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In this first episode of our second season of Spilled Salt, our host Maureen Ballatori is joined by Sam Alcaine, an Associate Professor at Cornell University, and co-founder of both Norwhey Brewing and Dos Luces Brewery.

Initially pursuing a PhD in beer, Sam Alcaine encountered discouraging news about the lack of research opportunities in the brewing industry. However, a chance opportunity at Miller Brewing Company changed the course of his career. Over six years with Miller and later Coors, Sam delved into R&D, product development, and brewing, contributing to projects like Lightning Kugels and Miller Chill, and laying the groundwork for hard seltzers.

Sam Alcaine shares his journey from a molecular biology grad to a prominent figure in dairy fermentation and food safety. 

A pivotal moment arose when Sam received an offer from Unilever to work on food safety for a large ice cream company. Despite his microbiology background, he embraced the challenge, eventually focusing on improving food safety practices and commissioning plants.

Later, Sam’s pursuit of a PhD led him to UMass, where he worked on engineering bacteriophages for rapid bacteria detection. This experience, combined with his interest in non-traditional fermentations, inspired him to explore the potential of whey, a byproduct of yogurt production. 

Sam’s collaboration with a local brewer resulted in the creation of Norwhey, an alcoholic beverage made from whey. The venture gained recognition, becoming a finalist in competitions like Grow-NY and FuzeHub.

Returning to academia at Cornell, Sam focuses on dairy fermentation, using different yeasts to transform dairy into novel products, including alcoholic beverages, kombucha, cheeses, and nutritional powders. He emphasizes the balance between product development excitement and understanding and controlling associated risks.

Sam will also be judging a national ice cream competition, collaborating with the North American Ice Cream Association to evaluate and recognize outstanding ice cream products.

Sam Alcaine’s dynamic career reflects his ability to navigate diverse fields, from brewing to food safety and dairy fermentation, showcasing the importance of following one’s interests and being open to unexpected opportunities.

You can find Sam on LinkedIn or reach him via email


This transcript has been edited from its original form to support readability.

Maureen Ballatori:  I’m Maureen Ballatori and this is season two of Spilled Salt, a podcast on the thrills and spills from the food, beverage, and agriculture industries. Today’s guest is Sam Alcaine. He’s an associate professor of dairy fermentation at Cornell University, but he also has experience in a couple of entrepreneurial ventures. He also spent some time at Miller Coors and Unilever.

And so today he talks about how his experience led him through corporate and then some education work and then going into higher education himself and the entrepreneurial kind of sidecars that he had along the way throughout that journey. He also talks about some tips for food, bev, and ag startups in the early days, some of the things that they can do that will help guide them. And one of my favorite things, which is the pursuit of interesting. Enjoy the conversation.

Maureen: So I reached out to Sam to join us on the podcast today because he has a really interesting breadth of experience in the beverage industry and kind of a lot of different approaches to that. So, Sam, I’d love to kind of have that be the focus of today’s conversation, your various segments of work history.

If you can start us at some of the big-name companies that you have experience with, I know you spent three years at Miller Coors and three years at Unilever. What was that like? What was your work entailing there?

Sam Alcaine: Yeah, so yeah, well, I guess, yeah, we go back to the beginning. So I’ll start just a little bit before joining Miller. So I had originally been in Ithaca doing my master’s in food science. I had started home brewing as an undergrad, uh, friends, dad had kind of invited me over and I was like, Oh, this is like a really cool version of microbiology that I wasn’t learning anything about at school. Um, and I was like, Oh, maybe, maybe I’ll do that. So like, I started looking at, you know, who did beer stuff.

And a lot of them had this degree in something called food science, which turns out I was at the University of Maryland and we had a food science program, but I didn’t know anything about it, right? I was a molecular biology grad, so I started applying to food science programs and luckily I got in here at Cornell.

The lab I worked with was really focused on food safety, but I was learning a lot of microbiology techniques and molecular. and as I got to the end of my degree, I was like, all right, I’m finishing my master’s, maybe I’d like to go do a Ph.D. in beer, right? You know, this would be fun. I started talking to some other professors around the country that were beer professors, and they were telling me that, oh, well, you know, all these big brewing companies, they’ve cut their R&D departments, nobody’s doing research in beer anymore, most of us don’t even take PhDs, it’s master’s students, and that’s about what the industry needs. So I was like, all right.

