Food Scientist Erica Willett
By high school, Erica was winning in food science competitions, and she knew that was the direction to pursue. This led her to The Ohio State University, where she obtained her Bachelors Degree in Food Science and Technology. Through school she had the opportunity to work with DDW, The Color House, and learned good practices for using natural colors in foods. After graduation, she worked with Cargill, focusing on product development of dressings and sauces. She returned to Ohio State for a deeper dive on emulsions, and studied alternative structuring agents to partially hydrogenated oils. She obtained her Masters Degree, with her thesis on “Rice Bran Wax Oleogel Water Holding Capacity and Its Effects on the Physical Properties of the Network”. Her next opportunity was with SodaStream, outside of Tel Aviv, Israel. She learned an international perspective on health and marketing, and appreciated the access to fresh vegetables at every bodega.
Erica returned to Ohio and found a quality assurance position with Sandridge. She soon joined the Innovation team, and became the point person for developing measurements and maintaining quality attributes for all products at Sandridge.
“My goal as a food scientist is to develop food that is convenient, healthy, cost-effective, and delicious.” Erica is proud to be part of an organization with the same goals in creating fresh quality foods.
Outside the Kitchen
Erica regularly volunteers with food banks, and it has been influential in how she approaches food in her career. She grows peppers in her garden – the best way to enjoy fresh produce! She also enjoys cooking with her partner, Bryan.