Young Alum of the Month: Kate Gilbert

Kate Gilbert
Title and Company: 
Research Food Scientist at Grain Processing Corporation, Muscatine, IA
Iowa Falls, Iowa
Major and Graduation Date: 
B.S. Food Science, May 2007; M.S. Food Science, In Progress,
Major Job/Position Responsibilities: 

Grain Processing is a corn wet milling company specializing in maltodextrins, corn starches, and corn bran.  I focus on new ingredient development and ingredient functionality.  I interact with many different areas including working with chemists for bench-scale ingredient modifications, engineers for pilot plant processing, quality for analytical testing and regulatory for labeling requirements along with marketing, technical services and sales to produce ingredients our customers require.  In addition, I work on ingredient functionality in various finished product applications.  A specific application area for me has been gluten-free bakery items.  Ingredient functionality is key when determining what combination of ingredients can be used to replace wheat flour structure and texture.

What you like most about your job/position: 

I like that I get to do a little bit of everything in the product development process.  There is always something new to learn and a problem to solve, so I have to stay on my toes.  Applications work is my favorite because I can tie together the science of the ingredient with the finished product benefits manufacturers and consumers desire.  Taste testing new foods is also a perk of the job.

What advice would you give to current students: 

Make the most of all the opportunities you are given in college.  Be active in clubs, do an extra research project, go on field trips and start networking with industry members whenever you get a chance.  It is hard to know exactly what type of job you want when you graduate from college, so the more experiences and exposure to your career field you have, the further ahead you will be.  You never know when one of those experiences will lead you to a job after college.  


Favorite ISU class:

It is a tie between FS HN 214 Scientific Study of Food & AN S 270 Foods of Animal Origin.