physics
Massey University: Bachelor of Technology (Honours) majoring in Food Technology; Master of Dairy Science and Technology (Honours)
Earning: $40-50,000 entry level salary
I first got the idea to study food technology from my friend’s sister. I thought it sounded really interesting and went to an open day at Massey. The thing that sticks in my mind from that day is measuring the texture of a Mellowpuff.
My Bachelor of Food Technology degree involved three summer work placements, giving me hands-on experience with dairy products.
I'm currently a senior development technologist at Fonterra Brands NZ, creating new yoghurt products under brands such as De Winkel, Symbio and Fresh'n Fruity. I've also worked at Kraft Foods’ global coffee research and development centre.
Some of my major projects include helping develop Fonterra’s first Infant/Follow On baby formula, launching Kraft Foods Oreo Cappuccino in Europe, and developing a range of cost-reduced 3-in-1 coffee products.
My day-to-day tasks include working on product briefs, liaising with ingredient suppliers, writing product specifications, costs, taste tests, running trials on the pilot plant and in the factory. There are so many different aspects to product development, each day is different. There is lots of variety and opportunity to work in cross-functional teams.
I enjoy the work because it keeps me on my toes. Sometimes the outcome is not as expected, whether it’s making the product in a trial or not getting the desired outcome in consumer testing. It is always good to preempt this and think of potential solutions.
Posted November 2012
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