Face-to-Face: Meet Bryan Petrak December 2015

Ever wonder if anyone else is facing the same professional challenges as you? Or just looking to connect with some new people in your field? In IFT's Face-to-Face series, we will be introducing you to a different IFT member every month with a fun, insightful Q&A session.


Bryan PetrakThis month meet...

Bryan Petrak, CFS, Customer Innovation and Application Specialist, AAK

  1. How did you get your start in the food science world?
    I’ve always worked in the food industry in some capacity since I was in high school. My first job out of college was at Yarnell’s Ice Cream in Searcy, Ark. I worked as a QA lab tech and it was a great learning experience. I realized that that this is what I wanted to do with my life. Also, we were allowed to take home two quarts of ice cream a week, which was a bonus.

  2. What do you love about your job?
    There is always something new to learn every day. I love learning about the chemistry of food and how things are processed and manufactured. I also like to see the end application—which in my case is chocolate and confections. Who doesn’t like that? It’s great to be able to talk about my job with other people not in the industry. Everybody can relate.

  3. What is the biggest challenge that you face in your job?
    One of my biggest challenges would be to find new solutions to customer’s needs. At AAK, we try to partner with our customers to understand their unique challenges and deliver effective solutions. It is a challenge but it is exciting at the same time.

  4. What have you learned or been exposed to in the past 12 months that has helped you in your job?
    At IFT15, I took part in a short course: Innovation with Healthier Oils & Grains. It was before my present job in the fats and oils industry. I learned a lot about the challenges that both ingredient and CPG companies will have to face to meet upcoming FDA regulations regarding the removal of PHO’s. I also learned about some of the techniques that I am using now to meet these challenges.

  5. How do you see the food industry evolving over the coming year?
    I think the food industry is always changing and adapting to what the customer’s needs and wants. People want options that are unique to their lifestyle. They also want convenience whether ordering online or finding new ways of eating old favorites while being mindful of health.

  6. Fun Fact: What’s your favorite food?
    I grew up in western Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh. We have a long tradition of Polish food including pierogies and sauerkraut. These are comfort foods to me that I tend to crave especially as it gets close to winter.

If you are an IFT member and wish to be profiled, please contact Kelly Hensel at khensel@ift.org or 312-604-0211.