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December 3rd, 2020 | Around the Office

Quality Time with Quality Control

Sovereign Flavors is committed to producing the highest quality flavors, emulsions, and extracts. Our commitment to ensuring consistency and overall quality rests in the hands of our dedicated Quality Control team. This team is responsible for ensuring that all raw materials and final flavor blends are quantitatively and organoleptically tested to meet the best quality standards. The QC team serves as the bridge between R&D and production by ensuring that all flavors produced meets or exceeds strict quality specifications.

The individuals who make up this critical team are disciplined, meticulous, adventurous, and fun-loving. This team does not consider themselves as just coworkers; they are a family unit. They connect through teaching each other about their cultures by sharing various foods or learning different phrases in each other’s languages, and sometimes even play pranks on each other. They have attended each other’s weddings, organized hangouts after work, encouraged each other in their everyday lives, and celebrated the little moments in life. Each member has their own story, but they all contribute towards one common goal: to get the job done and have fun while doing it.

Marilyn Perez was hired almost 10 years ago after graduating from Cal State Long Beach in 2011 and was the original QC/QA & Regulatory Affairs Technologist. She acquired a great deal of experience during her first 3 years as the sole member of the Quality Department until she gained her first teammate, Fiona On. Now as the Quality Assurance & Regulatory Affairs Supervisor, she looks back with appreciation for her initial years with the company because it taught her how to manage various departments and strategize proper protocols and procedures for success. “To me, this job isn’t just a job; it’s an opportunity for improvement”; The framework that Marilyn established is partly why the QC team is as strong as it is today. She particularly enjoys our lime extracts, especially when added to sparkling water.

Fiona On is Sovereign Flavor’s QC and Plant Operations Supervisor. She has been here for almost 7 years and has grown to love the flavor industry. “I get to taste flavors for a living; I’ve learned to distinguish between aromatic compounds and how they can contribute to the flavor’s taste and aroma.” Over the years she has honed this skill through performing daily QC duties which in turn has influenced her everyday cooking life; now, she can easily adjust home dishes with the slightest ingredient. Fiona’s favorite flavors are our Natural Chocolate Flavor WONF, because of its unique deep milk chocolate aroma, and our Natural Lychee Type Flavor, because it evokes childhood memories of snacking on lychee jelly cups.

Qing Zalewski was introduced to the flavor industry during a temporary position at a yogurt company after graduating from UC Davis with a Food Science major. There she would request flavors samples to use in frozen yogurt applications. She started at Sovereign Flavors shortly after as a QC technician for 4 years and has now shifted over to support Regulatory Affairs. “I am amazed at the reach that our flavors have in the food industry. Our flavors are used in a variety of applications. It feels awesome to walk down aisles at a grocery store and recognize some of the products that our flavors are used in.” Qing could not decide on just one flavor that is her favorite; but she enjoys our tangerine and yuzu extracts.

David Tang previously worked for another food company in the R&D department creating powdered blends for beverages, slowly becoming interested in the flavor industry. Not long after, he applied for a position here at Sovereign Flavors and is now a QC Technologist. “Food has always been an integral part of my upbringing. As a kid, I would always help at my uncle’s bakery. I went on to study Food Science and Technology at Cal Poly Pomona, which further cemented my passion for working in the food industry.” David enjoys the taste of our Fruit Crunch and Fruit Candy flavors. 

Connie Nguyen has been interested in working with flavors ever since she graduated from Cal State LA. She knew that she wanted to work hands-on and conduct sensory evaluation on food products, which led her to become a QC Technologist at Sovereign Flavors. “I like learning about new flavors and the different types of applications our flavors go into.” Connie loves our Speckled Flakes Cereal Flavor because it resembles the cereals she likes to eat. As well as our Pear Type Flavor that reminds her of Pandan, which is a tropical leaf used in many Southeast Asian desserts. 

Jhon Wenceslao initially wanted to become a Registered Dietitian but found that the world of food science fit him better. Jhon was drawn to flavors because of its security within the food industry. “There will always be food and beverages, which means that there will always be flavors involved.” After attending a Supplier’s Night Expo in Anaheim, he landed his first job in the flavor industry and now is a QC Technologist here at Sovereign Flavors. His favorite flavor that we make is Natural Watermelon Flavor WONF. 

Each QC team member expresses fulfillment from what they do at Sovereign Flavors, originating from their shared interests in the flavor industry, and bolstered by their strong sense of camaraderie. Their dynamic comes from how well each member’s personalities fit with each other, and how each individual contributes something unique to form a cohesive group. We recognize this formidable team through their hard work and dedication, which has been a vital part of bringing many fantastic products using our flavors to the shelves in various stores. The Sovereign Flavor’s family would not be complete without these 6 individuals.

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