FoodGrads Podcast Ep 54: Sharing a passion for food science by making it fun and accessible with Brittany Towers Lewis, Senior Manager of Product Development at Vital Proteins and theblackfoodscientist

On episode 54 of the FoodGrads we interviewed Brittany Towers Lewis. Brittany or as you might know her online as theBlackFoodScientist across multiple social media platforms is the Senior Manager of Product Development at Vital Proteins. Vital Proteins® helps people feel better and live fuller lives through high-quality nutrition products, promoting natural beauty. They deliver a wide range of collagen products to better fit every type of lifestyle – no matter how busy or active – and to provide the tools needed for a more fulfilling wellness routine.

On this episode Brittany and Veronica talked about what it is like being the senior manager of product development at Vital Proteins and what the day to day of her job looks like. We dived more into her career path deciding to move away from the medical field and instead look into food. Brittany has actually worked at PepsiCola where she had the opportunity to work on the development new lines of Gatorade. How cool is that. Veronica also used this opportunity to get to know more about Brittany like why she decided to become a certified culinary scientist, what skill she is currently working on and of course more about the TheBlackFoodScientist and how she is spreading awareness about Food Science.

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Youtube, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform.

Show Notes


[2:57] Brittany explains more about Vital Proteins

[4:33] Brittany talks about her career journey and how she got into product develop

[7:12] Brittany and Veronica talk about Alton Brown

[9:08] Brittany talks about what it was like working at PepsiCo in their Gatorade division

[13:55] Typical day as a food product developer

[16:27] What is product shielding

[18:16] Habits and rituals of Brittany

[20:23] What it is and why Brittany started theblackfoodscientist

[24:49] Favourite food science facts

[29:55] Food related skills/topics that are interesting Brittany currently

[33:43] Transitioning between the work force and a master’s degree

[39:03] Advice Brittany would give to students looking to go into food product development

Brittany’s LinkedIn

Vital Proteins

Department of Food Science and Technology at Ohio State

Alton Brown

Gatorade G2


Certified Culinary Scientist (CCS) with Research Chef Association

Brittany Towers Lewis Quotes from Interview

So it was probably third quarter of my junior year. Changed my major and never looked back. I’m so glad that I did because I found something that I absolutely love. And actually food science helped me understand a lot of science concepts better because I’m a very like tactical and tangible learner and I need something that has a real world example.

Brittany Towers Lewis

It’s definitely cross functionally. Like it’s not only scientist like R&D and Quality. You’re working with brand management. You’re working with supply chain making sure that you can have the ingredients that you need.

Brittany Towers Lewis

As far as rituals I’m trying to build them back up but definitely making time for myself. It’s something that’s really important because sometimes I think we neglect ourselves a lot. I know I do and making time for myself even just 45 minutes so I can go work out.

Brittany Towers Lewis

So I started my page off of that, trying to make science more approachable for people. Because I think food is a great way to teach science because we all have to eat so it’s very tangible for people.

Brittany Towers Lewis

Food science is unique in that I feel like it’s actually probably more women than men compared to other science fields. But it’s really important that people from like the BIPO have others to look at and say, okay I can also do that too because there’s other people in this space.

Brittany Towers Lewis

I also sometimes do some talks or things for schools. And it’s so fun because I have people like on my TikTok page and be like, Oh, you came and talked to my school or you talked to this event and I’m interested in food science. Like if I touch one person wherever I go I call that a win.

Brittany Towers Lewis

[Food Science] encompasses almost every science into one thing, like a little of each science.

Brittany Towers Lewis

Do something. It never too late to do something that you’re passionate about. And just find whatever passion that is and go for it.

Brittany Towers Lewis

But I say it’s never too late. Like people are like, “Oh I wish I found food science earlier.” I was like it’s not too late to try to get in the field. You don’t necessarily have to have a degree in food science to become a food scientist. I know a lot of people, a lot of people that I work with that don’t have food science degrees just a general degree. You get in the door starting out maybe not doing product develop but maybe something else at food company and work your way to where you wanna be.

Brittany Towers Lewis

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