Today we take a look behind the farm scenes and follow our food technologist Melina for a work day at Blue Farm. Among other things, she tells us what she needs for an excellent morning, what a typical day looks like for her and she also answers your most burning questions about her job. So clear the field for Melina!
Hi, I'm Melina and I'm a Food Technologist & Product Developer at Blue Farm. I am responsible for all tasks that revolve around new creations and products at our company. This basically means that I design recipes and see how they can be developed in a technologically sensible way. In the process, there are also a few tastings on the programme for the farmers every now and then. I'm also there to give advice and support when it comes to explaining food facts :)
What is the first thing you do when you get up?
To wake up, I drink a glass of water first thing in the morning and then listen to the news of the day in short form. If I haven't made myself a coffee before, I make it afterwards.
How do you drink your Oat Base in the morning?
I am an absolute lover of coffee of all kinds, so I prefer to use Oat Base in my coffee!
What music do you play in the morning to put you in a good mood?
It changes almost every day, currently it's "Dancing in my room" by 347aidan.
What does a typical working day look like for you?
Currently, I start my working day in my home office to answer messages and emails. I am often in contact with suppliers or looking for new suitable suppliers for our products. I also draw up test plans and evaluate the results. And I do a lot of research on the side.
After lunch or during the lunch break, I usually head off to our co-working innovation lab KitchenTown and start the first live tests, which usually last until the end of the day. I am always in constant contact with our founder Phil, with whom I work closely on the product development and production of our products.
How do you structure yourself during work?
I keep a lot of to-do lists and try to keep things in order. In experiments, it's important for me to summarise results at intervals so that I don't lose the overview. I also try to make sure that I take regular lunch breaks, preferably not alone, so that I can switch off my head for a moment :) Afterwards, I can usually continue working more productively.
Do you have a special home office routine?
When I have a home office, I usually walk around the block with my flatmate in the morning before work. This actually mimics our walk to work and gets some fresh air. I'm lucky that I always have a bit of a change of pace with the practice work at KitchenTown, which usually starts me off at lunchtime. So I usually start there with a short lunch break or a coffee if there is not enough time before I start the experiments.
What are the must-haves for your workday?
I definitely need my laptop and lots of coffee and Oat Base (whether for drinking or experimenting).
And what is the most frequently asked question about your job?
One of the most frequently asked questions is actually what exactly I do. Food technologist in itself is a profession that most people have no idea about. Many don't know the processes and work involved in product development, because it's more than just mixing a few ingredients together. It is also often confused with nutritional science. In my studies, the focus is clearly on the functional properties of ingredients, technology and product development processes - coupled with a lot of practical experience in the lab.
However, people often ask whether you can't simply make your own oat milk. Of course, you can make your own oat milk at home, but the result is nowhere near as good as with our Oat Base, because there is innovative production behind our product. Part of it, for example, is our enzymatic process. Enzymes are proteins that help cause certain reactions. They also occur naturally in our human organism. In our production process, enzymes are used to break down the water-insoluble starch in oats into sugar. This is what gives Oat Base its slightly sweet taste. With homemade oat milk, the starch contained in the milk can start to gelatinise at high temperatures, which is something you naturally want to avoid in coffee. In addition, you don't get the slightly sweet and delicious taste of our Oat Base. That's why it's not so trivial to just mix oats with water to get a creamy oat drink.
Many thanks to Melina for the insight into her daily work! If you would like to support our latest product innovation, then order the first organic oat drink to mix yourself inour shop! With your support you will be the first to receive our Organic Oat Base and you will help us to finance our production in June (delivery date: beginning of July). We are happy about your support!