The second in our Women’s History Month Employee Spotlight Series
As a certified woman-owned company, we take great pride in saluting Women’s History Month, a month that commemorates and encourages the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American History.
In honor of this month, we sat down with Adriana Yepez, Food Scientist. Adriana joined us in 2014 after graduating from the University of Illinois with a degree in Food Science. The summer before she graduated Adriana worked at Edlong as an intern. Adriana also interned at Healthy Schools Campaign, a nonprofit organization in Chicago whose mission is to ensure that all students have access to healthy school environments.
What’s surprised you the most about being a food scientist?
That every day is so different! I work on a wide variety of products. and I feel like I learn something new with every project. I love that the food industry is constantly changing, and so we continually need to come up with innovative and creative solutions. I especially love experimenting with new formulas and new ingredients in the applications lab, and researching upcoming food trends to see what consumers will be looking for next.
What’s your favorite part of being a food scientist?
How collaborative everything is. I greatly enjoy working in a team setting because everybody in the applications team has such important traits and skills to contribute. Everybody has different backgrounds and experiences, and when we come together we create a strong, cohesive team. We learn from each other every day. That’s amazing to me.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
Really, it’s this! It’s finding a career in a field that I am passionate about. When I was a child, I used to be fascinated by food and cooking shows such as America’s Test Kitchen. I was fascinated with how principles of cooking could be explained by science. Now that I am in the Food Science field, it’s like I’m permanently a part of America’s Test Kitchen! I am also very proud to be contributing to the development of products that will eventually be on the shelf, and to be on the forefront of modern food trends, such as the plant-based movement and clean label movement. Those are movements that are important to our future, and impact our lives every day.
What are your hobbies and interests?
One of my main hobbies is Latin dance. I’ve been dancing recreationally since I was in high school and am currently part of a team at a studio in Chicago called Latin Rhythms. I also love spending time with my family, including my extended family. I have a big, fun, loving family that has stuck together since they emigrated from Mexico in the 70’s. I feel extremely lucky to have their love and support in any adventure I embark on. I also enjoy traveling. One of my goals is to travel to different cities around the U.S. to learn more about the culture in each city, and then start traveling internationally.