2:15 - 2:55 pm ET

Discussion Forum: Science & Practice Around Fermented Foods: What’s involved in transforming a food through fermentation

Fermented foods are as old as humanity and consumed in cultures throughout the world, adding texture and flavour to our meals. In recent years, fermented foods have become a food trend, gaining popularity with consumers and receiving a significant increase in attention from the research community. 

Join our panel of scientists and chefs for a lively and interactive discussion including the history and scientific process around fermentation, health benefits associated with fermented foods and practical implications for the commercial and home kitchen. Ask the experts your questions about how and why we ferment certain foods, what current research around fermentation looks like, and tips and recipes for baking and fermenting your own foods.


Mary Brauchla, PhD, MPH, Associate Principal Scientist, PepsiCo

Mary is an Associate Principal Scientist in the North America Health and Nutrition Science team at PepsiCo. In her 5 years at PepsiCo she has led clinical trials to support claims, translated public policy for R&D and business partners, and led activation supporting the role of fruits and vegetables in a healthy diet. Mary has a Master of Public Health from Emory University and a PhD from Purdue University where she conducted extensive research in a pediatric nutrition lab focusing on fibre intake and diet quality.

Suja Senan, PhD, Associate Principal Scientist, PepsiCo

Suja Senan is an Associate Principal Scientist in the Science and Technology team at PepsiCo, where she is excited to be on the trajectory of radical innovation in the fruit and vegetable sector. In her previous roles she worked with a dynamic team to develop clean label shelf-life extenders for cheese, bakery, pet foods and meat applications. By training she is a dairy microbiologist and spent 8 years as an academic at Anand Agricultural University in India.  

Steven Dominguez, Senior Research & Development Chef, PepsiCo

Chef Steven is an enthusiast, activist, and advocate of food. A graduate of Johnson & Wales University and a seasoned cook, Steven also minored simultaneously in Food Science and Clinical Dietetics while working as a teaching assistant. He is a Senior Research and Development Chef within the PepsiCo Foods category. 

John Kett, Research & Development Chef, PepsiCo

Chef John incorporates his background in chemistry, biochemistry, and food science to provide a modern approach to culinary research and development. A graduate of Florida International University, he began his journey at PepsiCo as a Culinary Intern and now conducts research on new ingredients and techniques in the Culinary Innovation Center in Plano, Texas. 

Moderated by:

Mark Dekker, PhD, Principal Scientist, PepsiCo Canada

Thanks to session sponsor PepsiCo Canada