FoodGrads Podcast Episode 66: How a Food Science PhD Prepares You for a Career in Consulting with Bryan Quoc Le, Ph.D. Food Scientist, Food Industry Consultant and Author

On episode 66 of the FoodGrads the podcast where we explore careers in the food, beverage and agricultural industries. This week on the podcast we interviewed Bryan Quoc Le (Ph.D), food scientist, food industry consultant and author of the book 150 Food Science Questions Answered. Bryan earned his PhD from the University of Wisconsin, Madison where he studied the biological effects of savory flavors from plant-based sources.

In episode Bryan shared with us what exactly a food science consultant does and how he began his practice while still completing his PhD. We talked shop about things that Bryan finds challenging about being a consultant, what he enjoyed and how the schedule of being a consultant works well for him. Bryan explained how he is an effective food science consultant despite not being an expert in all topics. Additionally, we talked about our experiences being and have completed PhD and the challenges faced during that journey.  Veronica also asked Bryan about how he approaches designing experimental designs and the his opinions on the future of food.

This podcast is supported by CareersNow! CareersNow! is Food and Beverage Ontario’s multi-year workforce development initiative that is connecting students and job seekers with employers in Ontario’s food and beverage processing industry for exciting career opportunities. Check out for more information on exciting jobs, career information, industry mentors and training opportunities for professional development.

Show Notes

[3:13] Bryan talking about what he does as a consultant

[6:56] An example project Bryan has done as a consultant

[10:00] Bryan changing Veronica’s idea of what a consultant is

[16:59] How Bryan started a consultancy during his PhD

[20:40] Skills from Bryan’s PhD which have helped him with his consultancy

[25:51] Bryan and how he approaches micro experiments

[32:17] What Bryan feels are going to be the biggest changes when it comes to the food industry

[38:46] What skills Bryan wished he would have learned during school

[45:45] Why Bryan decided to do a PhD

Bryan Le Quotes

I’m just trying to save people time and money and that’s a really good way for me to frame my work because otherwise, again, I don’t necessarily know everything, right? But I can at least help a person figure it.

– Bryan Le, Ph.D.

I’m a person that’s always trying to figure out better ways to do things for whatever reason. And so I thought maybe that’s one way for me to put myself out there and  actually make a livelihood of my for myself. And it’s, it’s worked out so far. And I think that’s probably the number one thing I love about the consulting

– Bryan Le, Ph.D.

It’s largely just a matter of having that endurance. I realize that that’s probably if anything what I learned from the PhD was just being able to endure lots of failure and recognize that at the day you are gonna be okay. And when you’re in it it’s really hard to see that perspective.

– Bryan Le, Ph.D.

So my time is very valuable to me. Not that it wasn’t before but maybe it wasn’t valuable to other people. Now it’s also valuable to other people. So because my time is now coveted.

– Bryan Le, Ph.D.

I graduated with my PhD in food science about three years ago and, nowadays I’m basically just this sort of freelance pirate like mercenary for hire. So I just do food sciences. For anyone or anyone any company that’s interested in acquiring my skillset, so to speak.

– Bryan Le, Ph.D.

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