You have an idea for a new food product – your friends think its great and you have never seen anything like it on the market. You want to manufacture it but have absolutely no idea where to begin!

You have two choices when faced with this daunting task- you can spend hours and hours figuring out everything from how to start a business, how to find a commercial kitchen or what are the local, state and federal regulations. Or you can hire food industry consultants to help you on the way. It really depends on how much time you have, and how much your time is worth.

Hiring a consultant to guide you on your path is an easy way to bring your product to market. Consultants have experience with co packers, sourcing ingredients and modifying formulas to fit manufacturing parameters. Here are a few things you should know about hiring and working wit a food science consultant:

Keep It Local: Try to find a consultant or a consulting firm that is close to where you live. Face to face meetings, visit to their laboratory/kitchen and group tastings are all great ways to have a good relationship with the consultant and expedite results.

Expect Big Costs: An independent Food science/industry consultant can cost you anywhere from $120 to $300 per hour for their expertise. A consulting firm may cost as much as $5,000 to $50,000 to even begin discussions. There will also be other costs that you need to pay separately like ingredient costs, shipping, lab testing, production runs, and third party analysis (sensory, chemistry, safety)- If you go to a consultant with only $5000 dollars, they will probably not take you on as a client. This is not enough funding to create, develop and manufacture your food product. They may be able to do certain parts of your projects (like you can hire them to JUST find you a co packer or do your nutritional analysis) but always keep in mind that bringing new products to market is expensive. Plan to have at least $25,000 available to spend on research, development and manufacturing.

Be Clear On Budget: Tell your consultant how much you have and how much you can afford to spend. They can figure out the best way to work with your budget, or they may be honest and tell you that they can’t help you without more funding. A moral food scientist will explain the overall costs and big picture expenses that you will have and will want you to have enough to make it through the entire process.

List Specific Deliverables: Be very specific with your consultant about what you want to achieve. If you have kitchen samples you have made, bring them a supply so they can evaluate with you and explain the limitations that may occur down the road. The more specific you are- the better the consultant can assist you.

Understand Capabilities: A food scientist is mostly just that- they are the technical expert- they may not be able to do your marketing, write your business plan, or confirm which flavors will sell best on the market. Make sure you understand what your technical consultant can and cannot do.

NDA’s and Ownership: Make it clear to the consultant that you want to own your own formulas and have them sign an NDA. Most food scientists have no interest in owning or stealing your formula, they create concepts for other people all day long but to be safe and legit, have them sign the NDA and confirm that you will own everything they develop for you.

Bringing a new product to market has many challenges- finding a co-packer, making sure all regulations are followed, using the right equipment and understanding manufacturing limitations are all technical know-how’s that a food scientist deals with on a regular basis. Hiring one will not only save you time but long term money as well. A food scientist will make sure that you don’t violate any regulations (resulting in fines and recalls and damaged reputation)- basically, don’t try to do this by yourself at home-leave it to the experts!

I am so excited about the upcoming Expo West Trade show in Anaheim, California– I can’t wait to walk the miles of aisles all teeming with entrepreneurs who are eager and hopeful about bringing their ideas to market. I love hearing their stories, their successes and their regrets about the path they took to get to where they are- and hearing about their challenges ahead! As a food scientist my job is to help entrepreneurs navigate the confusing food industry waters and figure out the right path and the right order of steps within that path! The more stories of confusion I hear, the more chapters I can add to my E-book The Food Business Tool-Kit for entrepreneurs-How To Research, Develop and Produce A New Food Product to alleviate that confusion!

I want to share a common practice that many entrepreneurs partake in that not only is a waste of time and money but can lead to incorrect assumptions about the food product you want to bring to market. This practice involves trying to develop a product on your own at home without any professional supervision. I am not talking about super early stage creations-sure you can make a few fun batches that represent your “concept” and show it to your family and friends—get some feedback. But it needs to stop there! I have had many entrepreneurs tell me about the months they have spent trying to get their product “just right” and they are ready to go to a manufacturer and make a go for it. When I look at their formula I sadly shake my head and tell them they have a long way to go to make it “commercial ready”. Here are some of the common mistakes that entrepreneurs make when developing products from their home (without professional food science supervision!)

