Career conversations: inside the world of food science

Continuing our conversations about careers, this episode’s focus is on food science. What does it take to be a food scientist? Must you be a geek in a lab coat or have a Frankenstein-like interest in food? Stefan Gates lifts the lid on food science – what is it and what does it involve? What are the different roles in the profession, and what are the range of skills, and interests, you need to excel?

He is joined by Jo Tivers, Head of Food and Quality at KFC, voted most likely to design ready meals for out of space when she left school, and Carole Bingley, Senior Associate Principal Scientist for Product and Ingredient Innovation at Reading Scientific Services. Sharing their passion for all things food and science related, our guests discuss the opportunities within industry, their own unique careers paths, and the secret behind developing a product that tastes truly amazing.

About our panel

Jo Tivers, Head of Food and Quality at KFC UK & Ireland, KFC
Jo has the role of Head of Food for KFC UK & Ireland, a position she absolutely relishes. For this role she leads a future-thinking team who innovate the KFC menu from strategy to launch. She is a passionate advocate of modernising the brand (without upsetting the Colonel) and has led initiatives such as the launch of the KFC Vegan Burger, new wholesome sides, low sugar beverages and fame driving innovations such as the Gravy Burger. She also leads KFC’s nutrition strategy focused on dialling up good on the menu and actively dispelling ‘junk food’ myths associated with KFC food.

Prior to this role, Jo was a Senior Innovation Brand Manager, having moved from the KFC Central & Eastern European team where she was a New Producer Development and Brand Manager. In this role she developed the first global Kosher KFC Original Recipe Chicken for launch into Israel.

Carole Bingley, Senior Associate Principal Scientist – Product and Ingredient Innovation, RSSL
Carole is a Senior Associate Principal Scientist working in the Product and Ingredient Innovation Team at Reading Scientific Services Ltd (RSSL).
During her time with RSSL, she has undertaken ingredient evaluation, product development and taste optimisation projects on a contract basis for clients in different food industry sectors. She’s also involved in projects for Mondelez International. Carole has worked with a wide range of sweeteners and bulking agents across many food categories during her time in the food industry. Recently she’s been involved with development of vegan products.
She is a Food Science graduate from Reading University, has a Masters degree in Nutritional Medicine from Surrey University and is a Fellow of the IFST.

three women in a science lab

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Career conversations: inside the world of food science