- How did you get your start in the food industry? How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and unusual career?
After completing my masters in biotechnology, I joined Synthite as an analytical chemist in the QA/QC department of the fragrance division. After two years, I started to work as a product developer in our NPD department.
I live in Kerala—the spice garden of India. We have a long history of cultivating and exporting spices and I am proud to be a part of this tradition. My past seven years at Synthite have given me the opportunity to work on different projects in ingredient sectors like natural colors and flavors, antioxidants, and nutraceutical extracts for major flavor houses and nutraceutical companies. Now, I am currently working as a developer for clean label flavors and colors using our own patented technology called Straights™.
- What do you love about your job?
The opportunity to learn from experts and work toward the company’s vision to deliver successful ingredients for the most exciting food, health, and fragrance solutions, which drives me to address the most challenging customer requirements.
- What is the biggest challenge that you face in your job?
The biggest challenge that we face in this industry is to source organic/organic certified raw materials to meet the demand. And now through our agronomy department we have initiated activities to support cultivators to grow organic crops.
- What have you learned or been exposed to in the past 12 months that has helped you in your job?
The knowledge acquired from the expert teams that I work with, the different conferences and regulatory workshops, various IFT webcasts and other networking events I have attended, and the different training programs provided to me by Synthite have equipped me with the tools to address different challenges in this industry. Also, I attended the 3rd Nutraceutical and Functional Food Asia Pacific Summit & Exhibition 2018 in Singapore and it was a good learning experience to understand nutraceutical regulations.
- How do you see the food industry evolving over the coming year?
I see that there’s a huge potential for clean label food ingredients in the coming year. The clean label movement is driven by both the regulatory boards and customers. I also see there’s a huge demand for natural plant proteins and fermented flavors.
- Fun Fact: What’s your favorite food?
I love the typical spicy Malabar Fish Curry.