Not Using Industrial Ingredients- Unless you are working with extremely commodity ingredients (sugar, vegetable oil, salt and perhaps water) anything you get from the supermarket is not going to be the same ingredient used at the manufacturing plant. Even something simple like the organic gluten free flour from whole foods- will perform differently in production. When you start using more complicated ingredients like pureed fruit, spices and protein powders – The supermarket brands are not the same, not even close! Spices in the supermarket are not nearly as fresh as what the manufacturer made, fruit purees are often concentrated to various brix levels for consistency and and most protein powders on the market are blended with flavorings and other sweeteners. The solution here is to work with industrial ingredients only. You will have to track down the ingredient suppliers that sell to manufacturers, request samples and work with those ingredients.

Not Using a Proper Scale: I have some sad news… the $25 dollar scale you bought online is not accurate. It usually measures to the nearest gram and in production, those half grams and partial grams are important. Spices and other lightweight items that you weighed out with your inexpensive scale are going to be inaccurate. You may think you weighted out 1 gram of oregano, but it could just as easily have been 1.5, but you will never know because your scale only went out to the 1-gram accuracy. My advice is to spend $300-$500 on a good scale that goes out to the 100th decimal point. So your 1.53 gram of spice weighs out to exactly that.

Relying On Nutritional Information Provided On The Supermarket Label Ingredient: I already mentioned you should not be using supermarket ingredients but for those who are or did, they also tend to rely on that nutritional information on the label. That nutritional label has already been extrapolated down and rounded to match up with the serving size on the package. The FDA regulations have lots of rounding rules that can result in a teaspoon of spice having no calories when actually Oregano has 38 calories per 100 grams and its 9% protein, 69% carbohydrates and 42% fiber. But if you look at a label on a spice jar in the store- it will probably say zero calories, zero carbohydrates, zero fiber. Yes, that may be the case for the tiny 3 gram serving that is recommended.

Not Knowing The Process: You can’t really develop a product if you don’t know how it will be ultimately processed. Unless you have millions of dollars and plan to build your own manufacturing plant and bring in special equipment from Italy- chances are the unique process you created by boiling, dehydrating, freezing, crumbling and adding back into your cake is just not going to fly at the manufacturing plant. Food manufacturers are not going to adapt their process to fit your idea unless you plan to pay for those adaptations. Your process needs to reflect the manufacturers process, not the other way around. I recommend that you find your manufacturer first- understand how they make the product and try to simulate your process to match theirs. This can be done by online research, checking out co-packer websites or simply networking and finding a local food scientist or food science university and asking the professors there for some assistance. Don’t assume that your method can be done in mass production (it probably can’t!)

Spending months perfecting your formula in your own kitchen is not an efficient use of time or funding. After a few initial basic prototypes that you show your family and friends, your next steps should be to either contact a food science consultant or find a manufacturer who can guide you through their processing steps so you understand how to create the product in a commercially viable way. If you hand over your homemade recipe with your own fruit concentrates and vanilla flavored protein powder from whole foods your co packer will probably tell you to recreate the formula so it can be made commercially. What does that mean though? It means follow the points I mention in this article.

Rachel Zemser is a food scientist who helps entrepreneurs bring their food products to market. Her website is www.alacarteconnections.com

Food for scientists

Manufacturing and selling food to the masses is serious business. Its all fun and game to think about the media attention the fame and glory at the trade shows and the fun times but are you thinking about your food safety plan and the processes you must have in place in order to comply with FDA regulations? Big co-packers do, smaller start up companies often forget about these pesky details!

Every year 48 million (1 in 6) people get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die. Our food supply system has become quite complex with ingredients and major food components being imported from all over the world. Even if you have a handle on your own food safety procedures, do you know what all your suppliers are up to? Have you visited their plants in China and Germany or wherever else your supply comes from? Just because your ingredient came from a broker here in the USA, doesn’t mean that the food came from here.

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) are the new FDA rules for food safety. It was signed into law on Jan 4 2011 and the goal is to protect our public health by strengthening our food safety system. Scientifically based standards must be implemented from farm to table to fork to mouth! Everyone is and will be impacted by the act- from farmers to importers, to foreign countries to start up food companies making energy bars out of a commercial kitchen in the east bay! No one is immune to bacteria!

The major components of FSMA are similar to your company HACCP Plan (do you have one of those—if not, you should!) Every food establishment should evaluate the hazards in their system, figure out how they will control it and prevent it, how they will monitor it, correct errors, verify those corrections and of course keep track of it all. All food making facilities should have – at the bare minimum- a sanitation program, a training process for employees, GMP (good manufacturing practices) in place, a allergen program, a recall emergency plan and a supplier verification program. This includes commercial kitchens that are being used to make retail products.

