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Charlotte Dibble's career has had an impressive start at Yeo Valley, a well-known name in the organic dairy product industry. Fresh out of the University of Reading with a BSc in Food Science, Charlotte's journey showcases how her education paved the way for her success in the field of food science and nutrition.

Her interest in food always existed, but she had never considered food science until she saw the programme at the University of Reading. It was an exciting discovery – she could see the possibilities with the hands-on learning and access to advanced equipment. She explains, "I chose Reading because I could develop my own food products and I was so excited to use the food processing plant on campus."

One of the remarkable aspects of Charlotte's education at Reading was the seamless transition it provided from academia to the professional field. After her second year, Charlotte had the opportunity to complete a placement year with Co-op, a prominent player in the food industry. This experience allowed her to apply her academic knowledge to real-world challenges, with the University of Reading's support ensuring she was well-prepared for the professional world.

However, the highlight of Charlotte's journey came during her final year when she did her final year research project in partnership with Yeo Valley, the UK's most popular organic brand, known for its wide range of dairy products, including yogurt, cream, milk, butter, cheese, ice cream, and compote. Charlotte's research focused on the impact of raw milk pH on yogurt quality, a project that allowed her to delve deeper into her passion for food science.

She explained, "Understanding how factors like raw milk pH affect yogurt quality is vital, given the variability of milk and customer expectations for consistent products. My project involved extensive practical work, from replicating yogurt production on a small scale to conducting quality assessments related to texture." This partnership not only provided her with hands-on experience, but also allowed her to collaborate with industry experts, expand her professional network, and ultimately led to a job offer from Yeo Valley.

Today, Charlotte thrives at Yeo Valley, where she plays a pivotal role in a quality optimisation project aimed at ensuring consistent product excellence. Her role is dynamic, challenging, and rich with learning opportunities. She elaborated, "I’m actively engaged in improving the manufacturing process, whilst also getting involved in some quality auditing tasks and technical support such as reviewing HACCP and investigating complaints."

What sets Charlotte's career apart is her smooth transition from academic studies at Reading to a role at Yeo Valley.  She concluded, "‘I really enjoy my job, especially when I see product quality improve and new processes implemented."

Charlotte encourages future students, saying, "The support we receive as students is incredible. I highly recommend taking advantage of opportunities like placements – they can lead to great things!"