A Day in the Life of a Food Scientist

On this week’s episode of “Fun at Work,” more craziness from people that I cannot begin to comprehend.

  • Customer wants me to develop an Asian sauce with a soy sauce base. But without the soy sauce. “Can I use tamari?” I ask, thinking this may solve the problem. As long as I ease up on the soybean flavor. Hmm…a soy based Asian sauce without soy? How interesting. If someone can actually develop that, please let me know because I’m kinda stuck on how to proceed, other than kindly informing the customer that soybeans are a necessary part of soy sauce and tamari.
  • Same customer wants reduced sodium in a different soy sauce based product. But using low sodium soy sauce doesn’t give them enough of the fermented flavor that the regular soy sauce product had. And also, it’s still way too salty, even with low sodium soy sauce.Seeing as salt is a necessary component of the fermentation process required to make soy sauce, I am also at a loss as to how to proceed on this project.
  • New salsa product finally makes it from my lab to full-scale production. Problem: I see that the label says “Best buy MM/DD/YYYY.” As nobody else seemed to see the problem, I believed for a moment that I was losing my mind, especially when everyone disagreed with me. I thought maybe I was seeing things after revising my novel manuscript for forty hours straight. But after confirmation with the boss, he assured me that everyone else had lost their minds, but mine was still fully intact.

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