I guess my career in beer is not gonna happen, right? So I came back to Cornell, I was like, well, maybe I’ll stay and do wine. And then kind of serendipitously, one of my friends who had graduated the year before started at Miller Brewing with her Master’s as a brewer and called me up and said, hey, there’s an R&D position here, give me your resume. So I emailed it to her. The next day they called me, and they invited me out for an interview the next week. I landed in Milwaukee.

There were motorcycles parked in front of the airport. I had just learned to ride my motorcycle and I was interviewing for beer. I was like, how can this not be awesome? Right, and so they offered me the job and I was like, all right, well, let’s forget about this PhD in wine. This is really what I wanna do. This is a job that I was told didn’t exist, R&D, product development, and brewing, let’s go do it. And that’s what I went to do with, at the time they were just Miller Brewing Company, well, SAB Miller.

And really there, I did a lot of, so we have a pilot plant, they have a pilot plant, I guess I’m not there anymore, in Milwaukee. They have a small 40-liter system, kind of like a home brew system, but it’s like fully automated. Then they have like a large 10-barrel system, which is kind of like the size of the typical graph brewery, where we develop new beers. I researched novel types of fermentations, and different sugar profiles, right? How would we ferment those out?

We did a lot of consumer research, white space, kind of ideation, right, to kind of think of, you know, what was the next generation of beer. And really, a lot of the fermentation work, I was there, the director of microbiology there was always like, you know, you’re getting your PhD in the lab here, right, real-world Ph.D.

I learned a ton there, working with consumers and things like that. Eventually, we merged with Coors, and at that time, that was probably about like two years into it, maybe. Um, and then with that merger, there was a lot of work around, you know, transferring, you know, Miller Lite to the Coors breweries, Coors Lite to the Miller breweries, figuring out how to brew that right.

There was a lot of packaging work, and I’m a microbiologist. I’m a fermentation guy. I didn’t really care for the packaging. So that kind of made me kind of lift up my head and say, Hey, what, you know, what else is going on out there?

I happened to get an email from a headhunter who was looking for a microbiologist to do food safety for a large ice cream company. And so I had done food safety for my masters, so I said, all right, well, let’s at least, you know, I’ll interview for this position. Let’s see what happens. And it turns out it was with Unilever just outside New York City at their Englewood Cliffs headquarters there in New Jersey.

Funny enough, being in Wisconsin, they were moving their ice cream group from Green Bay, Wisconsin, out to New Jersey and nobody really wanted to make the move because of the cost of living. They were really rebuilding their team. And so they were looking for somebody with a food safety background to kind of really come back in, review the legacy food safety plans and practices that they had in place for the North American ice cream business, and then kind of bring that up to speed and then work with the plants. I said, let’s go to New York. Let’s see what that is.

I moved to New York City and then really worked there reviewing food safety, working with suppliers with new product development, and eventually got into helping commissioning plants to kind of bring those up to speed, right? From a hygiene and food safety perspective. And that’s kind of what my role was then at Unilever. Much more food safety than product development focus.

Maureen: So would we recognize anything that you worked on back from your Miller Coolers days that’s on the shelf now or has been on the shelf between the time you worked on it?

Sam: Yeah, so, you know, some of the projects that I touched, we touched some of the Lightning Cougles projects there. I touched there what we had, a little bit of work on Miller Chill. I did a lot of background work on, I don’t know if you remember Sparks, which was launched by McKinsey River through Miller and then Miller eventually bought Sparks. It was a caffeinated alcoholic beverage, right? Yeah, and eventually they had to pull the caffeine out.

And then a lot of the work I did was really the basis of fermentation that became the platform for a lot of the hard seltzers today. So understanding how to control those sugar brews, what were the right types of yeasts, also the regulatory environment around that. Because back when I was at Miller, the understanding was that you had to have malt to be considered a beer. But it turns out it wasn’t strictly true. And so we wrote a docket, helped write a docket for TTB and kind of got them to say, hey, no, actually, that 25% thing is not really a set rule. And so then we were able to really develop bases that didn’t have a lot of color that came from the mold, right? To make them a very neutral base that could be used for these kinds of products.

Maureen: Got it. Well, and I’m sure we’ll come back to that neutral base in some of your later experience because certainly I know that led to some other entrepreneurial work that you pursued. I just have to put this joke in there. Like I also got a PhD in beer in college, but mine looked a little different than yours. When you said PhD in beer, that has a totally different meaning for me.

