Hear from a Food Technologist at Castella Imports

Name: Ilana Shapiro, RDN

Title: Food Technologist

Company: Castella Imports

Years worked in current role: < 1

Years of experience in food industry: 4 1.

In 300 characters or less describe your job:

Ilana Shapiro is responsible for formulating new innovations, such as seasonings, sauces, flavors, and colors, for a specialty food company. She currently reviews old formulas to ensure optimal quality, and is working toward MSG replacement and sodium reduction in specific products. Ilana is leading regulatory affairs by utilizing the Genesis R&D framework to create and update nutrition facts and ingredients labels for Castella’s products. Finally, Ilana is involved in company-wide initiatives that include health & wellness, SQF certification, and food safety training.

What are the top 3 characteristics you need to be good at your job:

Creativity, passion, patience

Why did you decide to pursue a career in food?

Ilana always had an affinity to food, but she didn’t think much of its components. Her food adventures took off when she developed a passion for science in high school. Chemistry was her favorite class, and she thought it would be a fantastic career choice. Ilana therefore applied to food science programs in order to marry her love of science with her passion for food. She has never looked back!

Top 3 advice tips for students and new grads coming into the industry 

Use every single networking opportunity to your full advantage. – Get involved in as many clubs as you can, in order to build your resume. – Be yourself.

Tell us why your Food Job Rocks?

Ilana is given a lot of responsibility at her company. She is currently the only food scientist, and the only Registered Dietitian, at Castella. She has a great leadership role, and she is involved in many company decisions. She also works for a family-owned company. Everyone knows each other by first name, and each person has a unique opinion. It’s a very rewarding experience.

Favourite quote?

“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do”.

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