The FDA is going to start cracking down—as they should! There will be more plant inspections and if anything in your facility is amiss, the FDA can now issue a mandatory recall (in the past it was all voluntary- now the FDA can force you to shut down) There will be more heavy monitoring at the borders to ensure that imported foods coming into the US are following their own similar safety plans.

The FDA is doing what they can to assist but you, the food maker, cannot rely on their program alone. Food makers have to have their own strict plans in place, it is your responsibility to ensure that you are well versed in all regulations and are following them.

How can you learn more about these regulations? You can start off by reading the FDA code of federal regulations. Its available for free and on-line ! You can specifically read about the FSM Act You can sign up for HACCP certification courses all over the U.S.

Private label co packers often have teams of food safety staff ensuring that all regulations are being followed. If you choose to work with a co packer don’t be shy about asking to see their HACCP plan and pre requisite programs. While the co packer holds the ultimate liability on the safety of your product, you still own the reputation. Do you want to be on the 6 PM news as the latest company to have killed 23 people in the Midwest?!

If you choose to make the food yourself via a commercial kitchen then you own the liability. Before you being to produce and sell make sure you speak with the health department about the specific safety concerns related to your product and understand all the requirements on managing that safety. Even if you are not meat or juice, you should still learn HACCP and set up a plan in your kitchen. HACCP is a great way to get a handle on your food safety process.

Taking SAFESERVE, the 30 minute online course- is not enough to ensure you are producing safe food. The day long classes that reenforce hand washing is also not enough. And knowing that TDZ (temperature danger zone) is also not enough. You need allergen programs, recall programs and a way to monitor your safety plan. Supplier verification does not mean knowing which stall you bought your kale from last week- it means knowing where that farm is, visiting it and knowing they are not washing it in dirty dish water.

Food safety is a shared responsibility. You, the FDA and your co packer.

See, making food ain’t so simple after all–!!

I would like to thank the city of Hayward, CA for proving a free workshop last week on FSMA.  The speaker Nikoo Arashteh did a great job of summarizing the latest information. You can learn more about her services via linked in https://www.linkedin.com/pub/nikoo-arasteh/3/ba0/2b0  The seminar inspired me to write this piece and I have used information directly from the presentation!

 

Seminar Here http://yournextep.com/presentations.a5w

For more musings on food safety, food science, development and research chefs check out my website The Intrepid Culinologist 

 

Its that time of year again—time for me to hit the road- get on the trade show bus and attend as many trade shows as possible. For someone like me (a consultant) these shows can get expensive but I manage the cost by applying for a press pass, buying cheap flights on SouthWest and not staying at the Ritz!

If you are at any of these shows, just look for me on the expo floor or look for tweets coming from @culinologist tweeting about random food and ingredient items that I see.

I am a trade show junkie. I went to my first IFT show in 1991 and I have never missed a show! Since then I have added on RCA, NRA, WOF, NPE (East and West) and the Fancy Food Show! I want to share these shows with you so you can pick and choose which ones are right for you!

Natural Product Expo: This show is right around the corner, starting this Thursday (March 5 2015). I will be there! This show is unique in that it used to mostly retail natural products (food, drink, skincare, over the counter drugs) but now it is not only those things but there is a huge wing for ingredient suppliers. This makes sense since ingredient suppliers are more established, have more money and can funnel cash into this event making it even bigger grander than its ever been. It does however make the show confusing. Plan ahead what you want to see!

Attend if you: like to see new trends, want to know what is new and hot, work in a supermarket and need new items, looking for new and novel functional ingredients.

Exhibit if you: Are a new retail product maker, ingredient supplier.

Expo Floor Only: $60 to $500

Total Show Pass: $300 to $800

*Discounts for retailers, brokers and healthcare practitioners

Check here for all the cost options (scroll down and click on drop down boxes)

** Note there is an Expo West and an Expo East. The East is the smaller version on the east coast every year.

Research Chef Association: This is a smaller more intimate food show and this year it is taking place in New Orleans on March 24, 2015. This show brings together the food scientists, chefs and “Culinologists” that work for both food and ingredient manufacturers. Seminars are scientific and/or culinary or both. You can learn about food safety, labeling, R&D, new ingredients, trends and more. Great networking opportunities due to the small setting and opportunity to meet and chat with just about everyone. I never miss this show so look for me there!

Attend if you: are in the food industry working as a food scientist, chef or culinologist

Exhibit if you: If you want to sell your ingredients to these people. This show is more “ingredient focused” and you won’t see lots of finished retail products being shown unless those finished products are used in ingredients- does that make sense?

