Name: Valentina Trinetta
Job title: Principal Scientist – Food Safety Expert
IFT Division(s) to which you belong: FOOD MICROBIOLOGY AND FOOD PACKAGING
Highest Level of Education/Degree: PhD in Food Science
What does your schedule look like today?
This morning I got up early, did an energizing run and then ready for the lab! My typical day is divided between experimental work carried out in the lab: the most fun experiments are the challenging study on REAL FOOD PRODUCTS, where I am testing different technologies or chemistries to evaluate shelf-life extension; and then I am attending meetings with other scientists, where we discuss experimental strategies, statistical analysis (☺), we look at business and market needs for the company and we brainstorm to find the next innovative solutions.
How did you go about finding your current job?
It was at a Scientific Meeting! I encourage students to attend Meetings and make connections. This is how I found my position at Ecolab: I was walking through the Expo, stopped at ECOLAB booth started a conversation about the research center and while there, the person at the booth told me that there was an opening for a food safety expert at the R&D center. I applied online and then got the interview!
Who do you think is the most influential person in your field?
This is a difficult question! Definitely the consumers are the most influential in the field of FOOD SAFETY both from the micro and packaging point of view. Consumers need to feel safe and sound about what they are eating (product and containers), and the food industries (our costumers) need to trust the solutions we propose to assure that their final product is satisfying consumers and regulations.
When are you most inspired?
I feel inspired when I am listening classical music or while hiking… in general when I have the time to clear my mind and think positively on how I can better contribute to the world of FOOD SCIENCE.
If you could know one thing now, that you didn’t know then, what would it be?
My research area involves different disciplines, such as microbiology, packaging, chemistry, processing… and I feel sometimes that if I knew, I would have taken more statistical classes. Statistic is everywhere!
Why should I join FOOD PACKAGING AND/OR FOOD MICROBIOLOGY (name of your division) or any other IFT Division?
Because IFT is fun, you find colleagues that probably will become friends! Networking is important, and IFT is helping a lot in that! Every time I have a question I can ask and I know who to contact because I have the list of members through IFT community Live. Joining a division is a smart way to expose yourself to academia and industry, connect, network, volunteer…everything within FOOD SCIENCE. I would say that this is just MAGIC!
The most valuable thing I, as a student, can do to further my research/career as soon as I finish reading this interview is:
Find a division that meet your interests, join and ask to be part of it! Try to volunteer and stay connected!
What is your favorite food?
I am Italian, so I cannot resist a good GELATO and my favorite entree is EGGPLANT parmigiana…no chicken in it!!!
Want to connect with Valentina? Send her an email! firstname.lastname@example.org