Thursday, November 18, 2021

Midweek Mixer: Exploring new consumer demands in alternative plant proteins


As alternative protein products have grown, new products have shifted from simply vegetarian or vegan options to mimicking the experience of a meat-based diet. This has generated growth in “flexitarian” consumers. But who are these consumers and what plant-based options do they want? Join Phil Kerr, Prairie AquaTech, and Tasha Hermes, Cargill, as they explore this important question and address opportunities and challenges for product development.

The mixer will be hosted by Filip VanBockstaele, Ghent University and AOCS Edible Applications Technology Division Vice Chair, and Vermont Dia, University of Tennessee and AOCS Proteins and Co-Products Division Membership Liaison. It is free and open to everyone!

When: Thursday, December 9, 2021, 9 a.m. CST (Chicago, USA; UTC-6)

Register for free.


Tasha Hermes

Tasha Hermes is a graduate of Michigan State University where she earned her B.S and M.S. She studies food science. After completing her graduate degree, she worked in meat product development at Sara Lee/Hillshire Brands/Tyson Foods. There she did meat product development supporting retail brands. Tasha then moved to Cargill in their ingredients business where she was responsible for product and process development of plant proteins, including textured and non-textured proteins such as soy, pea and other novel botanical sources. She gained experience in plant protein processing as well as utilization of the proteins in finished product applications, including bakery, snacks, meats, meat analogs and beverages. Following plant protein development, Tasha had the opportunity to focus on utilizing plant protein ingredients to manufacture plant-based meat analogs. She now leads Cargill’s meat analog alternative protein R&D team. 


Phil KerrPhil Kerr is Chief Technology Officer of Prairie AquaTech. Prairie AquaTech discovers, develops and commercializes value-added solutions for global aquaculture. Before joining Prairie AquaTech in July 2019, Phil was Sr. Director of Grain and Food Science Research and Development of Indigo Agriculture. Phil has also served in multiple leadership roles with DuPont Agricultural Products, Solae LLC and DuPont Nutrition and Health. His experience ranges from creating new ingredients with enhanced, holistic quality attributes to the formation and management of strategic private/public relationships that enabled them and brought them to global commercial status. Phil serves as the Vice President of the Protein Highway Initiative, a network for facilitating cross-border collaboration for plant protein-based innovation and commercialization from the U.S. Midwest/Great Plains and the Canadian Prairies. He is an active member of the IFT and the AOCS, where he also serves as the Vice President of its Governing Board's Executive Committee.

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