Baking & Snack - November 2020 - 106

featured technical expert

ADM: HANNA SANTORO
Everyone has their own story about why they love baking. For
Hanna Santoro, it began baking with her grandmother and working
in restaurants.
So far, Ms. Santoro's baking arc has taken her from working in
family-owned cafes to studying culinology at Clemson University
to working for large foodservice, private label and national baking companies. All of these steps have led her to become a senior
scientist in baking development and applications at ADM. From
Ms. Santoro's earliest days in the industry, she recognized the potential for creativity in the science of baking.
" Breads and cakes of all kinds are essentially made from the same
core ingredients, but small differences can help them stand out, "
Ms. Santoro said. " It's the science of baking that gives each baked
good both beauty and flavor. "
Her passion for baking is now fed by helping bakers pick the
proper ingredients for their own products. Ms. Santoro sees herself
as an extension of the baker's resources and a technical partner in
the development process. Her current role offers a front-row seat
to what ADM's R&D teams are studying and launching, which provides the insights needed to enable customers to be the first-to-market with new concepts.
" Working for an ingredient company with such an expansive
portfolio has allowed me to expand my culinary knowledge base
and explore new possibilities when it comes to ingredient selection, "
she said.
Ms. Santoro's unique perspective after having worked in multiple

106 Baking & Snack November 2020 / www.bakingbusiness.com

areas of the industry helps her place herself in the customers' shoes.
" It's my job to bridge the gap between our ingredient subject
matter experts and customers and to help navigate the options
available to make informed decisions for the best possible finished
product, " she explained. " I am able to use my understanding of the
baking category to make connections, which helps streamline the
process to cut down on the 'guesswork' so customers can move
faster to launch. "
When collaborating with customers, Ms. Santoro likes to return
to a product's inception. By examining it from step one, she can offer a new perspective on how to improve it. Sometimes, she said,
it's as simples as switching from a crystalline to a liquid sugar or
swapping out the flour with a lower protein one. At the same time,
Ms. Santoro approaches each new challenge with the ending in mind
because she knows that every customer wants their product to leave
an impression. Ms. Santoro can walk customers from beginning to
end with her experience and ability to engage all of ADM's solutions.
" I have the opportunity to explore pipeline ingredients to meet
new demands, market trends and upcoming ingredients in order
to build them into new product launches or innovative reformulations, " she said.
She also knows that in baking, the smallest adjustments can have
the biggest impacts. That's even more true when working on gluten
or allergen-free products. She said it's important to take the formulation apart by functionality and identify the most appropriate ingredient for each part of the application. For example, wheat flour


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Baking & Snack - November 2020

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Baking & Snack - November 2020 - 1
Baking & Snack - November 2020 - 1
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