Sam: Yeah. Hey, you know, taste, tasting appreciation and consumer sensory is all right. And marketing a beer is also right. It is its own Degree. 

Maureen: That’s right, that’s right. So if anybody needs an expert taster, call Sam and then call me, call me next. So you spent some time in food safety, microbiology, new product development for these large brands, and then what happened? So what made you kind of take a sharp left turn from that?

Sam: Yeah, well, yeah, so it was kind of a little serendipity. So what ended up happening was, as I was working for Unilever, I had my master’s degree, and in the food safety world, a lot of people have PhDs. And so I kind of hit this ceiling, you know, where my boss is like, you’d be really great to move up, but you don’t have a PhD. And I went to interview with another company, and they offered me a position in their food safety group. But when it came time to negotiate salary,

They were like, well, you know, we can’t pay you more than our Ph.D.’s. And so I was like, well, why am I going to jump ship, you know, start a whole new, you know, they call a new network? Why not go back and get my PhD?

Looking at one of the stories I always tell my students is, you know, how people you meet through your life impact you later on in the important network. So the person who was interviewing me for that position was on the interview committee.

When I sent them the letter to say I’m turning you down, and I’m gonna go do my PhD, he called an old friend of ours. We had done our master’s together at Cornell, and a friend of ours had done his Ph.D. here, Sam Nugent, and he was now at UMass as a professor. He called up Dr. Nugent and said, hey, Sam Alcaine just rejected me for a job, said he’s looking to do a Ph.D., you might wanna talk to him.

Sam called me and said, “I heard you’re looking to do a Ph.D. I’m looking for a Ph.D. student with some molecular biology experience.” And so that’s what led me to go to UMass and join the NUGEN lab there. We were looking at engineering these viruses called bacteriophages, they infect bacteria and engineer them so that they can more rapidly help us detect whether or not a bad bacteria was in your water or food. So really detection systems.

Maureen: Hmm, interesting. I think the, it’s a, I’m glad you mentioned that some of this is the people that you meet, right? And so the audience for this podcast is a lot of early-stage food, bev, ag folks that are kind of looking to grow what they’re doing. And so I say that all the time too, that networking is half of your growth, and that you should always nurture relationships and you never know where something might lead. And so for you, it led to your PhD and another rung on the ladder. Yeah, yeah, in terms of your growth. Okay, so you did your PhD, you’ve checked the box, then what happened?

Sam: Right. Another time. Right. Check the box. Yeah. So then again, it’s always serendipity. So when I came back to do the PhD, my plan was I was going to come back, recenter, and then either I was going to come back to academia or not to academia. I was going to go back to industry or I was gonna go kind of maybe work for a government agency or nonprofit. I was really interested also some of the work that the World Health Organization and the Food and Ag Organization did.

I did an internship with them while I was doing my PhD. But then when I came back from that internship and, talking about network, my old professor here at Cornell that I did my masters with reached out and said, hey, we have a position that’s opening up.

He was looking for a dairy fermentation person to do research and extensions to industry outreach, not typical lectures. [He said] “You have some of that experience in fermentation, and dairy food safety, you should consider applying.” [I told him] it was early but encouraged me to apply. “You know, if you get the interview, you’ll at least learn what the interview process is like for academia. And, you know, you can see where it goes from there.”

It was kind of funny when he called because I remember distinctly having a conversation with my wife when I was going originally back from my Ph.D. and she was like, would you ever go back to academia? I was like, well, there’s not many places where I would go. And I was like, I’ll never end up at a place like Cornell. Well, lo and behold, we went through the interview process and I got the offer for an assistant professor position here and so I was like, all right, how can I pass up this huge opportunity?

It hadn’t been what I originally was planning for, but it was hard to say no to the idea of getting my own lab and an opportunity to kind of push some of the research that I was interested in. So that’s how I ended up here at Cornell. You can never plan for an academic position someplace to open up when you need it. And so it was a bit of luck of the draw, but that’s what then landed me here.

Maureen: Yeah, that’s great. And so I think one of the things that I say a lot in the talks that I give is about this concept of the pursuit of interesting is what I call it. And so you’ve mentioned that a couple of times that you were, well, I was interested in fermentation, and so I pursued the Miller Coors opportunity. And then I kind of had this Cornell interest, but didn’t really know that it was going to pan out. Well, here you are.

