Face-to-Face: Meet Holly Ramage April 2016

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.


Holly RamageThis month meet...

Holly Ramage, Associate Principal Scientist, PepsiCo, Inc. | Frito Lay

  1. How did you get your start in the food science world?
    I grew up on a beef cattle and row crop farm in North Carolina. During that time, I got to experience the hard work and joy that comes from being in production agriculture. There is a lot of pride in the American farmer in raising safe, high-quality food for everyone. When I went to college at North Carolina State University, I was exposed to a food science class. I thought it was so interesting how all of the commodities that I saw growing back home—the corn, the soybeans, etc.—all needed additional processing to make them palatable for humans. These extra steps transform a raw commodity into something that can be nutritional and delicious for consumers. I loved the variety in food science—food microbiology, food chemistry, food engineering. Food science is a multidimensional approach to producing great food for the public. Now, I get to apply those food science principles in my job as a food scientist at Pepsico (Frito Lay).

  2. What do you love about your job?
    What I love about my job most is seeing the end product on the shelf; to see something brought to life from a simple idea. The product development process is a lot of fun. To take an idea that does not exist and to build it from the ground up is really exciting for me. It's great to be able to create things that consumers will enjoy and love.

  3. What is the biggest challenge that you face in your job?
    Like most companies, Pepsico is evolving to meet new demands and requirements created by recent FSMA legislation. Every ingredient is viewed with heightened awareness and concern. With that concern comes additional analytical testing and documentation, all of which can impact critical innovation launch timing.

  4. What have you learned or been exposed to in the past 12 months that has helped you in your job?
    IFT15 was a great conference to attend to get new knowledge on recently published research and to get a feel for what the industry’s “hot topics” are and how companies are evolving to meet these challenges.

  5. How do you see the food industry evolving over the coming year?
    A mega trend that is happening now is the way in which people are eating. In the past, most folks would eat their “three square meals a day.” Today, as a population we have strayed away from three meals a day to smaller “meals” that are grazed on throughout the day. This opens up a new world for product developers to understand the consumer’s moments of the day—whether it be an afternoon pick-me-up snack at work or a mid-morning energy boost—and attempt to identify what specific textures and flavors would satisfy their needs at that exact moment.

  6. Fun Fact: What’s your favorite food?
    Chicken dumplings! Makes me remember having meals with my grandparents when I was a child.

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