Registration Cost: $650-800 depending on when you register- check out cost breakdowns here, one day options available.

World of Flavors: April 22-24 2015- This is one of those shows that everyone wants to go but not everyone gets to go because it’s expensive (not just the show but the hotels and travel to the Napa Valley!) but if you are one of the lucky ones to get in- you are in for a treat. It takes place at the Culinary Institute of America, it is widely acknowledged as our country’s most influential professional forum on world cuisines, food cultures and flavor trends. They fly in guest chefs from all over the world and have other culinary experts and scientists teaching us everything there is to know about one particular type of cuisine. Mostly attended by Chefs, Research Chefs, menu developers- there are more and more food scientists attending every year as well. The CIA is small, so usually max # of attendees is 700.

Attend if you: Are a foodie, work in the food industry, are a chef, are a research chef, are a food scientist, want to learn about flavors, cuisines and rub elbows with famous chefs in a small setting. Really—you can spend an hour chatting with Morimoto and Rick Bayless at a show like this. They hang out with commoners like us!

Exhibit if you: This is a tricky one—the sponsors are all types and include ingredient flavor companies, companies that sell finished products to restaurants and restaurant chains, fruit and nut boards, commodity specialists (olive oil, canola oil). I would suggest attending one year before exhibiting to get a sense of the overall vibe.

Registration Fee: Ranges from $1000 to $2000 That’s why if your company sends you, thank them and be grateful!

National Restaurant Show: May 16-19, 2015 -This show is for the restaurants and maybe a tiny bit for those selling retail products but really more for the restaurants. I see this show as an opportunity for chefs (at bigger chain type places) to find suppliers who can sell them beef or tomato sauce in a pouch or other bulk produced items. I also see it as a way for ingredient companies wanting to sell to those bulk producers to wander around and find them (but don’t bug them too much, they really want to sell stuff themselves and not be sold too- but still, if you are a good networker you can do it!). There are also lots of equipment companies like ovens and sous vide machines, companies that sell plates and linens and those who sell disposable organic paper forks. I also see several rows of retail food companies and I am not quite sure how they fit into the NRA scene, maybe they can sell their finished products in bulk to the restaurants? There are tons of parties and after hour events (try to get an invite to the PLATE magazine party!) There is also this whole separate alcohol/booze room downstairs with a separate fee to get in. It’s a party in there- alcohol, mixed drinks, cocktail showdowns.

Attend If you: Want to find companies who can buy your ingredients, want to know what the latest culinary trends are, want to drink alcohol all day long in the separate booze section, live in Chicago and like to party with food industry professionals, are a chef who needs to select items for your new menu.

Exhibit if you: Are selling bulk produced finished food products to restaurant chains, are a fruit or nut commodity board, you sell big ovens and equipment for restaurants, you sell tablecloths. You are a small organic natural retailer.

Registration Cost: Only cost $50 to $160 (higher cost includes the alcohol section downstairs) Check out costs here

Institute Of Food Technnologists: July 11-14 2015 -The biggest show on earth for food scientists. I love this show because I feel “at home” with all my people, my old professors, my college friends, my ingredient suppliers, my clients—There are so few food scientists in the world and this is where we all hang out. Food scientists need to go to this show to keep up on ingredients and if you are a food entrepreneur you will want to go so you can learn how we get our xanthan gum (we don’t buy it from the supermarket!) – This is not a show that sells finished retail products, this is a ingredient supplier show!

Attend if you: are a food scientist or working in the development of mass produced shelf stable ad/or frozen food products and packaged goods. Check out this LINK , IFT’s reasons why you should attend!

Exhibit if you: Sell your ingredients to food scientists/developers.

Registration: The show rates vary—if you are student its cheap, if you are not, its expensive. Rates are here – if you want to JUST go to the Expo portion and not go to the scientific educational functions, you can email Brian Sethness bsethness@sethness.com for a free floor pass (it’s a industry secret that suppliers at IFT can give out as many free floor passes as they want—after all, the suppliers need buyers on the floor)

Fancy Food Show: June 28-30 2015 This show happens in both San Francisco and NYC, the NYC one is bigger but they are both pretty huge. On the main floor you usually find international importers, lots of cheese, chocolate and established food companies. On the ends and in separate areas you find new retail food products. If you are looking for trends, new ideas or like to eat gourmet foods for three days– check out this show. It only cost about $45 to attend. Exhibit if you want to sell your gourmet food products!

