Saturday, September 19, 2020

Two minutes with: Florencia De Alzaa

We love showcasing not only the valuable work of AAOCS members but also the personal side of our members. In this newsletter, we provide two minutes with Florencia De Alzaa, R&D Technical Engineer for Boundary Bend Ltd.

Florencia came to Australia and joined the Boundary Bend team in September 2016 where she is working as a R&D Technical Engineer. She finished her degree in Chemical Engineering in 2015 at Universidad Nacional de Cordoba, Argentina. After graduation, Florencia has completed several Postgraduate Diplomas in Australia, including ‘Leadership and Management’, ‘Project Management’ and ‘Innovation and Design Thinking’. Florencia is an Associate Member of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (AMIChemE) and a Member of the Institution of Engineers Australia (MIEAust). Her recent research in the food industry has included: ‘Chemical and physical changes to fried chicken’, ‘Chemical and physical changes in oils during heating’, ‘Study of cooking oils suitability for Teflon coated cookware’, ‘Preliminary results of Evaluation of Chemical and Nutritional Changes in Chips, Chicken Nuggets and Broccoli after Deep Frying with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Canola and Grapeseed Oils’.

Every day at work… I am faced with new challenges. It is hard to define a typical day in my line of work. Sometimes I am researching, reading and writing about various topics. Recent research in the food industry has included: chemical and physical changes to fried chicken, chemical and physical changes in oils during heating. Other days I find myself in meetings, working with contractors, suppliers and with internal cross-functional teams to run R&D projects.

My favorite part of my job is… that it never gets boring! I have the opportunity to work with colleagues from different backgrounds and work towards solving problems and develop solutions that can be challenging but rewarding. 

Away from work, I like to… do yoga or a stretch session. I really enjoy playing with my creativity and I often draw, paint, and take artistic photographs. I also practice aerial silks, and, because I recently moved close to the beach, I am learning to surf.

If I could meet anyone, it would be… the authors of the book Frying Technology and Practices (Kathleen Warner). I referred to this book as a bible when researching cooking oils in Australia. I found the theoretical discussions on oil chemistry, oil degradation mechanisms, and the practical aspects related to frying including regulatory matters well described. 

When listening to the radio I listen to… Spotify radios and podcasts. I am passionate about the olive tree, all its related products and its health benefits, if I would have to recommend a podcast it would be “The Olive Wellness Institute” podcast. They always interview experts in this industry sharing the science behind it. 

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