I think that there’s something to be said for reflecting on and paying attention to the things that you’re interested in to be able to pursue that path. Yeah. And go ahead.

Sam: Exactly, yeah. You know, you got to be inspired by, you know, interests, you know, and the other thing, you know, I try to remind people too, is like, at some point you realize that maybe something isn’t working out for you, right? And you need, and you got to have, it’s scary to change it up, and then change, right? And, and it’s, I think it’s worse to get stuck, right? Because then you’re in a job that you don’t like, you’re not being motivated.

And you gotta take the leap sometimes and recognize when you need to take the leap. Right. So, you know, it was, you know, a little concerning to jump from, you know, doing beer, which is what I, you know, I was doing beer. This is what I loved. And then I was, oh, you’re going to go do food safety for an ice cream company. Right. But it’s like, but it was, I went there and I learned a ton. Right. And then going back from my PhD, going from a high salary to a grad student salary, I was married, I had just had, we just had our first kid.

It was a bit of a leap to know where that was going to lead. Because you don’t always know. But you got to push.

Maureen: Yeah, one of my favorite quotes is proceed as if success is inevitable. And so when you move forward with the understanding, you know, another common one like jump in the net will appear right that if you hadn’t taken that shift to go pursue your Ph.D., who knows what you would be doing now. But, you know, I think that is excellent advice to pay attention to when you’re stuck and kind of, you know, you can’t even say don’t be afraid to take the leap because it is scary. 

It’s a scary thing to make big adjustments like that, especially when you have other life circumstances going on. But I think that the trick to that is paying attention to what the universe is telling you. 

You realized that you wanted to keep growing and expanding the work that you were doing, and you were only gonna be able to go so far with that without your Ph.D. And so like, it kinda made sense to take that direction.

Sam: Sometimes it’s even sometimes it’s you’re taking a leap and also it sometimes feels like the universe is like Kind of pulling you in another direction. You got to follow that flow, right?

Maureen: Totally, totally agree. And a lot of that comes from our first season of the podcast, we had a guest, Maria Kast, who spoke about how to kind of help yourself listen when the universe is kind of trying to send those messages to you if you’re not one that tends to hear yourself in that way, right? 

There are some people who tend to feel stuck and they stay stuck, right? Instead of feeling stuck and using that as a message, hearing it as a message from the universe, right, I need to make a change. So in that, in that work experience that you just explained, you had two co-founder positions, right? So talk a little bit about your entrepreneurial experience as well.

Sam: Yeah, always have to move.

So you know, again, there’s always things that interest me, ideas, right, things that tickle. So a couple of things happened while I was starting up here at Cornell and over, even though I had left Miller Coors, right, and when I was there I was always interested in, you know, again non-traditional fermentations, right, so like neutral base brews, socially interested.

My parents are from Latin America, my dad’s from El Salvador, my mom’s Cuban and I was always interested in the fermentation traditions in those countries and in Latin America. 

I had ordered a lot of products. There are these pulques, which are kind of fermented from agave nectar. They’re very popular in Mexico. There’s a really vibrant scene in Mexico City with these. And then there’s chichas, which are kind of from, you know, the Andes Mountains, Peru, Colombia, which are, you know, made from corn.

Sometimes the corn may be masticated to break down the starches or it’s malted and then used to brew. And I always thought there was there was a potential there to make some interesting, you know, kind of modernize, reinvent, you know, build on that tradition from Latin America. And so I had while I was working at Unilever, I had started buying corn, malting it in my apartment, and then drying it and then making chichas.

I had been sending it to an old friend that I had used to work with at Miller, who was on the marketing side of things. [I kept saying] try this, try this, try this. And, oh, this is cool. You know, this is good. 

He had left Miller, and ended up working, I think it was for Boulder Beer as their director of marketing for a few years. And then left Boulder Beer right around the time I was starting my PhD. And, well, yeah, a little after I started my PhD, when I was about to start at Miller.

And it was like, I want to go start a brewery. And you’ve been sharing this chicha stuff with me. I’d really like to do something like this. Let’s come up with a concept. 

That led to the development of Dos Luces, Two Lights, which was inspired by the history of corn in the Americas and the history of agave, those two brews, and, also, he and I as thinking about what that was. 

So then now he was in Denver’s huge brewing scene and I was just starting off here in Ithaca so I couldn’t go over there all the time but he kind of ran, developed the brewery, the concept, and really then started taking those prototypes, refining them and then brewing them on a larger scale and really developed beverages that were really unique, really world-class and well-lotted in the industry. So, yeah, that was Dos Luces.