Attend if You: like gourmet food, like to eat, want to see whats new and hot, are a food writer, own a chain of supermarkets, own a single supermarket.

Exhibit if you: Sell gourmet artisan food products.

Registration: $45 bucks  (more if you register late, so do it early!)

With all these shows I suggest planning out what you want to see ahead of time. Go to the website and find the vendors (by company name or by food type) ahead of time and note their booth. Try to get the ones you want/need to see out of the way first and then leave some time for aimless wandering around. Don’t forget to hit the part of the show with all the brand new to the scene companies (they are usually pushed into a basement or a dark room so you may have to check the floor plan to find them). I find the new company section to be the most interesting because.. well… I kind of already know about Jelly Belly and Walker Shortbread but I don’t know about the latest Cave Man Kombucha drink fortified with iron.

If you want to exhibit- check in with Coach Deb—a consultant who specializes in helping companies exhibit efficiently. She even as a book on it!!

 

Happy New Year!

To all those who are receiving this newsletter— I want to start off by saying thank you for signing up! I also may have added you to this list if you have downloaded my book or worked with me in the past.

About a year ago I asked potential future readers of this newsletter or blog what they would like to read about– what food science topics they would like to hear more on! I want to continue this dialogue and ask that everyone either email me directly (rachel@theintrepidculinologist.com) or post a comment on this blogs link about what you would like to hear more about.

I have been writing blogs for years and posting them either on this site or on other similar industry websites- but I sometimes run out of ideas so am looking forward to you sending over your requests-even if its just a simple question, knowing me and my obsession with this topic– a essay can be written on any question presented to me!

Looking forward to hearing your questions and topic requests for 2015!

Rachel

 

PS- The Fancy Food Show is coming up – San Francisco next week– are you going??

www.specialityfood.com 

Putting it all on the table- Food Fete Goods!

Putting it all on the table- Food Fete Goods!

I should be ashamed of myself- for years I too believed that maraschino cherries had formaldehyde in them- the stuff they put in dead people- someone told me this when I was like 8- and now here I am… years and many food science degrees later- still believing that this is the case. Crazy! Turns out that years ago- a writer for a national news magazine confused formaldehyde with benzaldehyde- a flavor that is extracted from cherries, walnuts and almond pits. Well, Cherry Man Farm To Market Maraschinos put a stop to all that nonsense— not only are they NOT made with Formaldehyde- but they don’t even have any artificial colors or flavors in them. It’s a whole new world of Maraschinos out there!

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All Natural- No Artificial anything and no formaldehyde!

Its been a few years since I attended Food Fete- the special fancy event that happens AFTER the fancy food show and is exclusive for companies that want more product exposure and want to mingle with elite members of the esteemed press. I was AMAZED at how BIG this event has become! There must have been 60+ companies there! Most brand new companies that I had never heard of- and a few established  companies that were launching their latest flavor/product concept. For example, Pepperidge Farms was demo’ing their Goldfish Mac & Cheese products.

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And here I thought Kraft and Annie’s had that market covered— enter Pepperidge Farm! They also had some cool puffy spicy goldfish crackers too! Lucky for you I am posting a picture because I can’t find it on their website!!! See, Food Fete Works!

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Puffy and spicy– and flavorful!

Entering into the show, they were serving Ole Smokey Moonshine cocktails- I passed on that because I don’t do the booze (read here why) – but great packaging right!?

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Moonshine – glass jars

I always though Kohler only made kitchen sinks and faucets- but now they make chocolate. I was more impressed with their press kit though, it was a fancy key USB in a box- I will cherish that key thing forever.

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the coolest of all media kits- a USB that looks like a key– in a box

The sneaky chef is sneaking vegetables into your marinara sauce and into the pasta- Now, while I don’t totally understand why they have to be SNUCK in –why can’t kids just be OK with it- at least they are there- and being eaten and that’s all that matters. But here is the part I am not clear on- they have a new veggie pasta on the market but I can’t find any online information—as a food scientist, I want to know how they got the veggies into the pasta. Stay tuned!!!

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Jama Cocoa is a start up company run by Jamasen Rodriguez and five other undergrads- the company combines modern, urban art world with the realm of delicious chocolate confections. They achieve this by partnering with both upcoming and established artists and featuring their artwork on their chocolate boxes. I think they should feature the artwork by Zariart.com who designed the cover of my new book!  The Food Business Tool Kit For Entrepreneurs (mini plug for my book here!)

my awesome book cover- of my great new book!

