Erika B. Smith, Ph.D., Sr. Principal Scientist Center for Technology Creation (“GTECH”), General Mills, Inc.
Erika B. Smith is a Senior Principal Scientist at General Mills in the Ingredient & Biosciences Group of G Tech where she leads programs focused on protein technology development and ingredient simplicity. She has 18 years of experience as a product developer in the food industry.
Erika is an active volunteer in Partners in Food Solutions, a 501 3C organization that is focused on technology transfer from the food industry to small and medium processors in Africa. She leads a team of 30 volunteers working on projects to improve the quality and efficiency of fortified peanut butter (RUTF) made by Project Peanut Butter in Africa.
Before joining General Mills, Erika worked at The Pillsbury Company and Abbott Nutrition. She received her Food Science degrees from the University of Illinois (B.S.), and Cornell University (MSc, Ph.D.). Erika is the author of 2 patents, 6 papers and recently co-edited a Food Products Manufacturing Handbook.
Protein Fundamentals: Options and Considerations
Proteins are large complex molecules with a broad range of structures and functions. This presentation looks at why proteins are added to foods as well as the factors that enter into their selection. An overview of protein functionality is provided including the relationship between protein structure and function such as hydration, protein-protein interactions, behavior at surface interfaces, and viscosity among others. Details will be provided on the specific properties needed in representative foods such as foaming in angel food cake, stability in lower pH beverages, emulsified foods like mayonnaise, gelation in yogurt and protein aggregation in cheese.