00:16 My role really within the organisation is to create and promote pro-active and blue-sky innovation.
00:22 What that means in terms of what we do on a day-to-day basis is
00:26 I try to encourage our flavourists to think outside the box,
00:29 I encourage our applications people to think about new ways of
00:33 using and applying flavours into different applications,
00:36 and actually always looking at new raw materials, at new technologies,
00:40 and ways that we can employ them within our business.
00:45 A flavourist is also known as a flavour chemist and a flavourist can
00:51 arrive at different areas of their career; a junior flavourist might not have any
00:56 formal qualifications in flavour technology
00:59 but is likely to have a technical qualification of some sort.
01:02 And the flavourist can go all the way up to somebody with a PhD in biochemistry.
01:06 A flavourist’s role is to create that impart, enhance or improve taste,
01:13 and flavours are applied to a lot of different types of product,
01:17 to recapture or regain the essence of the original product.
01:25 Part of my role is to develop new ideas and more compelling opportunities to use flavourings.
01:29 So often I’m looking at new sources of stimulation,
01:34 so I often crash categories into each other,
01:37 so I’ll take an idea that’s been used in confectionery and apply it in to a biscuit application,
01:41 I’ll take an idea that’s been used in a beverage and apply it into a hard-boiled candy,
01:46 so I’m always looking for new ideas and ways to generate flavour.
01:53 I could be in the lab one minute, I could be with customers the next,
01:57 I could be researching another ingredient with a supplier,
02:00 I could be at the library researching, you know, the next big thing in, what’s happening in Russia,
02:06 or I can be at my desk, you know, filing enquiries and working with customers on a day-to-day basis.
02:14 I’ve got 13 O levels and 4 A levels, after my A levels I thought
02:20 I’d rather go out and earn some money, so I was actually was employed by a company that
02:24 sponsored me to do further qualifications and my degree.
02:28 My degree is in applied chemistry,
02:31 but I’ve also done a CBA because I was also interested in the marketing side of the business as well,
02:36 but yeah, I will probably go back and do an MBA.
02:39 As Director of Innovation, I actually straddle the technical side of the business,
02:43 and the commercial side of the business, so probably 50% of my time actually is still in the lab
02:48 so I work really closely with the flavourists, I work very closely with the applications teams,
02:53 I’m still responsible for the beverage applications part of our business,
02:56 so I’m in the lab probably two days a week, minimum.
03:00 Developing new products, looking at new flavours, creating new concepts for customers,
03:04 working on customer briefs, working on pro-active briefs.
03:07 So I get the best of both worlds.
03:12 I think chemistry as a qualification will lend itself to a really wide and diverse range of different jobs.
03:19 Obviously I’ve started off as a, very heavily involved in the kind of chemistry side of the business,
03:24 but then actually progressed on to more of a commercial role.
03:27 But I think that having a chemistry qualification, or having any technical qualification,
03:31 it might be in biochemistry, it might be in chemistry, it might be in physics, it might even be in biology,
03:37 it’ll lend itself to different roles within an organisation that you might not have expected.
03:42 To do my job, you have to be innately curious, ask questions all the time,
03:47 you have to be genuinely interested in food, drink and pharmaceutical.
03:51 You have to be interested in process, you have to, you know, understand how
03:55 products are produced, what ingredients are used in food substances,
03:59 you have to understand how to sell your products,
04:02 and be able to talk passionately about what you do and how you do it, and the flavour that you’ve got.
04:10 One of the best parts of my job is actually walking in to a supermarket
04:15 and seeing people pick a product up, off the shelf that you’ve designed, that you’ve invented,
04:19 that your flavours are used in and put into their shopping basket.
04:23 That’s the best part of my job.