I also really liked the Jcoco Chocolate from Seattle– more cool packaging (beautiful women featured on the labels) and cool owners.

sexy women on the package!

sexy women on the package!

They promised to attend my RCA chocolate event in a few weeks in San Francisco-being held at Charles Chocolates with a microbiologist speaking about food safety and confections.

I think Lamb is like this forgotten meat in the U.S. – we should all eat more of it and if you visit the lean on Lamb website, they have tons of great recipes!

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eat more lamb!

I have to give a shout out to all California organizations (since I LIVE in California)  because they are just trying to support the farmers!  – the Almond Board of California , the California Milk Advisory BoardCalifornia Olive Ranch, and the California Olive Committee! I felt right at home at this years Food Fete!

Go All Things California!

Go All Things California!

I left the show with two heavy bags – took a taxi across town to meet my friend for dinner- he took a bunch of my chocolate bars, my veggie pasta (now I will NEVER know how they did it!) and some of my half popped popcorns!

sort of like corn nuts-- but not..

sort of like corn nuts– but not..

I got home and lay everything out on the table- wondering which items would come with me to Canada and then back to San Francisco.

Mom took the Lucini olive oil – so I don’t get to keep that– and more chocolate bars were removed from my bag when I was not looking– I did get to eat the Two Fold Foods Savory nuts for breakfast- trying to do the Paleo protein thing— so nuts work for that!

Nuts for breakfast

Nuts for breakfast

Mom snagged this shwag bag item

Mom snagged this bottle—

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I want to thank Jeff Davis for putting on a great event- Great to be exposed to new products on the market- Glad to be able to share the information with my readers!  There were tons of other great products at the show but I can’t write about every single one— they are all listed HERE  because I thought everything was delicious!

Wow- I can’t believe I did it- but I wrote my first book! It’s called The Food Business Tool Kit For Entrepreneurs-How to Research, Develop and Produce a New Food Product. It took me exactly four months from start to finish, it cost me $6500 dollars to write, $4,842 of which was raised via Kickstarter from family, friends and anonymous interested parties who just felt like supporting me. It took me over 1000 hours to write- and now its done! And it can’t be unwritten- it can only be sold-so I hope.

But.. WHAT is this book really all about??

Buy me!

My book is not for the food scientist– it is written for the regular people – the ones who wake up one day from their non-food industry job (whatever non food people do.. finance, real estate, marketing, sales etc.) and realize that they have a dream of making the next healthy food product with a clean label and sustainable ingredients that is good for you, good for the environment and good for other countries and the world. They rush into their kitchen (after a trip to whole foods to buy gluten free grains and nut powders) and start cooking and mixing and showing their friends and putting together business plans and then….. the really complicated questions come in- the stuff that only the Food Scientists know about .. like:

  • How do I Get this Product Made?
  • How do I find a Manufacturer
  • Do I need to do a shelf life study?
  • What’s a HACCP plan?
  • Do I really need to get the FDA involved in all this?
  • Can I patent my product?
  • Can I tell people my product will save the world?
  • Can my product be shelf stable like a twinkie but without all the bad stuff that the twinkies have?

They start searching around online- and realize that – it is not so easy to find the answers to their questions- so they try to hire people, but they are not even sure whom to hire. Should they hire a nutritionist, a chemist, engineer?  A Chef?? Why is it so hard to figure out these answers they wonder..

The reason why- is because—believe it or not- start up companies are not easy to work with because they usually don’t have any money, they don’t understand anything about the food industry and they are just not worth the time needed by co packers, ingredient suppliers and manufacturers. They would much rather someone like Kraft or Nestle come knocking on their door – not Joe’s Jumpin’ Trail Mix from Sonoma County.

And so my book TEACHES the layperson what they need to know to get started. I provide links to the important trade shows- and I explain the basics of food safety and shelf stability and what is HACCP all about. The reader will leave with a solid understanding of the rules surrounding their product category so when they do leave a voicemail for that co-packer – they may even get a call back- if they look and sound like they know what they are doing.

So if you are food scientist reading this post- then this book is not for you-unless you were asleep during food microbiology or didn’t attend Better Processing Schoo-but I bet you know someone who has a food dream but none of the inside exclusive food science knowledge to make it happen. Tell them about my book!

Now you are thinking– how can I trust Rachel Zemser? AKA the Intrepid Culinologist? Does she really know her stuff?

Read my biography– I have 3 degrees, 18 years experience, many publications and lots of recommendations on Linked In. And if you think the book is not helpful- I will give you a refund.