At the same time, I was doing my lab work here. So serendipitously when, again, when I was here, the focus on dairy fermentations, New York State, the Department of Environmental Conservation came to Cornell and was like, hey, you know, we’re the largest yogurt producing state in the country. You know, we got Chobani, Faye, we’ve got all these large Greek yogurt producers and they make this thing called acid whey. They say they can’t do anything with it. They’re throwing it away. Some of it’s going to farms, some of it’s going to wastewater, some of it’s going to land. We don’t quite know everything, but it seems like a big problem. Can you guys come up with some research?

Maureen: And just to add one thing to that for anybody who’s not aware, when Sam says they make a thing called whey, whey is the byproduct of yogurt production. 

Sam: Yes, when you strain that yogurt, right, to get that thicker Greek yogurt compared to like a traditional like Danon or something like that, what’s left behind is this kind of like neon green liquid, and it’s called whey. And we just happen to call it acid whey for yogurt because it’s a lower pH, but it’s really not that acidic compared to like a beer or a wine. It’s not that acidic, but it’s acidic compared to milk. 

So the question was, what do we do with that? And so obviously me starting off with me being from the brewing world, it was like, well, what’s in this? And there was a lot of lactose. There was no protein because the protein stayed with the yogurt and there were a lot of minerals. 

I said, hey, what are we doing brewing? We take sugar, we make ethanol. Let’s see what’s going on here. And then in those white space ideation meetings, there was always talk about, how do we make a better for you beer? It’s like, we had the low-carb thing.

We’ve always talked about, well, could you add electrolytes? What other ingredients could you add? But it was always a tough proposition because you’re adding it in intentionally. But the minerals in a way are naturally there. It’s a great excellent source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, all these things. So I was like, all right, well, let’s see what we can ferment this into and how does it taste. And then on my side of the lab was also what interesting use could we do from a microbiology perspective, which is a little bit more specific, but we started then fermenting it with different yeasts and trying it. And some of it was funky, but some of it, I’m a kombucha guy, I was like, wow, this is kind of interesting, there’s something here. Now, maybe if we apply some of the product development and processing techniques that we used back in the days at Miller, we can make a more palatable base and start working on them, taking the microbiology, and applying the processing to see what we could do.

And, you know, eventually, I had some cool people pass through the lab. Early on, I had Steve Hinde, who was one of the founders of Brooklyn Beer, come through the lab and I had him taste some of the early prototypes. And he’s like, I would drink this. I think my wife would drink this. This is pretty cool stuff, right? And so that was kind of encouragement that there was an opportunity here to run with. So then as I got these prototypes, I was like, all right, well, you know, my job at the university is to then translate, you know, research to industry.

So I started meeting with dairy companies and say, hey, taste this prototype that I had. And everyone was like, oh, well, this tastes interesting, tastes good, but it’s like a whey alcohol. How do we talk about this with consumers? Would this even sell? And then even talking to my old friends at Miller, again, it tastes interesting, but how do you build a market around this? So I was like, okay, well, let’s go back to the lab. So then I ended up working with a local brewer, it was called Bandwagon Brewing. They were out of Interlaken, New York. And so I convinced the owner there, Michael Johnson, to let me do a small three-barrel brew there of the way and just put it, have him put it on tap, right? And so we put it on tap and people bought it, right? You know, we’d blend up different flavors each week and people would pay five dollars for a pint and some people would come back and order a second one, right? 

There are some people interested in this right there paying five dollars for a pint right so I went back out with this information Well went again to some dairy companies and they’re like, oh, it’s still interesting, but yeah, we don’t know Sam We still think it’s kind of a far out there So that’s kind of where I kind of got to this wall I was like, alright if I’m gonna really be able to show that there’s a path here I’m gonna have to really try to take this maybe out to market on my own and And that’s kind of where that started and along that way then

I had met a guy about my age, Trystan Sandvoss, who had started his own business. He started a goat creamery called First Light, and he started with his brother and a few goats, and he grew it to a nationally distributed brand. I had actually met him because on my Cornell food safety hat, I taught classes to cheesemakers around food safety, and he’d come through and take a few of those courses. 

