Ep. 081 – Democratizing Baking Knowledge with Dr. Lin Carson, CEO of Bakerpedia

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Lin Carson is one of those amazing people who will give away knowledge for free. In this case, her amazing technical expertise in the bakery industry has made her able to share this on an awesome website called Bakerpedia. Think of it as Wikipedia, but for bakers!

If you are into bread, especially in a commercial sense, you will absolutely love this interview.

So get ready, for an exciting segment about baking, along with the tips of finding and joining high growth companies, the latest amazing technology in the baking industry, and maybe this episode will inspire you to make a wiki site on your own.

About Lin Carson

A passionate trailblazer who constantly challenges current ways of thinking when it comes to innovation and sustainability in the field of grain science, Dr Lin Carson’s love affair with baking started about 20 years ago when she earned her BSc degree in Food Science & Technology at the Ohio State University. Keen on deepening her knowledge in baking, bread and grain product texture, she went on to earn her MSc then PhD from the Department of Grain Science at Kansas State University.

In 2007, she started the R&D program and baking lab at Wendy’s New Bakery Company in Ohio where she managed the team responsible for product development, ingredient and equipment sourcing, analysis equipment and procedures, specification development and commercialization.

Opportunity came knocking in 2013 and Dr Carson took up the position of Director of Technical Services at Dave’s Killer Bread (DKB) in Portland, OR. There, she oversaw food safety, quality, co-manufacturing and R&D procedures.

Her experience heading the R&D departments at two of America’s leading food brands was invaluable and was how she discovered a huge gap in technical information sharing.

When she’s not running BAKERpedia, Dr Carson serves as Treasurer on the Board of Directors at the American Society of Baking, a role she has held since 2007. One of her notable achievements is spearheading the Product Development Competition that aims to identify and reward innovative thinking in commercial baking processes.

Aside from all things bakery, Dr Carson is married with three boys and is a self-proclaimed health nut. She trains regularly for Triathlons as a hobby with a transition goal of under 1 minute.

About BAKERpedia

A year later, armed with knowledge, conviction and sheer guts, Dr Carson launched BAKERpedia with the ultimate aim of strengthening the entire baking ecosystem, allowing ideas to thrive, improving efficiencies and encouraging opportunities for growth.

Today, as the world’s only FREE and comprehensive online technical resource for the commercial baking industry, BAKERpedia is used by commercial bakers, ingredient sellers, equipment suppliers and baking entrepreneurs who have easy access to the answers they need to make informed decisions daily.

This Episode is Sponsored by Foodgrads

This episode is sponsored by FoodGrads, an interactive platform for the Food & Beverage Industry, which focuses on closing the gap between students and employers with a broader mission to attract and retain people to a meaningful career in food. From Food Scientists to Farmers, Chefs to Plant Managers, QA Technicians to Dieticians, or Marketing and Sales, no matter what your passion–there’s something for everyone in Food—and they will help you find it.

Join FoodGrads for support, mentorship and guidance to start your career. Just go to foodgrads.com

[New] This Episode is Also Sponsored by Steviva Ingredients

Hey everyone, we have a new sponsor on the podcast and I am happy to introduce you guys to the wonderful people at Steviva, a sweetener company in Oregon. If you want to hear more about this amazing company, listen to episode 72 with their CEO Thom King. What’s really cool about Steviva is that they are changing their whole company into something bigger and better and I love telling the story of how this will happen. As we progress, we plan to go through the process of Steviva’s transformation and inform you on what this amazing company can do for you.

For more information about Steviva, go to http://www.stevivaingredients.com/


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Knowledge Bombs

  • Why baking is complicated versus other areas of food
  • Being in Operations versus in the Lab
  • A discussion about clean label and skilled labor

Question Summary

One sentence: I’m the CEO of Bakerpedia.com . A free resource on baking technology
How Bakerpedia happened: Food Science Degree, Grain Science Degree, running technical teams in the bakery industry, had an idea, found a gap, worked 2 years without any pay to get it off the ground
What do you consider a growing company?: To be really aggressive, have double digit growth percentage a year.
Can any company at any size be a growing company?: Great people make growth happen. Big companies just have a harder time getting great people
What have you taught your team to be great at their jobs?: Mainly technical skills and basic knowledge of the baking industry. Be open to learn more and more
Where do you gather your technical knowledge?: On the job training, courses, AIB, etc. You have to be on the job.
Was it hard to make Bakerpedia?: Not at all. Launching is really easy. The most challenging thing: How to monetize
My Food Job Rocks: I get to learn something different from different bakers every time and bake amazing bread.
Consulting arm: Lin works with 2 high growth clients. That’s enough for her
Food trends and Technology: Rapid Hydration. A high seed sprayer. Patent: Rapido-jet
When can we expect these new bakery innovations to happen?: Biggest factor is cost. Equipment can last a very long time. Some mixers can last 30 to 40 years.
What is something in the food industry you’d like to know more about?: Why aren’t companies cleaning up their labels? Why are they fighting to change their ingredients? The technology is there.
Job Hopping: You can’t change that. You have to identify good leaders
How do you identify good leaders?: Your network needs to be large. Many years of experience.
Do you have a question on how to identify good leaders?: No
Who inspired you to get into food?: My father owned a food brokerage and I hung out in their kitchen
Favorite Quote: The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond the limits and test the impossible. Arthur C Clark: Scifi Writer
Favorite Book: David and Goliath – Malcolm Gladwell also does Revisionist Gladwell
Favorite Kitchen Item: Table Top Hobart Version
Favorite Food: Bread. I am on this 90 loaves in 90 day journey. Check eatbread90.com
Favorite bread: An imported Australian bread with a peral flour
Do you have any advice for people wanting to go to the food industry?: Go ahead, we need you! A lot of startups do not have food scientists on their teams.
How do we contact you?: If you want inspiration as a working mother, connect with me on facebook.
You need to be passionate about what you do. Once you have enough passion, it doesn’t feel like work.


AIB facility in Kansas Cracker Training Course
Kansas State University Grain Science
Dave’s Killer Bread
Why are manhole covers round?

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