Episode 8: Sensory Chemistry: Coffee, Whiskey, and Food Analysis with Dr. Jess Howell
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In this podcast, our guest Jess Howell talks about her experience in the food and beverage industry.   She emphasizes the importance of sensitivity for analytical work and mentions working with large (10 to 100 uL) volume injections of whiskey directly into a gas chromatograph!   She brings up the advantages of combining different techniques for sample preparation and automation of analyses.  Jess also talks about improvements in data analysis and the use of artificial intelligence.

She emphasizes that, despite all the advances in analytical chemistry, combining analytical data with sensory data and human experience is still a challenge.  The Sniff & Trap technique is discussed, and how supervisors/product managers/consumers can also be administered individual odors from the GC using balloons.  Some interesting flavors in the food industry are also mentioned, such as unusual flavors and different aspects of meat. 

The industry continues to change over time.  The development of Vegan meat alternatives and the increasing number of women in the food industry are discussed.  Jess feels that companies are becoming increasingly flexible and supportive of a good work-life balance, and she advises young women to be open to change and not to be limited by gender stereotypes.

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Podcast with Jess