Read Zoraida's Story

About me

Zoraida is the founder and owner of DeFreitas Nutrition. She is an accomplished, results-oriented, global business executive, with 25 years experience in providing strategic and technical leadership to the food and beverage and dietary supplement industries.

During the last seven years, Zoraida have helped several customers in the dietary supplement, food and beverage industries to tell their stories to the trade. In 2017, she became a strategic member of the Cura Global Health. In her global role of V.P of Marketing and Sales, Zoraida is helping Cura to commercialize their innovative Koji Mineral technology into the dietary supplement and functional food markets.

Zoraida has experience growing major dietary supplement ingredient brands and developing new ingredient market categories, such as FloraGLO® Lutein in the eye health supplement category. As a Vice President of Research and Development at Kemin, she developed and implemented a global research process, based on stage-gate principles, to identify, evaluate and commercialize safe, nutritional ingredients with human health benefits. This process was used successfully to launch six products, in-license five new technologies, and identify three new potential products.

Prior to Kemin Health, she was with Quest International, formally an Unilever owned company, where she worked on fermented- and seaweed-derived hydrocolloids and hydrolyzed dairy and soy proteins for meat, dairy and/or nutraceutical applications.

My Education

Academic Education

  • Iowa State University, Ames, IA - Post Doctorate, Research Associate
  • Iowa State University, Ames, IA - Ph.D. Food Science & Human Nutrition and Animal Science
  • Iowa State University, Ames, IA - M.S. Food Technology

Executive Education

  • The Warton School, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA Executive Development Program (9.2 CEU) - General Management (2 weeks)

My Professional Development and Affiliations

Chairs, Memberships & Coaching

  • Chair of the Senior Scientific Advisory Council - Council for Responsible Nutrition (3 years)
  • Iowa State Food Science and Human Nutrition Industry Advisor (1 year)
  • Institute of Food Technologists since 1988
  • American Society for Nutrition since 2011
  • Career Coach at the George Washington Carver Intership Leadership Retreat Iowa State University, July 8-9, 2016

My Publications

Published Peer-reviewed Articles

  • Lewis, BJ, Herrlinger, KA, Craig, TA, Mehring-Franklin, CE, DeFreitas, Z, Hinojosa-Laborde, C. 2013. Antihypertensive effect of passion fruit peel extract and its major bioactive components following acute supplementation in spontaneously hypertensive rats. J. Nutr. Biochem. doi: 10.1016/j. jnutbio.2012.11.003. [Epub ahead of print].
  • C.L. Kruger, M. Murphy, Z. DeFreitas, F. Pfannkuch J. Heimbach. 2002. An Innovative Approach to the Determination of Safety for a Dietary Ingredient Derived From a New Source: Case Study Using a Crystalline Lutein Product. Food Che. Toxicol. 40 (11):1535-49.
  • DeFreitas, Z. Sebranek, J.G., Olson, D.G., and Carr, J.M. 1997. Carrageenan effects on thermal stability of meat proteins. J. Food. Sci. 62(3):544-547.
  • DeFreitas, Z., Sebranek, J. G., Olson, D.G., and Carr, J.M. 1997. Carrageenan effects on salt-soluble meat proteins in models systems. J. Food Sci. 62(3):539-543
  • DeFreitas, Z., Sebranek, J. G., Olson, and Carr, J. M. 1995. Freeze/thaw stability of cooked pork sausages as affected by salt, phosphate, pH, and carrageenan. J. Food Sci. 62(3):551-554.
  • DeFreitas, Z., and Molins, R.A. 1991. Mechanically deboned pork in fermented meat spreads. J. Food Sci. 56(5):1185-1190.
  • DeFreitas, Z., and Molins, R.A. 1988. Development of meat snack dips: chemical, physical, microbiological and sensory characteristics. J. Food Sci. 53(6):1645-1649.

Other Published Peer-reviewed Articles (Writing and Editing)

  • Reddy MB, Armah SM. Impact of Iron-Enriched Aspergillus oryzae on Iron Bioavailability, Safety, and Gut Microbiota in Rats. J Agric Food Chem. 2018 Jun 20;66(24):6213-6218. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.8b01758. Epub 2018 Jun 11.
  • Manju B Reddy, Seth M Armah, Jeanne W Stewart, Kimberly O O'Brien Iron Absorption from Iron-Enriched Aspergillus oryzae Is Similar to Ferrous Sulfate in Healthy Female Subjects Current Developments in Nutrition, Volume 2, Issue 3, 1 March 2018, nzy004,