Pingfan Rao spoke in Sunday’s “Meet the Leaders of Today and Tomorrow” session about the importance of recognizing not only what your strengths and passions are, but also recognizing the areas that aren’t suited to you.
When he was in high school, Rao built his own TV, attracting neighbours for years who came to watch at his house. He assumed he’d go the electronics route until taking his university entrance exams and finding out that he could get into any university in China. He was recruited to do a food packaging course at Fuzhou University and ended up developing a strong passion for food science. After doing his PhD in Osaka, Rao returned to China where at the time, milk drinks were very popular.
He persuaded his colleagues to make a milk drink product, and turned his lab into a production plant. Despite it being a phenomenal success, he knew this was not for him.
“After 4 years I knew I was not a business person at all, that does not suit me,” said Rao.
Instead, he turned his focus to studying how food interacts with the body, and found his niche.
“In the future when we talk about how food can make you happy, how it can make you stressed, I think that one day it will be the ultimate human technology- the food science technology.”
Dr Pingfan Rao was inducted as IUFoST’s new president at Thursday’s General Assembly. He currently serves as the Director of CAS.SIBS – Zhejiang Gongshang University Joint Center for Food and Nutrition Research, Hangzhou, China.