Date of Birth: 11th Jan 1958
What institutions did she attend?
- Point Fortin RC School, Trinidad
- Naparima Girls’ High School, Trinidad
- The University of the West Indies (UWI), St Augustine, Trinidad- BSc in Agriculture, Diploma in Food Technology, MSc in Food Technology
- National College of Food Technology, University of Reading, England, MSc in Food Technology (Food Microbiology option)
- University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA- PhD in Food Science
- Has over 50 publications in refereed scientific journals.
- Developed food safety teaching manuals and food microbiology and food quality assurance laboratory manuals for university students
- Introduced industry internships and cash prizes and awards for FSTU students
Dr Baccus-Taylor enjoys music, gardening, jogging, hiking, lawn tennis, travelling, reading, plays and musicals.
She has used local agricultural produce to make unique products such as shark sausage, dried candied pomerac, yam flour, and a sorrel/tomato ketchup.
Caribbean Women in STI
Dr Gail Baccus-Taylor, a LASPAU-Fulbright scholar, is well known for her expertise and experience in food safety, food quality assurance and food product development, and is a recognised local and international food technology consultant. She is the Acting Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering, Programme Coordinator of the Food Science and Technology Unit (FSTU), and Senior Lecturer and Researcher at the FSTU, The University of the West Indies (UWI), St Augustine, Trinidad. Her research interests include food fermentation, antibacterial activity of local herbs and spices, food pathogens (specifically Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes), and the preservation and processing of products made from local fruits, vegetables and starch-based foods.
Dr Baccus-Taylor was part of a team that conducted microbiological and molecular epidemiological research on Salmonella enteritidis in the Caribbean, focusing on Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Jamaica. This pioneering study contributed significantly to the pool of information on this food-borne bacterial pathogen.
Gail Sonia Hilarie Baccus was born on 11th January, 1958, in Point Fortin, Trinidad. Although she had a love for languages, her interest in science grew during her sixth form years, along with a strong desire to be an agricultural extension officer. She was not keen on working in an office, preferring to work with farmers in rural areas. She hopes to “leave behind a food science and technology department renowned for its research in the use of local raw materials in product development.”
What is a food technologist?
Food technologists study the processes of preserving, processing, packaging and distributing foods. They work with food producers (farmers), food processors, research laboratories, supermarkets, vendors, regulatory bodies, hotels, restaurants, and catering establishments among others. Basically, they ensure that our foods are safe and nutritious to consume.
These scientists conduct research on the chemical composition of foods and their colour, texture and flavour. They develop ways to create new food products; to enhance and certify the nutritional value of existing foods; and to preserve, process, package and store foods. Food technologists can also assist with business plans and label design and printing.
Areas of Specialisation
- Food safety
- Food quality assurance
- Food packaging
- Food process engineering
- Food product development
- Food chemistry
What do I need to study?
At CSEC and CAPE: Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology, Food and Nutrition
A bachelor’s degree in any of the following is required: nutrition, chemical engineering, food science, chemistry, microbiology, human ecology or agriculture. A master’s and PhD degree in food technology, food science or food science and technology can then be completed.
What skills and traits do I need?
- Interest in health and nutrition
- Keen observation skills
- Ability to work within strict hygiene rules
- Good communication skills
- Ability to work in a team
- Love for laboratory work
- Passion for innovation
Famous Food Technologists
- George Moon Sammy
- Nicolas Appert
- Henri Nestlé
- John Harvey
- Will Keith Kellog
- John and Richard Cadbury
- H.J. Heinz