Yu “Chloe” Jiang, who was born and raised in China, has always been interested in food safety, even from an early age. “I remember as a young child learning about food safety scandals that occurred around the globe and being shocked by the people and companies that allowed them to happen,” Chloe said. “Honesty and honor are a couple of my core values and I am proud to work for a company that creates ingredients with integrity and lives out its values of serving people and trust.”
As a manager in the baking lab at Ardent Mills, Chloe is responsible for ensuring raw materials such as flour meets company and food safety standards. Chloe’s unique combination of technical food safety knowledge and ability to speak both Mandarin and English made her the perfect volunteer to help Barri Food Complex, a client that is supported by the partnership between TechnoServe, USAID, and PFS, translate equipment manuals for their grain processing plant in Ethiopia.
“Before Chloe, we were just troubleshooting the equipment. We didn’t have any [equipment] procedures in place,” said Anteneh Tesfaye, managing director of Barri Food Complex. “We could not find someone in our area who was able to translate our equipment manuals who also had a technical background,” Anteneh said, “having Chloe help translate our equipment manuals for us was very useful.” Now that the manuals have been translated to English, Barri Food Complex staff are able to use the equipment well and develop procedures that meet their local food safety standards.
Chloe explained that translating manuals for a grain processing plant in Ethiopia didn’t come without some unique challenges. “The type of maize flour in Ethiopia is very different from its counterpart in North America. I found that the term for cornmeal is not well defined in the US and the difference between corn flour and cornmeal can sometimes be confusing. When Barri Food Complex sent me a sample of their corn flour I noticed that it’s very fine and looks like the refined wheat flour you would find in the US. Through this experience, I learned not to assume anything. Especially when dealing with a food product from a different region and culture.”
For many volunteers, Partners in Food Solutions is an opportunity to learn new things – both professionally and personally. Chloe said, “Joining PFS was an opportunity that allowed me to use my technical knowledge to positively impact food safety and quality around the world. Not only did this experience enrich my knowledge about food, but it also taught me about food application and processing at the manufacturer.”