Hello! My name is Bryan Quoc Le and I am a food scientist, food industry consultant, and author of 150 Food Science Questions Answered.
I completed my PhD in Food Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where I studied the health effects of savory flavors derived from plant-based sources. I earned my MS and BS in Chemistry from the University of California-Irvine, where I studied materials and polymer chemistry.
In another life, I walked 2,000 miles from California to Louisiana and I found limited options offered by retail grocery stores across the continent. From that experience, I discovered my purpose was to help change our current food system. I briefly studied at Stanford University under a dual degree program (PhD in Chemistry/MS in Medicine) until I realized my true passion was in food and pursued a different direction.
Nowadays, I offer research insights from the primary literature on the science of taste and flavor through the Science Says platform.
Additionally, I was the former VP of Digital and Social Media for the Institute of Food Technologists Student Association, where I led a team of food science graduate students to manage, design, and promote their award-winning blog, Science Meets Food.
I am a professional member of the Institute of Food Technologists, National Association of Science Writers, and Food Consultants Group.
The world of food touches so many important domains in life, whether it’s economic, social, religious, artistic, medical, scientific, or political.
Food is intricately tied to the past, present, and future of human civilization as well as our survival on this planet. From the ancient origins of fire and cooking to our post-industrial age of alternative proteins, cellular agriculture, and synthetic biology, food continues to evolve alongside us.
Regardless, in national surveys about what drives people to eat, taste consistently ranks at the top of the list. We are intrinsically driven by our evolutionary desires for great tasting foods as a basic biological indicator of calories and nutrition.
Indeed, taste and flavor remain at the heart of our major challenges with food, as we continue to see a rise in obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other lifestyle diseases in the modern world.
1. The kitchen chemistry model offers a do-it-yourself approach to systematically designing new flavors that democratizes the food technology once accessible only to food companies, research scientists, government agencies, and universities.
I am interested in researching processes to produce high-potency flavors using compounds, materials, and equipment readily available to the average consumer.
One example of this project is the kitchen-based synthesis of high-intensity umami derivatives using the Maillard reaction by reacting over-the-counter amino acid supplements together with ribonucleotide flavor enhancers in natural deep eutectic solvents (NADES) derived from reducing sugars commonly found in the pantry.
2. Our current knowledge system gives incredible advantages to individuals and organizations with extensive monetary resources, and prevents access to valuable research and knowledge behind paywalls, tuition infrastructure, patents, and technical jargon.
Therefore, I am also interested in investigating open source platforms, Creative Commons licenses, and scalable digital tools for disseminating these low-cost flavor technologies to a global audience in easily understood formats.
My hope is that with more people understanding the scientific principles and processes that drive our modern food industry, we can all work together to design, refine, and enjoy new foods for a more sustainable future.
3. Lastly, I am interested in how scientific knowledge and technology are shared, transferred, and spread in the complex ecosystem of researchers, universities, nonprofits, startups, consultants, government institutions, and corporations.
I am especially curious of the role played by intellectual property rights and how they serve to restrict or enhance the flow of technical knowledge and know-how in this network, especially in the food industry where trade secrets, recipes, ingredients, technologies, processes, and formulations are critical to the commercial success of modern food commodities.
Learn more at http://www.bryanquocle.com