Female scientists are boldly leading innovation in different areas of the food industry. From identifying innovative proteins for disease management to leveraging scientific knowledge to create cultured fish filet, these exceptional minds are not holding back. In this article we highlight the work of a few of these women. If you are wondering what the future of food looks like, pay attention to the remarkable innovation happening in the food industry today. It is great to highlight women are leading the change.
Jasmin Ravid PhD
Dr. Ravid is the CEO and co-founder of Kinoko-Tech. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition Sciences from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Plant Sciences from the same university. At Kinoko-Tech, Dr. Ravid and her co-founders harness the potential of deep-tech fermentation to produce sustainable and healthy superfoods. She describes her research as open-minded innovation. To learn more about her work, listen to her interview on food + health talks here.
Lauran Madden PhD
Lauran Madden’s educational background includes a BSc in Chemical Engineering, she has spent more than ten years working on cell-based technologies for generating tissues from cells. She has a Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of Washington. Currently, Lauran Madden is the Chief Technology Officer at BlueNalu, where she leads the team on its mission to provide consumers with healthy cell-cultured seafood that is sustainable and supports the diversity of the ocean. You can read more about Dr. Madden in her Forbes interview here.
Dr. Leila Strickland
As the saying goes, necessity, is the mother of invention and Dr. Leila Strickland’s struggle with breast milk production led to the idea to innovate in this area. Dr. Strickland has a Ph.D. from Boston College and has focused on cell biology for her postdoctoral study. She co-founded BIOMILQ in 2019 and serves as the company’s Chief Scientific Officer. The company is focused on producing cultured breast milk for feeding infants.
Dr. Patricia Bubner
Dr. Bubner’s foray into the food industry is a product of her lifelong curiosity about how to create healthy food from scratch. She earned a Ph.D. in Biotechnology in 2011. She is the founder and CEO of Orbillion Bio, a food tech company that makes ethical and sustainable high-end meats in the lab. She is also the co-founder of the Millet Project.
Dr. Karin Rotem-Wildeman
Dr. Rotem-Wildeman has held various leading roles in the food and beverage industry in the past two decades. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Leleigh University and a Ph.D. in Computational Chemistry from the University of Massachusetts. She has previously worked at PepsiCo and Godiva Chocolatier. At the latter, she was the Global Head of Research and Development. Currently, she is the Chief Scientific Officer at the LIVEKINDLY Collective, where she uses her experience and knowledge to help build a sustainable global food system through plant-based alternatives.
Dr. Fei Luo
Dr. Fei Luo is another female scientist with a background in chemical engineering making giant strides in the food industry. She has a BSc and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering. Dr. Luo is the CEO, and co-founder of Canada-based food tech startup Liven Proteins. The startup transforms lost food in the agriculture and food value chain into premium protein ingredients. Dr. Luo and her team at Liven Proteins rely on fermentation to transform waste pea starch into gelatin.
Theresa Rothenbücher is one of the three co-founders of Revo Foods and the only female among them. She is also the company’s Chief Scientific Officer, a role that puts her at the center of the company’s research and development. Rothenbücher has a Bachelor’s degree in Bio and Nanotechnologies and a Masters degree in Molecular and Applied Biotechnology. With the help of her co-founders, she plans to revolutionize the plant-based seafood alternative industry.
Laura Katz is a 29-year-old food scientist and adjunct professor at NYU. She is the founder of Helaina. The company’s products have been described as a potential solution to the baby formula shortage ravaging the US. Her company’s proprietary fermentation process creates human milk proteins that offer the same immunity as natural breast milk.
Dr. Jasmin Hume
Dr. Jasmin Hume is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Shiru. She combines machine learning with fermentation to discover functional alternative proteins. Dr. Hume is an accomplished female scientist in the food industry, having worked previously at JUST foods. She rose through the ranks to become the company’s Director of Food Chemistry before starting her company in 2019.
Maya Ashkenazi is the CEO and co-founder of Maolac. She earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees in Biomedical Engineering. For her graduate training, Maya Ashkenazi created a diagnostic platform that uses breast milk to understand the biofeedback between mother and child during breastfeeding. With her understanding of the immense benefits of breast milk, Maya and the team at Maolac are expanding the frontiers of preventive nutrition through foods we consume regularly. The company creates functional milk protein mixtures from different sources, including bovine colostrum.
While this list highlights the work of a few brilliant female scientists leading innovation in food tackling some of the challenges threatening our food system. There are several more working hard to create a healthier and sustainable food system. Do you know a change agent that should be on this list? Share with us in the comment below.
Written by Ibrahim Okuade.
Ibrahim is a writer with special interest in innovation and emerging businesses.