Researching New Foods
CALS Alumnus Uses Technical Skills to Develop Whey Protein Products
Corbin Hohl’s favorite thing about his job as a research scientist with Glanbia Foods is pretty simple.
“Getting to eat everything I make. I’m never hungry at this job because there are 20 other scientists all doing different things and I’m constantly trying cheese and whey protein products and yogurt,” Hohl said. “We get to try some really interesting stuff.”
Hohl graduated from the UI/WSU School of Food Science in 2014. During his time as an undergrad, he completed several internships including time as a creamery production employee at the WSU Creamery and a quality assurance lab internship with Idaho Milk Products. He also interned with Glanbia Foods in the research and development department before accepting a full-time position into their management trainee program.
Hohl completed the trainee program in 2015 and is a research scientist with Glanbia’s nutritional sports nutrition department.
“I work with whey to develop sports nutrition products,” Hohl said. “Whey protein is very easily digested and protein powders are becoming more main stream. More people are understanding that protein is important in their diet in terms of general health and fitness.”
Part of Hohl’s role as a research scientist includes working with customers to determine what types of products they are interested in.
“I get to do some product development, which means I get to be creative and express myself in the form of analyzing the market and finding where a product may fit in or what consumers want,” Hohl said.
Hohl has always been interested in foods because he has food allergies.
“I grew up with some food allergies and would have to read labels. My mom also tried to avoid foods with things like high-fructose corn syrup, so I was always curious about what all those ingredients were,” Hohl said.
The Seward, Alaska, native decided to attend the University of Idaho after visiting the campus at the insistence of his sister, a UI alumna. His sister also played a role in his chosen path when he read an issue of her Here We Have Idaho magazine, which had a feature on food science. He decided to get more information, and after his campus visit, he was hooked.
“I really appreciated the Moscow community and the community at the university,” Hohl said. “It really helped foster a good environment for me to learn and overall I had a great college experience. The University of Idaho is a highly underrated university.”
Eventually, Hohl hopes to run his own research and development department, and the booming food science industry is a great place for that to happen.
“If you want to pursue a degree in food science, you will get a job,” Hohl said. “The school has a 100 percent job placement rate and there are a lot of job opportunities, especially in Idaho and Eastern Washington.
“You’ve got to have a passion for technical application and science in general. You’ve got to be curious.”