He was really top-notch, as far as the students that I had coming to that class, he was very well-prepared, very focused on food safety. And I was like, all right, he knows what he’s doing. And I had shared some early prototypes with him. And he was like, hey, if you’re looking to launch this, I’d be happy to help. And at that time he had sold some of his business to Old Chatham Creamery and was working there at the time. And this was kinda just before COVID hit, right? And I was like, hey, there’s this competition called Grow-NY. I wanna put together, I put a small application a year before and they’re like, oh, well, you’re just by yourself. You’re not a large enough company, you need a team. She’s like, let’s try applying for it this year. So COVID hit, had some time, right? We wrote up an application and we submitted it to the Grow New York competition. And we got accepted as one of the finalists. 

At the same time, because we had applied to Grow-NY, we applied to FuzeHub and we were also selected as one of the finalists for that competition. And that’s what kind of then laid the groundwork for all of that.

Maureen: For some great momentum. That’s, that’s great. I think the key takeaway for all of our listeners here today is that it’s okay to do more than one thing, right? I mean, you’ve shown that kind of dabbling in a lot of different areas, as long as you’re kind of holding tight to where your interest lies and kind of following, you know, that path that it’s okay to do multiple things along the way.

And that, like you said, you never know who you’re gonna meet and who you’re gonna be connected to that’s gonna lead you to the next thing. So, I mean, as shown by both your entrepreneurial ventures as well as your corporate experience and in higher ed. So just in closing, can you talk briefly about your current work in dairy fermentation at Cornell? And if, you know, there are any listeners of the podcast here today that could leverage your experience in terms of making a new connection in you. What should people call you for these days?

Sam: Norwhey was the product that we launched. Now it’s an alcoholic beverage and all that kind of stuff. So I do a lot of work right now on, you know, using different types of yeast to transform dairy into novel products, whether it’s alcoholic products, whether it’s kombucha type products, whether it’s new types of cheeses, new types of nutritional powders and things like that, how do we leverage that fermentation control? 

There are a vast array of different types of products that people could take the research that we’re doing on in the lab. This is publicly funded research and it’s there for people to leverage, right? To then develop new products. And then the other side of things that I do, again, I do a lot of food safety work for the dairy industry. And so, seeing your product on shelf and hearing people that they love the taste and it’s a novel process, something like that is great, but you also wanna make sure that you’re making something that doesn’t kill somebody.

And so there’s that balance of understanding, right? Having the excitement of product development, but then understanding what those risks are and the types of products you’re developing and how do you control those risks. And so I can kind of help on both sides of that equation when it comes to.

Maureen: That’s fantastic. And I love that your role brings together so much of your past experience too, in research and development, in fermentation, in food safety, and really is the culmination of all of that. Are you loving your work?

Sam: Every day I get to do something different, right? Some days I get to talk about it. Some days I get to spend it in the lab. Some days I’m going out to a factory to help troubleshoot a problem. And so, right, it’s what, again, I like to have different things coming in and out. Some people are maybe more focused, right? But for me, having multiple irons, right, and being able to pull one out, see how it’s doing, and then put it back in is fun.

Maureen: Yeah, and in that vein too, you’re judging the national ice cream competition too, right?

Sam: Yes, right. So yeah, we are collaborating with the North American Ice Cream Association, and they have a huge company. They have their convention coming up at the start of November, and they have an ice cream clinic where all these companies can submit, whether it’s their vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry ice cream, gets submitted to us here at Cornell. We put it in front of an expert sensory panel, and they judge them for defects, right? And so you get points off if there’s defects.

And if you have a great ice cream, you get a high score and you get a blue ribbon. And if you get three blue ribbons over the course of a couple of years, you become a grand master, an ice cream grand master, which is a huge accomplishment. And so we are in the middle of tasting those ice creams. We had the hugest submission of ice creams this year that we’ve had. We’ve been doing this in collaboration with NICA for the past three years, and this has been the biggest submission. So there’s a lot of ice cream.

Maureen: A lot of ice cream to taste, which I’m sure from my perspective sounds great, right? That you get to just eat a bunch of ice cream, but I imagine, you know, you don’t have to get too far into it to be ready to not be tasting ice cream.

Sam: Some people fight to go through the training to be on that sensory panel. So it is a lucrative position here at Cornell.

Maureen: Wow, that’s great. That’s great. Well, Sam, thank you so much for your time and for joining me today. I appreciate you sharing your background and kind of giving some tips to the listeners in terms of some ways to pay attention to the messages that the universe is trying to send.