Rachel Zemser

Rachel Zemser is a Certified Culinary Scientist, meaning she has experience and degrees in both food science and culinary arts. She has a BS in Food Science from the University of Massachusetts, an MS degree in Food Microbiology from the University of Illinois and a culinary arts degree from the New York Restaurant School/Art Institute. She has been working in the food industry for 18 years in both technical and creative roles and has been widely published in trade journals like Culinology, Food Product Design, Prepared Foods, The World of Food Ingredients and Food Processing. She spent 3 years at Unilever working as a microbiologist, 5 years at Kagome Inc. as their R&D chef and almost 3 years at Plum Organics Inc. Rachel’s home base is in San Francisco but she spends most her time all over the U.S. working with both large and small start up companies assisting them with their food science and R&D. Rachel is very involved in the food science and culinary arts community and is a member of both IFT and RCA. She is the regional contact for the RCA and is on their Board of Directors. Rachel’s work experience can be viewed on linked in and she regularly tweets about the food industry.

Recent Posts

Want To Hire a Food Science Consultant? Here's What You Need To Know

Posted by Rachel Zemser

You have an idea for a new food product – your friends think its great and you have never seen anything like it on the market. You want to manufacture it but have absolutely no idea where to begin!

You have two choices when faced with this daunting task -- you can spend hours and hours figuring out everything from how to start a business, how to find a commercial kitchen or what are the local, state and federal regulations. Or you can hire food industry consultants to help you on the way. It really depends on how much time you have, and how much your time is worth.

Hiring a consultant to guide you on your path is an easy way to bring your product to market. Consultants have experience with co packers, sourcing ingredients and modifying formulas to fit manufacturing parameters. 

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5 Easy Mistakes To Make When Labeling Your Food Product

Posted by Rachel Zemser

This article was originally featured on Rachel Zemser's website, The Intrepid Culinologist, and is published here with permission.

The Fancy Food Show was in town this January! I love wandering around the show, checking out the trends and secretly searching for false claims, labeling violations or stuff that is just misleading. That’s what food scientists do-- and then we pick up the phone, call the FDA and make sure violating entrepreneurs are BUSTED!!

The reality is, there are just way to many products out there for the FDA to inspect for compliance and unless your product is under USDA jurisdiction.  Plus, you don’t even have to have it inspected or approved before putting it on the shelf.

This is all the more reason to do your diligence and make sure you don’t accidentally lie, mislead or omit any important information.

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How To Write A Food Formula That Makes Sense To A Manufacturer

Posted by Rachel Zemser

Sometimes — well actually most of the time — I get calls from start ups asking me how they can scale up their recipe to industrial size. The first thing I always ask is,

“Is your formula in percentages? Because that's what manufacturers need to see it in.”

Crickets chirping in the distance— silence on the line…

The client usually says, “I measure my liquids with a measuring cup and I use teaspoons to weigh out my salt and sugar— is that ok?”

I answer NO!  

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3 Ways For R&D Professionals To Reduce Food Manufacturing Costs

Posted by Rachel Zemser

Ask any food scientist what they do in between their new product development projects and they will typically answer…. “cost reductions”.

Food manufacturers are under constant pressure to lower their ingredient, packaging and processing costs and the responsibility usually falls over into the R&D group. Cost reductions are challenging because the goal is usually to keep the product tasting the same, keep the ingredient statement the same, preferably keep the “order” of the ingredients the same — but at the same time, make the product less expensive.

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